|This article, E3A Mobile Assault Exoskeleton, was written by Actene. Please do not edit this fiction without the writer's permission.|
|This article, E3A Mobile Assault Exoskeleton, is currently under active construction.|
- "My whole platoon laughed our asses off when we saw the Lions for the first time in the Mamore theatre. We figured those ugly bullet magnets would be shot to hell before their first patrol was even over. Well, sure enough the Innies hit one of 'em with a rocket launcher while we were clearing out an enemy bunker. We thought both the pilot and the machine were toast, but the thing just shrugged off the hit like it hadn't even been hit and lit up the enemy position with its 25 mm. Needless to say we didn't laugh at the Lions after that."
- ―First Lieutenant Vince Calley
The E3A Mobile Assault Exoskeleton was a large suit of powered armor that was utilized by both the United Nations Space Command Marine and Army branches shortly after the end of the Great War. With a design modeled after the defunct Cyclops powered armor, the E3A suit, popularly known as the "Lion", was meant to support both infantry and armored units on the battlefield. With both durable armor and superior mobility, the Lion could use heavy firepower and high maneuverability to suppress and outflank enemy forces in the field. In spite of professional concerns regarding the viability of large exoskeletons (or "mechs", as some dubbed them) on the front lines, the first Lion models performed well against Insurrectionist and Covenant Remnant forces and the Lions--which proved far cheaper to produce than previous exoskeletons--soon became a staple of the UNSC's vehicular arsenal.
Powered Armor Research
The military application of powered armor has been a matter of great contention amongst military strategists and experts ever since their development became technologically viable during the 21st century. Most experts scoffed at the idea that powered exoskeletons could be used to tip the balance of power in ground engagements, citing the high availability of both short and extreme ranged weaponry that could serve as effective countermeasures to such devices. The idea that mechanized exoskeletons could be utilized in modern combat was further debunked by such conflicts as the Jovian Moons Campaign, the Rain Forest Wars, and the Interplanetary War. These conflicts, fought between modern human armies using the latest in military technologies, featured large scale planetary engagements as well as bloody orbital battles. The predominance of traditional infantry, armored, and artillery units in these engagements cemented in the minds of weapons developers the idea that any powered exoskeletons were best kept on a small, man-sized scale. Continuing advances in the current styles of weaponry saw to it that research into powered exoskeleton studies was marginalized and focused more into civilian areas of interest rather than military ones.
The dawn of the 26th century saw a resurgence in military interest in powered exoskeletons. Inspired by the development of more sophisticated power supplies and by the growing use of primitive exoskeletons in the civilian fields of manuel labor, the UNSC Navy began its renewed foray into exoskeleton development by launching Project MJOLNIR. The initial test results for the powered armor looked promising: MJOLNIR's first incarnation, the Mark I Prototype Exoskeleton, was capable of boosting a user's strength enormously while also providing heavy protection for the users themselves. However, a key element that would nearly lead to the entire project's undoing was the matter of power sources. Current human technology simply could not allow for portable power generators that could allow the exoskeletons to remain effective while also retaining their mobility.
Development of the Lions
Acquisition by Insurrectionist and Criminal Elements
- "They carry autocannons around like assault rifles. F------ autocannons. Those things'll mess up just about anything any day of the week."
- ―UNSC Marine
- "Keep the legs covered. That was the first thing they told us when we started training. Make sure you've got another pilot or an infantry squad covering your suit's legs, or you're going down in a heartbeat."
- ―UNSC Lion Pilot