|This article, M4A2 Body Armour, was written by Ajax 013. Please do not edit this fiction without the writer's permission.|
The M4A2 Body Armour is the standard body armour for UNSC frontline and support personnel. A direct descendent of the M52 body armour used during the Insurrection and Great War. The armour is a mixture of light weight composite plating and non-newtonian layers that provides agility, comfort and protection for the user. While it uses existing UNSC CTC, HUD and protection technology, it makes use of a light weight shield generator to give the user protection from enemy fire for a limited time.
The primary component of the armour is the plate carrier vest, an all encompassing armour designed to protect the torso of the user. This consists of a fabric vest, designed to carry defensive plate inserts. The outer vest in manufactured from a high strength fibre, descended from Aramid. Lightweight and extremely flexible, this material is resistant to abrasion, resistant to heat, non-flammable and provides limited protection against glancing blows and shrapnel. It carries several dozen modular webbing grids for mounting exterior equipment, such as extra armour, or pouches. It has a number of these on the front, rear and side facing panels. The vest carries a number of internal pouches, allowing it to mount internal ceramic plating, intended to stop munitions. It carries two plates on the front, one covering the chest and one covering the stomach, two plates on the back, one covering the upper back and one covering the lower back, and a plate covering each side of the vest. Further more, the chest straps connecting the front and rear, and providing the load bearing capacity have their own plate inserts, consisting of three plates each, while the collar protecting the neck is made up of three shaped ceramic inserts. The twin plates on the front and rear, neck and shoulders are connected by a semi-flexible layer of titanium alluminde triplex weave, which is light-weight and resistant to limited amounts of fire, allowing the plating to become semi-articulated with compromising full-spectrum protection. The plates themselves consist of titanium alluminide on the the surface, acting as a structural support, giving limited ballistic resistant properties and acting as a ablative defence against energy weapons, (in that upon being damaged or destroyed by energy weapons, it starts to immediately reduce the effect of LASER and plasma weapons by causing the energy weapon to prematurely detonate or act like a rudimentary smoke screen, vaporising at great cost) underneath that is a core of consisting of a layer of AEGIS composite ceramic, bonded to a shock absorbing layer of non-newtonian fluid. The AEGIS is an incredibly tough ceramic material, developed from Forerunner materials, that acts as the primary defence of the armour, acting as an ablative defence against energy weapons and as a projectile defence, shattering or stopping solid projectiles on contact, even tungsten carbide munitions, and absorbing the impact into the non-newtonian layer that protects the user by absorbing the energy across a small area, and dispersing it safely. The internal layer is 1cm of Kevlar diamond weave which provides a last ditch protection and padding for the user, catching spalling and fragmentation from the above layers. These plates are easily replaced, and extremely lightweight, providing high-profile protection and multiple hit capability against high calibre munitions. It is secured around the waist by an adjustable belt, which can also carry additional equipment. The armour is fitted with a low profile hydrogen battery, capable of powering the armour's energy shielding and ancillary functions. This is nestled against the upper back, underneath the plating, for additional protection. It also has the necessary amount of shield emitters to project shielding across the chest. The armour also includes two fast release pulls, hidden between the shoulder guards and chest plate, which when pulled allow the armour to be quickly stripped. This is usually used to treat injuries or strip the armour in the event of fire or deep water immersion. Thanks to the design of the armour, it is naturally stealth, which is backed up by infra-red absorbing paints, giving it limited invisibility against infra-red, motion and RADAR systems.
The M4A2 has five modular helmet systems that can be used in conjunction with it, which provide the 'central nervous system' of any soldier and possess the majority of the communication and combat systems of the armour. All helmets share electronic CTC and HUD systems, as well as shield emitter systems. Each of these can be worn over balaclavas and face masks with ease.
