T-51 power armor

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This is an overview article which contains background information and cross-game comparisons. For game-specific information and stats, see the articles linked on the right.
Gameplay articles
FalloutPower armor
Hardened power armor
Fallout 2Power armor
Hardened power armor
Fallout 3T-51b power armor
Winterized T-51b power armor
FO: New VegasT-51b power armor
Brotherhood T-51b power armor
Fallout 4T-51 power armor
Fallout: BoSPower armor
Advanced power armor
Van BurenPower armor

T-51 powered combat infantry armor[1][2] is the most advanced power armor type developed before the Great War by West Tek on contract from the United States government.

Background[edit | edit source]

United States soldier in power armor
The following section is transcluded from Power armor. To modify, please edit the source page.

With the resource crisis severely limiting the ability of the United States military to deploy combat vehicles, especially tanks and other types of armor, it began research efforts to create self-powered combat suits in August 2065. Mechanized cavalry units provided with them would retain the mobility of a soldier moving on foot while giving them the ability to use heavy weapons with ease.[3] Research proceeded rapidly. While early prototypes were unsuccessful, lessons learned in the process paved the way for future advances in military sciences, construction, and fusion.[4]

The most important achievement of this early stage of research was the development of a fusion cell. Crude, but effective, the design was unveiled to the world in the summer of 2066. It further strained Sino-American relations, after the United States refused to share its crude oil reserves with the Asian superpower. The invasion of Alaska in winter of 2066 forced the military and its contractors to cut corners and come up with a stop-gap solution. In 2067, the first production model of powered infantry combat armor designated T-45 was rushed to the frontline to defend against the Chinese attackers. Although lacking in mobility, this early model allowed soldiers to carry heavy weapons into combat,[3] becoming key to countering masses of Chinese infantry and tanks. China rushed to develop its own version, but it was years behind the United States.[4] Anticipating this move, the military invested in the development of electromagnetic weapons to counter the threat should it arise.[5] In a way, China engineered its own demise, as the deployment of the T-45 also led to the development of the West Tek power armor frame, the basis on which all subsequent armor was manufactured.[3]

Meanwhile, West Tek continued developing a superior model, designated T-51. By 2069, it was the largest contract of the largest defense contractor of the United States government. However, the ambitious nature of the project led to many delays and it took nearly ten years to complete the development cycle.[4][6] In the meantime, the T-45d became the symbol of American might. Various modifications were developed and tested using it as basis, including the MP-47A unit, featuring an autonomous medical delivery system and rudimentary onboard AI.[7]

In 2074, American T-45 model D power armor units, mechanized cavalry, and infantry divisions invaded mainland China. However, the invasion quickly bogged down as the T-45's aging design proved insufficient to overcome the Chinese defenders. The T-51 model power armor remained in development, with various production models being tested in combat conditions at Fort Strong in Massachusetts, troubleshooting the design. Problems were still present this far into the development cycle, delaying deployment. For instance, the September 2075 iteration had the desired mobility and protection, but were far from stable and soldiers tended to tip over on hard landings. Gyroscopic stabilizers and shock absorbers were subsequently added.[8]

However, the problems were eventually ironed out and the joint efforts of West Tek and Fort Strong resulted in the first production run of T-51 power armor being sent to China in June 2076.[9][10] It outperformed the T-45d in every aspect, providing the United States with the means to overcome Chinese resistance on all fronts. Many units were sent to China, where the renewed American offensive finally sent the People's Liberation Army into retreat.[4] In January 2077, General Constantine Chase completed the Anchorage Reclamation, using winterized T-51b power armor troops as spearhead.[11] The completion of the Anchorage Reclamation also coincided with the introduction of the T-60 power armor, developed first as an upgrade of the T-45 series, then spun-off into a separate series.[12][13]

