REEF-PA03A “Katana SAMAS” Flying Power Armor:

The REEF “Katana SAMAS” is likely one of the most dangerous “SAMAS” designs on Rifts Earth. With the development of the Wasp design, the REEF had a capable, if not spectacular, flying power armor design. Still, observations of the new Coalition “Super SAMAS” indicated that the REEF design was far inferior to it and there were concerns if they were ever matched up against each other.

It was decided that the best thing would be to capture a Super SAMAS and study it. They did not manage to capture an intact one but instead a couple of badly damaged armors which they were able to reconstruct the “Super SAMAS” from. After careful studying, it was decided that it would be extremely difficult to upgrade the Wasp to be the equal of the “Super SAMAS” but instead it would be better to simply copy the Super SAMAS with some relatively minor changes.

This design became the “Katana SAMAS.” A designer with a bit of artistic skill decided to style the armor on the armor of a samurai. Key changes include better weaponry, a Naruni force field, and an improved engine cooling system. Otherwise, the “Katana SAMAS” basically carries identical armor and can fly at speeds up to five hundred miles per hour.

Rapidly, the “Katana SAMAS” replaced the Wasp armor in mainline units with the Wasp being assigned to the REEF militia forces. They are expensive with the “Katana SAMAS” costing around three times that of the Wasp to manufacture. The power armor troops received the “Katana SAMAS” enthusiastically with its vastly improved speed and firepower. Unlike the Wasp however, the REEF will not sell the “Katana SAMAS,” partially to reduce Coalition interest and simply to keep the armor out from the hands of those who might use the armor against them.

While the “Katana SAMAS” does carry the vibro-blades and grenade launchers carried on the “Super SAMAS”, it is far more optimized for long range combat. If engaged against a Coalition “Super SAMAS”, the “Katana SAMAS” would be able to cut down the number of Coalition armor against them long before they get into weapon range of the Coalition power armor.

The dual plasma and laser weaponry are replaced by the longer ranged ion cannons. These are identical to the weaponry carried on the Wasp and Beetle except a pair are carried instead of a single weapon. Even though the fusion plant of the Katana SAMAS is far more powerful than that of the Wasp, it still cannot power the weaponry directly and instead still relies on capacitors to power the ion weaponry. Each capacitor stores a total of forty shots and the capacitors recharge at the rate of one per minute.

The “Super SAMAS” generally does not carry a hand held weaponry. It was decided that it would be best to carry one with the “Katana SAMAS” and a copy of the Shemerrian is carried. This weapon is in many similar to a mini-Boom Gun and is extremely effective, inflicting three times as much damage per shot on average compared to a Coalition C-40R rail gun as well as being longer ranged. Both solid slug and flechette rounds can be fired similar to a boom gun. The rail gun is useful when the ion cannons run out of payload or against targets that are impervious to energy weapons.

Finally, the “Katana SAMAS” carries missiles. Mounted on the wings, the power armor can carry sixteen mini-missiles or eight short range missiles. These can be mixed and matches as well with a single short range missile replacing two mini-missiles. Some consideration is being given to modifying the design so that it can carry “short” versions of the medium range missile. Likely, four total could be carried with two per wing. This would allow the armor to act in almost a long range support role.

The cooling system came from a wrecked SAMAS design that came from Japan. Range appears to be more a factor of the pilot’s endurance than the armor itself. While the armor is not able to withstand any additional damage, the new armor materials are laser resistant which allows them to take far greater damage by laser weaponry. The force field also is a heavy robot model and further increases the damage that the armor can take. Even in close range combat, the “Katana SAMAS” can withstand far more damage than the Coalition “Super SAMAS.”

Anyone skilled in use of the “Super SAMAS” will find that the “Katana SAMAS” responds almost identically. If anything, they will likely find the armor slightly better tuned to the pilot.

Model Type: REEF-PA03A

Class: Strategic Armor Military Assault Suit

Crew: One

M.D.C. by Location:

[1] Shoulder Wings (2):

95 each

Main Rear Jets (4):

100 each

[1] Lower Maneuvering Jets (3; rear):

30 each

Twin Air-Intake Jets (2; top):

100 each

[1] Ammo Drum (1; hip mounted):


[1] Shemarrian Rail Gun (1):


Ion Cannons (2; shoulders):

60 each

[1] Forearm Vibro-Blades (6):

50 each

[1] Forearm Grenade Launchers (2):

50 each

[1] Hands (2):

45 each

Arms (2):

120 each

Legs (2):

200 each

[2] Head:


[3] Main Body:


[4] Force Field (N-50 Robot):



[1] These locations are small and difficult targets to strike, requiring the attacker to make a “called shot,” but even then the attacker is -4 to strike.

[2] Destroying the head of the power armor will eliminate all forms of optical enhancement and sensory systems. The pilot must then rely on his own human vision and senses. No power armor combat bonuses to initiative, strike, parry, and dodge! The head is a small and difficult target to hit, shielded by the two large air intake jets and rear jet thrusters. Thus, it can only be hit when an attacker makes a “called shot,” and even then he is -5 to strike.

