|Gadget Type:||Water-trough TNT cannon|
|Produced:||2011 to Present|
The Mark 3 Howitzer (sometimes called the Mark 3 Cannon, Mark 3 Rail Gun or Mark 3 Water Cannon) is a medium-range, water-trough style TNT cannon designed by the New Island Republic Providence. It first went into production in mid 2011 and would later be tested and improved upon in 2012. Despite the improvements, the basic construction of the Mark 3 gun proved to be easier to build in a war and easier to break down and transport. Unfortuntely, the weapon's bulk and construction time made it impractical for a real fast-paced war, which was expected in Minecraft.
Around the summer of 2011, Chewydyne was performing research into the construction of a water-trough cannon. The water in the gun prevented the TNT propellant form obliterating the frame of the gun, and allowed it to fire other TNT blocks over long distances. The first Chewydyne prototype gun only shot a TNT block about twenty meters, but it was powerful enough to gain the interest of the New Island Republic Providence and Cacit-Dunes Republic (CDR), which both began constructing their own prototypes in the Chewydyne city of Freesettle. The works were shown on public ground as bragging rights for their respective factions during the cooler days of the Cold War. As research started, the New Island Republic Armed Forces (NIRAF) enlisted their first gun, the Mark 1 Howitzer, into service. The Mark 1 was only capable of firing about forty meters, and proved to be of little threat to a battlefield.
The CDR was much more successful with their designs, using multiple rows of TNT propellant to feed their cannon. The guns that were tested were hitting targets at ranges between 50 and 100 meters, astonishing for a gun of the time. The New Island Republic improved the Mark 1 by lengthening the water trough for more ammunition, dubbing it the Mark 2. The new cannon was only slighly more powerful than the first, and was not enlisted fully into service.
The final breakthrough came with the inclusion of a second rail, a copy of the original CDR design. The big breakthrough was the use of guides to keep the falling charged TNT blocks from getting stuck on other parts of the cannon. After more research was done, a stone tile was added to the front of the cannon for the TNT projectile to drop into. The slighly raised blocks around the charge kept it in a straight line and (for reasons unknown to the players) increased the gun's trajectory.
The final project went into service as the Mark 3 Howitzer due to the airborne arc its projectiles followed. Despite the strict classifications posed by the NIRAF, other factions have simply dubbed the creation the Mark 3 cannon, ignoring technicalities.
The Mark 3 howtizer features a four-meter-long water trough to catch TNT blocks in as propellant. A short redstone circuit charges the blocks instantly, while a longer, secondary chain of redstone repeaters delays the TNT shell from igniting until necessary. Thanks to this design, the cannon can be tuned in a number of ways to fire at varying distances, making it a deadly opponent (providing the target doesn't stray too far from the cannon's muzzle direction). While the original prototypes were made of iron blocks, the New Island Republic successfully tested several designs made out of sandstone, dirt and other materials to ease the breakdown process. Official "field" guns are made of sandstone for easy disassembly after a mission is complete.
Compared to other howitzer designs from other factions, the Mark 3 does not have any significant advantages with range or velocity, but it makes up for this weakness in reliability. Thanks to the simple, but effective design, the Mark 3 is a much safer cannon to operate with very little chance of a premature charge detonation occuring. Despite this, operators are warned to stand well back of the trough to avoid explosion splash damage.
- New Island Republic Providence: The New Island Republic Armed Forces (NIRAF) operated the Mark 3 from its earliest enlistment to the end of the faction in 2013. While it was never deployed, there were some considerations to put guns on the hills behind Oracle City, the NIRP's capital. These plans were dismissed for fear of damaging the city itself if the shells failed to arc over the buildings.
- New Prosperity Empire: While none have been seen on the survival server, the New Prosperity Empire has expressed interest in using its abundant TNT stores for cannon usage. The Mark 3 would be a likely candidate, as both Tlo1995 and GeneralCuster14 know how to construct the guns, and its chassis ensures a reliable gun in a potentially dangerous survival environment. Despite this, most propositions to enlist the guns have been declined.
- Cacti-Dunes Republic: While not using the guns in service, Pliers used the New Island Republic's test gun as a "yardstick" to test his own cannon against.
- The Mark 3 can be abbreviated many ways, such as MK3, MKIII or Mark III. All are considered correct.
- The Mark 3 chassis was later modified and used to create larger and more powerful guns, such as the Mark 4 cannon (with a range of over 100 meters) and the Mark 5 (which was destroyed by a breech explosion and was never finished).
- Using seven TNT blocks as propellant and another as the gun's shell, it is extremely expensive to fire. This, combined with the lengthy bulid and disassembly times of the gun, made it rather impractical for use in the field.