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Mark VI MJOLNIR armor, worn by MCPO, John-117.

The MJOLNIR (Pronunciation: ˈmjɔlˌnɪɹ 'my-all-'nhr) Powered Assault Armor is a technologically advanced combat exoskeleton system designed to vastly improve the strength, speed, agility, reflexes and durability of a Spartan-II supersoldier.

Contents

Introduction

Created parallel to the SPARTAN-II Program, the MJOLNIR Armor is currently the most advanced piece of tactical military hardware in human hands. Each suit alone costs as much as a small starship. The brainchild of Dr. Catherine E. Halsey, MJOLNIR is Halsey's attempt to create a powered exoskeleton capable of taking full advantage of the physical capabilities of a SPARTAN-II. The battlesuit is constructed in overlapping layers. It is a sealed system, capable of extravehicular activity or operations in toxic atmosphere. It is hardened against EMP and radiation, and has filters that are completely effective at removing toxins and bacteria from local atmosphere.

The armor's shell is composed of a multilayer alloy of remarkable strength and has been augmented with a refractive coating capable of dispersing a limited amount of Covenant energy weapon strikes. The suit contains a gel-filled layer underneath a thick black armored bodysuit. The gel layer regulates temperature and can reactively change its density. The inner skinsuit is made of a moisture-absorbing synthetic material linked to an environment control computer and the occupant's UNSC-issue neural interface.

Each human being has a molecular fiber network called the nervous system within their brain. An upgrade to the standard Neural Interface is issued to all high ranking officers; another modified version of the neural lace is issued to all SPARTAN-IIs in the UNSC. This network 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 comes directly to the user's mind. The synthesis of machine and mind is so fast that it is almost impossible to chart reaction time.

Sandwiched between the external armor and the internal padding is the most devastating weapon the suit carries: a layer of reactive metal liquid crystal. Woven by molecular tools into a superdense optical computer memory, this revolutionary crystalline layer forms a network, capable of supporting the kinds of artificial intelligence usually reserved for starships, a piggyback system. An A.I.'s personality and processing matrices can be carried by the armor and delivered to the suit via onboard storage in a crystal data chip no larger than a personal credit card. Such technology did not exist when work began on the Mark I prototypes. At the same time it is amorphous, yet amplifies force, doubling lifting capability and increasing reaction time by a factor of five.[1] Unfortunately the system is so reactive that normal human beings cannot use the suit without injuring themselves.[2] Only humans who have carbide ceramic ossification, a skeletal augmentation, such as a SPARTAN-II, can safely wear the suit.

The suit also possesses other features that enhance its wearer's abilities. It has numerous clips, belts, and magnetic holsters for the attachment of additional weapons and ammunition; an advanced Heads-Up-Display(HUD) linked to sensors in the gloves detects the type of weapon and devices held, and to project shield strength, ammunition count, a targeting reticule, waypoints, a radio uplink for communication, health monitoring and restoration system, regenerative food materials and other helpful data.

In its final phase the MJOLNIR battlesuit weighs half a ton, or 1000 Lbs and when in use, is a fully neural-linked system. With an on board A.I using the human mind for parallel processing, the SPARTAN-II/MJOLNIR combination is designed to be the most devastating intelligence tool ever created.

The armor line is named for the mythical weapon Mjölnir, the hammer of Thor[3], the Norse god of lightning, thunder, wind, and rain. The origin of the word "Mjölnir" is unknown. The Icelandic verbs mölva (to crush) and mala (to grind) have been suggested as possible translations. Another theory suggests that MJOLNIR might be related to the Russian word молния (molniya) and the Welsh word melt (both words being translated to the term as "lightning"). This second theory parallels with the idea that Thor, being a son of the Chief God, Odin, and the God of Thunder himself, might have used lightning as his weapon.

