MJOLNIR Powered Assault Armor [GEN2]
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The MJOLNIR Powered Assault Armor [GEN2] is the second system-wide generation of the MJOLNIR Powered Assault Armor. GEN2 introduces many improvements to the suit's core architecture, specifically tailored for use by the Spartan-IV supersoldiers.
The production of second generation Mjolnir armor uses a spiral-development model, allowing the United Nations Space Command and its various contracted, corporate partners to create and design armor systems much faster and more efficiently than before.
Early history and development
The GEN2 Mjolnir armor was initially developed and created by the Office of Naval Intelligence's Materials Group as a response to the emerging SPARTAN-IV program, initiated on January 7, 2553. Several early models of the GEN2 Mjolnir armor were field tested by Spartan Tedra Grant. Some of the first contemporary models of the GEN2 Mjolnir armor were first tested in combat in January 2553 when New Colonial Alliance forces launched a raid on the UNSC Infinity and the five Spartan-IVs in-training aboard the warship were forced to don the armor to help combat the insurgents.
As of 2558, GEN2 armor is standard-issue for nearly all active Spartans, having replaced the Semi-Powered Infiltration armor of the Spartan-IIIs. The remaining active Spartan-IIs, such as those on Blue Team, have since donned GEN2 armor. Initially, Spartan-II Naomi-010 used MJOLNIR Mark VII Powered Assault Armor, the last iteration of the first generation of Mjolnir armor. However, Mark VII never saw full implementation with the rest of the Spartan-IIs due to its complexity and expense. Eventually, the UNSC determined that continuing to fund the first generation of Mjolnir armor that was only focused on the Spartan-IIs was not worth the costs, particularly given the escalating costs and capabilities of the newer Spartan-IIIs and Spartan-IVs in GEN2 armor. As a result, the Mark VII has largely been phased out of production in favor of the GEN2 Mjolnir, though many technologies developed for the Mark VII have since been incorporated into the GEN2 armor.
Although the GEN2 armor meant a radical simplification of the Mjolnir platform, to the point it could be mass-produced, by October 2558 some operatives in the Spartan Operations branch were dissatisfied with its minimal performance improvement over the old GEN1 systems. With that reason in mind, the UNSC decided to develop and manufacture GEN2's successor, the MJOLNIR Powered Assault Armor [GEN3].
Expansion of contractors
While the previous iteration of the MJOLNIR Powered Assault Armor was often—though, not always—created and manufactured by organizations, departments, and branches of the United Nations Space Command, the Unified Earth Government has contracted numerous corporations to design GEN2 armor variants. For example, RKD Group was responsible for designing the MIRMILLION-class armor variant, though the group contracted Korolev Heavy Industries to produce the armor and licensed the suit's BIOS from Applied Heuristics. Even major military-industrial concerns, such as Beweglichkeitsrüstungsysteme, no longer control all aspects of their armors' tactical packages and software, both within the military and among private contractors. Production of some GEN1 variants was shifted between corporate entities, while other contracts were transferred from the military to private industries. In addition to these larger corporations, a major policy shift within the UEG has led to smaller corporations and businesses being given the opportunity to compete in the paramilitary, military, and security markets. Many smaller industrial design firms and military subcontractors have used the common GEN2 Mjolnir software and exoskeleton as a springboard for their own innovations. Nonetheless, UNSC organizations, such as Materials Group and the Watershed Division, still continue to manufacture several variants of the GEN2 Mjolnir armor.
In addition to human corporations, select other species have had a role in the development of some iterations of GEN2 Mjolnir armor and its components. Notably, the HELIOSKRILL-class Mjolnir was designed by a Sangheili artisan-armorer designer who had managed to reverse-engineer the Mjolnir armor in an effort to test her skills against humanity's best armor manufacturers. This Mjolnir variant is designed by Sanghelios' Kolaar Manufactorum and fielded among the Spartan-IVs. Some VISR designs have been created using high-tier nanolaminates and scanning elements provided by the Sangheili, while others are even compatible with the Sangheili combat harness. As ties between the Swords of Sanghelios and UEG strengthen, many Sangheili artisans have gained interests in working with GEN2 armor. The "King" VISR utilized by some Spartans was initially created by a bored Huragok and subsequent attempts to copy the design have been met with varying levels of failure. Even Forerunner technology has been incorporated into the armor. Additionally, VISR kits with an unknown manufacturer have been found by ONI operatives in the arms markets of the insurgent-controlled Venezia.
