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The MJOLNIR Powered Assault Armor is a highly advanced and technologically superior powered exoskeleton armor system designed to vastly improve many attributes such as strength, agility, speed, durability and reflexes of the United Nations Space Command's chemically, genetically and cybernetically augmented human personnel (known in laymen's terms as "SPARTANs"). It was widely considered the most successful - and expensive - powered armor series developed in human history, especially the late Mark V and Mark VI (by adding the feature of a fully functional rechargable energy shield).
Mark I Prototype Exoskeleton
The Mark I was initiated in 2512, and took 10 years to develop, reaching completion in 2522. It didn't serve its purpose, however, as it needed to be tethered to a fusion generator due to the amount of energy required to make it function, limiting its operational range. It was also bulky and unwieldy. For these reasons, it was turned down for military use, though its strength-enhancing properties made it ideal for a heavy lifter role. Thus, the roughly forty prototypes ended up in docking bays with heavy cargo or in Reach's titanium mines.
Mark II Prototype Exoskeleton
The Mark II continued where Mark I left off, and managed to produce a slimmer profile for the first prototype just seven months into development, giving the wearer of the suit considerably improved mobility. However, it was impractical as it still required a connection to a fusion generator to function. As such, it was also turned down for military use and the prototypes ended up in similar environments as their predecessors, usually in cargo bays.
Mark III Prototype Exoskeleton
The Mark III managed to outdo the Mark II by successfully incorporating a wireless power transmitter, substantially improving range and mobility. Unfortunately, it still needed to within range of an immobile and bulky generator, making it highly impractical for battlefield deployment. In addition, possible destruction of the generator would render the wearer trapped in his/her own suit (a similar weakness to Orbital Defense Platforms). The concept was abandoned after development of the first three prototypes, and led to the drastic overhaul of Project MJOLNIR by Dr. Halsey for the Mark IV.
The Mark IV MJOLNIR was the first successful powered armor system in the series, incorporating almost countless improvements and upgrades from the failed prototype exoskeletons. It was fielded on November 27th, 2525, proving its efficiency to the UNSC. Ever since, it was the trademark armor for the SPARTAN-IIs until the Mark V finished production in 2551. It also featured numerous variants, from specialization-based or mission-specific customizations to full spinoff projects incorporating new features or "patches" to the system.
Mark IV MJOLNIR Powered Assault Armor/AHP Variant
The Mark IV/Advanced Hardware Prototype was essentially a standard Mark IV suit used as a test bed for new innovative features developed over time. Many pieces of experimental equipment, such as Vision Enhancement, Active Camouflage, Rechargable Energy Shields etc. would be tested on this prototype, to varying degrees of success.
Mark IV MJOLNIR Powered Assault Armor/V Variant
The Mark IV MJOLNIR/Extra-Vehicular Activity variant was created to maximize the efficiency of spartans in vacuum environments and improving mobility in zero-gravity. It also features a larger visor to maximize vision, as well as systems to properly and efficiently interact with T-Packs.
Mark IV MJOLNIR Powered Assault Armor/G Variant
The Mark IV MJOLNIR/Grenadier variant was an up-armored version of the standard Mark IV, designed for Spartan grenadiers, sporting additional magnetic plates throughout the reinforced armor to maximize the amount of grenades to carry at once.
Mark IV/CW MJOLNIR Powered Assault Armor
The Mark IV/Carnwennan numbered among the Mark IV's spinoff projects to enhance its performance and "patch" faults and weaknesses encountered with the standard suit. In addition to the numerous minor improvements, the CW emphasized on stealth, incorporation special photo-reactive panels identical to those used in the Semi-Powered Infiltration (SPI) Armor system. Though it was overlooked by subsequent projects (most notably VAJRA II), it saw deployment with members of Herald Team, including Jane-B337.
Although several "patched" and imrpoved versions of the Mark IV were made, a truly new suit wasn't made until the Mark V finished production in 2551, after development began in 2542. In addition to introducing a fully functional Rechargable Energy Shielding system, it also incorporated the ability to house an Artificial Intelligence and link its mind with the wearer, providing instant intel in the field - substantially decreasing reaction time for the already fast spartans. In addition, hundreds of minor improvements were made, including cutting the Fusion Pack's size in half (giving enough room for the shield generator). Though it was first and foremost made for the SPARTAN-IIs of the Class I Program, it and its numerous variants also saw use with SPARTAN-IIIs from Noble Team, The Headhunters and select teams of Gamma Company, as well as classified SPARTAN-IIs from Noble Team, The Leonidans and Class II and III SPARTAN-IIs.
Mark V(M) MJOLNIR Powered Assault Armor
The first - if considerably rushed - suit of the Mark V series, the Mark V(M) "Security" (developed by Misriah Armories on Mars), was finished in 2543, only a year after development of Mark V began. As such, it was a rushed piece of work and deemed insufficiently ready for deployment by Dr. Halsey. While most prototypes of the variant was deconstructed for parts, some appear to have disappeared, presumably claimed by elements within the UNSC running Spartan-grade projects with a far lesser sense of perfectionism than Halsey.
Mark V(D) MJOLNIR Powered Assault Armor
- Main article: Mark V(D) MJOLNIR Powered Assault Armor
The Mark V(D) was an advanced prototype spin-off development project running concurrently with Halsey's more mainstream project, developed by Daedal Tech (with aid from top ONI scientists) and finished in 2548, roughly three years before the standard Mark V. Technically, it was a mixing pool of technologies, from Halsey's own Mark V innovations and RKD's Hayabusa Armor system to stealth-enabling technologies in the SPI armor. It's known that the armor saw deployment with Leonidan Operative Laszlo-108, but given ONI's secretive nature regarding its top-secret programs and projects, he may not be the only Spartan-grade soldier equipped with the suit.
