T-51 power armor

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This is a lore summary, presenting intradiegetic or in-universe information about the subject. For game characteristics and similar data, consult the table on the right.
Game-specific 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 76T-51 power armor
Fallout: BoSPower armor
Advanced power armor
Van BurenPower armor
 ... 
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Gametitle-FO1.pngGametitle-FO2.pngGametitle-FO3.pngGametitle-FNV.pngGametitle-FO4.pngGametitle-F76.pngGametitle-VB.png

T-51 powered combat infantry armor[1][2] is the most advanced operational 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

After the successful deployment of the T-45 power armor in 2069, West-Tek started development on an improved model of power armor. In 2074, the aging T-45 model 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. A prototype tested in September 2075 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.

These 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. It outperformed the T-45 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. In January 2077, General Constantine Chase completed the Anchorage Reclamation, using troops fielding winterized T-51b power armor as spearhead to minimize causalities. [3][4] 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.[5][6] In addition to the war against the Chinese, units in T-51 were also deployed to quell attacks by Canadian freedom fighters who were resisting the U.S.A.'s annexation of Canada.

However, the U.S.A. found the T-51s was too difficult to produce in enough numbers to fulfill the needs of its various war efforts. To supplement this, the U.S.A. quickly developed and deployed the T-60 power armor. While the T-60 was not as advanced as the T-51, its ease of production allowed it to be produced and deployed more extensively.[7]

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.

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.[8][9][5][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][10] The surface can be treated in a special chemical process to increase its defensive properties substantially.[11] 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.[12] 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.[13] 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.

The T-51's ace in the hole is the hydraulics system integrated into the West Tek power armor frame.[14] 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.[11] A properly fitted armor worn by a well trained operator feels like an extension of one's body.[15] 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.[16] [17]

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.

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.[18]

Ultracite power armor[edit | edit source]

FO76 Ultracite Power Armor.jpg

A post-war, upgraded variant of the T-51 that uses Ultracite in its design. This variant was developed by both the Brotherhood of Steel's Lost Hills and Appalachia chapters. The upgrades pushes the T-51's performance far higher than previous versions.

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]

Fallout 76[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.}"
    (DARL.MSG)
  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. 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."}}
  4. 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."
  5. 5.0 5.1 Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named FOB0
  6. 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)
  7. Fallout 76 loading screens The most advanced suits of Power Armor to see extensive use were the T-60 models. By the time of the Great War, they were a common sight in all U.S. military engagements.
  8. Armor appearance in the games.
  9. 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.}"
    (GPWRTERM.MSG)
  10. 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.}"
    (GPWRTERM.MSG)
  11. 11.0 11.1 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)."
  12. 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."
  13. 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)
  14. 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)
  15. 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.}"
    (DARL.MSG)
  16. Paladin: "{103}{}{Did you know you could survive for weeks without water in a suit of powered armor?}"
    (GENPALAD.MSG)
  17. Appearances in the series.
  18. Armor appearance.
  19. J.E. Sawyer, NMA: "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."
  20. Tim Cain GDC talk at 10:42