The Great War and the destruction of the United States ensured that the T-51 model B (T-51b) and T-60 power armor remained the most advanced designs. Technically, the development of the first suit of advanced power armor, designated X-01, began shortly after the War, as remnants of the United States military developed a suit to surpass pre-War models, tailored for the post-War wasteland.[14] Basing on prototypical suits developed for Presidential bodyguards[15] it represented a radical, new approach to designing powered armor, eschewing traditional design philosophies and was manufactured in limited amounts, but never reached widespread deployment. It wasn't until the 2198 that the Enclave began to develop advanced versions of power armor anew. Due to a lack of success, the research stalled until Presidential Order mandated the development of an upgrade in 2215. Five years later, the first mass produced X-01 power armor (simply designated advanced power armor) was developed and mass-produced for the use of Enclave field units. Existing T-51 stock was used for training troops on the oil rig and logistical duties.[4]

Subsequent research and development of new power armor models was hampered by the destruction of the oil rig by the Chosen One in 2242. The efforts began anew once the fleeing Enclave arrived in the Capital Wasteland and settled into Adams Air Force Base. The result was the next-generation Hellfire power armor: Pinnacle of post-War power armor design.[16][17]

Design[edit | edit source]

The T-51[1] is the apex of pre-War powered combat infantry development. Developed over a decade of war by West-Tek, it incorporates many of the lessons gleaned from the T-45 power armor service history. Unlike its predecessor, the T-51 benefits from a long development cycle and uses custom-made components to create not a stop-gap model, but a weapon that provides the best possible protection through incorporating the latest passive defense features.[18][19][4][2]

Like the T-45, it is designed for a single human operator, patterned after the human silhouette. Unlike its older sibling, the exterior shell is made from a poly-laminate composite capable of absorbing over 2.5 kilojoules of energy without damage. The strength of the material is further enhanced by the organic, rounded profile of the shell, improving the chances of deflecting projectiles and explosions compared to the older steel plating present on the T-45. The shell is coated in a 10 micron silver ablative layer that allows for reflecting laser blasts and radiation emissions without damaging the composite surface directly.[2][20] The surface can be treated in a special chemical process to increase its defensive properties substantially.[21] To further enhance protection against direct contact with and contamination by radioactive, biological or chemical substances, the armor can be made air tight, allowing its operator to explore even the most contaminated areas with reasonable safety as long as the armor is not compromised.[22] The helmet is an integral part of this protection, fitted with a rubberized cowl mounted to the chest plate and providing a tight seal. As with all T-series, the vision slit is bullet-proof. Compared to its predecessor, the helmet is smaller and more durable, made out of a single piece of composite, with an easily removable vision assembly. As with the T-45, the ear ports double as accessory mounting points, with a drop-down aiming ocular being standard on all T-51 suits. A forehead-mounted lamp is provided for convenience.[23]

The T-51's ace in the hole is the hydraulics system integrated into the West Tek power armor frame.[3] Powered by a back-mounted TX-28 Micro-Fusion Pack generating 60,000 watts, the HiFlo hydraulics integrated into the frame of the suit allow it to carry the bulk of the suit and allow the soldier to carry heavy weapons into combat. Due to the design of the T-51, it's much more nimble and agile than the T-45.[2] However, to achieve optimal performance, the armor has to be custom-fitted to each operator.[21] A properly fitted armor worn by a well trained operator feels like an extension of one's body.[24] Comfort is imperative to success in combat operations, aided by the power armor's ability to recycle urine into perfectly drinkable water, allowing the operator to survive for weeks in power armor.[25]

The combination of excellent design, careful engineering, and intense mass production allowed the United States to field entire platoons of powered armor infantry in June 2076. While Chinese soldiers learned how to counter T-45d armored units, stalling U.S. offensives in Alaska and China, the T-51 model B firmly tipped the balance of power on the front in favor of the United States. With T-51bs, the American military achieved more in six months than over the preceding ten years with T-45 model Ds. By January 2077, Anchorage was liberated with surprisingly low casualties,[26] thanks to T-51b models adapted to Arctic conditions.[27] The renewed offensive on the Chinese mainland has also sent the PLA into full retreat after supply routes from countries it annexed broke down totally.[4][11]

After the Great War, the T-51 would continue to serve with distinctions with factions that had access to it. Its principal operator is the Brotherhood of Steel, with Brotherhood T-51b armor being standard issue. It was also the service armor of the Enclave until the deployment of advanced power armor of its own design, at which point the T-51 was relegated to training and logistical duties. Some factions and wastelanders also possess the armor in limited quantities.[28]

Variants[edit | edit source]

T-51 model B[edit | edit source]

T51 power armor.png

The most ubiquitous model of power armor typically features a solid olive green livery on the breastplate and pauldrons, with the base light gray on the limbs and helmet. It is the apex of pre-War power armor design.