[3] Depleting the M.D.C. of the main body will shut the armor down completely, making it useless. Note: All Power Armor locations are laser resistant.

[4] The force field will stop energy attacks and fast moving objects. Slow moving objects can pass through. It regenerates one (1) M.D.C. per melee round unless overloaded and then cannot be activated for 12 hours if overloaded. The force field pulls its power off of the power plant.

Note: Destroying a wing will make flight impossible. However, even with no wing(s), the SAMAS can make jet powered leaps and hover stationary above the ground. Destroying one jet thruster reduces speed by 25%.


Running: 40 mph (64 km) maximum with the flight pack attached, 60 mph (96.5 km) without it. Note that the act of running does tire out its operator, but at 10% of the usual fatigue rate.

Leaping: The fully equipped Katana SAMAS is so top heavy that leaps are only possible when assisted by jet thrusters. However, the Katana SAMAS can unlatch and remove the huge flight pack to which the wings, jet thrusters and plasma/laser guns are attached. This lightens the power armor by 50%! The ammo-drum for the rail gun can then be moved up to a modular mount on the back. This detachable flight system was designed so that "downed" flyers weren't stuck with a ton of worthless metal holding them down. It takes two melee rounds (30 seconds) to remove the huge flight pack, but requires 2D4 minutes and the help of two Other power armored troops or a crane to reattach it.

Without the flight pack, the powerful legs can leap up to 20 feet (6 m) high or across unassisted by the thrusters. Using the feet thrusters, the SAMAS can leap 40 feet (12.2 m).

A jet thruster assisted leap with the flight pack attached can propel the unit up to 200 feet (61 m) high and 300 feet (91.5 m) across without actually attaining flight.

Flight: The rocket propulsion system enables the Katana SAMAS to hover stationary in mid-air at any altitude and fly at superior speeds. The armor clad, human missile can attain a maximum flying speed of 500 mph (804.5 km), but cruising speed is considered to be 150-200 mph (240-321.8 km).

Maximum altitude is 16,000 feet (4876.8 m) or roughly three miles (4.8 km). Higher than this, high winds and rough weather make flight both erratic and dangerous. Unlike a standard SAMAS, the Katana SAMAS is designed for both high and low altitude operations.

Flying Range: The new jet propulsion system has eliminated the overheating problem of the Coalitions Super SAMAS. The new rockets can fly for 24 hours, non-stop, and at full speed without fear of overheating. A quick cooling system makes the engines usable after only 15 minutes of being shut down. Furthermore, laboratory tests have shown that the engines do not even begin to deteriorate until after 36 hours of constant flight. The stop and start use in the field of combat means the engine have numerous periods of cooling. meaning it can function indefinitely under 98.5% combat situations.

Underwater Capabilities: Swimming: The Katana SAMAS can swim by using the same types of paddling leg and arm movements as a human at a maximum speed of roughly four mph (6.4 km/3.4 knots). It can also walk along the bottom of the sea at about 25% its normal running speed. Using the jet thrusters, the SAMAS can travel on the surface of water at 100 mph (160 km/85 knots), underwater at 70 mph (112.6 km/59.5 knots) or fly above the water's surface at normal speeds.

Maximum Ocean Depth: 3000 feet (910 m).

Statistical Data:

Height: 10 feet (3 m) from head to toe. The top mounted air intake jets add another three feet (0.9 m) for an overall height of 13 feet (3.96 m).

Width: Wings down, 5 feet (1.5 m) and with Wings extended, 16 feet (4.87 m)

Length: 6 feet (1.8 m)

Weight: 2.4 tons without the rail gun or other heavy, hand-held weapon. The flight pack weighs 1.2 tons by itself.

Physical Strength: Equal to a P.S. 38.

Cargo: None

Power System: Nuclear, average SAMAS energy life is 20 years.

REEF Cost: 5.8 million credits for a new, undamaged, fully powered suit complete with rail gun and one full ammo-drum. None have yet fallen into the hands of the Black Market.

Weapon Systems:

  1. Two (2) Shoulder Ion Cannons: Mounted above and behind the shoulders on the flight pack, is a dual weapon system used for aerial combat and strafing. Each weapon can be operated independently or in synchronization with each other. Both can rotate side to side 180 degrees and can move up and down to provide a 90 degree arc of fire. Only problem when compared to the Super SAMAS is the limited number of shots but the longer range compensates for the damage. Note: If each gun is turned on two different targets, each blast from each weapon counts as one of the pilot’s melee attacks and NO initiative or strike bonuses apply to the attack on either one.

    Effective Range: 6,000 feet (1829 meters).

    Mega-Damage: 1D6x10 M.D. per single blast or 2D6x10 M.D. per dual synchronized blasts from both Ion Cannons!