The Heavy Duty Combat Helmet (HDCH) is a reinforced helmet used by the UNSC Army, as well as UNSC Marines operating exposed vehicle turrets. It features a large, rounded helmet, with a heavily sloped forward aspect, designed to deflect munitions and provide a thick, glacis plate. Unlike other contemporary helmet designs, it features two large cheek guards, protecting against munitions and fragmentation to the face. The helmet is secured by a armoured chin strap. It features the capability to be fitted with ballistic eye wear, usually in the form of orange or green lenses, though clear and sunglasses are available, and are protective against small fragments and glancing blows. It can also be fitted with a full face shield and an advance ballistic shield, protecting the face and providing a number of mciro-cameras for near-perfect vision. The helmet is made of a core of AEGIS tile inserts backed onto shock absorbing non-newtonian and diamond weave kevlar for catching spalling. This is all contained in a titanium alluminide shell. It carries a standardised accessory mount at the front, usually reserved for sensors and night vision devices, and mounting points on each side of the helmet for mounting sensors, lamps and enhanced communications gear. The helmet is engineered to provide a minimum reduction in sight, fitting well from any position, including why lying in the prone position. It can also be fitted with nape protection, which consists of an armoured plate attached to the collar, protecting from the head to the back.
The Modular Lightweight Helmet (MLH) is a helmet issued to the UNSC Marines, and UNSC Army Airborne units. Lighter in design than the HDCH, it has many similar features, though lacks the hardened cheek guards. This makes it significantly lighter than the more common HDCH and grants a lower profile. It also has a number of modular features, including the standardised forward accessory mount and left/right accessory points, but also includes the ability to fit up-armoured plating as necessary and a 'snap fit' environmental mask that can be fitted securely in less than 15 seconds, which combined with the MLH's own CBRN systems, can protect a marine from environmental hazards, and with necessary supporting gear, survive more hazardous environments and dangerous radiological, biological or chemical weapons. It can also be fitted with standardised ballistic eye wear and nape protection.
The Special Integrated Systems Helmet (SISH) is a specialised helmet, issued to UNSC Special Forces Command. Lighter than HDCH, it has a smaller profile, with reduced brim and collar, but maintains the majority of the protection, including the presence of cheek guards, though these are reduced in size. Its reduced profile and moderate protection make it the preferred helmet for close quarters operations by special forces. It also features the ability to equip forward and side mount points for accessories and modular fittings for environmental gear, ballistic eye wear and nape protection.
The Sealed Environmental Helmet is a specialised helmet designed for long term operations in deep space. This is part of the M37 Pressure Suit and is fully compatible with existing systems.
The Advanced Combat Engagement System is a variant of the MLH, utilised by Navy, Marine, Army and Air Force aviators on dropships and gunships. The helmet is environmentally sealed with an enhanced electronic package to integrate with and operate the avionics on these vehicles.
The armour has integrated graves and bracers for increased protection, each of these carrying their own shielding emitters. The bracers are made of diamond weave kevlar wrapped in the same material as the vest, with its own webbing system and an integrated elbow pad. The greaves are titanium alluminide plated armour with limited AEGIS tile inserts. These have linked knee guards and integrated boot covers, protecting the feet of the operators against limited fragmentation.
The armour can also be fitted with a wide range of armour modifications, allowing it to be modified for a variety of purposes.
The most basic additional armour is the kevlar cover. A simple, light weight diamond kevlar sheet, this is worn over the chest and is designed to stop low calibre rounds and fragmentation. Rarely worn alone, it is instead used to support heavier armour, which often lacks it own kevlar layer for catching spalling.
The most popular armour layer seen is the Integrated Plate System. This consists of a heavy duty armour plate for the chest and back. This consists of a titanium alluminide shell, AEGIS tile inserts and non-newtonian backing plates. Considered normal equipment for high-intensity conflict, urban conflicts and frontline engagements, the IPS is a heavy duty defence system, capable of warding off high strength munitions. It includes a gorget and articulated lower chest plate for protecting the stomach.
