CDA-2A Cicada

Thecicada.png Cicada was introduced amidst rising tensions in 2740 by HartfordCo Industries in an attempt to capitalize on the growing need for BattleMechs. At the time Bergan Industries had cornered the market in light recon ‘Mechs with their Locust and HartfordCo’s only prior experience was building communications and targeting systems. Nevertheless the company designed their ‘Mech to compete directly with the Locust by making it just as fast but twice as large, allowing the Cicada to carry slightly better weaponry and give it an edge in physical combat, all while keeping costs down. The Star League was sufficiently impressed that they agreed to a limited contract with HartfordCo for a small number of Cicadas, using them to replace many Locusts lost in fighting along its border regions. The ’Mech’s only major issue was faulty heat sinks, although these were eventually replaced in many models with modular sinks.

With their base of operations and only Cicada factory located on Bryant, HartfordCo was among the many victims of the fall of the Star League and the onset of the Succession Wars. Although the factory was destroyed, there were a number of built Cicadas in storage on Bryant and its relative position compared to the five Successor States meant the planet was the target of many raids. Thus the Cicada found its way into all of the major House armies, where in service to the Successor Lords, the ‘Mech earned a positive reputation. Unfortunately this also meant its expectations sometimes exceeded the design’s actual capabilities, and, with no new models being produced, the Cicada’s numbers began to dwindle. By the end of the Fourth Succession War the ’Mech was in danger of going extinct.

The discovery of the Helm Memory Core allowed Free Worlds Defense Industries to save the Cicada by restarting production of the ’Mech from their newly-refurbished production line on Gibson. The great majority of these newly-built Cicadas went to the Free Worlds League Military, particularly federal units, which was in desperate need for recon ’Mechs after the loss of so many machines during their long battle with Andurien. The chassis was also the perfect platform to apply much of the now-recovered lostech and the improved CDA-3M was introduced shortly before the start of the Clan Invasion. New Cicadas were supplied to the Federated Commonwealth and Draconis Combine as part of an agreement to combat the Clans, and as reports filtered in from the front more variants of the ’Mech were produced. Following the ComStar Schism the Word of Blake relocated to Gibson and an increasing number of Cicada production was redirected to the Word of Blake Militia, which quickly rivaled the FWLM as the largest Cicada user. As such the ’Mech was found on both sides of the Jihad.

Weapons and Equipment

The Cicada is armed with two Magna Medium Lasers and a single Magna 200 Small Laser, the two heavier lasers on either side of the torso and the third placed in the center. These weapons give the Cicada independence from logistical support lines when necessary, in exchange for a weapons loadout that has a higher than average amount of excess heat. They also give the Cicaca sufficient firepower for taking down it’s intended target, other lighter ’Mechs, and are well protected within the armored torso. Unfortunately their placement also gives the lasers a limited firing arc, producing a blind spot an enemy can exploit if they get behind the Cicada.

Four tons of armor on the Cicada is the same amount as found on the Locust, although most of it is concentrated in the torso. This leaves very little in the vestigial “wing” arms or in the legs. Speed is the Cicada’s chief defense, which it achieves thanks to it’s Pitban 320 fusion engine that accounts for over half the weight of the ’Mech. Original CDA-2A Cicadas produced by HartfordCo utilized the Hartford J15 B Communications System and Hartford S1000 Targeting-Tracking System, while new ones introduced by FWDI used their own proprietary technology.

The Cicada carries the standard number of ten heat sinks, however the original HartfordCo models were discovered to wear out and fail to perform as expected after extended use: if not replaced they would operate at only sixty percent capacity, leading to serious overheating during combat. Although most Cicadas had their heat sinks replaced with more reliable modular models, some still used the defective models, illustrated disastrously in a much-publicized battle on Oriente between the Free Worlds League and the Capellan Confederation. Still it was not until 3029 that the FWLM ordered all Cicadas, in both federal and provincial service, to be upgraded.

Production information

Manufacturer: HartfordCo Industries, Gibson Federated BattleMechs – (Free Worlds Defense Industries)
Production Year: 2740
Model: CDA-2A
Class: Medium
Cost: 3,705,217 C-bills

Technical specifications

Tech Base: Inner Sphere
Mass: 40 tons
Chassis: Hartford 300
Armor: 3/Star Slab
Engine: Pitban 320
Communications System: Datacom 50
Targeting Tracking System: Dynatec 1122
Heat Sinks: 10
Speed: 129.6 km/h


2x Medium Lasers
1x Small Laser

Weapon Hardpoints

Right Torso: 2E
Center Torso: 1E
Left Torso: 2E

Design Quirks

No/Minimal Arms
No Torso Twist

BV (1.0): 567
BV (2.0): 659

CDA-2A Cicada

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