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Fallout/Fallout 2Powered armor
Hardened power armor
Fallout 3T-51b power armor
Winterized T-51b power armor
Fallout: New VegasT-51b power armor
Brotherhood T-51b power armor
Fallout 4T-51 power armor
Fallout 76T-51b power armor
Fallout: BoSPower armor
Advanced power armor
Van BurenPower armor

The T-51 power armor series was the pinnacle of mechanized protection before the Great War, providing a valuable balance of protection and mobility.[1][2][3][Non-game 1] Formally designated Powered Infantry Armor Model T-51, it was created by West Tek under contract from the United States government, and represented the company's single largest contract.[4] Following a ten year development cycle, the T-51 finally entered service in June 2076, after final testing at Fort Strong.[5] The newly equipped units proved incredibly effective against People's Liberation Army forces,[Non-game 2] and were instrumental to the success of Battle of Anchorage, commonly thought to be the series' debut on the battlefield.[6][7] In particular, their use minimized casualties sustained by the military in the attack.[8] It remains prized after the Great War for its protective qualities.[6]

It is also the very first type of power armor introduced in the Fallout series, prominently displayed on the cover of the first game, and featuring in virtually every game since.


Following the successful deployment of the first operational power armor in 2067,[Non-game 3] the T-45 power armor model, West-Tek began development on an improved model.[9] By 2069, it was the largest defense contractor of the United States government, with the T-51 series development their largest contract.[4]

The development of T-51b prototypes hastened as the T-45 series underperformed in mainland China after the 2074 invasion.[Non-game 4] Test models were trialed in combat conditions at Fort Strong in Massachusetts from 2075 onwards, providing essential data to finalize the design.[10][11] A prototype tested in September 2075 had the desired mobility and protection but landing tests proved the armor lacked stability.[10] Gyroscopic stabilizers and shock absorbers were subsequently added to rectify the situation.[10] The first production run of T-51b suits was sent to China in June 2076, immediately outperforming the T-45.[12]

Their impact was tremendous, with some Chinese troops eventually surrendering as soon as they spotted soldiers wearing T-51b, carrying 5mm miniguns. The renewed American offensive caused Chinese supply lines to break down.[12][Non-game 2] However, the T-51 demonstrated the full scope of its abilities in January 2077, when General Constantine Chase secured victory in Anchorage Reclamation, thanks to his mechanized troops equipped with winterized T-51b power armor and spearheading the assault. Their deployment significantly reduced casualties once past the Chinese pulse field,[13] despite issues with adapting them to the cold.[14] The operation was considered a full success, reclaiming Alaska for the United States after eleven years of war.[Non-game 5][Non-game 2]

Military units equipped with the T-51 were also deployed to quell resistance fighters in occupied Canada, following the U.S. annexation.[15] Soon, they were also deployed against Americans: On January 22, 2077, the first domestic use of power armor occurred, in order to break protests and enforce quarantine. Veterans of China and Alaska faced themselves fighting their own countrymen, leading to a string of desertions across North America, as food riots escalated.[Non-game 6]

Although recognized as the peak of power armor design and associated with U.S. victory at Anchorage,[1] the T-51 series was not the most advanced power armor model in active military use by the time of the Great War. That distinction belonged to the T-60 power armor series, which was deployed after the Battle of Anchorage and became a common sight in U.S. military engagements before the Great War.[16][17] After the Great War, the T-51 was utilized by various wasteland factions, including the Brotherhood of Steel, mercenaries, and the Enclave.


The T-51 power armor was considered the pinnacle of mechanized protection before the Great War,[1] designed using the latest in passive defense features to create a versatile, adaptable design capable of excelling in multiple combat situations. Its key advantages include greatly increased strength, a high degree of protection, and relatively light weight, giving it excellent speed.[2][Non-game 1] To achieve optimal performance, the armor has to be custom-fitted to each operator. A properly fitted armor worn by a well-trained operator feels like an extension of one's body.[18][Non-game 7]

The base frame uses a back-mounted TX-28 MicroFusion Pack outputting 60 kilowatts of power, powering the HiFlo hydraulic systems providing increased strength to the user. These systems allow the operator to handle miniguns and other crew-served weapons like small arms. The protective armored shell is made from poly-laminate composite capable of absorbing over 2500 joules of kinetic energy, and is covered with a 10 micron ablative silver coating, for protection against lasers and ionizing radiation. The shape is also rounded, improving deflection.[2] The armor's properties can be further increased through a special hardening process.[19] The helmet is highly protective, enclosing the head in an armored shell with a bullet-resistant visor mounted. Although it can be effectively bulletproof against low-powered cartridges,[20] it can still be penetrated by higher powered cartridges.[21]

