MJOLNIR Powered Assault Armor/Mark V
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The MJOLNIR Powered Assault Armor/Mark V was the second major version of the MJOLNIR Powered Assault Armor series. The initial version of the Mark V powered exoskeleton, designated as Mark V[B], was issued to the SPARTAN-IIs and several SPARTAN-III commandos on November 24, 2551, while the second version of the armor was unveiled for Operation: RED FLAG on August 29, 2552.[Note 1] The Mark V armor was in service until October 2552, when it was replaced by the MJOLNIR Mark VI. It could still be requisitioned by SPARTAN-IV personnel as late as October 2558, albeit upgraded to function with the MJOLNIR [GEN2] suite.
Development history and design
In 2542, seventeen years after the MJOLNIR Mark IV entered service, production began on the next generation of MJOLNIR armor. A team under the leadership of Chief Scientist Dr. Catherine Halsey would spend the next ten years developing the suit. Using data collected from the Mark IV, hundreds of minor technical improvements and several major changes were made to the Mark V; most notably, the suit's armor plating underwent a total redesign and better materials were developed for its use. Separating the Mark V from the previous version of the system were two major breakthroughs in the ways in which the suit improves its wearer's combat effectiveness.
The first major breakthrough, which was introduced with the first generation of the Mark V, was the addition of a self-recharging energy shield system, reverse-engineered from captured Kig-yar point defense gauntlets, which repel objects and energy bursts, plus any other hazardous elemental energies. While impacts on the shield place a substantial drain on the system's power supply, the system's energy regenerates once the user is no longer under fire. However, the adaptation of the shield covering the entire body weakens the magnetic field, making the Mark V's shield system vulnerable to sustained fire. Energy shield technology was first tested on the Mark IV, though such tests were not especially successful.
The second major advancement, which was not implemented until the second generation of the suit, was the addition of a layer of computer memory superconductor that would allow an artificial intelligence to piggyback into the field with the operator to both provide and gather real-time intelligence. The synthesis of an artificial intelligence with a human brain is not possible without an upgrade to the user's already-specialized neural interface. Like the standard neural interface, the specialized neural lace translates electrochemical signals to digital code and routes them through an interface connection at the rear of the skull. Through this interface, the user's thoughts command the armor's movement and weapons, and input from the on-board sensors is fed directly to the user's mind. In addition, an AI personality and processing matrix can be carried by the armor and delivered to the suit via the specialized neural lace and on-board storage in a crystal data chip no larger than a personal credit card. Without the armor, a Spartan's reaction time is charted at twenty milliseconds; with the Mark V, and an AI on-board, the time required to translate thought into motion is rendered almost instantaneous.
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 Mark V BIOS firmware.
In its second phase, the Mark V MJOLNIR battle armor weighs 321.3 kilograms, The SPARTAN/MJOLNIR combination is designed to be the most devastating intelligence tool ever created, as the AI can greatly increase the wearer's reaction time and vastly improve intelligence gathering capacity.
John-117 was the first Spartan to test the second-generation MJOLNIR Mark V with a smart AI implemented within the armor during a "live-fire" combat scenario. His test was to ring a bell after going through an obstacle course. This course involved ten Orbital Drop Shock Troopers, a minefield with Lotus anti-tank mines, three automated 30mm chain guns, a forest of wooden poles, and an unexpected SkyHawk jumpjet utilizing four 50mm cannons and Scorpion missiles. This test showed that an AI could vastly improve the armor's reaction times.
After the Human-Covenant War, the Mark V MJOLNIR components were adapted for the use of the SPARTAN-IV in the MJOLNIR (GEN2) armor. The GEN2 variant of the Mark V was tested at the Damascus Testing Facility in Vhalkem on Chi Ceti IV, a significant MJOLNIR development site for several decades.
A large number of variants of the Mark V were manufactured for use in the field. In addition, the armor system is compatible with components and variants created for the earlier or later MJOLNIR generations.
Variants compatible with the Mark V include, but are not necessarily limited to:
Mark VI prototype
Supplemental armor and accessories
Mark VI upgrade
The Mark V Alpha is a highly configurable version of the original Mark V armor. Though it is unclear who requested an integration check for the Mark V helmet with the latest GEN2 architecture, engineers at Materials Group have been surprised at the MARK V ALPHA's near-parity with contemporary designs.
The Mark V Delta helmets are sourced from a cache of SPARTAN-II materials uncovered at the Seongnam Special Warfare Center and are compatible on the GEN2 platform. A few are even etched with the hand-carved ID number of Spartans long-since marked MIA.
An upgraded Mark V variant, the Mark V Zeta helmet was used by Spartans assigned to ONI's Xeno-Materials Exploitation Group on Installation 07. It's high-threat response and surveillance interlinks systems were considered ideal for Zeta Halo's peculiar operating environment.
By 2560, the Mark V helmet has been upgraded to be roughly equivalent to GEN3
Various upgrades were also designed along with the standard Mark V, in ONI's CASTLE Base on Reach to aid certain Spartans' abilities in combat. The following is a list of known upgrade components and variants:
In addition, the Mark V armor supports different types of additional attachments, which enable various abilities. Some of these may be related to the add-ons described above. The armor is also compatible with various types of propulsion equipment, such as thruster packs and Series 8 jetpacks.
