Strike Suits, also known as Battle Dress, are mechanized suits featuring fusion power plants that sport battleship-grade armor, fighter-like mobility, and can carry a wide variety of weapons to fill any number of roles. There are three grades of Strike Suit, only one of which are commercially available to civilians.
The first and most widely available type of Strike Suit is the Construction Suit, or CSuit. The CSuit is a cheap, effective way to augment a normal human worker's strength for any number of tasks, including careful lifting jobs, mining, prospecting, and more. CSuits are generally made to have internal atmospherics and can be equipped with drills, industrial strength mining lasers, and other similar things. They are heavily armored due to the nature of their job, but the armor does not stack up to the more military grades of Strike Suit.
CSuits tend to come with free traders as a cargo-loading method, especially on fringe worlds where capable starports tend to be rarer than near the core. It is federally illegal to load a CSuit with military-grade weaponry.
A smaller form of Strike Suit, Battle Dress are exoskeletons that Marines use in large-scale combat operations. Battle dress is more of a set of armor than an actual vehicle one operates, and battle dress can only protect one person so far, compared to the destructive capabilities of the more advanced Strike Suits. Even so, the marine battle dress is nigh but impenetrable by basic weapons and requires demolitions and higher grade explosives to even potentially damage.
Battle dress is typically equipped with similar weapons as normal marines are, but can be loaded with a much higher total weight. A typical marine in modern battle dress can carry several different rifles, RPGs, and can even be equipped with the rare personal-scale laser cannon in the most dire of situations. The suit is temperature controlled and carries the entire weight of the load, and features an atmosphere scrubber that allows it to survive in hostile environments for up to five days, or vacuums for 12 hours.
While owning modern battle dress is federally illegal, some small groups and mercenary brigades own older versions that are heavier and have less features.
What one generally thinks of when the word 'Strike Suit' is spoken, the mechanized suit is a huge hit in pop culture. There are no more than 50 true Strike Suits (SSuits) in the Republic, fifteen of which are aboard carriers. Each Strike Suit is unique, hand-crafted by Maalik and her workers to suit each pilot specifically. Strike Suits operate under a hybrid mental-control and manual control system, with most weapons systems being controlled manually, but agile movements and mobility controls being mostly controlled by thought. This eliminates the need for the two-person crew that was previously required in older Strike Suit models. Strike Suits have a specialized shield which directs power from the fusion core to protect against energy weapons, armor that rivals that of a battleship (in hardness, rather than thickness), automatic anti-missile gun systems, and can be outfitted with any number of different weapons from lasers, to missile systems, to ICBMs. Strike Suits rival fighter jets in top speed, and patently outdo them in acceleration and mobility. Strike Suits are generally deployed alongside large fighter squadrons which are used as a screen and a harassment tool while the Strike Suit itself goes after key targets.
Much like Battle Dress, owning a Strike Suit is rare and banned. Older models are much harder to come by than battle dress, and the only ones currently available on the black market for millions of credits are old junker models from the Third Rebellion, which require a pilot and a gunner. Since newer SSuits are neurologically tied to their pilots, getting a hijacked one to work is unlikely at best.
Even rarer are Prospector-model SSuits, ones specifically constructed to take advantage of the Prospector's unique talents. Because a Prospector is limited by their form, a SSuit allows them to remain mobile and quick even in space or on large battlefields. Such suits were used in all three rebellions, and caused massive casualties in the First and Third.
While Battle Dress puts one at about two and a half to three meters tall, SSuits tend to be around seven meters tall; a bit more than double. Older models are larger, some going up to as large as nine or ten meters tall. However, its size does not betray its weight, and the actual density of most of the materials makes it much heavier than it appears to be.
Typically, Strike Suits are equipped with a variety of different weaponry, often carrying in the ways of thousands of rounds of ammunition for extended fights. Their primary firearms are large railguns, configured in different ways depending on the situation. These are incredibly effective against other entities that are capable of wounding Strike Suits; armored vehicles and spacecraft.
SSuits also often carry gatling cannons, that fire proportionately less powerful rounds, but at a much higher volume of fire. These are used for both crowd control and suppression. Most Aces rarely sortie with gatling cannons due to their inherent inhumane nature and general uselessness against armored targets.
Additionally, SSuits can carry laser weapons. These are the smallest form of laser weapon available in the Republic, the only smaller energy weapon being the MPPC, the man-portable plasma cannon, which is rarely if ever seen in combat. Laser weapons are especially useful for precision firing and anti-air usages, especially in space combat.
All SSuits carry at least several dozen missiles, though the type of missile varies by mission. They can carry anything from simple tracker warheads to surface to air missiles, or even nuclear warhead-equipped swarm missiles. The only time the latter have been used in actual combat was during the Third Rebellion, in attempts to kill both Prospectors and Ambrosia.
Prospector Strike Suits
Of special note are the Strike Suits specific to each Prospector. Not every Prospector owns or has made one, and they have rarely seen battlefield use. The most common time such suits have been used was during the Second and Third Rebellions.
They tend to be much smaller, usually almost body-suit like in appearance, with large wings and various effects unique to each suit.