    Rate of Fire: Equal to the combined number of attacks of the pilot. Each single or simultaneous double blast at the same target counts as one melee attack

    Payload: Unlimited but can has only 40 shots in a capacitor per cannon (80 total), shots recharges at the rate of one shot per cannon per minute

  2. One (1) Shemarrian Rail Gun: In many ways, the weapon is similar to the Boom Gun carried on the Glitter Boy armor although slightly smaller and short ranged. It is an additional weapon system that supplements the ion cannons when they run low on shots and for targets that are impervious to energy. In addition to flechette rounds and solid slugs, silver rounds are sometimes used for special targets. Mounted in place that C-40R is when carried on a super SAMAS.

    Weight: 128 lbs (57.6 kg), belt: 30 lbs (13.6 kgs)

    Maximum Effective Range: 6000 feet (1,828 meters)

    Mega-Damage: Flechette Rounds: 2D6x10 (Has +2 to strike fast moving targets) Solid Slug: 2D6x10+20 (optional rule is that cannon gets a critical on a natural 18, 19, or 20 due to its high penetration.)

    Rate of Fire: Equal to number of combined hand to hand attacks (usually 4-6) fired as aimed or Wild

    Payload: 220 rounds per belt. Can also use 12 Round clips

    Bonuses: +2 to Strike

  3. Two (2) Forearm Grenade Launchers: Design from the original “Super SAMAS” that was retained in the “Katana SAMAS” The top part of the bulbous forearm housing contains a rapid-fire grenade launcher that fires rifle grenades.

    Maximum Effective Range: 1000 feet (305 km)

    Mega-Damage: The weapon can fire conventional M.D. rifle grenades doing 2D6 M.D. to a blast area of 12 feet (3.6 m), but is typically loaded with the new, micro fusion grenades that inflict 6D6 M.D. to a 12 foot (3.6 m) diameter blast area/six foot (1.8 m) radius.

    Rate of Fire: Equal to the number of hand to hand attacks per melee round either one at a time or in volleys of two, four, six or eight! One volley, regardless of the number of rounds in that volley, counts as one melee attack.

    Payload: 80 total; 40 per each arm.

  4. Eight (8) Wing Mounted Missiles Hard Points: On each wing, the power armor has racks that have four hard points each wing. Each hard point can carry either a single short range missile or a pair of mini-missiles. A total of sixteen mini-missiles or eight short range missiles can be carried. Missiles can also be mixed although a single hard point.

    Missile Type: Any mini-missile or short range missile can be used(See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)

    Maximum Effective Range: As per mini-missile or short range missile type (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)

    Mega Damage: As per mini-missile or short range missile type (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)

    Rate of Fire: One at a time or in volleys of two (2), three (3), four (4), six (6), or eight (8).

    Payload: Total of sixteen (16) mini-missiles or eight (8) short range missiles. A mixture of missiles may also be carried, one short range missile may be substituted for two mini-missile.

  5. Six (6) Forearm Vibro-Blades: As with the grenade laucnher, this weapon system is retained from the “Super SAMAS” Each of the arms has a set of three large, fin-like vibro-blades. These weapons are used to slash and stab (with a backhand motion) enemy power armor, robots and aircraft. They can also be used to clip the propellers of helicopters or airplanes. This tactic has a 01-45% chance of breaking the propeller and causing the aircraft to make an emergency landing or crash (the latter if damage is sufficient to destroy the blade). However, a failed roll (46-00) means that the Super SAMAS gets caught by the blade, one of the vibro-blades is torn out of the armor, the SAMAS suffers 2D4x10 M.D. and is slung 2D4x100 feet away from the aircraft, in any direction.

    Maximum Effective Range: Close Combat

    Mega-Damage: 2D6 M.D. from a single blade, 6D6 M.D. from all attack in which all three blades strike.

    Rate of Fire: Equal to the number of hand to hand attacks of the pilot and his power armor (usually 4-6, see Power Armor Training). Paired weapons may be used with the blades

    Payload: Effectively Unlimited.

  6. Energy Rifles or Rail Guns: The Katana SAMAS does not have a standard issue hand weapon besides the Shemarrian rail gun. Any other rail gun or human sized rifle can be used by the Katana SAMAS and can fire most large rifles (CTT-M20 or CTT-P40 Rifles for example) as one handed weapons.

  7. Hand to Hand Combat: Rather than use a weapon, the pilot can engage in mega-damage hand to hand combat. See Basic and Elite Power Armor Combat Training on page 45 of the Rifts RPG for combat bonuses. The basic bonuses and abilities of "elite" Power Armor Training are the same with the following extra bonuses and increased damage capabilities:

    • +3 to pull punch.

    • +2 on initiative

    • Restrained Punch:1D4 M.D.

    • Full Strength Punch:2D4 M.D.

    • Power Punch:3D6 M.D. but counts as two melee attacks.

    • Tear or Pry with hands:1D4 M.D.

    • Kick Attack:2D6 M D.

    • Running Leap Kick: 6D6 M.D.! This attack must be used at the beginning of a melee round and uses up all but one melee attack, but inflicts excellent damage.

    • Body Block/Tackle:1D6 M.D.

    • Full Speed Running or flying Ram:5D6 M.D. This attack uses up three attacks and inflicts 1D4 to the Super SAMAS.

  8. Sensor System Note: Same as the other SAMAS.

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Writeup by Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune).

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