Overview EditThe HINODE InCom or The SUNRISE Group is a state-owned conglomerate composed of many major industrial, commercial, and media corporations. It is tasked with developing the means to produce functional BattleMechs and Land-Air Mechs for use by GDI. The conglomerate also currently employ the Skull Squadron Mercenary Company as exclusive test pilots.
It is based in the Hakone 'Region' of the Kanagawa Prefecture in the Japan. This site, normally a tourist trap, was chosen for its seclusion while providing easy access to the resources of both Tokyo and Kyoto Metropolitan Areas. The city of Gotemba directly to the west contains a JSDF base, while Mishima to the south and Odawara to the east provide industrial support and manpower.
The conglomerate has drawn criticism for its 'disrespect' to the historical significance of the region, and the bulldozing of many golf courses for its development and testing sites.
Like NERV, the proper name of The SUNRISE Group is always written in all-caps for some indefinable reason.
The GM Project: Edit
This is the ongoing project to produce a functional BattleMech for GDI use and export. The ability to produce BattleMechs is seen as an indicator of 'economic health' in the Inner Sphere, and HINODE is under great stress to fulfill the demand. In January of 2007/3022, they released to the press that the GM I as ready for the market.
They are now concerned with improving the design as better understanding of BT technology develops from practical observation.
'Mechs current held at, or developed in, the Hakone Testing Facility:
- RX-GNDM (General New-Technology Demonstration Machine) Prototypes
- RX-ZAKU (Zero-delay Acceleration Kinetic Unit) High-Speed Prototype
- RX-GM I (General Mobile) Production BattleMech
The VF Project: Edit
This is the ongoing project to produce a high-performance LAM for GDI use and export. The Variable Fighter is intended for use by GDI's Marine Corps, and will likely never see mass production on the scale of the GM. However, because HINODE lucked out in seizing an intact LAM from the pirates that attacked Japan, research into the conversion process proceeded even as the GM project stalled from a lack of BT parts and Fusion Engines. As of January 2007/3022, the Sunrise Group declared that they could now refit existing BT Wasps, Stingers, and Phoenix Hawks upon demand.
They are now looking into producing a native-built LAM based upon the Phoenix Hawk as the first true VF-1.
LAMs held in the Hakone Testing Facility:
- WSP-RF (Wasp Refit), Miriya Custom
- STG-RF (Stinger Refit), Max Custom
- STG-ITW-01 (Stinger LAM), unaltered model
- PHX-RF (Phoenix Hawk Refit), Rick custom
Future Developments: Edit
The SUNRISE Group is drawing a not-insignificant chunk of Japan's national budget. While its products help national pride, it is becoming clear that they must soon have products ready for export and find willing buyers for them. There is also continued factional infighting between competing companies and between the GM and VF projects. This is despite the directive that the two projects should share as many common components as possible, to facilitate easy production and repair. Both the GM-1 and the VF-1 will end up using the same class 200 Fusion Engine, thereby limiting the amount of 'Mechs that can be produced by how many such Engines can be purchased from the Outworlds Alliance or other sources.