Developed for Section 8 soldiers and other Armored Infantry units of the US Imperial Forces, Patton-class USIF Powered Assault Armor is one of the most powerful and technologically advanced battlesuits in the USIF armory.
The suit is designed to dramatically increase all physical properties of the soldier possessing it, including strength, speed, reflexes, agility, physiology (soldiers that have worn the armor are not affected by viruses and disease), and combat awareness.
The armor features multiple layers which help enhance and protect the wearer.
The outermost layer consists of what is its most powerful protection system: A rechargeable shielding system which forms a protective layer around the armor and shields the user from most forms of heavy weaponry, unless the enemy weapon is within shield piercing range (recent improvements have rectified this problem so that shields protect the wearer regardless of range). The shields also protect the wearer from the intense heat generated by an atmospheric combat-insertion drop (also called "Burning In") into a planetary atmosphere, creating an iconic fire trail around them. However, energy shields are vulnerable to electromagnetic pulses and plasma projectiles, such as those from a pulse cannon. Additionally, any attacks not traveling at a high enough velocity, like melee strikes from a knife or even an Armored Infantryman's bare hands, may not trigger the shield systems at all.
The shields work by constantly sending out frequency pulses around the user (similar to sonar) that detect the movement speed of all nearby objects. The armor's onboard computer then calculates the point of trajectory, velocity, and size. When the armor senses an incoming object possessing a dangerous level of velocity and/or size, the suit emits a powerful honeycomb lattice of plasma to the point of impact, melting or deflecting the object and rendering the user unharmed. If further dangerous objects continue to travel toward the armor, this process repeats until the shield capacitors are drained of energy. At this point, the armor begins to take damage. If the wearer takes cover, the shield capacitors will regenerate, and protective energy shielding will be fully re-established within several seconds.
Shield strength depends on how many shield servos (boosters) the wearer has implanted into their custom armor. The shield emitters can be seen on the outside of the armor as bright glowing blue, white, and/or orange light strips. The light can be dampened down for stealth operations.
Tritium-Alloy Armor Plating
USIF Powered Assault Armor plating is composed of tritium alloy, a very lightweight but extremely resilient material that is also found in the heavier MA3 Kodiak mech. This armor plating covers sections of the wearer including the legs, shoulders, abdomen, back, chest, and helmet; its primary function is to protect against rail projectile weaponry such as the REC-74 and other munitions like plasma or high-explosives.
While also serving as armor plating, shoulder pauldrons benefit the USIF Powered Assault Armor's wearer in ways other than protection. Their interior contains advanced micro-computer systems that help the armor better manage its already efficient power allocation.
Newer armor pauldrons with even more efficient micro-computers are awarded to soldiers upon reaching certain ranks (Sergeant, Captain, and finally General). These superior pauldrons permanently replace lesser ones on a wearer's armor, allowing increasingly more power to be diverted to armor upgrades for the Modular Upgrade System. Thus, the higher a wearer's rank, the more efficient their pauldrons are at helping to manage power and thereby granting more energy for more deadly armor upgrades.
USIF armor pauldrons feature progressively more stylized designs of the Imperial Eagle, the national symbol of the United States Empire.
Synthetic Muscle Systemmechs.
The muscle layer completely covers the wearer's body and provides total protection from weaker projectiles like cased rounds not assisted by rail propulsion. The muscle system is also capable of accepting nanites, like those from a repair tool, to effect repairs on itself and other layers whenever the armor is damaged (recent advances in technology allow the armor to utilize self-replicating nanites, and the armor constantly deploys them when damage is done to the suit, allowing for full regeneration of damage without a repair tool). Additionally, it greatly dampens EMP attacks against the suit and allows the soldier to engage in Overdrive Mode, enabling him to reach speeds of up to 75 mph.
Most importantly, the synthetic muscles are able to completely absorb extremely intense G-forces and high-velocity impacts. This makes the synthetic muscle system vital to the wearer's survival whenever he is Burning In, as it absorbs the G-forces that would otherwise render the wearer unconscious when plummeting from thousands of feet above the ground at extremely high velocities, and then absorbs the tremendous force generated from the otherwise fatal impact upon their landing, keeping the wearer unharmed from such a high-speed drop. This system also allows the wearer to jump from any height without fear of damage.
Beneath the synthetic muscle is a layer known as the Nuclear Biological Chemical (NUBIOCHEM) System. This layer is composed of a tight-fitting but flexible nanocomposite bodyglove. It helps seal out any and all external substances from the wearer, such as poisonous air, liquids, radiation, and even a hard vacuum. It also seals the suit's built-in oxygen, food, and water supplies from external particles, in order to facilitate long-term operations in any environment. The NUBIOCHEM system is also augmented with ultraviolet radiation emitters within the armor to further kill off any particulate organisms.
