Armour
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Armour is a technology who's fate is intrinsically tied to the advancement and evolution of a culture's weapons. It can be likened to a shield in that it is merely a defensive layer around a person or vehicle. In the past, armours were typically designed to mitigate the effects of simple melee weapons and were therefore designed to withstand slashing, piercing or blunt force damage. As a race makes the transition to ranged weapons, the nature of this armour changes, often lagging significantly behind the advancement of weapons technology. In fact, personal armour development tends to slow significantly until the development of metamaterials and powered armour, with the focus shifting to vehicular armour. However, with these key advancements, truly powerful defensive garments can be created.

In the modern galaxy, armour must be designed to defend against a number of potential threats. With the development of energy based weapons, armours must also be able to protect against extreme heat as well as kinetic force. As with the armour of centuries gone by, vehicular armour is typically stronger than personal suits.

Armour Classes

Armour can be divided into general classes based on what it is protecting. The three main classes are personal, vehicular and starship grade armour. While the role of each is functionally the same, the relative stength and requirements for each are variable. Personal armour is by far the weakest and tends to be highly modular, allowing for rapid adaptability. Conversely, starship grade armour is by far the strongest class, but is difficult to modify or adjust once installed.

Personal

Personal armour is extremely variable is quality, function, adaptability, and size. At its most basic level, personal armour may comprise little more than pads or plates of dense, hard, or reflective materials; while at its most advanced it can consist of entire bodysuits or miniature mechs affixed with polycrystalline or metamaterial armour plating powered by an internal generator. Understandbly, these different types of personal armour see use in different situations. Personal armour may consist of light metal coats with a ceramic or cerametal skin, possibly with a coating of laser reflective substances to disperse light beams. Such armour is considered versatile and relatively cheap to give, being easy to mass produce.

Vehicular

Vehicular armour, while a crucial component, could be seen as the last line of defence when under fire. Given that many vehicles are protected by point defence systems, flares and decoys, target jamming, and even shields, a layer of protective solid armour is there to protect the vehicle only if all of those above systems fail. Never the less, armour is an important part of a vehicles defences and, depending on the vehicle, can be almost or completely impervious to even masses small arms fire, and potentially even certain heavy weapons. As a result, typically only other vehicles, or very heavily armed soldiers, possess the necessary fire power to punch through vehicular armour.

Starship

Starship grade armour is almost invariably the strongest armour class around, the only potentially stronger armours would be found on large stationary or orbital structures. Much like vehicular armour, starships are also protected by similar defence systems as well as a layer of armour. However, not only does starship grade armour need to be able to protect against the powerful array of weapons fielded by modern starships, but it must also protect the crew from the harsh environment of space. As a result, starship armour must not simply protect against kinetic force, but also extremes of heat and radiation, all while maintaining structural integrity in the face of relativistic or FTL speeds.