Another Anno Astra mobile suit.
Named after a class of Roman gladiator, the Provocator is one of the less conventional mobile suits in service today. Co-developed by IVECO and OTO Breda, it was not intended for series production, but to serve as a technology demonstrator. Due to political maneuverings within the Latinate Council, the Provocator was instead chosen to be the Latinate's new standard medium MS.
The Provocator featured a number of newly developed or improved systems (for its time). Most evident were its 'Scutica' upper arms and legs, which were capable of extending 50% beyond their original length and bending 90 degrees in any direction. While similar systems existed on other MS, this particular system was supposed to have greater strength and load-bearing capabilities for an given amount of power.
The 'Missaglia' armour was constructed out of special fibres, woven into multiple layers. These fibres were the same as the ones used in the 'Scutica' system; the armour plates were noticeably lighter than most other armour materials of the time. While it normally offered poor protection to kinetic energy attacks, its ballistic resistance dramatically increased when energized, without the penalties of heavy weight. The fibers re-aligned themselves on a molecular level, enhancing their rigidity and tensile strength.
The 'Cestus,' while normally functioning as a regular beam gun/saber, could be 'supercharged,' firing either a short-range scattering-beam shot, or a highly focused, high-intensity beam supposedly capable of penetrating an MS I-field barrier of average strength at ranges under one kilometer.
While not unique to the Provocator, it was also one of the first mobile suits to be equipped with variable-angle leg thrusters.
After the initial production run, it was discovered that the Provocator suffered from the 'wobblies,' instabilities in the upper legs, especially during periods of peak energy usage. Most pilots chose to lock down the flexible leg sections, making the feature superfluous. Even with this measure, the Provocator was not a particularly stable weapons platform, as energy was still required to maintain their rigidity. On a similar note, the 'Missaglia' armour was hideously vulnerable to high-intensity laser fire, which, more often than not, cut through the circuitry pathways embedded within the woven layers. This in turn deprived large armour sections of power. While the 'Cestus' weapon worked as advertised, this was at the cost of reduced power to its other systems, degrading their performance even further. It was also not as effective against later mobile suits with greater generator outputs (or pilots who chose to shunt more power into their mobile suits' I-field barriers, for that matter). In an effort to rectify this, the following production run had the upper leg sections replaced with a more conventional, rigid design. An appliqué armour kit consisting of cermet plates was issued to all units and a charging limiter/power governor was installed in the majority of 'Cestus' weapons. Finally, generators with greater output were introduced in the most recent production runs, along with heavier, more conventional 'Visconti' multi-layer armour above a thinner 'Missaglia' layer.