S-Mart Interceptor-A

      In the early 2070s power armor was entering it's second generation. The new generation was a new breed entirely, replacing the old electric, hydraulic, and pneumatic drive systems with early synthetic musculature, electronics, and on occasion with miniature nuclear reactors to supply power. As these technological advances were made, so to did the military forces of the world have to adapt. For the United States, replacing the old Optimal Robotics UCASS (Urban Combat Armored Support Suit) would not be as easy as the last series of power armor acquisitions. The technology had proliferated and instead of a handful of companies producing power armor there were now more than thirty world wide that produced top of the line types - many of which had U.S. branches or were based in the United States.

      The competition for the contracted replacement to the Optimal Robotics UCASS began in 2073, and it was vicious. Several of the types submitted by various companies were quickly eliminated for various shortcomings, including a slightly modernized UCASS that glitched midway through the competition and shut down. A media frenzy broke out over a mysterious explosion that not only disabled the submission of a, then little known, company called ArmaTech, but also killed the pilot. In the end Cercom, a subsidiary of United Defense Industries, and a giant in the body armor production world was awarded the contract. This new suit was smaller and less clunky than the UCASS, provided a wider field of vision, utilized state of the art technologies, was powered by a small nuclear power plant, and perhaps more importantly provided a great deal more protection. It was an ideal suit of power armor for the time and the role intended.

      The new Cercom suit came to be known to the US Army as the UASNP (Universal Armored Suit, Nuclear Powered) Interceptor, named after the famed body armor suit of the early 21st century. Within five years this suit had completely replaced the UCASS in the US Army and Marine Corps, licensed production was carried out in the UK, Canada, and Australia as well. In 2080 the type was still going strong in it's intended role, serving in a myriad of theatres. Security and scout types had been developed from the basic Interceptor frame as well. By then a third generation of power armor had passed, instituting more advanced synthetic musculature, armored protection, and nuclear technology - yet the Interceptor's performance envelope had not been so vastly overcome as to necessitate it's replacement. Then something happened. During a contest for an infantry support power armor type, ArmaTech developed and unveiled the Strategic Armor Military Assault Suit - the SAMAS. This new type revolutionized the world of power armor, and made virtually all types developed to that date obsolete. The type was small, streamlined, well armed, well armored, and what's more - it could fly. It could accomplish not only infantry support missions, but it could operate as a fast forward scout, operate in all types of security operations, and it was small enough to operate as an urban combat suit. It wasn't long after ArmaTech won the contract that the Interceptor was slotted for replacement.

      After it was phased out U.S. service many Interceptors continued to serve in the UK and Australia right up until the cataclysm. In the U.S. the Interceptor was scrapped - and the designs and schematics were funneled away to the subterranian Project Archive growing under Salt Lake City, where they became a long since forgotten chapter in the history of the world.

      When S-Mart started production of various types of power armor in 113PA, the Interceptor was one of the firsts. The Interceptor was not as sophisticated as many types which made it relatively cheap and easy to produce. Though Desert Star's N.O.M.A.D. Military would not be acquiring any of this type, it was expected to be a big hit in terms of export sales.

      Since 113PA the Interceptor, as S-Mart still calls this type, has indeed been a smash hit on the market. It has seen nearly a dozen production runs, three variations on the original model having been mass produced, and has sold more suits than any other model produced by S-Mart. Among the major users of the type were Tolkeen, who purchased 522 of a simplified Interceptor-A that would later be outfitted with a number of magical systems. These suits saw heavy duty service from the start of the campaign all the way to the end. No less than thirty of these suits were captured by the CS Army and were destroyed by a demolition team a few weeks after the end of the war. Republican purchased 150 suits for protection from the growingly antagonistic CS forces in that region. Among the other users are Silvereno, Hope Barony, New Hope (California), Ciudad Juarez, Ciudad Victoria, and no less than 25 separate mercenary companies across North America. Wa-Daisho was so impressed with the type, that they contracted S-Mart to produce the second variation on the design called the Interceptor-B, and purchased a handful plus a contract for licensed production. Experiences in local policing activities prompted the government of Desert Star to issue an order for a new variation called the S-Mart Interceptor-C nicknamed the Crimestopper, specifically suited to inner city policing duties and urban combat.

      A special note towards the Optimal Robotics UCASS and the improved model submitted later and glitched during competition, is that these types are presently in production in North America at this time. They are known as the Chipwell Armaments Warmonger Combat Suit and the Chipwell Armaments Assault Suit. Some details have been changed, but they are still essentially the same suits. For details please see RIFTS Mercenaries pg. 145-146.

Model Type: Interceptor-A.
Class: Light Assault Power Armor.
Crew: 1.
M.D.C. by Location:
    *Head - 70.
    Arms (2) - 70 each.
    Legs (2) - 140 each.
    Backblast Packs (2) - 40 each.
    *RMC-2 Ramjet Machine Cannon - 30.
    *RG-4 10 mm Rail Gun - 50.
    **Main Body-220.