The alternative to the IPS is the Lightweight Combat Armour, which is often used to support infantry deployed to mid-intensity conflicts, or engaged against enemies in open environments. It consists of a light breastplate of AEGIS tiles incased in ttianium-alluminide, over a a secondary plate, creating spaced armour. Lighter than the IPS, it is rarely deployed in high-intensity conflicts for its lack of full spectrum protection.
The UNSC Marine Corps and Army also use a large line of differing pauldrons, providing differing levels of protection. Soldiers can also eschew pauldron protection for increased agility.
The most common for the Army is the CB-3 'Slab'. This is a large glacis plate of titanium alluminide and AEGIS, with a non-newtonian layer for absorbing shock and a spall liner. This heavy duty plate can take several high calibre munitions before failing. As said, it is used most often by the Army for high intensity conflict, but is also used by the UNSC Marines for dangerous operations and operating vehicles, usually deploying it in a 'asymmetric' pattern of one heavy shoulder and one using a lighter plate.
The UA-III is a commonly used plate for short term operations in urban areas. While note as heavy as the Slab, the UA-III consists of a curved plate protecting the shoulder to upper arm, then another plate over the top, protecting a wide area, though reduces mobility. The UA-IIIa is a modified variant, with reduced profile, vastly increasing mobility but no longer protecting the shoulder.
The CB-201 'Crab' is a alternate plate designed for high mobility operations, usually for vehicle crew and weapon operators. Attached directly to the shoulder mounting point rather than the pauldron mounting point, it consists of two articulated plates that overlap, protecting the shoulder joint without harming mobility.
The CB-1Z is a lightweight plate and heavily utilised. Simple and effective, it rests snug against the shoulder guard of the vest and protects the upper arm, mixing mobility and protection.
The last model is the UA-XI. Commonly seen as a symbol of officers, it is a set of ceramic tiles set inside a fabric cover, made of the same material as the vest. It is roughly in a moulded L shape, conforming to the shape of the user's collar and shoulder. This is mounted directly on the shoulder, protecting their neck and shoulder. This can be used in conjunction with other variants. The UA-XIa is a slightly larger version.
The wrists can be accented with either the Mk. IIIA or IVC armour, the former being a light ceramic plate, the later being more heavy duty and intended for high intensity conflicts.
The thighs are usually fitted with a UA-XXI Glacis Plate or TB-5 NERA. The UAXXI GP is a angular plate, protecting the front and side aspects of the leg. Fitted with heavy duty plating, it can resist and deflect munitions. It can also carry equipment. The TB-5 Non-explosive Reactive Armour is a heavy plate that protects the side, taking out high calibre munitions that penetrate the upper armour by releasing a high power discharge, vaporising them, though is compromised after this.
The M4A2 Body Armour uses the MACEDON Mark XVI Electromagnetic Shielding System with 2000 volt range with low intensity emitters and masking systems, obscuring its energy signature from a variety of spectrums. The Shield is powered by a on-board high power hydrogen power pack, possessing enough fuel to keep it going for several days unsupported and can be simply refilled with fresh hydrogen fuel cell. The pack can be replaced easily, and even used as a external power source, allowing a Marine to swap his combat systems for a powerful independent power pack, allowing him to power a small building, or recharge several battery backs.
The helmet, collar guards, shoulder pads, knee pads, elbow pads and boot covers are all made from the same composite armour, with a covering of Nanotech Polymers to allow it to change the camouflage pattern. By sending a brief, coded, electrical current through the polymer, a current too weak to feel, it can cause individual cells to change colour. By directing a seires of coded messages it can create a almost random computer generated camo pattern for a variety of enviroments.
The helmet is the 'central nervous system' of any soldier, interacting with their neural interface to provide 'whole' combat situation. It not only holds the CTC, IFF and their motion detector system but also carries their communication gear, with an extending boom mike installed. The helmet comes with the ability to add receding eye pieces, including orange ballistic goggles, phased sunglasses and singular eye pieces. This displays their HUD systems and displays any camera feeds installed. The helmet also patches them into the UNSC War Net, allowing them to easily designate targets, pick up objectives and target enemies engaged by comrades or UAVs.
