Project GOLIATH refers to a pre-war program of the United States to develop a practical, cost-effective powered
Goliath test1

The GOLIATH Armor being tested in early 1965.

exoskeleton (Known more commonly as "power armor").


The project was initiated in August, 1964 by president Richard Nixon, and the first prototype was developed in the spring of 1965. The original suits were bulky and uncomfortable, but they would soon get their chance to prove themselves.

In response to pleas from the Southern Vietnamize government, the United States military deployed about 100,000 troops to South Vietnam in March, several of whom would be equipped with the new Goliath Mk I power armor. Many of the soldiers remarked on how the name should be "Bertha" instead of Goliath, as the armor was huge and handicapped in a jungle environment.

The deployment was an outstanding success, as the power armor was not only extremely effective at its intended purposes, but was also reported to strike fear into the hearts of Viet Cong soldiers. Throughout the summer, the Goliath-equipped units simply plowed their way through North Vietnamese strongholds, finally arriving in Hanoi (The north Vietnamese capital city) in November of 1965. The northern government surrendered to the American-backed South, and the war was over.

The Goliath power armor entered mass production, and was the U.S. Army's primary form of powered exoskeletons until it was gradually phased out of service in the 1990s. Although gone, the Goliath was notable as it served as the main inspiration for the more well-known "power armor" of the 2060s.