Metalworks Incorporated GPA-01-J “Joe” Power Armor:

The GPA-01 Ground Assault Power Armor was one of the first power armor designs developed. The design was developed by a half Korean engineer. While she gained her robotic engineering degree in Japan, she moved to the United States due to her treatment due to heritage and the fact that she was a woman. She developed the armor for the United States Army. It was at one time one of the most common armor although relegated mostly to National Guard units by the coming of the Rifts. The power armor was also sold to various other nations where it continued to perform in front line roles until the coming of the Rifts.

Even though not many of the armors survived the coming of the Rifts, Metalworks Incorporated was able to acquire plans. The design was fairly simple and allowed for rapid production as competition against Northern Guns, specifically the Sampson armor. Of course, building the armor required some redesign because many of the basic weapon systems are not supported by Metalworks. They do not manufacture any electro-thermal or liquid propellant weapons, for example. Of course, the various upgrades to the design do make it more expensive and it does cost more than the Sampson at around 1.2 million credits each.

The eventual design which came out was an improvement over the original model. The manufactures originally called the armor the Vanguard but the soldiers who used the armor chose a different name, the “Joe” after G.I. Joe, the ancient nickname for American soldiers. The manufactures originally resisted this name but eventually adopted the name “Joe” due to the popularity. The armor has been selling quite briskly since being introduced.

The armor of the suit is only moderately increased although different alloys and composites are used than in the original design. Those exact formulas have not been produced since the coming of the Rifts. As well, an off the shelf fusion reactor is used. It has a slightly shorter life span than the original reactor but produces much greater power. Where ever possible, off the shelf components are used to reduce cost. The top speed is not increased from the original design with a top speed of 120 miles per hour, about one third slower than the Northern Gun Sampson power armor.

As might be expected, the biggest upgrades are to the weapon systems. Of these, the main gun is considered most important by most operators. The 32 mm electro-thermal cannon is replaced by a 25 mm rail gun. It has similar range and damage although often has greater penetration, As well, a special flachette round was developed for the weapon. That round is most effective at targeting aircraft. Some believe that the weapon was developed as a miniaturize version of the Glitter Boy Boom Gun. The magazines have an increased payload from ten rounds to twenty rounds each, doubling payload.

Pulling power from the fusion reactor, a pair of twin barrel particle beams are mounted on each forearm replacing the forearm ion beam blaster on the left arm. These appear to be copied from a Coalition design although they are not paired with vibro-blades. The forearm mounts each inflict almost twice the damage of the original weapon but have less than half the range. Added to the armor are a total of ten mini-missile tubes. Two are mounted on each forearm, over the particle beams and three are mounted on each calf.

Instead of the liquid propellant submachine gun, the armor can carry any standard hand held weapon system. There is a power connector for energy weapons to pull power directly from the armor's fusion reactor. Popular weapons include the JA-12 Juicer Rifle, Coalition C-12 Laser Rifle, Heavy Particle Beam Rifle, and the Wellington Automatic Grenade Launcher. The JA-12 is especially popular due to having extremely long range for a laser rifle while being still hand held and adds an under barrel grenade launcher. The Wellington Automatic Grenade Launcher inflicts a huge amount of damage at close range but has an extremely limited payload. A small weapon such as a pistol or small submachine gun can also be carried.

Model Type: M.I. GPA-01-J
Class: Armored Infantry Assault Suit
Crew: One

M.D.C. by Location:

MI-RG-225-R Hyper Velocity Rail Gun:80
Forearm Mounted Particle Beams (2, forearms)30 each
Arm Mini-Missile Launchers (2, forearms):40 each
Leg Mini-Missile Launchers (2, lower legs):40 each
Ammunition Backpack:65
Arms (2):80 each
Legs (2):120 each
[1] Head:100
[2] Main Body:325

[1] Destroying the head of the power armor will eliminate all forms of optical enhancements and sensory systems. The pilot is forced to rely on his own human vision and senses. Furthermore, all power armor Combat bonuses to strike, parry, and dodge are lost! Note: The head is a small and difficult target to hit, shielded by an exhaust tube, wings, and shoulder plating. Consequently, it can only be hit when a character makes a called shot and even then the attacker is - 4 to strike.
[2] Depleting the M.D.C. of the main body will shut the armor down completely, making it useless.

Running: 120 mph (193.1 kph) maximum. Note that the act of running does tire out its operator, but at 10% of the usual fatigue rate thanks to the robot exo-skeleton.
Leaping: The powerful robot legs can leap up to 25 feet (7.6 m) high or across.
Underwater Capabilities: The USA-GPA-01 can also walk along the bottom of the sea at about 25% of its normal running speed.
Maximum Ocean Depth: 1,000 feet (305 meters).

