|This article, M3706 Autocannon, was written by Athena32. Please do not edit this fiction without the writer's permission.|
The M3706 Autocannon was a multipurpose heavy weapon used by the United Nations Space Command during and after the Human-Covenant War. Used as a multipurpose, versatile weapon with dozens of different roles and usage options, the M3706 existed in its basic form throughout much of the Human-Covenant War, seeing numerous upgrades mainly focusing on expanding control options and intergration with UNSC vehicles.
The M3706 was a versatile weapon able to engage infantry, light and heavy armour with varying degrees of effectiveness. Against infantry the weapon's large calibre and high rate of fire reduced even the most well armoured and shielded infantry to lumps of flesh, earning the weapon the nickname of 'Meat Grinder'. The same was true of light vehicles, their armour and speed being little protection against the M3706's potent fire. Heavier vehicles could usually withstand more punishment than this but the M3706's rate of fire would eventually punch through even the heaviest armour, provided it survived long enough. The autocannon could quickly down fast-moving aircraft as a result of its fast-tracking base and punishing rate of fire, while more armoured aerial targets such ass could resist to a slightly greater degree.
The M3706 could be used on a wide variety of mounts; it performed well as a stationary, free-standing all-purpose turret, and several UNSC light vehicles made use of it for primary armaments. Heavier vehicles such as the M6A1 Raider Main Battle Tank could put it to great use either as a coaxial or otherwise-mounted weapon, and it even saw some limited use by the F-352B Longsword. The M3706 could operated independently without operator input, remote controlled, or manually controlled by an operator.
The most striking and obvious feature of the M2706 Autocannon was its six-barreled rotary nature. This spread the thermal energy created through firing equally between the six barrels, allowing for incredibly high sustained rates of fire. The barrel was electrically operated, similarly to the fast-tracking rotating base to which it was mounted to. The M3706 was belt fed from a 10,000 round drum magazine located beneath the weapon. The top of the weapon mounted the sophisticated auto-targeting and sensor systems the gun used when it operated autonomously, and which a gunner relied on if he operated it remotely, from another location or from inside the vehicle it was mounted to.
The M3706 was chambered for the 20x128mm round, a powerful, high calibre long range anti-materiel round. The round was deadly against infantry to an exessive degree, often reducing them to unidentifiable chunks as a result of sheer kinetic energy (even without secondary effects). As a result, although it could perform anti-personnel roles more than admirably, the round's primary usage was anti-vehicle and anti-air, where its stopping power and range, often coupled with rate of fire, made it formidable against lightly armoured aircraft and vehicles. The qualities of the round made it well-suited for the autocannon's roles.
The M3706 most commonly employed the M753 Semi-Armour Piercing-High Explosive Incendiary, or SAP-HEI, which was an ammunition type combining both an armour piercing and an explosive/incendiary capability. The bullet's tip was filled with a highly incendiary chemical, which burned at several thousand degrees upon impact with a target, damaging or melting armour and heavily affecting shields. Behind this was a high explosive component which detonated immediately on impact with a target, further damaging the area. Behind this was a solid core penetrator or depleted uranium, held in a backing 'cup' of steel. The components were held together in a copper or lead jacket. Upon hitting a target, the incendiary and explosive properties would damage the target area, aiding considerably in the depleted uranium's penetration into the interior. The penetrator featured a self-sharpening tip and was itself pyrophoric, meaning that it ignited upon impact with the incendiary material. It then punched through any remaining armour, having been ignited at this point and also carrying with it any remaining incendiary material from the tip. Effects on the target, especially if it was organically-based, were catastrophically damaging; the round would typically bypass any present armour (following rapid depletion of shields) and propel an incendiary penetrator and secondary incendiary material into the target's innards.