|This article, T41 Assault Armor, was written by Spartan 501. Please do not edit this fiction without the writer's permission.|
The T41 Assault Armor was UNSC standard bodysuit during the years prior to the Great War, commonly used by Special Forces operators and Orbital Drop Shock Troopers.
The T41 suit was developed by Misriah Armories in 2478. The suit started life as a special forces offshoot of standard ballistic armor, but quickly took a life of it’s own. The UNSC requested several specialized and difficult to integrate features, planning to use the suit on their newly updated ODST program, which was in it’s infancy of it’s modern form. Some of the requirements posed by the UNSC were as followed:
- Capable of supporting a self contained atmosphere for at least 7 minutes
- Hardened against high temperatures up to 200 degrees Celsius
- Capable of creating a comfortable internal atmosphere at 100 degrees Celsius
- Hardened against the EMP burst from Nuclear Weapons or EMP specific devices
- Able to withstand the impact of 15 7.62mm MA5 standard projectiles before failing
- Able to withstand high pressure and concussive force from IEDs and grenades commonly employed by rebels
- Able to interface with a squad, platoon, company, or battalion wide network for efficient communication
- Lighter than the current ODST drop suit
Unsurprisingly, it took Misriah several years to create their suit and fulfill all of the UNSC’s requirements, as well as several million cR in research. As the project was under development, the UNSC began putting more and more pressure on Misriah to finish the armor. Brush wars between small sects of outer colony interests were sweeping across human space, a precursor, ONI analysts correctly believed, of larger and more coordinated insurrections. The ODST unit was proving to be highly effective and more were being deployed every month, and the NAVSPECWAR was complaining loudly of the insufficient armor they were using.
Ultimately, the UNSC grew impatient, and threatened to give the armor deal to other companies, should Misriah not deliver within 8 months. Misriah frantically tried to finish development, but ended up falling short on several goals. The UNSC, no longer as worried about the elite requirements as getting the suits in the hands of the troops, decided to use the model as was. The actual suit was able to perform most of it’s prescribed duties, but unfortunately, was not EMP hardened, fell short on the temperature requirements, and was heavier than the suit used by ODSTs, earning it the nickname, “The Slugger” for it’s weight.
UNSC Field Usage
The suit was deployed to the first combat ODST units in 2484, and had 90% of the operating ODST units were using in by mid 2485. Reports from the field and from the mainline personnel were mixed. While the elite soldiers did complement it’s ruggedness against enemy bullets and explosions, they complained of its ability to regulate the temperature inside their pods, the limited oxygen supply, and worst, the weight. Within months of final deployments, the UNSC, slightly disappointed, asked Misriah to update the suit or create an entirely new armor system. When Misriah was unsatisfied with the feasibility of implementing an update, it began work on a second system, which would be introduced later on as the Body Suit used by ODSTs up to the and after 2552.
But even as Misriah worked to scrap it, the armor was actually [b]gaining[/b] popularity with field troops. As they adjusted to the weight and newer, more better regulated HEVs were produced, the ODST units began to appreciate the system for its strengths. The ODSTs were very pleased with the durability--it was able to withstand copious amounts of enemy fire, compared to previous models, and though bulky, provided excellent protection. It maintained a good field record and continued to be popular even as the Insurrection began and then spread. The legacy of the T41 was generated by the scores of loyal ODSTs, and other branches of the service, particularity the other Special Forces operators, were known to wish longingly for similar systems.
Replacement and Future
Unfortunately, as is many times the case, the Command did not fully appreciate the wants of the troops, and several of the more political oriented members did not care anyway. When the ODST bodysuit was finished in 2494, it immediately began replacing T41 units. The love for the suit was also quickly replaced, as ODSTs who had been overlooking the flaws of the system and focusing on the strengths received the new system and recognized the improvements. The surplus suits were put into storage by the UNSC, where they would stay for some time.
Indeed, the T41 remained a largely forgotten design until the late 2530s. When UNSC analyzers went over their budgets, they realized that the maintaining and storing the suits was costing the Navy several million cR per year, and wondered why NAVSPECWAR was still keeping them around. Admiralty wondered too, when they were informed, and arrangements were quickly made to dispose of the suits. However, dips in the financing for the 18th fleet’s new supply of destroyers and carriers convinced the commander of the unit to plead to command to sell the units rather than just destroy them, and the UNSC high leadership allowed this.
The buyers of the suit was initially carefully relegated to keep the units from falling into the hands of rebels or private armies, but with the Covenant threat looming and with more supply than demand, this was eventually what ended up happening. When police and planetary militia groups bought as many T41s as they wanted and there were still many left over, the UNSC decided to sell the T41 Armor systems more liberally. Private mercenary armies were allowed to buy, and the UNSC even sold the devices to rebel groups on outer colonies were they deemed that the presence was of greater advantage than disadvantage--that the rebels would help them more by hindering the Covenant than they would hurt the UNSC with their raids.
When the supply of T41’s was liquidated, the story of the T41 quickly left the organized military behind. Mercenary groups were the primary users and were known to favor the suit up unto the 2590s, well after the great war. Though available readily on the black market, very few rebels or pirates had interest in the suit, as it was regarded as too expensive and over engineered for their tasks by many of them. In fact, the T41 was not well known by the mainstream criminal elements, and had very few events related to it that were notable. Most of the police, militia, and mercenary groups that bought it were wiped out during the Great War, during small planetary engagements and skirmishes.
In fact, the last group recorded using the T41 was a mercenary group known as Death’s Head, who were killed and imprisoned in 2582, after an incident on a uncharted planet. They used the T41 to great effect defending themselves, but were either killed or captured, in the end. After these mercenaries were finished, so too was the T41 finished in combat. The few armor system that remained were put into museums or on display, a remnant of a bygone era in the UNSC’s past.
“I served in the ODSTs back in the old days, fighting Innies, and I remember that my T41 Armor was pretty damn nice, except in the pod.”
“The T41s a heavy mother to lug around, but more than makes up for it in protection.”
“I’ve been hit with bursts of MG fire dead center before in my T41, and survived. Heavy or not, that’s got to count for something.”
“Ever rode in an HEV in the modern bodysuit? You think that’s hot? Try doin it in the fucking T41. 150+ temperatures sometimes. I swear, more of our guys died from heat stroke in their pods than bad landings.”