Statistical Data:
Height: 10 feet (3.05 meters)
Width: 4 feet, 6 inches (1.4 meters)
Length: 4 feet, 3 inches (1.3 meters)
Weight: 815 lbs (369.7 kg) fully armed with Hyper Velocity Rail Gun.
Physical Strength: Equal to a P.S. 30
Cargo: None
Power System: Nuclear, average energy life is 10 years.
Black Market Cost: 1.2 million credits for a new or fully operational M.I. GPA-01-J Power Armor. Includes Hyper Rail Gun but does not include any hand held weapon systems.

Weapon Systems:

  1. MI-RG-225-R Hyper Velocity Rail Gun (1): This weapon is designed to use against targets such as other armors. This weapon is carried on the right side of the back when not in use and requires both hands to use. The weapon is set up in a "bullpup" configuration with the trigger in front of the magazine to reduce the length of the weapon but it is still six feet long. The weapon is likely an attempt to miniature the Glitter Boy Boom Gun and the round is fired at hyper velocity, faster than a standard rail gun round. A twenty-five millimeter discarding sabot round, each round is far heavier and inflicts greater damage and has much greater penetration. An optional flachette can be fired as well which is more useful against targets such as aircraft although damage is reduced. Does not have as much recoil as a Glitter Boy Boom Gun due to having power recoil suppression systems and muzzle breaks and the armor can just handle the recoil but if fired with less than a robotic strength of 20 is at -4 and -2 with a strength less than 30.
    Weight: 248 lbs (112.5 kg), Twenty Round Magazine: 12 lbs (5.4 kg)
    Maximum Effective Range: 8,000 feet (2438.4 meters) for solid rounds and 4,000 feet (1,219 meters) for flachette rounds.
    Mega Damage: 2D4x10+10 (optional rule is that cannon gets a critical on a natural 18, 19, or 20 due to its high penetration) for solid slug rounds and 1D6x10+10 with an effect radius of 8 feet (2.4 meters) for flachette rounds.
    Rate of Fire:Maximum of four per melee.
    Payload: 20 Round Magazines (Carries 5 extra magazines)
  2. Forearm Particle Beams (2): On each forearm of the power armor is mounted a pair of particle beams. The weapon system is believed to be the particle beam from the Coalition F.I.W.S. and is considered highly effective by most pilots of the power armor even with its limitations. The biggest limitation on the particle beam is that it has a limited range compared to most particle beams and is designed for relatively close combat. Power is pulled from the fusion reactor and payload is virtually unlimited. If the pilot of the power armor has paired weapons, pistols allow the twin particle beams to be fired together. When used in this fashion, the weapons can inflict incredible damage.
    Maximum Effective Range: 500 feet (152.4 m)
    Mega-Damage: 5D6 for one barrel or 1D6x10 for both barrels.
    Rate of Fire: Equal to number of combined hand to hand (Usually 5 or 6).
    Payload: Tied to power supply so duration is effectively unlimited.
  3. Mini-Missile Tube Launchers (10): The power armor mounts two mini-missile tubes on each forearm and there are three mini-missile tubes on the outsides of the legs of the armor. Each tube launcher carriers and can launch one missile before needing to be manually reloaded. All missile types may be carried but most common is plasma and armor piercing warheads.
    Maximum Effective Range: Usually about a mile (Varies with mini-missile type - Go to revised bomb and missile tables for details.)
    Mega-Damage: Varies with mini-missile type (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)
    Rate of Fire: Can fire mini-missiles one at a time or in volleys of two (2), three (3), four (4), or six (6) mini-missiles.
    Payload: Two (2) each forearm and three (3) on outside of each leg.
  4. Energy Rifles, Light Rail Guns and other weapons can be carried and used by the GPA-01 “Joe” Power Armor. Can be slung on the belt on a utility belt or strapped to the power armor's leg. Space limitation usually limits the number of weapons to one pistol / rifle. Most common weapons are the JA-12 Juicer Assault Rifle, the Coalition C-12 Rifle, and the Wellington WI-GL21 Automatic Grenade Launcher. Hand Held Grenades can also be carried in a satchel but cannot normally be hooked to a belt or bandolier because it is likely that they would get blown off when traveling at high speed.
  5. Hand-to-Hand Combat: Rather than use a weapon, Pilot can engage in mega-damage hand to hand combat. See Power Armor Combat Training in Robot Combat section of Rifts. All abilities are the same as those on page 45 of Rifts except the armor has a -1 penalty to dodge due to being bulky and +1 bonus to long range combat due to targeting systems (bonuses for high prowess and Power Armor Combat skills still get added in).

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Writeup by Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune).

Copyright © 2008, Kitsune. All rights reserved.