The M5A2 Schwarzkopf is a tank in use by the United States Joint Strike Force.
The Pentagon likes to refer to the M5A2 Schwarzkopf as the world's premiere mounted combat system, and it's easy to see why. This primary combat vehicle is the pride of the JSF and can endure massive punishment while dealing out the same. Its 120mm smoothbore cannon is capable of blasting apart enemy fortifications while its advanced fire control system gives it unsurpassed accuracy. Unlike the M118 Fastback, the M5A2 still uses a gas turbine rather than a diesel hybrid engine.
Named after General Norman Schwarzkopf, this mounted combat system is yet another example of the end results from the Future Combat Systems program. While its primary armament, a 120mm smooth bore cannon, is essentially unchanged from tanks of previous generations, the rounds it's capable of firing are updated to be much more punishing.
The M5A2 is a mix of the old and the new. It still has the tried and true .50-caliber coaxial heavy machine gun, but can now be fitted with the RAVEN 20mm chain gun. It has an engine that runs on fossil fuels but its advanced fire control system gives it a level of accuracy that is unheard of. The Schwarzkopf can even be equipped with an Advanced Active Defense System which provides added protection against an array of high-explosive anti-tank (HEAT) weaponry.
An active defense system helps improve upon the unit’s already impressive survivability. The lack of a hybrid engine also means the Schwarzkopf is a costly asset to put into action, especially considering the fantastically high price of gasoline in the year 2020. Every attempt has been made to make its gas turbine engine as fuel-efficient as possible, but it still consumes at least double the amount of fuel that the M118 Fastback requires.
Tactical Application: Offense and Defense
With its mobility and advanced combat systems, the M5A2 Schwarzkopf is best used in offensive operations as a sledgehammer and precision attack platform. It can engage enemy units beyond their range and deliver firepower far greater than many of them. Weaken enemy fortifications with lighter armored units, artillery or infantry and then bring the Schwarzkopf forward to deliver the final blow. Punch through defensive positions with its heavy armament or crush inferior units with its weight.
With its composite armor and enhanced defensive capabilities, the M5A2 Schwarzkopf is ideal for defending key strategic positions such as Control Points. Its armament supplements any static defenses already in place, and when used in conjunction with infantry or the Fastback it becomes a truly terrifying force. Combine it with the Blackfoot gunship for incredible lethality against multiple unit types.
Strengths and Weaknesses
Joint Strike Force
Use the M5A2 Schwarzkopf, especially with all its combat upgrades, as a sniper. They can fire on units like the Panther 1A3 and especially the T-100 Ogre before they can get retaliatory fire. Protect them from gunships with M118s; if you come under artillery fire, get AH-80 Blackfoot gunships to take them out or just move out of sight.
The Cheetah Gunship is very effective against the Schwarzkopf. However, if there are Riflemen or Engineers covering for the MBTs, use a Badger to bait the Schwarzkopf out of cover, or if its protection goes with it (in the case of covering M118s) use Panther 1A3s in ambush position to neutralize the Schwarzkopf's range advantage.
Spetsnaz Guard Brigades
The Howler Gunship is very effective against the Schwarzkopf; alternatively, use a UAV or Riflemen with camouflage and spot it for Russia's powerful artillery and reduce it to scrap. If possible, cover the artillery with T-100 Ogres or a Bear unit in cover. If a Schwarzkopf can be lured into the engagement range of an Ogre without the unit taking damage, the M5A2 is as good as dead.
- Firepower Enhancement: Increases range (+25%). Cost 100,000 CR
- Coaxial Gun: Increases short-range firepower (+25%). Cost 300,000 CR
- HESH Shell: Unlocks High-Explosive Squash Head special attack. Cost 900,000 CR
- BLOS (Ballistic Line of Sight) Cannon: Increases range of special attack (+25%). Cost 1,200,000 CR
- Platform Stabilizer: Increases accuracy (+25%). Cost 1,500,000 CR
- Fire Control: Increases range significantly (+50%). Cost 1,800,000 CR
- Independent Viewer: Increases accuracy significantly (+50%). Cost 2,100,000 CR
- Nano Composite Armor: Increases HP (+25%). Cost 100,000 CR
- Active Defense: Increases shield durability (+25%). Cost 300,000 CR
- Auto Grenade Launcher: Equips a Auto Grenade Launcher to increase short-range damage against attacking units (+50%). Cost 900,000 CR
- Stacked Projectiles: Increases Auto Grenade Launcher damage (+25%). Cost 1,200,000 CR
- DU (Depleted Uranium) Armor: Increases HP significantly (+50%). Cost 1,500,000 CR
- Power Unit: Increases movement speed (+25%). Cost 100,000 CR
- Hydrogen Cells: Increases movement speed (+50%). Cost 300,000 CR
Schwarzkopf callsign seem to deal with powerful or brutal forces.
- The Schwarzkopf is named after General Norman Schwarzkopf (August 22, 1934 - December 27, 2012), commander of Coalition forces during the First Gulf War, who were renowned for their 'shock and awe' approach (first from air, then via a tank blitzkrieg) and where General Schwarzkopf earned the nickname "Stormin' Norman".
- According to concept art, the Schwarzkopf was originally a fictional advancement of the M1A1 Abrams tank.
- The Schwarzkopf's 20mm RAVEN chainguin may indicate it is a RArefaction waVE guN (RAVEN).
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