Winterized T-51 model B power armor[edit | edit source]

Fo3OA Winterized T-51b.png
Gameplay article:

A pre-War variant of the T-51b power armor adapted for fighting in Arctic environments. The most noticeable difference is that the armor is painted a pale blue hue to blend in with the snowy environments and bears explicit livery of the United States Army (Army stars on the pauldrons and the national flag below the TX-28 fusion pack. The serial number is also printed on the left side of the chest plate.[27]

Brotherhood T-51 model B power armor[edit | edit source]

FNV T51b Brotherhood.png
Gameplay article:

A post-War variant of the T-51b, used by the Brotherhood of Steel as its service armor in New California and children chapters of Lost Hills. The olive green coloring of the armor has faded entirely and was replaced with a pale gray color overall. Brotherhood suits are kept in a state of good repair, with the usual streaks of rust and damage found on suits in the wasteland noticeably absent. The Brotherhood sigil is painted on the left pauldron, as per standard practice.[29]

Behind the scenes[edit | edit source]

We tried to model the power armor as T-Ray did in the opening movie and game, but he could get away with clipping that would look really bad at close distances or certain angles. Simply put, building the Fallout power armor as it originally looked would have resulted in a suit with a tiny range of motion or a hilarious amount of clipping. We changed as much as we needed to allow for more flexibility in movement, but tried to stay very close to the original design whenever possible.

Gallery[edit | edit source]

Fallout[edit | edit source]

Fallout 2[edit | edit source]

Fallout 3[edit | edit source]

Van Buren[edit | edit source]

Fallout Tactics[edit | edit source]

Fallout: New Vegas[edit | edit source]

Fallout 4[edit | edit source]