Armor Versions

Mark I Prototype Exoskeleton

Initiated in 2512 the Mark I was one of the Navy's first experiments with powered exoskeletons - more human-powered defense structures than suits, the Mark I took 10 years to develop, but were bulky, unwieldy and needed to be tethered to a power source due to the tremendous amount of energy needed to power it.[4] This was the downfall to the system as it required a connection to a fusion generator which hindered movement. The Mark I Prototype Exoskeleton improved the strength and stamina of the wearer and allowed a user to lift two tons (4,000 pounds) and run at 32 KPH (19.88 MPH) for extended periods of time.[5] The Mark 1 contained a cutting edge on board computer that could assist the wearer by transmitting tactical and communications information to the standard neural implant issued to a soldier, the suit however did not posses the ability to carry an A.I on board. The armor could also be equipped with motion sensors, infrared scopes, and could be mounted with a 30mm mini-gun that fired on self-targeting armatures.

Research and development for the Mark I was carried out at Section Three's headquarters in the CASTLE facility on Reach, however the final assembly of components were done at the Damascus Testing Facility on Chi Ceti IV. At least forty Mark I suits were produced and although they never saw deployment on the battlefield they were later used to carry heavy equipment in docking bays, and dozens of others were dumped into Reach's titanium mines. The Mark I Exoskeletons were later used by trainers of the SPARTAN-IIs to protect themselves when training under Chief Petty Officer Mendez's orders. Otherwise, the training could have killed them, as evidenced by the first day back at Reach when three trainers were accidentally killed during hand to hand combat exercises[6].

Mark II Prototype Exoskeleton

The Mark II Prototype Exoskeleton was similar to the Mark I, but with slimmer profile which greatly increased mobility. The suit, however, still needed to be tethered to a Fusion Generator, but despite that it was still the most powerful piece of military hardware, it was still impractical for battlefield deployment. One of the new additions to the Mark II included a refractive coating to help disperse heat from explosive attacks and better self-sealing in the event of damage while the unit is in space.

Mark III Prototype Exoskeleton

The next prototype, the Mark III, incorporated a wireless power transmitter and receiver so that power could be transmitted directly to it, much like the Orbital Defense Platforms used to defend UNSC colonies. This design was quickly rejected for two reasons: first the armor still had a limited operational range as it had to remain within range of a bulky, immobile generator, and second, if the generator was to be knocked out it would result in the incapacitation of the suit and leave its user locked inside and helpless against enemy attacks. In the end, all of the first three prototypes had one thing in common: They were impractical on the battlefield, as large exoskeleton units did not have a substantial use in any form of combat.

MJOLNIR Mark IV Powered Assault Armor

Although earlier attempts at developing high-powered armor produced designs that were impractical for battlefield deployment, the Mark IV MJOLNIR powered exoskeleton would be the first successful powered armor that saw deployment onto the battlefield. Developed by Dr. Catherine E. Halsey, the MJOLNIR Mark IV was a radical redesign of powered exoskeletons making use of technological innovations that did not exist when work on the first MJOLNIR exoskeleton suit began. The Mark IV MJOLNIR armor was fielded November 27th, 2525 to August 29th, 2552.

MJOLNIR Powered Assault Armor/Black

Created by a top secret parallel development lab in Seongnam, United Korea, MJOLNIR: Black was a standalone "skunkworks" variant created exclusively for Team Black. It features a number of advances over even the later Mark V and VI, and is the first canon chronological example of recharging energy shields being deployed before the Mark V's adoption by the other Spartans. It was used on Line Installation 1-4 prior to the Battle of Reach, and on Verge during the Covenant invasion of the Epsilon Eridani System.

MJOLNIR Mark V Powered Assault Armor

The MJOLNIR Mark V would be the first major upgrade of the system and introduced two revolutionary technologies for battlefield purposes: the first being energy shielding reverse-engineered from Covenant technology providing the user added protection against Plasma weapons. And the second is the ability to link a soldier and an A.I together to provide the soldier instant Intel in the field along with other functions, for example, Master Chief and Cortana. In addition to major changes from the Mark IV, hundreds of other technical improvements are incorporated into the Mark V. The Mark V was fielded November 24th, 2551 to October 20th, 2552.

