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|For an overview of "Fat Man" Launchers throughout the Fallout series, see Fat Man.|
The M42 Fat Man was developed at Fort Strong near Boston, Massachusetts. Development began in February 2076, with the goal being the development of a man-portable tactical nuclear launcher easy enough for use by troops on the ground, to destroy reinforced and entrenched positions. Problems manifested instantly, as warheads were simply too heavy to clear the blast radius fast enough to provide safety for the operator. Even stripping them to the minimal possible size failed to produce an acceptable effect. Instead, the development team decided to increase the power of the launcher unit, even considering using railgun technology to accelerate the warhead. The notion was largely academic, as it would require for the overburdened soldier to carry an additional power pack the size of a suitcase and turn the Fat Man into a crew-served weapon. Concurrent development ran on the MIRV version of the launcher. Live-fire testing claimed lives, in fact, with two soldiers killed during a test. No remains were recovered and the commanding officer in charge of the project, General Brock, covered up the incident, ordering his subordinates to send sand packed in an urn to their relatives.
The project hit a breakthrough in December 2076, when the project lead discovered a solution for the launcher problems. Six hours, fourteen cups, and one concerned night shift lab crew later, the future M42 launcher was conceptualized: Based on the spigot mortar mechanism, the launcher would only have to accommodate a firing through and system, relying on mechanical launching, rather than chemical or electrical means. Much like the 130 year old PIAT launcher, the Fat Man warhead would be propelled by a sub-charge embedded inside the warhead, "catapulting" the warhead through the air to the target - giving plenty of range with the added bonus of not producing a smoke trail that could reveal the firing team to the enemy.
By September 2077, after one hundred test firings the weapon were complete and ready to be shipped to units overseas. A large number of units was manufactured and shipped together with the appropriate warheads to select locations throughout the United States.
List of variants
|Rusty||Legendary||22||Even old and beat up this thing can still drop a Radscorpion.|
|Guided Fat Man||Legendary||22-26|
|MIRV||Legendary||22-27||Fires multiple Fat-Man shells. At once. That's a lot of fat.|
- Fort Strong terminals; Bravo Team Testing Terminal, Bravo Team M42 Report 001
- Fort Strong terminals; General Brock's Terminal, General Brock's Report - February 2076
- Fort Strong terminals; Bravo Team Testing Terminal, Bravo Team M42 Report 002
- Fort Strong terminals; Bravo Team Testing Terminal, Bravo Team M42 Report 003
- Fort Strong terminals; General Brock's Terminal, General Brock's Report - December 2076
- Fort Strong terminals; Bravo Team Testing Terminal, Bravo Team M42 Report 004
- Fort Strong terminals; General Brock's Terminal, General Brock's Report - September 2077
- Fort Strong terminals; Bravo Team Testing Terminal, Bravo Team M42 Report 005