Xahian Power Armour
A staple and iconic feature in the Warrior Caste, Xahian power armour is the primary form of protection for frontline Warrior Caste combat Soldiers. At a doctrinal level, the Warrior caste does not employ large numbers of armoured vehicles, instead relying on armoured, mobile infantry, with air and orbital support. Due to the large, powerful nature of Warrior caste members, no other faction is able to field the same quality of armoured troops as the Federation of Xah; other factions do employ powered armoured soliders, but they cannot compete with the robust nature of the Warrior caste. It is the presence of these armoured suits, along with the Federation's superior space technologies, that keeps the Federation the most powerful nation in Known Space. Although powered suits are commonplace, the Federation of Xah is able to continue to produce advanced suits with the Technical Caste consistently improving the technology, and equipping it with a wide suite of weapons, giving it an unrivalled versatility. Whilst the Federation of Xah has the manufacturing capabilities to equip all of its Warriors with power armour, in practicality, only frontline Soldiers are equipped with it on a regular basis, and even then only when the mission necessitates it. 'Standard' Warrior armour is still effective and the natural abilities of the Warrior caste give them an edge over the standard troops of other factions.
Mechanics & Inner Workings
Outer shellCompared to earlier versions of the armour, and to those used by the Northup Alliance, Xahian power armour is highly flexible and allows for almost unhindered movement by the wearer whilst retaining a high degree of protection. Additional modules are available that allow for sub-orbital drops, and even limited flight capabilities, but most field commanders prefer to leave airbourne activity to pilots and aircraft.
Power SupplyThe suit is powered by a micro-fusion reactor attached to the back of the suit. This reactor is fuelled by a mix of tritium and deuterium, with a time between fuelling of 6 to 9 months, depending on workload and the weapon loadout equipped. Those suits equipped with energy weapons have a tendency to need refuelling more frequently than those with ballistic weapons. The reactor is designed to be removed entirely in one piece, and a fresh fuelled-up reactor added, with refuelling taking place at a specialist facility away from the front-lines. The armour also has a battery back-up that allows operation of the suit's motor functions for around 24 hours (but no weapon fire). This allows the operator to ditch the reactor in case of excessive damage, but still allow them to retreat to a safe location for pick-up. The reactor is passively safe, and a containment breach results in instant shutdown.
WeaponsWhilst weapon load-outs can be varied according to mission requirements, for the vast majority of operations, a suit will be equipped with a pair of pulsed particle beams, known as a PPB, one on each arm. The PPB fires a short pulse, about a micro-second's worth, of ionised particles that cause significant damage to a variety of armour types, with good penetration and range. The PPB is capable of rapid fire, with a rate of fire of 10 shots per second, although most operators use single shots only, to keep the heat build-up down. The micro-reactor allows for almost unlimited ammo capacity, although the heat-exchangers and barrel can become heat damaged from excessive use, if not allowed to cool properly between shots. The particle beam itself is almost invisible in daylight and too fast to perceive normally, although there is a blue flash as it exits the barrel from Cherenkov radiation. For specialist missions, one of the PPBs can be replaced with missile launchers, railguns, or lasers, depending on need. The suit also has a standard-issue side arm in a concealed compartment, should the operator have to evacuate the suit.
The distinctive look of Xahian power armour has become a symbol of either Xahian military success, or unwarranted aggression, depending on whose propaganda is listened to. For Xahian citizens, it is a reminder of the righteousness of their cause, that no other faction can create its equivalent, but to non-Xahian civilians under the Federation's sphere of influence, its a constant reminder that the might of Xah brooks no dissent.