Design and features
The armor was designed to compensate for the Spartan-IVs' less extensive physical augmentations in comparison to the previous two generations. As a result, the armor multiplies the strength of its wearer significantly more than the first-generation suits, granting the Spartan-IVs roughly equal strength as their predecessors while wearing the suit. The GEN2 suit is also lighter and stronger in construction than the first-generation Mjolnir line, weighing approximately a couple hundred kilograms. GEN2 Mjolnir integrates the vast majority of the armor's vital hardware systems within the inner techsuit itself, allowing for more streamlined production and easier implementation of specialized subsystems and armatures.
The GEN2 armor incorporates new ad hoc modification systems which allow the armor to use armor abilities, tactical packages, and support upgrades. Like its GEN1 predecessors it is backwards compatible—through hardware and firmware upgrades—with previous armor systems, including the Mark IV, Mark V, Mark VI, and the MJOLNIR variant of the Orbital Drop Shock Troopers' armor. In addition, GEN2 armor features integration with artificial intelligences, ranging from volitional smart AIs to simpler, yet complex, dumb AIs. The AIs that manage the Mjolnir BIOS and VISR are generally passive helpers that integrate, prioritize, and even subtly alter the torrent of data and sensory overrides fed to the armor's Spartan user, simplifying the chaos of the battlefield and reducing confusion. These AIs also handle mundane administrative tasks by filing munition expenditure forms, battle damage assessments, kill reports, and other paperwork on behalf of the Spartan. The typical suit of Mjolnir armor carries around a dozen or so of these AIs, each specialized in numerous tasks of war and science to aid the Spartan they are attached to. While these AIs are incapable of a human's oversight, they are still a valuable component of the armor.
Many Spartan-IVs choose to customize their armor in a variety of ways and are typically given the option to choose armor variant, paint color, visor model, and other cosmetic features. Even tech suits can be modified based on the Spartan's mission or need.
An assortment of armor configurations are available for all new Spartan-IV recruits as per UNSC Regulation 3A-950, and Spartans are capable of customizing their individual armor set with modular components from a wide range of special-purpose variants, based on their personal preferences, specialization and mission requirements. Selecting variants for purely cosmetic reasons is discouraged. The UNSC strictly forbids Spartans from attempting to repair or modify their armor on their own; all armor maintenance is only to be performed by qualified Class-61 technicians in dedicated facilities. Unlike the generally green coloration of the Spartan-IIs' Mjolnir armor, Spartan-IV armor comes in a profusion of distinct color patterns, with the members of specific teams sometimes (though not always) sporting a consistent coloration. However, any customization of the armor color must be in accordance to UNSC Equipment Code 20.00.62. The paint used on each GEN2 Mjolnir armor set is known to quickly deteriorate in combat, as little effort was made to invest in stronger quality paint.
While the suit's primary production model bears less significance than in the previous Mjolnir generations due to GEN2's more distributed design philosophy, the Materials Group's Warrior variant is officially considered the mainline model of the GEN2 armor. Another prevalent model is the Recruit variant, which is issued to all Spartan-IVs upon induction and colored gray and gold by default.
GEN2 Mjolnir is also able to be hybridized with GEN1 Mjolnir suits. When Douglas-042's Mark IV armor was damaged and UNSC Spirit of Fire was unable to produce core components during Second Ark Conflict, the Spirit managed to upgrade the suit into a hybrid version of Mark IV/GEN2, along with the rest of Red Team's armor, thanks to amalgamation of modifications made by Isabel and Serina and recovery of GEN2 parts from UNSC outposts.
The suit also possesses other upgraded features that enhance its wearer's abilities. It has an upgraded heads-up display linked to sensors that project shield strength and an improved motion detecting system in addition to providing other numerous readouts, including allies' vitality and shield status. These features are maintained and initialized by the MJOLNIR GEN2 BIOS firmware. Numerous versions exist for several different reasons and to simply being an upgrade.
Armor variants and upgrades
The following is a list of major variants of the GEN2 platform.[note 1]
Forearms and legs
There are several forearms and legs not paired with a specific set that can be used with most GEN2 armor.
The armor system is built to support a variety of attachments and equipment which allow it to utilize armor abilities. Some of them have been reverse-engineered from Covenant and Forerunner technology.
List of appearances