The final and innermost layer is a soft biolayer that sits directly on the wearer's skin. This layer acts as an extra impact cushion and helps regulate temperature, fit, and moisture. It also provides a further tight, yet comfortable seal. Inside this layer are multiple sensors linked to the suit's computer; these sensors monitor the wearer's biometrics.
Helmetair filters unique to the helmet. These filters take in air from outside the suit and filter out toxins, bacteria, viruses, and even radiation via a High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filtration system. The filtered air (pure oxygen), can be breathed in immediately by the wearer or stored in the armor's compressed oxygen canisters for later use.
This helmet also contains a Heads Up Display (HUD), which shows information such as mission data, an ammunition counter, supply and oxygen levels, as well as the Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) display, which gives real-time information about where both enemy and friendly units are located. Also in the helmet is the most advanced multi-spectral communications gear available to the USIF Armored Infantry.
The helmet consists of multiple layers, the first of which is a tritium-alloy outer layer identical to the armor covering the rest of the suit. This outer layer includes two small panels which cover the wearer's eyes. These panels can be retracted back into the rest of the helmet to allow the user to see directly out. On these panels are blue eye slits, two on each panel, accounting for a total of four. The wearer does not see straight through these slits, since they are actually optical cameras that are connected to the wearer's HUD.
Underneath the armored layer is an orange-colored visor which displays the HUD. The visor is made of a type of durable bulletproof glass. The final layer is a mask that goes over the wearer's mouth. This mask supplies the wearer with oxygen, food, and water directly from the armor's storage areas.
The armor also contains a variety of features designed to help facilitate combat supremacy for the Armored Infantryman.
One of the armor's most useful features are the rechargeable propulsion jets that are integrated into the back of the armor. When the wearer activates them, two panels on the suit's back extend out and propel him through the air. The jets can be turned on and off at any given time as long as there is energy within the jet's battery.
The jets are useful for scaling buildings and rough terrain or ambushing enemy soldiers. When at full energy, the jets can immediately propel the wearer at more than 100 feet into the air, or can be used to levitate the wearer if he constantly fluctuates the on/off switch, which can be useful when aiming in mid-flight.
Another feature that aids the armor's impressive mobility is its rechargeable "Overdrive" Mode, which increases the speed and strength output of the armor's artificial muscle system, and is used to propel the user in a rampant and continuous sprinting speed of nearly 75 miles per hour.
The Overdrive boost is vital for catching any fleeing targets or for covering vast terrain in a short amount of time, and it can be used often thanks to its large energy capacitors and fast recharge time. If used in conjunction with the jetpack, the wearer can cover immense amounts of terrain, as well as fly to extreme heights.
One of the most advanced pieces of equipment on the armor is the integrated Artificial Intelligence (AI). Sometimes referred to as 'Mother', the armor AI is what allows Armored Infantry troops to move fluidly and effortlessly with their advanced power armor, quickly adapting to changing conditions on the battlefield. It functions as both an assistant and electronic weapon, able to decrypt enemy intelligence and hack data consoles, such as Control Points, turning the enemy systems over to USIF control.
As an assistant, the armor's AI regulates various information gathered by the armor's sensors and displays it to the wearer in an easy-to-register Heads-Up Display (HUD). The AI can link with a micro-computer stored within the soldier's weapons to provide info such as weapon accuracy, weapon type, and the amount of ammunition left both in the soldier's overall ammo reserves and within the wielded weapon's clip. In addition, the AI also includes a complete overview of the user's medical status and internal suit temperature. All of this information is shown on the aforementioned easy-to-register HUD format to prevent information overload in the heat of combat.
It also maintains the armor's link to the Tactical Network (TacNet). The TacNet displays orbital fleet communications, squad updates, and all tactical information related to the current operation. The TacNet also contains a motion-sensor tag system that tracks all known enemies and allies and displays the signatures on a miniature map. Additionally, the TacNet is synced with a requisition database to help soldiers select the deployable they want, though the requisition demands of officers have far more priority compared to the average soldier. The TacNet info is integrated into the HUD.
The AI can sync its systems with distant command ships or bases via an encrypted "Armor Feed". This allows command staff to track an operation via live footage and relevant data taken from the view of the helmet's wearer. The AI has also been shown to intelligently and automatically intercept and decrypt specific short-range radio messages, such as those of enemy officers issuing orders to their troops.
An armor AI also notifies the wearer of any notable issues in combat, such as the current condition of armor shield strength or armor integrity. It can also notify a wearer whether a weapon's ammunition reserves are critical or have been depleted entirely.
Most importantly, the armor AI is responsible for using the armor's advanced systems to keep the wearer alive. The AI manages shield regeneration and armor auto-repair systems, and will effect repairs immediately once they are powered up (usually several seconds after the wearer has sustained damage). If the wearer is wounded, it will activate the Automated Medical System (explained below).
