Hovertanks are reverse-engineered X-Com technology that were invented after intensive studies into Alien UFO technologies. Designed to replace standard tanks, the Hovertank combines excellent mobility with awesome firepower, providing an excellent advantage to X-Com soldiers.
The standard Hovertank is essentially a miniature UFO equipped with a large gun turret. Like all UFOs, both of Alien and X-Com design, it is built from sturdy Alien Alloys and powered by an Elerium-Based Antimatter Reactor. Because of the hovertank's powerful engine, it is able to remain in the field almost indefinitely. Like other X-Com Heavy Weapon Platforms (Tanks), the Hovertank is unmanned and is piloted remotely.
Perhaps the tank's greatest advantage is its ability to fly. Using its Elerium-Based engine, the Hovertank is able to use focused gravitational waves to propel itself up to four meters above the ground. This ability is highly useful, allowing the tank to spot enemy units from above. However, because of its two meter by two meter profile, a flying Hovertank is an easy target to enemy snipers.
X-Com Hovertanks are capable of mounting two types of heavy weaponry, but they are not interchangeable and can only equip one of the two weapon types.
Plasma Cannon: The first type of Hovertank is equipped with a Heavy Plasma Cannon, capable of shredding most aliens in a few well-placed shots. However, the cannon is less powerful and accurate than the Heavy Plasma used by troopers, and it lacks the Auto-Fire feature used by the latter. These factors are offset by the cannons almost limitless ammo capacity, attributed to the Hovertank's dedicated Elerium Reactor. Most commanders opt not to use this Hovertank for most operations.
Fusion Bomb: The second type of Hovertank uses a missile launcher based on the Blaster Bomb used by alien troops. Fusion Bombs, similar to the Fusion Balls used by X-Com fighter craft, are smart bombs that can be programmed to follow a specific flight path upon firing. Before launching a missile, the tank can program a set number of waypoints to a target, which the bomb follows when launched. This feature is useful in confined environments, where dumbfire rockets would be considered impractical. The bomb's explosive power is very high, making this tank a useful asset to X-Com troops.