Lore:Bethel Heavy Industries has manufactured civilian and industrial vehicles for the better part of the last century, during the Contact War many of their civilian models were modified for light combat duty and sent to the Colonies to perform as reconnaissance, communication, and ambulance vehicles. The ARTAV (Advance Reconnaissance Transport Assault Vehicle) was built around the same chassis as Bethel’s ‘Columbus’ class exploration vehicle, and was developed to fulfill numerous battlefield roles, including infantry and armor support, medevac, forward communications, and transport. The ARTAV is highly maneuverable and quite capable of traversing a wide variety of terrain; it can ford water up to one meter deep, and is fully amphibious being propelled in the water by its tires. It can be air transported and retrieved for quick deployment to combat zones.
The driver sits in a forward cabin near the front of the vehicle, and can view through optical scopes or a digital interface screen that can display 360 degrees around the vehicle, and be set for night vision and infrared. The gunner/communications officer sits behind the driver facing the back of the vehicle; the gunner is in direct control of the RWS (Remote Weapon Station), the cargo/troop bay is in the rear of the vehicle with a rear opening door. Most ARTAV’s are deployed with the IFV variant and armed with a compact 20mm magnetic acceleration cannon, this weapon uses a small electrical generator to power two rails lined with magnetic coils which quickly accelerates a solid steel sabot to nearly four times the speed of sound, making it a devastating anti-armor and anti-emplacement weapon. However after each shot the gunner must work a loading mechanism to position the next sabot, and the generator takes eight seconds to re-engage the rails, compact rail drivers or MAC cannons have been under development for many years, this is the smallest (in size and caliber) to be mounted on a vehicle.