Hand armaments: Dolph 2 plasma rifle, power rated at 1.5 MW, 10 shots per magazine; shield, attaches to left forearm
Despite the Ein Dolph’s impressive field trial scores, Browning considered the CF-014 something of a glass cannon. The first Dolph plasma rifle, though powerful, suffered from a dearth of ammunition. The grenade launcher affixed to the rifle as a stopgap measure proved less effective than the standard 115mm Grento machine gun. Simulations also revealed critical gaps in the Ein Dolph’s defenses.
Browning adopted a two-pronged approach to address these shortcomings. First, he addressed the Ein Dolph’s offensive limitations by equipping the Zwei Dolph with a dedicated version of Dellister’s plasma sword. Thanks to refinements in capacitor technology, Browning was also able to produce a second-generation Dolph rifle whose output equaled Dead Drop’s plasma cannon while boasting greater ammo capacity. These improvements obviated the rather awkward grenade launcher.
Second, Browning enhanced the Zwei Dolph’s defenses with thicker armor supplemented by a versatile, hand-carried shield. The shield featured improved insulation against energy attacks and could double as bashing weapon in close combat. Since the best way to survive a shot from a plasma weapon was to not be there when it fired, Browning gave the Zwei Dolph additional drive and maneuvering thrusters fed by a more powerful reactor.
The Zwei Dolph’s first deployment came late in the CY 1 conflict. A handful of elite Coalition pilots received Zwei Dolph prototypes before the official rollout, and their outright spectacular combat victories served as chilling hints of what might have been had Sanzen heeded Browning’s advice to pass over the Ein Dolph and fast-track Zwei Dolph development.
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