REEF-PA02 Beetle Ground Power Armor:

There was a perceived need by the REEF to supplement their mecha and veritech designs with power armor designs. There was some experience with the RDF and Southern Cross with designs such as the Micronian Power Armor but generally Robotech power armor designs were far less advanced than those on Rifts Earth. As such, it was decided to base a new design based on various Rifts Earth designs. At the time of development, the design of the REF Cyclone was not available.

Sharing most of the same components and the chassis, the Beetle ground armor was developed at the same time as the Wasp power armor although introduced slightly later. Production of the Beetle started a couple of months after the Wasp, with the flying power armor design was considered a priority. Main designs used in development of the Beetle and Wasp include the Coalition SAMAS, Triax Predator, and Northern Gun power armor designs. This allowed greatly reduced development time.

As with the Wasp, the Beetle is generally considered a good design. Still, the Cyclone was a much more mobile and more effective armor. As a result, the military forces of the REEF quickly upgraded to the Cyclone II when it became available. Initially, the Beetle was transferred to militia units but it was decided to replace them with the much more flexible Terrain Hopper. Production of the Beetle does continue however with the design sold to outside interests such as mercenary companies and adventurers.

One of the major changed of the Beetle compared to the Wasp is that it lacks a flight pack. Otherwise, the Beetle has slightly increased plate armor on the chest and can withstand slightly greater damage. There is also a pair of armor shields similar to what the Logan and Veritech hover tank carry. In addition, there is an upgrade external armor plate to increase the ability of the armor to take damage. Does not protect the weapon systems or the head unfortunately. These armor plates do reduce mobility slightly. Compared to the Wasp, the leg servos of the Beetle are improved, giving a top speed of almost 180 kilometers per hour but with the additional armor, this is reduced to around 160 kilometers per hour. Even though ground bound, the armor still has controls very similar to that of the standard Coalition SAMAS design.

The ion cannon carried on the Beetle is identical to the cannon carried on the Wasp. Integral, mounted on the back, the ion weapon tilts down when ready to fire. Developed from other Southern Cross ion weaponry, it has a range of almost two thousand meters and is quite powerful and effective. It is limited by the armor’s fusion reactor and uses a capacitor to augment the fusion reactor. This capacitor stores forty shots but recharges relatively slowly. In most cases, a backup weapon will be carried.

Not needed for a ground power armor, the wings of the Wasp armor design are replaced by a pair of missile pods. These should pods are limited to mini-missiles but a total of twelve mini-missiles can be carried in each pod for a total of twenty-four mini-missiles. This does make the Beetle a quite effect fire support design, almost like a mini-missile artillery design. The mini-missiles are carried in four missile cassettes for more rapid reloading. With the cassettes, mini-missiles can be loaded at the rate of a cassette every fifteen seconds. In addition, the mini-missile pods are designed for rapid ejection if damaged.

Model Type: REEF-PA02

Class: Strategic Armor Military Assault Suit

Crew: One

M.D.C. By Location:


Armor Package:

Mini-Missile Pods (2, shoulders):

75 each

Ion Cannon (Shoulder / Back):


Arm Shields (2):

100 each

+100 (200 total)

Arms (2):

70 each

Legs (2):

100 each

+25 (125 total)

[2] Head:


[3] Main Body:


+100 (400 total)


[1] The forearm shields can be used to shield the main body or body parts from damage. The character can try to block incoming attacks of any kind, punches, blasts, and even missiles, by blocking with one or both arms (missiles require both arms). Roll a parry. If successful, only the arm shields take damage.

[2] Destroying the Head/Helmet will eliminate all forms of optical enhancement and sensory systems. No power armor combat bonuses to strike, parry, and dodge. Note: Head is a difficult target to hit and is a called shot and is -3 to strike.

[3] Depleting the M.D.C. of the main body will shut the mecha down completely, rendering it useless.


Running: 110 m.p.h. (177 kmph) maximum. Running does tire out the operator but at 10% of normal fatigue rate due to the robot exo-skeleton. With External Armor Package, reduce speed to 100 mph (160.9 kph)

Leaping: Powerful robot legs can leap 20 feet (6.1 m) up or across unassisted by using thrusters. Does not have


Underwater Capabilities: Swimming: The Beetle 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.

Maximum Ocean Depth: 2,000 feet (610 meters).

Statistical Data:

Height: 8 feet (2.4 meters) body, with Pods 9 feet (2.8 meters)

Width: 4 feet (1.2 meters) body, with Pods 6 feet (1.8 meters)

Length: 4.5 feet (1.4 meters) from front to back

Weight: 680 pounds (309 kilograms) without missile packs or armor augmentation. With missile packs, increase weight by 60 pounds (27.2 kilograms) and external armor upgrade increases weight by 80 pounds (36.3 kilograms)

Physical Strength: Equal to a P.S. 30.

Power System: Nuclear, average life is 15 years

Cargo: None

Black Market Cost: Sells for 1.5 million for a new, undamaged, and fully operation suit complete with missiles launchers and ion cannon. External armor upgrade costs 200,000 credits.

Weapon Systems:

  1. One (1) Shoulder Mounted Ion Cannon: It is on the back beside the engine when not being used and rotates into a position on the shoulder pointed in front of the armor when being fired. The cannon is powerful and relatively long ranged but draws a large amount of power so that cannon has a limited number of shots. Capacitor is limited to forty shots and recharges at the arte of one shot per minute.

    Maximum Effective Range: 6,000 feet (1,829 meters)

    Mega Damage: 1D6x10 M.D.C.

    Rate of Fire: Equal to the pilots combined hand to hand (usually 5 or 6)

    Payload: Forty (40) shots in a capacitor, recharges at the rate of one shot per minute.

  2. Two (2) Shoulder Mounted Mini-Missiles Pods: In each missile pod the Power Armor can carry twelve mini-missiles for a total of twenty-four (24) mini-missiles. Unlike the Wasp, short range missiles cannot be substituted. The mini-missile pods are on the shoulder of the power armor. Special rapid reloading cassettes are available for the launchers and the launchers can be ejected if damaged.

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

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

    Rate of Fire: One at a time or in volleys of two (2) or four (4) mini-missiles.

    Payload: Each pod has twelve (12) mini-missiles for a total of twenty-four (24) mini-missiles. Special rapid reloading mini-missile packs can be used to reload launcher. Replacing a pack takes fifteen seconds per cassette and all of the launchers can be loaded in just one and a half minutes.

  3. Energy Rifles and other normal weapons or light rail guns may be used as a backup weapon or in case of emergency.

  4. 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 that it receives a -1 penalty to the normal power armor dodge. Can parry energy blasts with arm shields. Note: Pilot trained in the standard PA-06A SAMAS can pilot the Wasp with full elite skill after a few weeks of retraining.

  5. Sensor Systems Note: Has all the normal power armor sensors plus has a special targeting system that gives a +2 to Strike beyond normal bonuses to strike for long range weapons combat only, not hand to hand.

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Writeup by Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune).

Copyright © 1998 & 2013, Kitsune. All rights reserved.