Jump Jets, often abbreviated to "JJ", enable a Mech or Battle Armor to become airborne briefly. They may only be fired for a limited time (indicated above the speed gauge in Mechs, and next to a Battle Armor's armor/health status)and require time to recharge. They also generate significant heat.
The Final Beta 0.7.0 release introduced a new kind of JJ, called improved Jump Jets, or iJJ
Generally, Jump Jets provide Mechs with several additional tactical options:
- Accessing terrain features too steep to climb.
- Quickly jumping to cover behind low hills.
- Briefly rising from behind cover to assess the battlefield.
- Jump Sniping (aka Poptarting) from behind cover to fire weapons.
- Avoiding - to an extent - incoming missile fire.
A 'Mech may have one or more jump jets installed; each thruster increases the 'Mech's maximum jump distance by 30 meters but takes up space and weight on the 'Mech's frame. The mass of the jump jets is proportionate to the mass of the 'Mech they are installed on, owing to the increased power needed to move a more massive object and the maximum number of jump jets that a 'Mech can carry, and thus its maximum jump distance, is limited by the motive power provided by the 'Mech's engine. Jump Jets can be hard-mounted to the base configuration, attached to the Frame or installed on 'Mech' legs.
Improved Jump Jets
Improved Jump Jets (iJJ) trade their lower weight and some of their vertical thrust for better horizontal acceleration, and much better control over both fuel consumption and jumping itself. Particularly advantageous is the ability to thrust sideways rather than only forwards and backwards. This greatly increases a mech's evasive capabilities, like jumping to cover or dodging missiles. Improved Jump Jets, which take up twice the mass and space of standard jump jets, but produce less heat and allow for more nozzles to be fitted for a given engine allowing for a longer maximum jump distance.
A video showing the differences between both kinds can be found here: Jump Jets Preview
Note: The heat generated by the use of either type of Jump Jets needs to be carefully considered in the overall management of a Mech's heat. For example, firing energy weapons mid-jump could result in a serious heat spike which could damage your Mech.
Jump Jets are a key Battle Armor defense. Jump Jets accelerate Battle Armors faster and further than Mechs. This agility can make a skilled Battle Armour more difficult to hit.
Developed by the Terran Hegemony in 2471, thirty years after the introduction of the first BattleMech, the Mackie, and first appearing on the Wasp, Jump jets allow 'Mechs to navigate difficult terrain by rocketing over obstacles. Since their invention, jump jets have been adapted for use on other units. By harnessing the power of a 'Mech's fusion engine to superheat air or another suitable fluid, Jump Jets allow a BattleMech to briefly overcome gravity and rocket short distances over the battlefield.
A modern refinement upon the centuries old design of standard jump jets, improved jump jets are twice as large and as heavy as their normal counterparts, but can propel a 'Mech further with less heat build-up.
The following Variants equip with Jump Jets or Improved Jump Jets :