Command Targeting and Communication Systems
Behind the honed body and mind of any UNSC serviceman lies the CTC systems of his armour. The CTC is directly linked to microscopic cameras and sensors on the soldiers armour and carefully controls and regulates the Marine systems. The CTC's primary function is to observe the combat environment then input the information observed through external cameras and motion detectors and passive radio systems to co-ordinate fire upon enemy targets. The CTC connects to the HUD and marks enemy targets and friendly units with a simple red or green geometric shape, a diamond for infantry, square for heavy armoured vehicles, triangle for light armour, circle for gunships and dropships, a pentagon for fighters, interceptors and bombers and hexagons for capital ships. Objectives are priorly marked in the WarNet with yellow markers. The CTC manages the influx of combat information, filtering communications and enemy jamming, exerting emissions control over the radio and motion detector and managing incoming and outgoing information, including biometric response, external heat and weather.
The external heat is carefully monitored by the CTC to ensure that the armour is adequately cooled to ensure that it does not heat up or cool down too much and become a target for infra-red and thermal systems and to ensure internally the user is adequately cooled or heated to ensure the user is comfortable.
The Biometric Surveying system works by a number of microscopic sensors in the armour plating linked to the Neural Interface. By monitoring pain reception in the brain, pressure, blood loss, blood pressure and damage to the armour, it can monitor where and how the the user has been hit and if need be, if he was wounded or even killed. This system is relayed to the user's HUD and to the HUDs of the Marines in his company.
The last element of the CTC is the dual communication system. Using a on board deployable boom microphone, which can filter out the majority of external noise and take 100% of user voice commands accurately and preform radio communication up to six kilometres with the short range and orbital communications with the ultra agile metamaterial antennae, though only those in low orbit directly above. It is very resistant to jamming and encryption protects it from interception and decryption.
Identify, Friend-Foe Systems
The Identify Friend-Foe system enables Marines to identify each other, even in total darkness, during electromagnetic jamming and during electromagnetic pulse attacks or interference. Upon a coded radio interrogation of the Marine, it sends out a return narrowbeam in the direction of the interrogating radio. This IFF is shown on the War Net, displaying the soldier's name, rank and unit, though more info can be displayed as requested. Since it requires the self modulating two hundred thousand digit code, it is near impossible to gain the IFF otherwise. This prevents the enemy from randomly bombarding the field with signals and potentially getting a IFF response. More rudimentary IFF systems include IR recognition strips in the event of signals blackout.
AC5 and HUD Systems
A holographic HUD projected by a AC5 Heads Up Display onto the user's visor. This displays weapon interfaces, including cross-hairs and ammo, targets and friendlies, sent from the CTC, marked with red markers and marked with green markers respectively, objectives, marked with grey markers, biometric response from user and team mates, camera links from on-board camera, fibre optic probes, weapon mounted cameras, team mates, UVs and aerial or satellite reconnaissance, geological/meteorological information and mapping and shielding power. Through the AC5 the user can massively increase his situational awareness.
The armour comes with a number of a 'clip on points' for extra equipment, such as pouches for ammo and equipment on the chest piece, attach points for bags, attachment points for M101 Radio Packs, M102 Communication Pack, G-PACKS, G/J-PACKs, parachutes and fire arms. It can be backed up with Battle Equipment Utilities that can be combined with the armour to increase its effectiveness and load bearing nature, with bags, night vision systems, lamps and other similar systems.
Along with this armour, normal combat Battle Dress Utilities (BDUs) can be worn without any discomfort. The BDUs interface with the armour so their camouflage patterns are the same. The armour is also comfortable enough to wear balaclavas and caps underneath or in exchange for helmets (supplemented by HUD supported goggles, ballistic glasses or military issue sunglasses and throat mikes to keep them in communication), scarves, cloaks and ponchos as well, without hindering performance of either the armour or the user.