* These designated areas of the armor are small and difficult targets to hit, so therefore may only be struck with a penalty of -3 to strike.
** Once the M.D.C. of the main body is depleted the armor completely shuts down, and is useless.

Maximum Running Speed: 75 mph; Note that the act of running does tire it's operator, but at 10% the usual fatigue rate.
Leaping: The powerful robot legs can leap 20' high or across.
Maximum Swimming Speed: 4 mph using typical swimming type motions. Additionally the unit may run along the bottom of the ocean at half it's normal running speed.
Maximum Safe Diving Depth: The unit is safe from the water tight seal being ruptured up to 900' in depth.

Statistical Data:
Height: 7'.
Width: 4'.
Length: 3'.
Weight: 631 Lb. fully loaded, not counting the pilot.
Physical Strength: Equal to a P.S. of 25.
Power System: Nuclear; 5 year average energy life.
Market Cost: The Interceptor has been on the market for several years now, and is a well known make among all militaries and mercenaries in North America. Therefore it has excellent availability and is available for 700,000 credits fully loaded.

Weapon Systems

1. S-Mart RG-4 10 mm Rail Gun: This is an S-Mart knock-off of the Triax TX-500 Borg Rail Gun and looks almost exactly like it, with a few "cosmetic" differences. It's placement on the Interceptor is intended to give the type a comparatively good bit of knock down power, for it's size and design.
Primary Purpose: Assault.
Secondary Purpose: Defense.
Mega-Damage: See pg. 57 of RIFTS Sourcebook 1.
Rate of Fire: Standard; Aimed, Burst, or Wild.
Maximum Effective Range: See pg. 57 of RIFTS Sourcebook 1.
Payload: A back mounted drum provides the weapon with 1,800 rounds of 10 mm rail gun ammunition, providing the weapon with 60 bursts.

2. S-Mart RMC-2 12.7 mm Ramjet Machine Cannon: This weapon is added to the right forearm primarily as a defensive weapon or for use against lightly armored personnel. While it is smaller in size than the RMC-1, the feed mechanism on the weapon was too far reduced making it prone to jamming. (On a natural roll of 1 to strike, there is a 01-45% chance that the weapon will jam.)
Primary Purpose: Defense.
Secondary Purpose: Anti-Personnel.
Mega-Damage: 1D4 M.D. per single 12.7 mm ramjet round or 4D6 M.D. per burst of ten rounds.
Rate of Fire: Standard; Aimed, Burst, or Wild.
Maximum Effective Range: 1,200'.
Payload: A hip mounted drum provides the weapon with 600 rounds of 12.7 mm Ramjet rounds, providing the weapon with 60 bursts.

3. S-Mart BFP-2 Backblast Flechette Packs (2; Back Mounted): These weapons are intended to provide the Interceptor with a rear facing defense against missiles and adversaries who are pursuing the power armor unit, by firing off a sequence of five flechette rounds that spray out in a cone of fire of one hundred and twenty degrees. It can also be an effective ambush weapon.
Primary Purpose: Defense.
Secondary Purpose: Anti-Personnel.
Mega-Damage: 4D6 M.D.
Rate of Fire: Equal to the users combined hand to hand attacks.
Maximum Effective Range: 75'.
Payload: This pack contains enough flechette rounds to fire 10 times.

4. Climbing Claws: These are blades installed in the knuckle and in the toe area of the power armor, allowing the Interceptor better climbing abilities. In addition to climbing these tungsten-uranium (Depleted, of course.) alloy blades, are used to increase the Interceptor's combat abilities in close quarters combat.
Primary Purpose: Assault.
Secondary Purpose: Defense.
Mega-Damage: +1D6 M.D. in addition to punch damage.
Rate of Fire: Equal to the users combined hand to hand attacks.
Maximum Effective Range: Hand to hand combat.
Payload: N/A.