References[edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 The Vault Dweller: "{112}{}{What type of armor is that your wearing.}"
    Darrel: "{135}{}{This is Powered Combat Infantry Armor model T-51b or more commonly know as Power Armor.}"
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Power armor specs: "The T-51b Powered Infantry Armor is designed with the latest passive defense features for both civilian and military disturbances. The back-mounted TX-28 MicroFusion Pack generates 60,000 Watts to power the HiFlo hydraulic systems built into the frame of the suit. Made of the latest poly-laminate composite, the T-51b shell is lightweight and capable of absorbing over 2500 Joules of kinetic impact. The 10 micron silver ablative coating can reflect laser and radiation emissions without damage to the composite subsurface."
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 The Sole Survivor: "One good idea can make all the difference."
    Preston Garvey: "Sturges? Tell him."
    Sturges: "There's a crashed vertibird up on the roof. Old school. Pre-war. You might've seen it. Well, looks like one of its passengers left behind a seriously sweet goody. We're talking a full suit of cherry T-45 Power Armor. Military issue."
    The Sole Survivor: "What makes that Power Armor so special?"
    Sturges: "A West Tek internalized servo-system, that's what. Inside that baby, super is the new normal. You'll be stronger, tougher, resistant to rads. And... Get the suit, you can rip the minigun right off the vertibird. Do that, and those Raiders get an express ticket to Hell. You dig?"
    The Sole Survivor: "And I can use the minigun like a... rifle?"
    Sturges: "Don't see why not. It'll have a manual trigger. Just aim it at the bad guys, and do the ole' "spray and pray." Now, as for the armor... It's outta juice. Probably has been for a hundred years. It can be powered up again, but we're a bit stuck..."
    (Preston Garvey's and Sturges' dialogue)
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 Fallout Bible 0:
    "2055 The West Tek Research Facility starts working on a new virus to kill the New Plague. Their viral research and close ties to the federal government eventually lead to them being chosen for the Pan-Immunity Virion Project twenty years later as well as Power Infantry Armor and laser research.
    2065 August Increasing need for mobility in the United States mechanized cavalry leads the military to focus the efforts on creating a man-based tank - essentially, a two-legged walking armored unit: Power Armor.
    2065-2067 Power Armor research grows and several prototypes are developed, many of which prove to be unworkable in the field. These prototypes pave the way for future advances in military, construction, and fusion technology.
    2066 Summer Adding further insult to the Chinese-American relations, the first crude fusion cell is unveiled, one of the results of the Power Armor project. Devices designed for the fusion cell begin to be manufactured. Incorporating fusion power into the general US infrastructure begins, but the process is too slow to supply power to the regions that need it. Nearly eleven years later, few sections of the United States were supplied with fusion power.
    2067 The first suit of Power Armor is deployed in Alaska. While lacking the full mobility of future versions, this Power Armor is incredibly effective against Chinese tanks and infantry. Its ability to carry heavy ordinance becomes key in various localized conflicts, and it has the power to destroy entire towns without endangering the wearer. China rushes to create its own versions, but they are many years behind the United States."
    2074 Contrary to their claims of seeking only to retake Alaska from the Reds, American Power Armor units, infantry, and mechanized divisions are deployed to China, but they become bogged down on the mainland, putting a further drain on American resources and supply lines.
    2076 June Power Armor prototype completed, resulting in the Power Armor players find in Fallout 1. This is the pinnacle of Power Armor technology before the Great War. Many of these units are sent to China, and they begin to carve a swath through the Chinese forces. The Chinese resources are strained to the breaking point, and the supply lines from the nations China has annexed begin to break down.
    2077 January 22 The first domestic use of Power Armor within the United States for crowd and quarantine control. Units originally serving in China and the Anchorage Front Line find themselves fighting Americans at home. Food riots increase, and many civilians are killed. Several soldiers defect from the military both in Canada and the United States. They are captured, and are sent to military prisons.
    2198 Enclave works on various new technologies, including Power Armor variations. None of these are much of an improvement over the conventional old school Power Armor, and some are actually worse.
    2215 Under Presidential Order, Enclave scientists begin to work on an upgraded version of Power Armor. Many prototypes are developed and tested.
