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Several attempts to reduce the weight were undertaken, but in the end none were deemed to be sufficiently developed and instead the track system was redesigned for greater surface area to at least counter average ground pressure. at the primary MBT UK Shoes National Defense Armor Plant in Tantalus, with additional plants coming online in Orestes and Phoenicus later that year. The initial production batch called for some 15,000 units, and all were delivered within two years. Development work continued on the tank, however, as the MBT UK was itself also considered a work in progress as new technology and expertise was developed. Initial tests were conducted on the hull with a conventional explosive cannon mounted while the vehicle's electronics and railgun were tested separately. In field combat exercises, the hull acquitted itself well, proving sufficiently rugged for good off road performance and with good reliability for a long service life. Electronic integration, however, would prove to be an engineering challenge as more and more features were added. The railgun armament and supporting electronics were installed successfully, but the addition of more sensors as well as a new armor active armor package began to push the vehicle's weight up from the original 70 tonnes to closer to 80 tonnes.
Three years after the debut of the MBT Shoes UK and only a year after its first deployment, the MBT Shoes specification was put into production. All existing MBT Trainers were sent back to the factory for refurbishing to the MBT Sandals standard, and some 50,000 new units of the MBT shoes UK were ordered to bolster the MBT Trainers UK force. Improvements included a redesigned armor system for greater efficiency as well as the addition of new active defense systems and a more efficient power plant. Three years after that the MBT Shoes UK standard was released, and the previous models were again refurbished and supplemented with additional orders.
The MBT UK first entered combat during the Reaper Omega War, when it was deployed to assist coalition ground troops assaulting the Omega Central Gateway. Combat performance was considered satisfactory, with 40 tanks lost out of 1,000 tanks deployed, and many Omega weapons demonstrated difficulty in penetrating the improved defenses of the MBT Sandals variant. Additional tanks were deployed planetside to defend Earth from possible invasion, although this never came to pass. The Reaper Omega War left the Alliance confident in the strength of its armored forces, although development continued with the goal of meeting the 70 tonne weight target.
The Scrin War in particular would prove the necessity of a lower weight and more mobile vehicle. Strong Scrin air defenses around their hive fortresses in the Pacific Islands forced an amphibious landing by sea, and the MBT UK shoes variant proved to be unsuited to beach combat with its heavy chassis prone to sinking in the wet sands. The MBT UK Trainers UK update was a sweeping modification that changed everything from the main armament to the suspension, electronics, armor package, and chassis components. In the intervening years since the MBT UK first entered service, engineers had been able to model and test more viable weight saving features including lighter chassis components and more weight effective armor, providing for a major reduction in mass while retaining the tank's survivability. In addition, the development of an ultracompact space time driver coil allowed for weight to be reduced even further when the tank's reactor is powered up, significantly increasing mobility when needed.