The HK-72K2 main battle tank, the "Old Dog" of the Solarian military, is a venerable design that has been the mainstay of the USMC tank fleet for six decades. It is the most formidable battletank in service with the Marine Corps, an icon of planetary warfare that is for the USMC what the Assailant class Strikestar is for the USSF. Though older than many designs in service with other galactic powers, the HK-72K2 has been subjected to progressive generations of upgrades and can be expected to soldier on in the USMC and elsewhere well into the 35th century. It is manufactured by Solaris Advanced Weapons Corporation on Kerenkov, Solaris Sector.
The designers started with the crew facilities and worked outwards, building the vehicle around the people who would fight in it. The crew bay which houses the four-man crew (driver, gunner, second gunner, commander) is surrounded by a highly survivable inner armored cell which is itself heavier than the Ranger IFV. Forward of the crew-bay is the engine compartment, housing two slo-trans engines for redundancy, whilst the dark energy reactor is housed in separate armored compartment behind the crew-bay. This reactor is backed up with an emergency supply of energy from a powerful bank of fractal loop capacitors. Generally it can be assumed however that if the reactor is destabilized, the tank will be destroyed (along with everything around it), which is why the reactor vessel is independently shielded and armored.
Unlike more flashy hovertanks the Terminator is driven by two wide and massive threads, the running gear for which is conventional: independently driven road-wheels powered through hub-motors running off the multiply redundant power-bus. Anticipating operations in extensive rubble along with a potential need to dig vehicle hides during defensive operations, the SAW engineers equipped the Terminator with improved underbelly protection and a massive retractable dozer blade mounted under the nose of the vehicle. This reinforced blade also functions as a mine-clearing device and as an additional layer of frontal armor. Around everything Solaris Advanced Weapons wrapped a supremely heavy multi-stage armor package that isn't exactly innovative but is at least the equivalent of the Bragulan Dredka overtank, which at the time the Terminator was designed set the standard for heavy tank design in the quadrant. Though not as large as the lumbering Dredka, the Terminator is still rather enormous, and its size is further emphasized by its blocky look.
Placed on the Terminator's huge armored body is a colossal turret which holds the primary weapons. For defensive operations on the edge of urban areas the Terminator needed long range anti-armor capability, for offensive operations in the middle of such areas it needed a short-ranged demolition gun, for both it would need strong point-defence systems and for the inner urban area it would need extremely good close-defence armaments to stop it being swarmed by infantry. Long-range anti-armor capability demanded both anti-vehicle missiles and a medium calibre projectile weapon, short range demolition gun work demanded a large bore projectile weapon. Solaris Advanced Weapons combined both in a single weapon by producing a large 400mm direct-fire mass driver, which is capable of taking out most vehicles with one shot. For close-range work the weapon uses standard ammunition, for long distance work it can fire an 250mm sub-caliber homing penetrators. Both weapons can fire conventional as well as thermonuclear munitions.
To engage lighter, faster targets the Terminator is provided with a second remote-controlled barbette mounted atop the main turret, fitted with a twin-linked M78 plasma gun and two multiple rocket launchers for SADAR rockets. Beneath the main turret are two forward and one rearward firing turrets, each with twin coaxial 10mm M120 plasma repeaters. Each turret moves completely independently of the others.
For point and close defence the designers decided to again combine the requirements in a single weapon, but also to go for overkill, with the result that the Terminator mounts no less than six microlaser active protection systems as well as four pencil-missile launch racks based on the F30A3 Hellstorm. The launchers are flush-mounted in the main body of the tank and incorporate blow-out panels to minimise damage in the event of a penetrating hit.
The Terminator is fitted with a phased array radar system used for tracking and fire control. EMP-hardened sensors are arrayed on the hull and turret in order to provide 360° coverage to the crew even when the tank is buttoned down. The main sensor clusters on the turret front include infrared and ultraviolet night vision equipment as well as visible wavelength cameras, RADAR, LADAR and TADAR equipment capable of targeting objects in low orbit. The tank carries a digital battle command information system compatible with the USMC's tactical datanet. On-board antennas, focused laser-links and direct Datasphere relays facilitate the transmission of radio and satellite images, data, and video across the force in real time in order to provide enhanced interoperability and situation awareness from brigade to individual soldiers.
Finally, a layered defensive scheme protects the tank and its crew. First, the active protection system is able to engage and destroy missiles and destabilize antitank darts. Directional fragmentation packs and antilaser cloud dispensers can be mounted on the hull for additional close-in defense against nearby infantry and armored units. The armor on the Terminator is a composite of density-enhanced buckycarbon and diamondoid materials bonded to a tungsten alloy backing plate, wrapped in alternating elastic and heat-dissipating layers, under an anti-laser/particle ablative coating. Several Terminators in service with the Para-Marines have been fitted with force screen generators, but this is not standard.