MJOLNIR Mark VI Powered Assault Armor

The MJOLNIR Mark VI is the third and final upgrade to the MJOLNIR system, the Mark VI once again introduces several technical improvements while refining technology introduced in the previous system. The first improvement made to the system is a faster recharge time on the suits' energy shield system so that the SPARTAN-II super soldier does not have to remain in cover for an extended period of time. The second is improved synchronization between the suit and user, this allows the SPARTAN-II to jump higher, run faster, and hit harder than a Spartan could previously. In addition, this equipment made medical kits obsolete for the SPARTAN-II because of the integration of devices that administer medical care.

Armor Components

  • Helmet: The MJOLNIR Helmet is one of the most vital aspects to the MJOLNIR system. It is made of Titanium and contains key features like a Heads Up Display that links to the brain and hands, and can identify equipment and display information about it when it is picked up by the wearer. Another feature is the direct neural interface system which connects to a SPARTAN-IIs neural implants. Two core processor chips are implanted into the subjects skull in the rear of the head. This is essentially comparable to an on board computer using parts of the human brain for processing - when the connector at the rear of the subjects head and receptors in the brain link to the helmets on board sensors it creates the neural link needed to move the MJOLNIR suit. The helmet also contains other equipment to protect and aid the user in hostile conditions. This includes: filters to remove toxins from the atmosphere, a supply to provide air to the wearer during EVA, thermal and motion sensors, communications, solar-powered lighting, and imaging and video gear. The helmet also contains the A.I housing, where a ship-borne A.I chip is inserted, located on the back of the helmet.
  • Titanium Alloy Outer Shell: The outer shell of the MJOLNIR armor is comprised of a fairly thick titanium alloy. This plating covers the chest, arms, hip, legs, calf's, feet and hands. This alloy is very resilient, can take significant punishment, and is nearly impervious to small arms fire. While enough shots from armor piercing rounds will breach the outer shell, the suit can take a few glancing blows from them without compromising the armor. The outer shell of the all MJOLNIR suits is covered with a refractive coating to help disperse the heat experienced from Covenant energy weapons. However one or two direct hits from any Plasma weapon will compromise the armor plating.
  • Titanium Nanocomposite Bodysuit: Sandwiched between the external armor and the internal padding is a thick black armored bodysuit. This suit has numerous functions, small but vital to the safety and survival of the wearer. The bodysuit is made of a titanium-based material, making it very strong and yet very flexible. It also serves as another layer of protection against ballistics attacks and is coated with a heat resistant material to disperse heat from Plasma weapons.
  • Hydrostatic Gel: Underneath the armored bodysuit is a gel-filled layer, this gel layer regulates the temperature of the suit and can re actively change its density to conform to the wearer's shape - the temperature inside the suit is controlled by the moisture absorbing cloth suit underneath the hydrostatic layer. The hydrostatic gel layer can also be pressurized to various levels to potentially save the wearers life should the wearer be subjected to high G forces or a high velocity impact; however, over pressurizing this layer can cause nitrogen embolisms.[7]
  • Reactive Metal Liquid Crystal Layer: Liquid crystal forms the inner structure of the suit. This reactive metal increases the strength, reaction time, mobility, speed, and all around physical performance of the SPARTAN-II. The suit's artificial intelligence is supported by this layer of crystal, knitted together at a molecular level and fitted in between the outer plates and the inner padding. This type of computer memory is usually outfitted on a starship and as such this layer accounts for over eighty percent of the MJOLNIR armors cost of construction and materials.
  • Magnetic Weapon Holder Strips: Available on the Mk. IV, Mk. V, and Mk. VI the magnetic strips are very small yet powerful magnets place on the legs, waist, and back of the suit and is used to hold any equipment with a magnetic property. The suit also contains a magnet system on the boots of the MJOLNIR suit that allow its wearer to stay attached to a metal surface in Zero G environments and can be toggled on or off by the wearer.
  • Shields: First used on the Mk. V, and later refined on the Mk. VI, the energy shield device is reversed engineered from Covenant technology. Begun in 2532[8] forty scientists and technicians would spend the next 20 years attempting to make some use of the technology. For decades the attempts at cracking their technology had met with failure after failure, some had given up and others in the scientific community believed the energy shield technology could never be cracked. However at some point before 2552 a breakthrough was made and for the first time the UNSC had successfully cracked and improved upon the technology.[9]
  • Pressure Seal: The Pressure Seal is a vital component to the MJOLNIR system, it keeps the system airtight, underwater or in space. The seal is very strong but will only break under extreme pressure, such as in a high velocity impact or when the Hydrostatic Gel has been over pressurized.
  • Automatic Biofoam Injectors: Introduced on the Mk. VI models Biofoam injectors is an integral part of the systems ability to keep a SPARTAN-II functioning in battle. Biofoam is a medical gel that is used to fill and seal a wound automatically, it is also used to treat any infection that could occur as a result of the wound. The process of injecting, or applying the gel to a wound is extremely painful and is only a temporary solution; medical attention must be sought soon after to ensure survivability.
  • Fusion Reactor: The fusion reactor is the most essential part of the MJOLNIR System, as it provides power to all equipment on the MJOLNIR armor - the reactor is built into the suit and allows for nearly unlimited movement. The fusion reactor in all versions of the MJOLNIR armor are half the size of a normal fusion pack that conventional marines carry around.[10]
  • Force-Multiplying Circuits: Located throughout the armor, these systems boost the force applied by the user. They make hand-to-hand combat easier, but also make the armor difficult to adjust to; a slight motion can be translated into a potentially harmful one if not conducted correctly. For this reason it is only possible for Spartans to use this armor, as their strengthened bodies are able to withstand the increased power and speed of movement, which, in un-augmented human bodies, results in broken bones or death, due to spasms caused by the pain of broken bones.
  • Reactive Circuits: Reactive Circuits are systems installed directly linked to the Spartan Neural Interface. They amplify the wearer's reaction time by connecting directly to the thoughts of the wearer, making it much easier to control and allowing for the soldier to be both more efficient and have a higher survival rate in combat.