Mark V MJOLNIR Powered Assault Armor/CQC Variant
The Mark V/Close-Quarters Combat variant was built in 2548, emphazising on maximizing the wearer's performance in boarding actions and urban operations, though honoring its namesake it also saw overall use with the Spartans' CQC specialists.
Mark V MJOLNIR Powered Assault Armor/HAZOP Variant
The Mark V/Hazardous Operations variant was designed as a mission-specific suit for hazardous environments, such as areas of volcanic activity and poisonous atmosphere. It rarely saw deployment, likely one of the least used suits in the MJOLNIR Project.
Mark V MJOLNIR Powered Assault Armor/EOD Variant
The Mark V/Explosive Ordnance Disposal variant was another mission-specific armor system, designed to maximize protection against explosions to aid in EOD duties. Though largely mission-specific, it was also popular with the Spartans' designated EOD specialists even in non-specific missions.
Mark V MJOLNIR Powered Assault Armor/S Variant
The Mark V/Scout variant was the product of MJOLNIR: Scout, the rival of MJOLNIR: Recon in the development of a MJOLNIR armor system with stealth properties. The Scout used advanced materials in its production to enable this.
Mark V MJOLNIR Powered Assault Armor/R Variant
The Mark V/Recon variant was MJOLNIR: Scout's rival in the development of stealth-capable MJOLNIR suits. While the Scout used advanced materials, the Recon armor achieved stealth by reducing IR signatures and radiation emissions.
Mark V MJOLNIR Powered Assault Armor/OPERATOR Variant
The Mark V/Operator variant was, similarly to the V(D), a secret parallell development project to the Mark V, developed by the Beta-5 Division's Asymmetrical Action Group. Little is known of the variant, though it presumably saw action with spartans affiliated with Beta-5.
Mark V MJOLNIR Powered Assault Armor/AA Variant
The Mark V/Air Assault variant was initially merely a scheduled improvement of the ODST armor, but was later incorporated into Project MJOLNIR, released alongside the rest of the mainstream Mark V iterations in 2551.
Mark V(MP) MJOLNIR Powered Assault Armor
The Mark V(MP) "Military Police" was another variant developed by Beta-5, more specifically its security division, as a shared asset between the UNSC armed forces. Due to Beta-5's secrecy, the extent of the suit's usage is unclear.
Mark V(B) MJOLNIR Powered Assault Armor
Similarly to Mark V(M) and Mark V(D), the Mark V(B) variant was developed by a privatized industry, called upon by the UNSC to develop classified war material due to lack of funding. It was released alongside the mainstream V and was used by members of Noble Team. Whether or not it ended up used by other Spartan-grade units is uncertain.
Mark V(A) MJOLNIR Powered Assault Armor
The Mark V(A) "Rogue" was developed by Traxus Heavy Industries, a major Earth/Reach-based corporation and producer of heavy vehicles for both civilian and military sectors, together with ex-members of RKD who developed the Hayabusa Powered Assault Armor, and using intelligence gathered from mid-development of MJOLNIR: Black. Though a powerful and capable suit, the developers managed to cut its weight by a full third, similar to the Hayabusa, enough to earn it considerable praise from the UNSC Ordnance Committee.
Development on the Mark VI began as the Mark V was finishing up by a top secret parallel development lab in Songnam, United Korea. Using data from existing MJOLNIR versions, the Songnam team managed to push Project MJOLNIR's capabilities further than ever before, improving the already impressive shield systems and adding other features. The initial efforts lead to the creation of MJOLNIR: Black, a skunkworks prototype. Its success in the field, after testing by Team Black, was enough to warrant the official conception of the Mark VI project. The various Mark VI suits were completed in August, 2552, but not approved for use until after the loss of Reach.
Mark VI MJOLNIR Powered Assault Armor/BLACK Variant
The Mark VI/BLACK variant served as the Mark VI generation's test bed, incorporating the most advanced technology at the time to test Project MJOLNIR to its limits. The skunkworks prototypes of the BLACK variant produced were tested and used by Team Black, though its unknown if more prototypes were produced and issued to other spartans or not.
Mark VI MJOLNIR Powered Assault Armor/C Variant
A simple improvement of the Mark V/CQC, the Mark VI/C variant fills the same function, designed to improve close quarters combat performance.
Mark VI MJOLNIR Powered Assault Armor/V Variant
As with the VI/C, the Mark VI/V Variant is merely an upgrade of the previous generation, filling the same function as a vacuum-operations capable suit.
Mark VI MJOLNIR Powered Assault Armor/EOD Variant
Identical to its previous generation equivalent, the Mark VI/EOD aids in explosive ordnance disposal operations by giving protection against explosions.
Mark VI MJOLNIR Powered Assault Armor/S Variant
The Mark VI/Scout, just as its predecessor, serves as a stealth-enabling armor system by using advanced materials in production.
Mark VI MJOLNIR Powered Assault Armor/R Variant
The Mark VI/Recon, near-identical to its predecessor, armor gives the wearer stealth qualities by reducing the IR signature and radiation emission.
Mark VI(A) MJOLNIR Powered Assault Armor
Though the Mark VI(A) "Rogue" was scheduled to become an upgrade of the Mark V Rogue, was cut a while into development due to funding problems. Thus, only the helmet was finished, incorporated to function fully with the standard Mark VI suit, while also providing additional protection at relatively low-weight.