Performance and durability
The Mark V armor was a major upgrade from the previous version of MJOLNIR armor. With the inclusion of energy shielding, this iteration of MJOLNIR is extremely resistant to not just gunfire and explosions, but plasma weaponry as well. While John-117 was field testing Mark V MJOLNIR on Reach in 2552, his armor's shields were not only able to take the hits from multiple 30mm chain guns, but it was also able to withstand the blast from a Scorpion missile.
During the Fall of Reach, the Mark V armor worn by the Spartan IIs of Red team was able to sustain the lives of most them and even keep functioning after hitting the ground at terminal velocity. However, the armor of the survivors suffered damage. Frederic-104 had to replace a broken pressure seal using one taken from the armor of deceased Spartan Malcolm-059. Doctor Halsey later had the surviving Spartans recover armor parts that were being field-tested from CASTLE Base to replace the damaged components of Fred, William-043, Kelly-087, Vinh-030 and Isaac-039.
During the Battle of Installation 04, John-117's Mark V armor was able to withstand the "wash" from an off-target plasma bolt from a Mgalekgolo's assault cannon. Later during the battle, Cortana is able to adjust the suit's shield system to deliver an EMP to knock out Installation 04's phase pulse generators when John steps into them. The EMP briefly drains John's shields each time. She later uses the armor's power supply to power a jump using the installation's teleportation grid from the vicinity of the Control Room to the Truth and Reconciliation. Cortana stated a belief that doing so wouldn't permanently damage the suit's power supply, but wasn't entirely sure and believed that they should only try it once. One of the problems that was later listed by a gunnery sergeant was a fried power source, something that the teleportation presumably contributed to.
During the Skirmish over Threshold, due to damage from a plasma blast to the armor's chest at relatively close range with the shot raising the armor's internal temperature to over sixty degrees Celsius, John's armor's energy shields were knocked off-line and unable to recharge. Furthermore, due to damage from a Stealth Sangheili's Type-1 energy sword, the armor was breached. However, the armor was able to function fine without the shields and breached, though John was forced to adjust his tactics to match his lack of shields. A Huragok was later able to repair the damage to the shield system and restore the energy shields on the orders of Cortana. The suit itself was later repaired at some point which allowed John to take part in a zero-gee operation on the hull of the Ascendant Justice where John's suit and that of the rest of Blue Team saved them from a near-miss from a Covenant plasma torpedo, though Anton-044 and Li-008 were vaporized from a direct hit by the torpedo. The near-miss severely damaged the armor of the surviving Spartans, but Doctor Halsey was able to repair it.
During Operation: FIRST STRIKE, a Jiralhanae was able to break through John's shields through brute force and strangle him within the armor. Even with the Jiralhanae strangling him, the armor's shields still began to recharge. Once they reached one-quarter charged, John was able to combine the repulsive force generated by the shield and his own training to break free and kill the Jiralhanane.
However, the armor had limits to its durability. Shortly before the Battle for Earth, Cairo Station's Master Gunnery Sergeant told John that his plating was about to fail, there was viscosity throughout the gel layer, the optics were totally fried "and let's not even talk about the power supply," suggesting that the stress that was put on the armor from the Battle of Installation 04 and the following conflicts as well as the damage that was accumulated during those conflicts had damaged John's suit beyond repair by the time that he had reached Earth. However, by this point, John's Mark V was obsolete and it was replaced by the Mark VI.
Halo 3 - GEN1
Halo: Reach - GEN1
The first version of the Mark V helmet and shoulder pauldrons are available as armor permutations in Halo: Reach. The helmet is first able to be viewed at the rank of Captain, and is purchasable at Lt. Colonel.
Halo 4 - GEN2
Halo Infinite - Upgraded GEN1
The Mark V helmet and its attachments will eventually be available for multiplayer Spartan armor customization on the Mark V [B] armor core in Halo Infinite. The Mark V shoulders are available under the SAP series of shoulder pads.
During the early development stages of Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary, John-117 wore the first-generation Mark V armor seen in Halo: Reach's armor permutations, though he had canonically already upgraded to the second-generation version. In the final game, he wears a second-generation suit, like he wears in the original game and in canon, which appears greatly different from the first-generation suit seen in Halo: Reach. While this conflicts with his appearance in the cryo Easter egg from Halo: Reach, his armor is not meant to be seen in any great detail in the Easter egg, making this discrepancy inconsequential.
During the development of Halo: Reach, what was to labeled as the FJ/PARA knee guards were often used as if they were standard Mark V knee guards, given the fact that the player's character was often wearing them. For unknown reasons, towards the end of the game's development cycle, these knee guards were established as a secondary type rather than the base type, which was added during this period of time. The concept art of the Mark V for Halo: Combat Evolved had the armor's knee guards being noticeably larger than the final character model's, which were reduced in size and function to being somewhat square plates of metal partially wrapping around the knee. In the context of Halo: Reach, the earlier concept art and abandoned Halo 3-era revisions closely resemble the knee guards of the Grenadier variant. However, despite any of the visual similarities, neither these concepts or their predecessors match the movement qualities of all four knee guard sets in Halo: Reach.
List of appearances