An Anno Astra demi-suit...
The demi-suit is a development of the mobile suit and the powered suit, bridging the performance gap between the two. Demi-suits are usually considered 'jack-of-all-trades' units, capable of serving and integrating properly with infantry or armoured/mobile suit units. They can handle weapons that are at least partially effective against mobile suits, and are small and light enough to go after powered suits and infantry in all but the most built-up areas. Though they lack any form of protective field, they are mostly immune to infantry small arms, and their size and light weight gives them enough of a concealment and maneuverability advantage to make them difficult targets for MS weaponry in the appropriate terrain.
Currently in use with American Federation forces, the Mastiff is a versatile, cost-effective demi-suit. This late-generation model, manufactured by FMC, is a popular example of a demi-suit which uses a 'saddle'-type operator's compartment. The pilot straddles a special saddle in an erect position, with his legs stretching down into the demi-suit's upper leg sections. While this imposes limits on the waist's range of traverse, it does reduce the space occupied by the operator, which allows for thicker torso armour. The operator's legs fit into an 'active harness' which permits the demi-suit to mimic his leg movements even with neural inductance controls deactivated. The arrangement also makes possible a disposal system for liquid wastes. Many pilots also consider saddle-type accommodations more comfortable than the unavoidably cramped 'bobsled'-type arrangement.
The Mastiff is intended for operations within a gravity field. It lacks maneuvering thrusters, and possesses but three thrusters, one in the backpack and one in each calf. It is primarily used for assisted leaps, jumps and landings. Operations in zero-G would require additional thrusters, propellant and batteries mounted to its hardpoints, as it is powered by an air-breathing high-speed turbine and high-capacity storage batteries.
The Mastiff's head unit possesses a mast-mounted sensor. It is a slim, telescoping cylinder, lying horizontal, that rotates upward and extends to act as a periscope for observation and targeting while the demi-suit remains concealed. Sensors are also mounted on the shoulders and elsewhere to compensate for loss or blockage of the main sensors in the head unit, such as when large, bulky weapons occupy the shoulder hardpoints.
This particular example appears to be equipped for anti-MS work. Its primary weapons are the hypervelocity missile pod and the 25mm hypervelocity coilgun. Both rely on kinetic energy to penetrate armour and are thus pretty useless against soft and area targets. With this payload, a demi-suit has a good chance of inflicting serious damage to a mobile suit at close ranges (and even of knocking out a light MS), especially when organized as an ambush team in close country. For soft targets, it relies on a pair of 6mm 'suppressors,' small-caliber coilguns capable of sustained automatic fire. Held in the hand is a 35mm coil-launcher using multi-purpose ammunition developed and manufactured by Olin. The projectile is a powerful, proximity-fused explosive charge encased by a shell made of Olin's own 'Glacium' memory alloy. Upon detonation, the ogive forms an EFP with sufficient velocity to penetrate light vehicle armour. Each portion of the pre-segmented sleeve reverts to a flechette airfoil shape traveling fast enough to penetrate infantry hardsuits about half of the time within a 5 meter radius. Mounted on the shoulders are active defense arrays in the form of gimbal-mounted directional mines, effective against infantry and incoming missiles. Upon detonation, these mines also produce a dense smoke formulated to block and interfere with major portions of the electromagnetic spectrum. Not shown is the cutter bar wielded by the left hand; this is used for clearing away brush and foliage.
Edit: Inspired in part by Masamune Shirow's Landmates.