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Speculation on near-future hard sci-fi, often with reference to GURPS Transhuman Space (TS/THS). Occasional digressions into other fields such as cyberpunk, ribofunk and Car Wars. If you have enjoyed this article or it has been helpful to you please feel free to show your appreciation. Thank you.
The Raider is an idea suggested by BAe. The designers freely admit that there inspiration included the Batmobile Tumbler from “Batman Begins”. The wheel arrangement permits a very small turning radius. By the Transhuman Space-era, a number of similar vehicles are in use by various armed agencies. They are more commonly referred to as “tri-raiders” or “trikes”.
The tri-raider is a form of unmanned fast-attack vehicle. It fills a similar niche to a mid-twentieth century armoured car and its possible uses include escort, pursuit, scouting and fire-support. Vehicles may be remotely operated or autonomous. With no provision to carry occupants, they may be considered to be a large wheeled cybershell
One of the BAe illustrations clearly shows a Browning .50 machine gun as armament. On either side are trainable structures which may be either grenade or missile launchers. TS-era versions usually carry either a light autocannon or a heavy machine gun, which may be e-mags. There is usually provision to use micro-missiles and mini-missiles in addition to larger calibre weapons.
BAe have suggested that their Raider may mass around two tonnes. Many TS-era examples are heavier, having incorporating greater levels of protection and more sophisticated systems.
An interesting technology to incorporate in to a tri-raider might be the Eagle 360 spherical tyres (“spheels”?) proposed by Goodyear. This would make the vehicle even more agile. Each sphere is connected to its vehicle only by an electromagnetic field and can roll in any direction. The surface of the tyre has a “bionic” skin that can adapted to different road or terrain conditions. It is possible that each sphere have its own AI to optimize its performance.