Lock-On(but never to a point that harms the wearer) so that the their weapon is directly facing the target; no matter how fast a target moves, it will always be acquired and open to attack.
Unfortunately, Lock-On has a few drawbacks. It can only sync itself with a weapon for a limited amount of time, after which the ability's capacitors need to recharge; an enemy must also be scanned long enough prior to Lock-On for the armor to initiate the ability, which can often take too long in the most heated battles. But this can be mitigated if the enemy target has already been scanned by other allied soldiers or structures, in which case Lock-On is instantly usable. Also, the enemy must constantly be within clear line-of-sight for Lock-On to acquire its target; any obscurity in view, such as the enemy hiding behind a large object or rounding a corner, will disrupt Lock-On as it fails to register the target.
Lastly, though Lock-On potentially allows the soldier to make every shot count, the effectiveness of Lock-On is still dependent on the weapon itself in the situation- a nimble infantry unit can still dodge non-homing missiles from a missile launcher, and a shotgun's wide pellet spread is still ineffective at long range even though the weapon is directly facing the target.
Automated Medical System
A very important feature of the armor is its Automated Medical system (or Automed for short). The Automed system contains various miniature medical devices that allow it to heal the wearer if he is wounded, and keep him alert and active thereafter. It can rapidly heal burns, puncture wounds, lacerations, broken bones, and other serious injuries. The Automed System also dispenses painkillers and stimulation cocktails which help the soldier inside to stay alert.
Another function of the Automed system is that it houses millions of controlled self-replicating nano-sized artificial antibodies (nanites) which can fight off any known virus, bacteria, or other disease in the galaxy. The nanites also aid the Automed system in rapidly healing wounds, allowing soldiers to quickly recover from, and fight through, even the most serious injuries. These beneficial nanites continue to replicate themselves inside the wearer of the armor, so wearers that have been exposed to their armor's nanites are immune to all sicknesses and can recover from the most grievous wounds in a surprisingly short time.
Modular Upgrade System
Soldiers can add upgrades to their armor. These upgrades were originally called Passive Modules, but in the aftermath of the Outer Rim War, USIF Powered Assault Armor underwent significant modifications, including changes to the HUD, among other aesthetic differences. After these changes, Passive Modules are simply referred to as "Armor Upgrades."
There are a total of eleven upgrades that can be fitted onto the armor at one time. There are several different upgrades, and only up to five can be put onto one armor set. In addition to that, upgrades to some weapons are included in this, such as coating bullets in tungsten or an anvil jacketing.
The energy is stored in a "main" capacitor. This capacitor contains a large amount of energy; whenever it is needed, the energy can be transferred to smaller capacitors (for example, those powering the jetpack or artificial muscles) which will use the power. When the main capacitor is nearly empty, the reactor fires again to recharge it. Any leftover plasma from the explosion is stored in a magnetic container and used by the armor's plasma shields. The reactor does not need to be refueled with more antimatter and fuel for many years, allowing the soldier to operate for extended periods of time.
If the antimatter reactor is out of power, all nanites in the armor initiate an emergency power sequence that recycles the waste of the armor wearer and converts it to energy, enabling the armor to continue functioning in this manner for several weeks or until the wearer can replenish the antimatter reactor.
Portable Survival Pack
One last feature of the armor is the extremely small yet high capacity survival backpack. Located between the jetpack thrusters, the backpack houses the weapons for the soldier (some can be folded for more compact transport), ammunition, and weapon cleaning nano-tools.
The backpack also carries two weeks worth of food and water for long-term missions. The food is compressed, freeze-dried, and stored in small compartments on the armor for easy access. The water is kept in cooled, sterile tanks for when the soldier needs it. Also contained in the backpack is a portable survival shelter.
There are multiple variations of the standard USIF Powered Assault Armor.
Blitz Armor1st Recon Platoon. The armor's black color scheme and enhanced performance serve as both an intimidating reminder of, and practical enhancement to, the wearer's refined lethality in battle.
- A Captain version of the armor is available in Section 8, and can be obtained by pre-ordering the game. However, the one code (17013214) for the armor is not exclusive to pre-ordered copies, and is actually included in all copies of the game regardless of whether it was pre-ordered.
- The surname of the armor's owner is displayed on the collar fins of the armor.
- Another version of this armor is a darker version only seen on the commando during the "Commando" DCM.
- The Blitz Armor can only be acquired by purchasing the Section 8: Prejudice Blitz Pack, which is a downloadable add-on.
- The Hunter Armor is a PS3 exclusive, only being acquired if Section 8: Prejudice was pre-ordered on PSN.
- The Stars & Stripes flag symbol found on the pauldrons of USIF Powered Assault Armor is a reference to the Stars & Stripes shoulder patches found on 21st century US Military battledress uniforms.