The Bolo Mk XXXIII is described as being armed with 4 x 240cm howitzers and 10 40cm breechloading mortars, a heavy VLS missile system in addition to a large number of energy weapons. https://bolo.fandom.com/wiki/Bolo_Mark_XXXIII

In Bolo Strike, the Mk XXXIII is described as "120 meters long, 38 meters broad, and reaching 25 meters from ground to main deck, not counting the three squat and massive turret housings for the machine's incredible main armament" https://www.baen.com/Chapters/0671318357/0671318357.htm

The howitzers fire at a rate of 2 rounds/second with the breech loading mortars described as auto-loading as well.

How many howitzer and mortar rounds could a Bolo carry?

In addition the Bolo Mk XXXIII has a heavy VLS (Vertical Launching System) for missiles implying it carries ICBMS.

Now most contemporary ICBMS are smaller in diameter than the 240cm diameter howitzers carried by this Bolo MK XXXIII.

So what would be the on-board ammunition load for these consumable munitions?

It was stated that the energy weapons also used a minor amount of consumables as well, but they should be negligible compared to the shells and missiles.

  • Note that the Bolo wouldn't be carrying ICBMs; setting aside that they do not fit its role, nor its intelligence-gathering capabilities, it makes no sense to launch ICBMs from a platform intended to take sustained direct fire in its normal operation. The VLS would be like the Mk. 41 VLS currently used by several NATO countries; it would likely fire a mix of anti-air/anti-missile interceptors and short-range surface-to-surface missiles. – DavidW May 22 '20 at 13:50
  • The larger mark bolos are actually classified as continental siege machines and in the most advanced ones are designated as planetary siege machines being organized into planetary siege regiments. According to this,bolo.fandom.com/wiki/Bolo_Mark_XXXIII, the Mk XXXIII's indirect fire capability is Strategic with other Mk's having indirect fire classifications of Tactical or Theater or both. I would agree that perhaps the light VLS systems could be similar to the Mk 41, but heavy seems to imply more. Bolos Marks with heavy VLS are also designated with Strategic indirect fire capability. – Timotht May 22 '20 at 14:16
  • The Mk XXXI (bolo.fandom.com/wiki/Bolo_Mark_XXXI) and Mk XXXII (bolo.fandom.com/wiki/Bolo_Mark_XXXII) have light VLS and are designated with tactical and tactical/theater indirect file capability respectively so the Mk XXXIII does have inter-continental range if strategic means what it means. – Timotht May 22 '20 at 14:21
  • What's the point in asking this? What are you trying to figure out? – T.J.L. May 22 '20 at 15:06
  • How many do you have? – mpez0 May 23 '20 at 14:21

I don't recall any bolo stories where the ammo capacity of the secondary weapons was ever discussed.

However, there was a note that "heavy VLS" refers to launch density and reload availability, not size of the missiles.

The term "light" or "heavy" used to describe a VLS refers to (1) the number of cells (and thus salvo density) and (2) the VLS magazine capacity, not the weight or size of the missiles thrown.


Given the speed that Bolos can move, esp. with anti-grav engaged, it should be assumed whatever onboard capacity of "expendable ammo" type should be enough for the engagement. And it can always fallback on "infinite repeaters", which are small-bore hellbores in the final models.

  • On page 262 of the paperback edition of Bolo Rising, HCT mentions replenishing stock so of howitzer and mortar rounds and "heavy VLS missiles from stocks found in an underground magazine." In this context heavy appears to refer to the size of the missiles. – Timotht May 24 '20 at 16:03
  • 1
    It could also refer to magazine "size". A 10 round clip would not necessarily fit a 20-round magazine, just to give a gun example. So presumably, a "heavy" reload set would be larger than a normal reload set. – Kasey Chang May 24 '20 at 18:52
  • That's a good point. In looking at the technical notes (who wrote that by the way?) published in Bolos Book 3: The Triumphant, it does confirm that heavy and light refer to the number of missile cells. Thanks. – Timotht May 25 '20 at 2:34

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