The Railman is a dedicated air defence vehicle designed to protect itself and friendly vehicles near it from low to medium altitude enemy aircraft and drones. The remotely-controlled turret sports a 20mm Gatling cannon and heavy guided air defence missiles.
The Gatling cannon, a tried-and-true mainstay weapon, is capable of firing at a rate of 6000 rounds per minute.
The Railman's air defence missiles are an interesting case. They use infrared/radar/laser guidance and like many such weapons, operate in a self-homing 'fire-and-forget' mode. They were originally intended to be all-around guided missiles - capable of homing on both aircraft and ground vehicles. However, while their ability as an anti-air weapon remains exceptional, as anti-tank weapons they were found to be disappointing - hence they are now exclusively dedicated to air defence.
The M7 is a fast, wheeled vehicle, inspired by the success of the U.S. light attack vehicles earlier in the century. The wheel base makes it quickly able to get into a defensive position to provide air supression coverage. Red Star aircraft find it a great trouble when carrying out their missions - and frequently a lethal adversary.-- Field Guide text entry
The Western Coalition's M7 Railman is the vehicle that fills the role of anti-air vehicle. The RSA counterpart, the 2S10 Telker, appears to be descended from Russian ZSU heritage, while the M7 looks more like the US Stryker family.
The M7's offensive equipment includes a 20mm Gatling cannon, and 135mm long-body fire-and-forget air defence missiles.
Without a Firefly Advanced Decoy System like many other Coalition vehicles, or the Active Defense Countermeasure System used on vehicles like the M4 Powell, the Railman must rely on its speed and maneuverability to survive. As it lacks a direct ground weapon for anti-armor capabilities, the M7 is best paired or grouped with M4 Powell IFVs or M1B Fuller tanks.
Behind the Scenes
The vehicle is referred to in the game's files as, "VHW_APC_AntiAir", with 'VH' standing for vehicle, 'W' for Western Coalition, 'APC' as vehicle type, and 'AntiAir' as sub type.
Brian Burrel did most of the work on the vehicles in Frontlines, while Nathan Campbell did the concept artwork used to create the 3D models. Brian's website has in-editor and in-game renders of his work.