Manufacturer: Federal-Omni Corp, North American
One of the largest limitations of power armor fighting in an urban environment is the weight of the suit itself. In peacetime roles most power armor suits are restricted to the same movement and locations as their full size conventional mecha brethern. Typical residential and commercial construction codes are simply not up to dealing with the weight of a standard battle suit. This has for the most part prevented police and para-military law enforcement agencies from deploying battle armor in almost any role. The cost and maintenance have also been a contributing factor. What was needed was light weight suit that didn't require such extensive upkeep.
Weight: 120 kg + weight of operator
The Red Series power armor was original a proof of concept design that was scrapped and shelved during the early days of power armor research. The Red series was intended to be a suit of light high speed armor, exchanging armor for speed. The design was a glaring failure due to constant seizing of the leg components and extremely short field endurance from the power packs. The next few iterations of the Red series abandoned the high speed concept, and instead focused on the potential of low mass. The Red series differed in that is used a composite ceramic and carbon fiber reinforced armor. This armor was able to deflect and absorb small arms fire with reletive ease, as well as surviving grenade blasts. The most current series of of the suit has a modular plate system, allowing damaged sections to be removed and replaced with a basic tool kit. The standard armor used is a sandwich of carbon fiber epoxy over a kevlar layer, with a core of ceramic panels, with more synthetic backing on the other side.
Power Source: Magnetar Industries Flathead Type D dynamic power cell
The original Red Mk. I used the then standard DynaStar Nickelhead power cell, known for its robustness and high relative output. It was not known for its long life. The change over to the Flathead type of power cell was considered by many to be a mistake by the planners. The Flathead was at the time more than a decade old, and most commonly used to power light electric automobiles, and most famously, electic motorcycles. The power cell was easily understood and easy to work on, being civilian grade equipment. While sneered at, the power cell proved up to the rigorous demands of the armor. The Ironhead, having been developed for civilian transit, was also safer than conventional military grade power cells, even if its output was considered low. A drawback of the Ironhead, and really any civilian power cell is that such power sources are insufficient to drive any sort of energy weapon. When Red Mk. VII suits do mount energy weapons, these weapons have their rate of fire cut in half, and damage is reduced 50%.
Armament: Armalite AR-88 automatic rifle
Optional Equipment: Fahren Noise Generator, Fahren Microwave Emitter, Cosgrove Gas cannister system, Kesla Flash Projector system
Power armor is often noted for its ability to use a variety of weapons. The Red Mk. VII is most commonly armed with the .223 caliber Armalite AR-88 automatic rifle. The weapon is fairly standard issue for paramilitary and police forces, and aside from the mounting system, most of the gun's parts are interchangeable with the regular rifle version. The gun is recessed into the right forearm of the suit, with only the barrel extending out over the hand unit. With its small profile, most consider the system to be non-threatening in terms of civilian use. The main intended use of the new light power armor was in crowd and riot control situations, and in close quarters combat in raid situations. The Fahren noise and Fahren microwave systems are non-lethal crowd dispersal designs. Large and bulky, both are obvious, and are intended to be obvious. The Cosgrove gas cannister system is a low velocity gun that delivers gas cannisters much like a grenade launcher, but has been specially made for the Mk. VII. The Kesla Flash projector is a new weapon system designed to disable hostiles inside buildings by emitting massive amounts of light in a strobing pattern. The system causes disorientation, nausea, and in some case temporary blindness.
Limitations: Not suited to full military applications
The Red Mk. VII is a para-military and civilian police intended system, and is not advisable for military use. The armor used is extremely vulnerable to armor piercing rounds (greater than standard firearms) and high explosive rounds. The joints are not reinforced and offer significant weak points to powered melee weapons, and the power pack and regulation systems are exposed on the rear of the armor. While the components are protected by armor, their non-integrated status makes them easy to hit with conventional power armor weaponry. The limitations of the power system mean that in addition to not using laser or plasma weaponry, the Mk. VII is not able to field conventional powered melee weapons. While effective against unarmored infantry, and suppressing civilian unrest, the suit is simply not on the same playing field as normal power armor.
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? Responses (5)
A solid, useful design. Logical, much-welcome by police SWAT teams, excellent in areas with armed criminal gangs. I can imagine even important civilians (a judge ruling over a mob case...) wearing these in danger.
Useful for any police force in a riot situation.
Interesting piece of equipment. The history and drawbacks give it a real world feel.
I've had a fascination with powered armor since reading Heinlein's Starship Troopers, so I definitely enjoyed reading this.
Very good backgrounds and technical decription. It is an advanced device, but not cutting edge, no 'magical Swiss-knife', doing everything the plot desires. I bet that if there were any SWAT-members between our members, they would state that they would like such an armor. PCs playing policemen might end up with these, or the mob might try to get some for their enforcers. And of course, a penny-pincing dictator might send off the PCs with 'the most advanced imported armor'...
Good basic armor, not a far stretch from todays prototypes.