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Has there ever been an example of a power armour in Star Trek? We know that some species like the Hirogen are wearing armour and for others, like the Klingon that like close combat, it might be useful. But I can't remember ever having seen a piece of power armour, where a power armour is a armoured and powered exoskeleton, i.e. rendering the weight of the armour insignificant and maybe even make the wearer stronger by supporting him.

And if not, has it ever been stated why they decided against power armour, even for species that wear armour or are warriors (like the Jem'Hadar / Klingons)?

I am aware that factions, like the borg, are using personal shields instead and that Starfleet has shields, see this question. But if some are using armour, why not power armour?

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    What is Power Armour, and can I write it without the italics. – Paul D. Waite Nov 26 '19 at 12:38
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    If we're talking powered exoskeleton, Ensign Pazlar kind of has that for her legs. – Paul D. Waite Nov 26 '19 at 12:42
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    I would interpret "power armour" as an armored powered exoskeleton intended to enhance the combat effectiveness of the wearer by allowing their combat loadout (weapons, armour etc) to be heavier than it would be if they had to carry it with their own strength. – Peter Green Nov 26 '19 at 13:08
  • @PaulD.Waite Changed the italics. In retrospec, I don't know why I did that. And it's not only powered exoskeleton. It would be an armoured power exoskeleton. Famous examples are WH40k Space Marines, Fallout Power Armour – Shade Nov 26 '19 at 13:19
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    Wow, the exemplar that springs to mind is Warhammer, not Starship Troopers!? Just wow. tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/PoweredArmor – DavidW Nov 26 '19 at 13:47
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In many ways, The Borg have armor similar to what you describe. While it may not look like Ironman, or allow them to fly, all Borg units wear mechanical armor that enhances their performance (extra strength), shields them from harm (adaptation), and provides utilities needed to perform a variety of functions (like linking into computer systems, or injecting nano-probes into victims). Even though many aspects of their armor are biomechanically integrated directly into their bodies, the armor does appear to be powered from a source (as we see in First Contact when Picard disables a Borg drone by simply disconnecting a few wires from the back of its head), and intended as an enhancement rather than a replacement for faulty or damaged biological parts. These suits also include life-support to the Drones, as we see again in First Contact when the Borg go into space without any additional equipment that most humanoids would need to survive.

So to sum it all up: The Borg have armor which performs all the functions you listed, they just seem to have found a way to reduce it to not require an exoskeleton.

  • I wouldn't have immediately thought of the Borg in that way, but you make good points. The Borg in TNG hardly looked armored, but from Voyager onward they definitely do start to appear to have armor plates attached to them, at least in some cases. – Xantec Nov 26 '19 at 16:58
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Power Armor does indeed exist in the Star Trek universe, but is rendered obsolete by more advanced technologies such as phasers, disruptors & personal shields.

During the DS9 episode "Business As Usual" (S05E18), Quark uses the holodeck as a showroom for his new weapons business. While demonstrating Breen weaponry to a customer, Quark programs the holodeck to simulate both an armored drone of some sort as well as a hostile alien in power armor - both are instantly vaporized by a single shot from the rifle.

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Klingon and Romulan disruptors have also been shown to instantly vaporize a target, whereas Federation phasers set even on standard can blow most items apart with a single, quick burst.

In short, there is no reason to wear clunky, slow power armor (which also requires constant maintenance) when much lighter weaponry renders it useless.

  • You are forgetting that a suit of powered power armor can carry much more weight than a person without it can carry. And some of this extra weight might be a force field generator much more powerful than a person could carry unaided. Possibly powerful enough to stop hand held weapons blasts and save the wearer's life. In some Star Trek tactical situations power armor might be very useful. And it should be useful exploring an uninhabited planet where there aren't any people with ray guns but might be venomous plants, animals, diseases, etc. since this is an unexplored planet. – M. A. Golding Nov 27 '19 at 17:48
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    Exactly. This is also why European soldiers in our world had ditched most of their Medieval armor in favor of wool uniforms by the 1600's. Musket fire would rip through plate and chain mail like it wasn't there, so ditching it in favor of greater mobility was a no-brainer. – Robert Columbia Jan 9 at 20:13

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