The AP-36 Oni (鬼) Battlesuit is typical of the breed, being somewhere between heavy powered armour and a light support battlewalker. Battlesuits are much more agile, advanced and powerful than HPAs, and have AG field generators and gravitic thrusters to allow for flight. While capable of trans-orbital drops and retrievals, during combat battlesuits tend to stay low to the ground, skimming just a few meters above the ground at high speeds in urban warfare environments.
The Oni is a mercenary-oriented battlesuit built by MEI’s Piloted Combat Robotics division. It is tougher than any HPA on the market, rivaling several smaller support walkers, but was designed with urban warfare and broken-terrain battlefields. MEI designers follow a philosophy of ‘the best defense is to not get hit’, which translates into faster, more agile battlewalkers and powered armour. Often considered to be a big brother to the Akira LPA suit, the Oni is an exceptionally capable CQB and orbital combat operations battlesuit.
The Oni is armed with a good mix of weapon systems. The arms mount an AP lancer and APC each, as well as containing an unusual rearward-facing AP lancer for defense from rear attacks. Mounted in the chest are two SRM launchers containing twelve SRMs each, and on the back above the primary gravitic thrusters are two magazines of LRMs. The LRMs eject out of a top firing port and launch once they are about a meter or so above the Oni.
The pilot sits in the lower half of the Oni, with his legs in the upper thigh-area and his head just under the SRM launchers. An abdomen-mounted auxiliary viewport allows the pilot to see in the event that the sensor hubs on either arm and the “head” are knocked out. Ironically, the primary reactor cores- four cold fusion reactors surrounding the primary antimatter one- sit right above the head of the pilot, behind the SRM magazines. Needless to say, survival for a pilot in an Oni that takes a penetrating shot to the chest is slim, but only slightly less than any other battlesuit. Thus, the phenomenal agility of the suit becomes even more important.
The Oni has seen successful deployment on several campaigns with multiple mercenary firms and militias. Most recently, an elite SpecOps unit from Eastbridge Services armed with Oni battlesuits held off a huge Naradi invasion force that attempted to forcibly annex the Keenan system in Freespace. Despite being outnumbered several hundred to one, the mercenaries managed to hold the colony against Naradi siege for fourty eight hours, protecting the city’s defense shield generators and primary reactors while inflicting thousands of casualties among the aliens before a combined fleet of PMSC and Varangian Guard ships arrived to assist.