Impact Resistant Armor was originally developed in 3103 by Lyran Commonwealth engineers for use on Solaris VII and other gladitorial combat worlds. The armor consists of a flexible sealant that covers interlocking rings, covered by a thick flexible outer shell similar to tank treads. These rings flex when hit by a 'Mech sized melee weapon, reducing the damage. Despite being effective against physical weapons, the armor's flexibility means it is more likely to fail against armor-piercing ammuntion and in hostile environments.
As long as a location has one point of Impact-Resistant Armor remaining, damage from any physical attack (punches, kicks, charges, etc.), collisions, or falls is reduced by one point for every three points of damage delivered. A punch from a Dragon would inflict four points of damage to a 'Mech protected by Impact-Resistant Armor instead of the normal six points. It has no effect on any other type of damage. When testing for hull breaches in hostile environments, a unit with Impact-Resistant Armor adds a +1 modifier to its roll. The armor is also less effective against armor piercing weapons; any time a test for Critical Hits is made from Armor-Piercing autocannon or mortar ammunition, Tasers of any kind, or Tandem-Charge missiles, the attacker gets +1 on their roll.
It is Advanced Technology when introduced, and is only available to 'Mechs. One ton of armor provides 14 points of protection. It requires six critical slots in a 'Mech. It can be mounted on OmniMechs but may not be pod mounted.
Impact-Resistant Armor is manufactured on the following planets:
Inner Sphere Armor Types
- Field Manual: 3145, p. 242, "Impact-Resistant Armor"
- Field Manual: 3145, p. 243, "Advanced Armor Table"