LAV’s (Low Altitude Vehicles)
LAV’s are Vim powered aircraft that function along the same Etheric buoyancy principle as skycruisers. The levitation matrix is impressed into a long spar attached to the top of the aircraft and powered by one or two K/F siphon arrays. Maneuver is achieved by angling the spar in concert with minute adjustments to the craft’s buoyancy field. LAV’s cannot function without sufficient ambient Vim and great care must be taken to avoid contact with voids or null zones.
Small and agile, LAV’s can attain impressive speeds, although their altitude is limited. Civilian models exist, both for transportation and recreation, but over the course of the war, most of these aircraft have been conscripted for military use or salvaged for their valuable engine cores.
In the Coalition Armed Forces, LAV’s typically serve as utility vehicles, shuttling small cargoes and/or combat squads into difficult terrain or hostile combat zones. However, the recently formed Coalition Air Corps has begun experimenting with deploying LAV’s in direct combat operations. Modified with heavier armor, more powerful engines and armed with pylon mounted heavy machine guns and SCAM firing autocannons, their reasonable maneuverability and payload capacity make them excellent in a crawler-hunter or ground support role.
AAV-9 Series LAV
The AAV-9 is the workhorse LAV of the Coalition forces, sporting several variants ranging from the standard AAV-9A transport (shown above) to the heavily armed AAV-9G gunships used by the Air Corps.
The AAV-9A, often called a “hopper”, is a light cargo and troop carrier. Powered by twin 20 kD rated siphon reactors, it can attain air speeds of up to 350kph when empty or approximately 280kph under a full load. Cargo capacity is 4000kg in its internal bay or 4800kg externally via slung load.
Typically employed as a troop transport, the AAV-9A can deploy a single combat squad of ten soldiers plus equipment and is often called upon for hostile insertion and extraction missions. The hull is lightly armored and sufficiently warded to repel small arms and machine gun fire but will not reliably withstand larger caliber antitank or antiaircraft weapons. The AAV-9A is armed only with a single 20mm autocannon mounted in a traversable nose turret for self-defense and to support embarking or disembarking troops.