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"...the space defense initiative drove the USSR bankrupt, and it originated at my house in Tarzana."
- Larry Niven

Supertank  
  An air-cushioned armored combat vehicle powered by a fusion generator.  

"Even its 170 tonnes could not fully dampen the vibration of Two Star's fans at max load. The oval hull, all silvery-smooth above but of gouged and rusty steel below were the skirts fell sheer almost to the ground, slid its way through the grass like a boat through yellow seas..."
From Hammer's Slammers, by David Drake.
Published by Ace Books in 1979
Additional resources -

Details are given in another section:

"The primary breakthrough was the development of portable fusion power plants...the fusion's unit's almost limitless output was required to move the mass which made the new supertanks viable. Fusion units were bulky and moderately heavy themselves, but loads could be increased on a fusion-powered chassis with almost no degradation of performance. Armor became thick- and thicker. With the whole galaxy as a source of ores, iridium replaced the less effective steels and ceramics without regard for weight. "...Now that power was no longer a factor, even the armored bulk of a tank could be mounted on an air cushion. "The air cushion principle is a very simple one. Fans fill the plenum chamber, a solid-skirted box under a vehicle, with air under pressure. To escape, the air must life the edges of the skirts off the ground - and with the skirts, the whole vehicle rises...The vehicle skims over surfaces it does not touch."

Thanks to Gatomon41 for submitting this item!

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  More Ideas and Technology from Hammer's Slammers
  More Ideas and Technology by David Drake
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  Tech news articles related to works by David Drake

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