5. Systems of Note: This unit incorporates all the usual environmental features found in power armor including environmental protection, environmental control, air filtration, an independant 6 hour supply of air, heat and radiation shielding.
    1. H.U.D. Wideband Interface: This system is one of the most common systems used throughout post-cataclysm Earth in power armor. Instead of relying upon human vision it operates using a wide angle lense camera to take in the scene. Built into the helmet it often sits directly in front of the pilot's face, concealed behind a curved LCD screen. With this model a full one hundred and twenty degree field of vision is attained AND it has no ill effects on the power armor operative. This system provides full integration of all systems in a comprehensive H.U.D. (Heads Up Display). Unlike the common systems found elsewhere, this type is joined with a more advanced targeting computer that allows up to two weapons to be trained on a target at once. The audio level in the H.U.D. Wideband Interface is advanced beyond normal human hearing, becoming only slightly less sensitive than the cybernetic "Amplified Hearing".
    2. Anti-Dazzle Protection: This is essentially nothing more than a polarized film on the sensors that react to the ambient light. Thus if a bright flash occurs in the face of the Interceptor, the lense turns nearly black for an instant, and then quickly changes back to normal - protecting the operator from being dazzled.
    3. Infrared Optics: This system allows the user to see the heat emanating from an object. It can be set to be white hot or black hot, depending on operating status. If in combat black hot would be best to avoid being blinded by explosions and similar. While in passive mode, outside of combat, white hot would be best, so as things like body heat would better stand out. The range of this system is 2,000'.
    4. Nightvision Optics: This system uses the ambient light from starlight, moonlight and similar to allow a sort of green-tinged vision beyond normal visual ranges for a human. The range of this system is 2,000'.
    5. Macrovision Optics: These optics are essentially like a microscope, capable of magnifying objects hundreds of times, from a distance of 6'. This is a useful system for analyzing clues in the field, such as tracks, spent shell casings and similar.
    6. Telescopic Optics: These are exactly as they sound, telescopic optics that enhance the image of far away objects. At a range of 6,000' an object appears only 100' away, as an example. The range of this system is 6,000' effectively - but it can enhance the image of objects further away yet still, they just are not quite so well detailed.
    7. Thermal Imaging Optics: This is very similar to the Infrared Optics in the sense that it detects heat, but unlike the imprecise nature of the infrared optics, this measures the heat signature precisely displaying them in colorful shades of reds, yellows, greens and blues with various degrees of heat. The thermal imaging optics are also far more sensitive than the infrared optics, actually allowing them to see heat through walls of structures at certain distances. The range of this system is 2,000', but it can only see heat through an obstacle such as a brick wall from 100'.
    8. Military Radio & Scrambler: This is the same radio equipment, bolt for bolt, microchip for microchip, as the system found on the USA-G10 Glitterboy. The broadcast range is a modest 50 miles. By resetting the radio transmitter inside the armor to an elevated position, however, the same transmitter can achieve a fairly consistent 500 mile range using atmospheric bounce. Atmospheric anomalys can extend this range still further or can completely disable the radio system within a set radius, it just depends on the circumstances. The scrambler system allows the radio signals to be scrambled to all those not equipped with the correct scrambling codes.
    9. Military Radar: The radar system of the Interceptor covers a one hundred and twenty degree arc in front of the suit to detect distant objects. Unlike the more primitive types used elsewhere as well as the civilian radar type also offered by S-Mart, S-Mart's military radar system is more sensitive to changes in environment. Thus if deployed to a city scape, and a man in body armor steps out from behind a wall for a moment before ducking back, and the pilot does not notice it the radar will momentarily send out a tone and the targeting computer will indicate the spot where it was seen. The range of this model is a respectable 25 miles.
    10. I.F.F. Transponder System: This system transmits data such as alpha-numeric designation code, course, mission, base of operations, and unit, via radio signal, to other similarly equipped military stations, vehicles, and power armor suits that have been programmed with the correct access codes. A note towards the safety of I.F.F. - is that the codes are very difficult to break. As the Inteceptor-A is strictly a commercial variety, all Interceptor-A I.F.F. Transponder Systems are programmed as civilian models, which allows N.O.M.A.D. Military types to automatically read their signals. In turn all that the civilian type would read about a N.O.M.A.D. Military type is; "MILITARY, HEADING XXX, ALT XXX, SPD XXX".
    11. EMP Capacitator: This system is designed to absorb the energy released from an electro-magnetic pulse, the energy component of a nuclear explosion, and the discharge from certain seldom encountered EMP weapons. Unlike an EMP Sponge, which is expended in such an absorbtion, the EMP Capacitator absorbs and difuses the energy without adverse effect on the suit. This allows the Interceptor-A a great deal of leeway when operating in nuclear warzones where other, less well equipped, suits would be disabled by EMP Pulse.
    12. Improvements Available: The Interceptor-A's basic layout is far from overextended in fact there remains a GREAT deal of room for improvement in terms of the number of systems that can be carried. Remaining system requirement slots are as follows, the first number is internal, second is external. Head 0/20, Left Arm 15/20, Right Arm 10/20, Left Leg 25/30, Right Leg 25/30, and Main Body 35/0.

7. Hand to Hand Combat Abilities: In addition to Power Armor Basic or Elite pilot training, the Interceptor-A enjoys the following bonuses;

+2 to strike with ranged weapon systems.

Punch: 1D4 M.D.
Power Punch: 2D4 M.D.
Kick: 1D4 M.D.
Leap Kick: 2D4 M.D.
Body Flip/Throw: 1D4+2 M.D.
Body Block/Tackle: 1D4+2 M.D.

      The picture used above is available courtesy of R. Talsorian's "Cyberpunk 2020" as seen in their source book Maximum Metal. In the source book it is seen as the Dynalar/Zetatech Grasshopper. This is by no means an attempt to steal the hard working efforts of R. Talsorian Inc's authors or artists, but merely used here as a means of utilizing interesting designs from their source materials, inside of Palladium Books' RIFTS. The image was edited to fit the Interceptor as described on April 8, 2005 using Windows Paint and Print Shop Photo Pro 2.0.

Questions?|S-Mart Power Armor|SirTenzan's RIFTS Gallery