In terms of utility, the ear ports provide mounting points for accessories, with a drop-down visor available as standard. The head-mounted light provides illumination in low light conditions. The armor can be made airtight, with the resulting seal allowing the operator to operate in contaminated or irradiated areas for extended periods of time.[22] The armor is also fitted with a recycling system, recycling urine into drinkable water, allowing a user to theoretically survive for weeks without water supplies.[23]


T-51b power armor[]

T51 power armor

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.

Winterized T-51b[]

Fo3OA Winterized T-51b
Gameplay article: Fallout 3

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-51b[]

FNV T51b Brotherhood
Gameplay article: Fallout: New Vegas

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.


The Courier states that the T-series' vision slits are bulletproof.[20] Sheena, an Appalachian raider, mentions "a helmet with a bullet hole through the visor" being taken as a trophy after a battle with the Brotherhood First Expeditionary Force.[21] This is not a contradiction: Bulletproof is a misnomer, as bulletproofing makes penetration less likely, not impossible.[Non-game 8]

Behind the scenes[]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Fallout 4 loading screens: "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."
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Power armor specs
  3. The Vault Dweller: "{112}{}{What type of armor is that yourIn-game spelling, punctuation and/or grammar wearing.}"
    Darrel: "{135}{}{This is Powered Combat Infantry Armor model T-51b or more commonly know as Power Armor.}"
    (Darrel's dialogue)
  4. 4.0 4.1 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. }"
    (ZAX 1.2's dialogue)
  5. Fort Strong terminal entries; General Brock's terminal, General Brock's Report - June 2076
  6. 6.0 6.1 Fallout 4 loading screens: "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."
  7. Capitol Post terminal entries; Capital Post Top Stories -- January 11, 2077
  8. 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: "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: "Any word from Washington on my latest request?"
    Thomas Morgan: "Sorry sir, they said the technicians are still dragging their heels a bit on the fusion power plant issues."
    Constantine Chase: "Well you tell them that if they want their viable liberation contingency ready in case Operation: Anchorage fails, they need to get off their asses!"
    (Constantine Chase and Thomas Morgan's dialogue)
  9. Fallout 76 loading screens: "Built by defense contractor West-Tek, the T-45 series of Power armor was the first to be successfully deployed on the battlefield. Its introduction changed the nature of modern warfare."
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 Fort Strong terminal entries; General Brock's terminal, General Brock's Report - September 2075
  11. Fort Strong terminal entries; General Brock's terminal, General Brock's Report - February 2076
  12. 12.0 12.1 Fort Strong terminal entries; General Brock's terminal, General Brock's Report - June 2076
  13. 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."
    (Constantine Chase and Thomas Morgan's dialogue)
  14. 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."
    (Constantine Chase and Thomas Morgan's dialogue)
  15. Fallout intro
  16. Fallout 4 loading screens: "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..."
  17. 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."
  18. 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.}"
    (Darrel's dialogue)
  19. Harden your Power Armor
  20. 20.0 20.1 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)
  21. 21.0 21.1 A Vault Dweller: "Did your Raider friends mention anything else about the fight?"
    Sheena: "They wouldn't shut up about it, so I learned to tune it out pretty quick. But I do remember them passing around a helmet with a bullet hole through its visor. A trophy from the fallen."
    (Sheena's dialogue)
  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 airtight, 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. Paladin: "{103}{}{Did you know you could survive for weeks without water in a suit of powered armor?}"
    (Generic Paladin's dialogue)


  1. 1.0 1.1 Power Armor Adventure Card: T-51 Power Armor
    "The pinnacle of pre-War Power Armor, West Tek's development of the T-51 model helped tip the scales of war in America's favor. It provides a perfect balance of protection and mobility - making it adaptable to most situations."
    (Bethesda UK Twitter)
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Fallout Bible 0 timeline: "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."
  3. Fallout Bible 0 timeline: "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."
  4. Fallout Bible 0 timeline: "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.'"
  5. 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)
  6. Fallout Bible 0 timeline: "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."
  7. Fallout 2 Official Strategies & Secrets p.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)."
  8. "Bulletproofing" on Wikipedia
  9. 9.0 9.1 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."
  10. Tim Cain GDC talk at 10:42