In the years preceding the arrival of the SDF-1, the Global Civil War pushed weapons development in radical new directions, all manner of tanks, aircraft, and armored vehicles were developed and tested in the fires of the Global Conflict. One of the strangest weapons conceived was the RK-640 Gryphon Airborne Power Armor. While looking like a bizarre cross between an aircraft and a humanoid robot, the RK-640 was a deadly combat machine. A large number of these suits were purchased and armed by the "Lemurian" Pirate group, the power armors were then used in a brazen attack on the australian city of Brisbane in 1998. While denying responsibility for the attack, the manufacturer was soon flooded with orders for this deadly new war machine. Not to be outdone, the North American Alliance soon developed and built it's own series of airborne power armors, designed an manufactured by Northernhouse - Weapons Division. The new battlesuit, named the Cestus sported a smaller overall size, modular weapons configuration, and improved maneuverability. The exclusive development and use of the Cestus soon created a mini-arms race to build a better robot. While many new advanced were being made in weapons technology, especially in the area of adaptable combat machinery like the M-220 Variable Combat Tank, the arrival of the Alien SDF-1 and the threat it represented quickly ended the conflict that had created this war machine. While Battlesuits were largely dropped from development, some designers had grown quite attached to the Cestus and diverted additional post-war funds into its further development. The Cestus was largely mothballed in the years preceding the Robotech War, seeing occasional use against high-tech pirates and as a peacekeeping mecha. It would not be until the aftermath of the Zentraedi Orbital Bombardment that the Cestus would again see action.
While production was largely halted in the years following the GCW, the Cestus battlesuit was resurrected for use by many of the under equipped platoons under the the South American Strategic Command (SASTRAC). Approximately 250 Cestus Battlesuits were used by ground troops in and around the Zentraedi Control Zone. Given their limited range, the common tactic was to load a DZ-90 Superbomber, or a VC-27 "Tunny" VTOL with a armored platoon of Cestus Battlesuits. The combat aircraft would be positioned along the ZCZ waiting for any enemy forces. When a Zentraedi incursion was detected, the Battlesuits would be dropped from the plane and either stem the assault by themselves or assist the defending forces on the ground. The most famous use of the Cestus Battlesuits occurred in 2021 in defense of Zeta-17, a small outpost along the Zentraedi Control Zone. A major Zentraedi assault force would have annihilated the small defense force if not for the last minute combat drop of two platoons of Cestus Battlesuits led by then Major Christopher Blair. The Cestus Battlesuits were able to hold back the incoming tide until veritech reinforcements arrived.
The Cestus project was officially terminated in 2023. This enraged many in the military establishment, but the high command promised that the newer Cyclone and M.O.D.A.T designs would be superior in every way. This proved not to be the case as although both designs were superior in armor and firepower, neither could match the mobility of the Cestus. Many of the RDF forces left behind on earth continued to use the remaining power armors long after the project was officially terminated. While it was ineffective against the heavily armed and armored Bioroids, the Cestus did perform well against Invid Mecha - As a result the few remaining Cestus saw considerable action during Third Robotech War. The Cestus battlesuit was especially suited to the hit and run tactics during the Invid occupation. Most of the few remaining Cestus Battlesuits found their way into the hands of resistance groups.
MDC BY LOCATION:
(1) Main Body 100 Right/Left Wings (2) 35 each Legs (2) 50 each Arms (2) 35 each Hands 10 Head 50 32mm Cannon 25
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