    2220 October Enclave scientists develop a reliable version of the Mark II Power Armor. The prototype results (and accidents... and explosions... and deaths) are classified by order of the President Richardson for the sake of morale." Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "FOB0" defined multiple times with different content
  5. The Courier: "What's a pulse gun?"
    Veronica Santangelo: "Electromagnetic weapon from before the Great War. Experimental. It never saw mass production. But they were building it as a countermeasure to power armor, which they feared the Chinese were developing. Supposedly a prototype was being housed at Nellis. Imagine what it could do to the Brotherhood. We'd be on equal footing with any idiot with a gun."
    (Veronica Santangelo's dialogue)
  6. The Vault Dweller: "{207}{}{Base Information}"
    ZAX 1.2: "{211}{}{West Tech Research Facility: Founded in 2002 as a private contractor for the United States government, the company initially consisted of two divisions--the Advanced Weapons Research and the Biomedical Sciences divisions.}
    {241}{}{ In 2069, West Tech was the single largest contractor for the United States government; its largest contract being Powered Infantry Armor Model T-51b. }
    {242}{}{In light of significant advances in 2076 by the NBC on the Pan-Immunity Virion Project, the United States Defense Department, in fear of international espionage,}
    {243}{}{ moved a team onto the site to secure and oversee the project, now dubbed the FEV (Forced Evolutionary Virus) project.}"
  7. Medic power armor manual
  8. Fort Strong terminals; General Brock's Terminal, General Brock's Report - September 2075
  9. Fort Strong terminals; General Brock's Terminal, General Brock's Report - June 2076
  10. Fallout 4 loading screen hints: "The T-51 series of Power Armor was the pinnacle of mechanized protection before the Great War. First introduced in the Battle of Anchorage, it is highly valued today for its increased protective capabilities."
  11. 11.0 11.1 Fallout 3 Official Game Guide Game of the Year Edition p.43: "Chinese Army (Simulated)
    U.S. Army (Simulated)
    With conditions deteriorating between the United States and China, a military presence in Alaska was established to prevent a possible invasion across the Bering Strait. With increasingly scarce oil reserves, a last deep-sea deposit below the Pacific Ocean was claimed by China before allegedly being sabotaged by American special operatives. Strained relationships spiraled downward into conflict as China marched on Alaska, and the Sino-American War of 2066—2077 erupted. Under the command of General Jingwei, the Chinese Army usurped control of Alaska's oil pipeline and reserves. In response, the Americans began what came to be called "The Alaskan Reclamation Operation" (2067—2077).
    Under the leadership of General Constantine Chase, the U.S. Army battled fiercely to the front lines of the conflict before Chase began deploying specialized Power Armor units that began pushing the Chinese back. Future Power Armor suits were further refined as the conflict dragged on, and the Trans-Alaska Pipeline was reclaimed. With resources flowing through Canada, strained diplomatic tensions between Canada and the United States becoming problematic, and Canadian forces attacking the pipeline, the country was annexed.
    A combination of inclement weather, constant American bombardment and trench warfare, and U.S. Powered Armor unit attacks sweeping through mainline China, the Chinese supply lines weakened and finally broke down completely. By the beginning of 2077, the city of Anchorage was finally liberated, the Chinese eradicated, and the operation deemed a success. A commemorative memorial was erected in Washington, D.C., in honor of the soldiers who fought and perished for the greater American good. Violence between America and pockets of Canadian freedom fighters continued throughout 2077, until the Great War obliterated almost all infrastructure, commerce, and human life."
    (Fallout 3 Official Game Guide faction profiles)
  12. Fallout 4 loading screen hints: "The T-60 series of Power Armor saw extensive use by the United States Army after the Battle of Anchorage. In fact, soldiers in T-60 Power Armor were among those trying to retain order on October 23, 2077 - the day America fell to atomic war..."
  13. The Art of Fallout 4 p.13: "Our primary goal with the power armor was to make it feel less like a suit that you'd wear and more like a vehicle you'd operate. this design began as a reimagining of the T-45d, but it was different enough that we dubbed it the T-60. This way we could bring the T-45 back as its own variant. Although the look was settled on early, some details and proportions were revisited when we adapted the power armor to work as a modular system of plates that attached to a standardized endoframe. In this early version, the arms and legs needed more bulk to make room for the operator and the frame."
  14. Fallout 4 loading screen hints: "The X-01 series of Power Armor was specially engineered and employed by remnants of the U.S. military after the Great War, and offers increased protection over the older, pre-war models."
  15. X-01 Mk I power armor description: "They guys who protected the President wore this. It's THAT good."
