|“||Blazing tanks, screaming jet fighters and stomping powered armour||„|
— Maximum Metal
The world of Cyberpunk vehicles can either be the way you impress the local gang or crime organizations, or could be just a means of transportation. Vehicles can be about getting an edge over the corporates.
Types of Vehicles
Still queen of the battlefield after all these years. despite the best efforts of AT-gun designers, ATGM's. attack helis, etc. Over the last two decades, there has been an upper limit in terms of overall size and weight The emphasis now is on lighter armors. autoloaders to reduce crew numbers, full amphibious capabilities, higher ground speeds, and improved anti-missile self-defence.
Hovercraft have their uses. They're faster than anything else on the ground (except rockets and dragsters)and they have no problems with land/water interface, since they can drive right off the water and right onto the beach. Militarily, that ends their usefulness - they can't traverse wooded or rough terrain, their lack of maneuverability makes trucks look graceful, they're too lightweight to haul much armor or weaponry, they eat a lot of fuel, and they make a lot of noise. In addition, in dusty conditions, a hover kicks up a lot of dust; you can see it miles off. the same wind blast makes smoke dispensers useless with hovers.
For sheer tactical versatility, there's not much that can beat an aerodyne. They can go anywhere that's above water, they can land in an area twice their size (which is a fairly small area), they can hover and perform all manner of vectored thrust maneuvers, they're faster than helicopters, and they can carry more armor.
Despite the enormous advantages of aerodynes, helicopters are still extremely useful. They are less expensive per kilo of mass lifted, they are cheaper to operate, and they can autorotate down to earth if their engines fail (if an aerodyne's engines fail, it assumes the flight characteristics of a metal ingot). And they can still carry a lot of weaponry.
Tilt-wing VTOL aircraft, now known as "Ospreys" after the first production model, are the backbone of short-haul air cargo transport in the 21st century. They're larger than AVs and helicopters, and require correspondingly larger take-off and landing areas, but they are faster than helicopters and carry more cargo mass than aerodynes. Typically unarmored, most militaries use Ospreys as troop transports or heavy load-lifters (an Osprey can transport heavy loads slung beneath their fuselages, in a fashion similar to helicopter loading. To do so, its rotors must remain in vertical mode. An Osprey with its rotors in vertical mode flies at 1/5 top speed).
Thanks to the advent of commercial airships and AVs. the role of airplanes has been reduced to that of high-speed cross-country transport. And this transport costs more, too, since the petrol-based fuels needed to run the jets are rarer than in former times (and are needed to run AVs and Ospreys in any case). The fuel consumed on a single jet-liner trip will keep an AV flying for days.
Military airships are usually cargo-lifters, not combat units. There are a couple of combat support uses for airships: Electronic Warfare and Anti-submarine Warfare
The vehicles are divided in two categories: