|Orign:||JSF/United States Army|
|Armament:||25mm chain gun (or AA rail gun), co-axial 7.62mm MG, TOW-IIIA (optional)|
|Passengers:||One squad of riflemen of engineers|
Upon first inspection, the M118 Fastback looks like little more than an updated version of infantry fighting vehicle designs used at the close of the 20th Century. However, it represents a huge leap forward in IFV design. It is capable of engaging both ground and airborne targets and can quickly provide transport for a full squad of riflemen or engineers. Faster, more fuel-efficient, deadlier, and tougher than its predecessors, the Fastback incorporates many features pioneered by the Future Combat Systems program.
The Fastback may look familiar on the outside, but it’s a whole new beast inside. Its original 600hp turbo-diesel engine has been replaced by a more fuel-efficient hybrid engine. Advances in hybrid technology have allowed for this change to be made without a sacrifice in horsepower or torque, while leaving the vehicle's weight virtually unchanged.
Lessons learned from the Army's Stryker program led to the M118 being a tracked vehicle rather than a wheeled one. The Fastback also includes plenty of electronic countermeasures and is fully "wired" according to specifications set by the Future Combat Systems program.
Its main armament, a dual-feed chain gun, has been upgraded from 25mm to 30mm. This helps simplify supply logistics for JSF battalions, because JSF gunships use the same type of ammunition. It has the added benefit of increasing both the range at which the Fastback can engage enemy targets and its hitting power.
The M118 is a modular design, so it can quickly be upgraded to suit different mission parameters. Its chain gun can be replaced by a newly developed Anti-Aircraft Rail Gun. TOW (tube-launched, optically tracked, wire-guided) IIIA missiles can be attached to the vehicle's hull for added anti-armor capability. JSF commanders will quickly find the Fastback to be an effective and versatile addition to their battalion; their only complaint will be that it cannot be modified for amphibious operations.