  16. Hellfire power armor
  17. Whitley: "All due respect sir, I think you're making a mistake. We're close to a breakthrough with the Duraframe Eyebots, I can feel it! Yes, sir. Yes sir, I understand that we need the Duraframe assets for Hellfire armor, but-No, sir. Yes, sir. I understand, sir. I'll tell the team to start disassembling the ED series prototypes right away. ED-E, you little rascal. Were you eavesdropping again? I think those videos you watch are a bad influence on you. How much of that did you hear?"
    ED-E: "<Sad beeping>"
    Whitley: "Hmm... didn't Dr. Grant say she'd upgraded your navigational systems? I think I have an idea.... How'd you like to be just like RALPHIE?"
    (Whitley's dialogue)
  18. Armor appearance in the games.
  19. The Vault Dweller: "{207}{}{Base Information}"
    ZAX 1.2: "{211}{}{West Tech Research Facility: Founded in 2002 as a private contractor for the United States government, the company initially consisted of two divisions--the Advanced Weapons Research and the Biomedical Sciences divisions.}
    {241}{}{ In 2069, West Tech was the single largest contractor for the United States government; its largest contract being Powered Infantry Armor Model T-51b. }
    {242}{}{In light of significant advances in 2076 by the NBC on the Pan-Immunity Virion Project, the United States Defense Department, in fear of international espionage,}
    {243}{}{ moved a team onto the site to secure and oversee the project, now dubbed the FEV (Forced Evolutionary Virus) project.}"
  20. The Vault Dweller: "{218}{}{Power Armor. Status: Complete}"
    ZAX 1.2: "{231}{}{Power Armor Specs: The T-51b Powered Infantry Armor is designed with the latest passive defense features for both civilian and military disturbances. }
    {250}{}{The back-mounted TX-28 MircoFusion Pack generates 60,000 Watts to power the HiFlo hydraulic systems built into the frame of the suit. }
    {251}{}{Made of the latest poly-laminate composite, the T-51b shell is lightweight and capable of absorbing over 2500 Joules of kinetic impact. }
    {252}{}{The 10 micron silver ablative coating can reflect laser and radiation emissions without damage to the composite subsurface.}"
  21. 21.0 21.1 Fallout 2 Official Strategies & Secrets p.66-67: "Power Armor is the latest development in personal body armor. This armor must be custom fitted to the user and is so heavy that it requires internal micro-motors to allow movement. Hardening is a process that increases the protection of normal Power Armor. Advanced Power Armor is a completely new, postwar design of this Cadillac of the personal protection world (tail fins optional)."
  22. Ancient Brotherhood disk: "The fact that I can smell Soto's burning flesh where his arm was taken off means that my power armor is no longer air tight, so I'm sucking up a lot more rads than I had planned on. I'm leaking hydraulics at an alarming rate. We need to get far enough away from this place before my armor dies."
  23. The Courier: "You're saying that you killed a Brotherhood of Steel Paladin?"
    Ricky: "What's it sound like I'm saying? If I was saying what you said I was saying, then yeah, I said it!"
    The Courier: "Please go on. This promises to be entertaining."
    Ricky: "I was walking along, minding my own, and up pops one of them Brotherhoods. He yells "Hand over that laser rifle, asshole!" So I hand it over, just to make him think I'm scared! But really I'm not! I never am! Before he knows what hit him, I draw my 11mm machinegun and BAM! BAM! Right through the eyeslit in his helmet! D.O.A.!"
    The Courier: "What a load of crap. The eyeslits of T-series power armor are bullet-proof!"
    Ricky: "Then I guess this dumb fucker's armor musta been... D-series or something! All I know is, he died up real dead when I killed him, okay?"
    (Ricky's dialogue)
  24. The Vault Dweller: "{137}{}{It looks like it would be cumbersome to wear.}"
    Darrel: "{147}{}{Cumbersome? Not in the least. The sacred armor is so finely constructed to such exacting specifications that it feels like an extension of the blessed one's own body. It increases one's strength many times over and helps you resist the effects of radiation so that you may more effectively serve the brotherhood. I would feel diminished without my holy armor.}"
  25. Paladin: "{103}{}{Did you know you could survive for weeks without water in a suit of powered armor?}"
  26. Constantine Chase: "What are we looking at for losses if we pull this off?"
    Thomas Morgan: "I'd say about 20 percent, sir. But that number significantly decreases if we can get the tin cans in there."
    Constantine Chase: "Good, good. Keep monitoring the battlefield and let me know when we've punched through the Pulse Field."
  27. 27.0 27.1 Constantine Chase: "How's our boys in the suits doing?"
    Thomas Morgan: "The T-51b units are at 95 percent readiness level. We've had a bit of trouble adapting them to the cold."
    Constantine Chase: "Well, tell those men they need to be ready. As soon as the Pulse Field is down, we need them cocked, locked and ready to rock."
  28. Appearances in the series.
  29. Armor appearance.
  30. Tim Cain GDC talk at 10:42