Model Number: eEXM-17/B
Designation: Earth Alliance Limited Mass Production 3rd Generation EXAMAC System for Air-to-Ground Combat
Going medieval in the age of lasers, beams and kinetic weapons.With the arrival of the Maxion, the Earth Alliance (EA) took a tremendous beating. While their traditional adversary the Bailon Army had retreated to defend and retain control of their territories from the encroaching Maxion, EA forces have been hit particularly hard by the Maxion's nimble and agile EXAMAC systems. Despite the machines sharing a common development pathway, the gulf in performance was very obvious: even the lumbering 4th Generation Rabiot was basically a free kill for Spinatio Sengoku Type: Sword units while the regular Altos were routinely routed even before sighting a single Spinatio Sengoku Type: Bow. Only Altos outfitted with heavy armour and close combat equipment had a chance of prevailing against the Maxion machines, and even then they were usually Pyrrhic victories.
One of the EA's main aviation hubs was close to being overrun by the Maxion, their advance only being slowed by the area's mountainous terrain and the fact that the EA Command Nexus was perched on top of a snowy peak. The Maxion had dug in and laid siege to the facility, with Bow Types strategically positioned to ensure that nothing could get in or get out. The EA base's complement of Alto [Flight Type] units was running dangerously low, most of them being taken out by a single lance of orange energy moments after take-off in ill-fated combat sorties against the Bow Types.
The Flight Units used by Flight Type Altos provided tremendous thrust and maneuverability but had large wing spans, which made them huge targets for the ever-vigilant Bow Types at the foot of the mountain. Firing on the Bow Types from the peak did not do much as Maxion EXAMAC armour was specifically treated to resist beam weaponry. The only way to meaningfully damage a Spinatio - a fact proven through the sacrifice of multiple Rabiots - was to ironically get up close and personal with an edged weapon, essentially going medieval on the oriental-themed invaders.
As Sword Types continued to scale the mountain and were steadily closing in on the EA Command Nexus, EA engineers devised a last-ditch plan. Using spare parts and experimental equipment from ongoing research in EXAMAC propulsion systems, a squad of Flight Type Altos were retrofitted into the Variant-B configuration. This version replaced the bulky flight unit with a more streamlined Flight Wing unit that resembled a three-piece cape, and was equipped with a rocket lance and a large circular shield for heavy close quarters combat. A large claymore was also issued to the commander unit because why not? The idea was to soar towards the Bow Types with the help of gravity and the Flight Wing while using the shield as a damage sponge to soak up whatever the Bow Types could throw at them before engaging them with the rocket lance upon reaching the foot of the mountain.
No one expected the plan to truly work, seeing that their intended salvation was really a mish-mash of ragtag materials found lying around a besieged base. Somehow, the combination of parts worked, transforming the Flight Type Alto into a metaphorical knight as the suicide squad fell towards the Bow Types. Within seconds of their take-off, the Bow Types raised the Type-79 High Energy Particle Accelerators and began to draw a bead on the advancing EA EXAMACs. Moments later, the first lance of orange energy left the bow of the vanguard Bow Type and surged towards the leading Alto. Instead of blowing up like 13 of its brethren earlier, the Alto [Flight Type Variant-B] banked to starboard at the last possible second, made possible only by the sheer maneuverability of the Flight Wing. The other Altos were mostly able to achieve the same results, only faltering as the anti-aircraft fire grew more intense as they neared the foot of the mountain. With their circular shields reaching their absolute limit - most of its surface was now molten slag - the Altos touched solid ground and wasted no time in engaging the Bow Types with their rocket lances. The pointed nature of the lances focused kinetic energy onto a single point and caused massive damage to Spinatio armour, which was quickly exploited by the Altos with follow-up beam fire from the lance's built-in cannons. The Sword Types, detecting that their Bow Type compatriots were in trouble, immediately abandoned scaling the mountain and dropped back down with swords drawn. After dispatching most of the Bow Types, the Altos made full use of their newfound speed to ram their lances into the Sword Types, a deadly blow that could not possibly be parried. The commander unit also managed to behead a Sword Type with the large claymore, a feat was rare, if not non-existent.
Following the success of the Variant-B configuration, this version of the Alto [Flight Type] was put into limited mass production and assigned to elite units in a bid to boost morale and stem the tide against the onslaught of the Maxion.