Kig-Yar point defense gauntlet
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Point defense gauntlets, also known as Jackal shield units, or an energy pavise are arm-held energy shields mainly used by the Kig-Yar serving in the Covenant for protection from enemy fire or close- to mid-range explosions. The point defense gauntlet was developed by the Covenant after they reverse-engineered Forerunner technology. The shields are approximately 1.22 meters (4 ft) in diameter.
The gauntlet is worn on the forearm of the user, the gauntlet creates an "linear energy field" that deflects and absorbs small arms weaponry to an extent; UNSC ballistic weapons and the Type-33 needler simply bounce off the energy barrier, whereas the Covenant's plasma-based weaponry is absorbed by the energy barrier, eventually collapsing it, though the shield is regenerative. Heavier weaponries such as the Covenant's Type-33 fuel rod gun and the UNSC's M41 rocket launcher and M68 Gauss Cannon are considerably effective against the gauntlet's energy barrier. Alternatively, explosions and extreme force from grenades and melee attacks will collapse the energy barrier and likely kill the wearer in the process.
The shield of the point defense gauntlet reflects its current charge by changing color gradually from its original color to a red and then a faint shade of pink before it fades out and deactivates completely.
Several examples of the point defence gauntlet were captured by the UNSC during the early stages of the war. During the First Battle of Harvest in 2525, a pair of Marines assigned to a freighter during the planet's evacuation were able to secure a batch of gauntlets from Kig-yar after a failed attempt to board their ship. During the Battle of Chi Ceti IV later that same year, the Spartan-IIs captured a Kig-Yar point defense gauntlet, believing that Dr. Catherine Halsey would be able to use it. However, for over a decade, the secrets behind the gauntlet eluded scientists, such as Halsey herself and Dr. Hardy, attempting to uncover its inner workings. In 2536, a graduate student took apart an outdated gauntlet, discovering that its inner apparatus was not properly sealed. The initial tests that followed revealed to the UNSC that massive power input can help replicate and sustain small-scale energy shield surface areas. Reverse-engineering of the gauntlet helped allow the Office of Naval Intelligence to develop their own energy shielding technology for the MJOLNIR armor.
There are several observed models of point defense gauntlet. The most common one is mounted on a wrist strap with an oval emitter, and has two cutaways for firing. Another model seen during the Fall of Reach has also been observed, which had only one cutaway and was emitted by a full-arm gauntlet.
A fourth model is used by Kig-Yar members of the reformed Covenant faction led by Jul 'Mdama; it appears most similar to the variant used during the Fall of Reach, although it has a more compact wrist-mounted emitter like that of the traditional gauntlet.
Point Defense Gauntlets have been historically employed by the Kig-Yar, serving in the Covenant and its remnants. They are most commonly employed by Kig-Yar support infantry, with higher Kig-Yar ranks such as Majors and Heavies being equipped with stronger shields than their Minor and Storm brethren, usually denoted by red or orange colouration as opposed to blue/ purple colouration. They are also carried by Kig-Yar Snipers, though are not always employed. Nonetheless, the use of two-handed weapons such as Type-51 carbines does not seem to be a significant hindrance to Defense Gauntlet Usage. Kig-Yar Rangers have also been known to employ gauntlets, though their use is sporadic. Common tactic with the shield is for Kig-Yar to crouch behind them and advanced while firing their weapons through the cutout on the side, though they are also capable of overlapping the shields to form a shield wall.
During the War, SPARTAN-II personnel were to known to retrieve Point Defense Gauntlets when possible to augment their defense, in particular those of the SPARTAN-III program whose SPI armor did not have energy shield capabilities. A group of Sangheili were also given point defense gauntlets in addition to their existing energy shields on at least one occasion, an action which many of them felt was dishonorable.
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In Halo Wars, point defense gauntlets are equipped for the Covenant's Jackal units. The initial Jackal does not spawn with a shield, but can be given one with the Defense Gauntlet upgrade. These initial shields are prone to collapse under enemy fire, however, though this can be mitigated with the Supreme Gauntlet upgrade, which allows the shield to absorb fire indefinitely. These shields are equipped and operated by snipers operating two-handed carbines and beam rifles, a departure from typical Halo games.
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