Trivia

  • MJOLNIR, or Mjølnir, as it is spelled in Norse, was the battle hammer of the Norse god Thor. Thor was the God of Thunder, and possessed incredible power. It is said that Mjölnir had the power to level mountains.
  • Armor components developed alongside Project: MJOLNIR were later applied for use with other UNSC armor systems as well. This is the case with the ODST helmet, which uses technology developed for the MJOLNIR. Similarly, a specialized ONI Recon variant of the ODST armor utilizes a similar helmet as the Recon variant of the MJOLNIR armor.
  • MJOLNIR is not the only attempt at creating a powered exoskeleton to enhance soldier's capabilities. Project HAYABUSA, a rival project, also created a powered armor boasting energy shields, though whether it saw actual combat is unknown. Likewise, the initial failures of the Mark I, II and III MJOLNIR led to the UNSC Marine Corps developing its own suit, the Cyclops, though it would eventually fall out of use.
  • The armor seen on page 93 of the Halo Graphic Novel looks strikingly similar to Shi Kai Wang's preliminary sketch of Master Chief.
  • In both game manuals and in the books it is said that the armor weighs in at 1000 pounds, or a half-ton. However, in Halo 2, on the level Regret, the armor begins to float when the Master Chief jumps into a body of water. It has been stated that the armor has a feature that enables the suit to change its density which can be activated by the occupant and that automatically activates upon the user going unconscious. This would prevent Spartans from sinking to the bottom of an ocean and having to walk to shore to get out. Some other theories suggest that the hydrostatic gel keeps the suit afloat, or that the shields repel the water. This can also be seen on the multiplayer map Valhalla when you die in the river.
  • In the Halo 3 Public Beta, a Spartan's face was visible under the helmet's visor, which could be seen by positioning a player a certain distance away from a Mongoose, and using the camera to view under the model. However, Bungie stated later that this was an Easter Egg Bungie made and that the face seen on the Beta was in fact modeled from the face of Bungie employee, Marcus Lehto.
  • Originally, the old design of the Mark V had an antenna on the shoulder. This is seen in the Halo:Combat Evolved trailer at E3 2000.
  • McFarlane Toys has produced Halo figures with interchangeable head, chest, and shoulder armor. The hands are also interchangeable, but aside for color effect, this will only matter with the release of the left gun hand released in February of 2009, which allows the Spartans to dual-wield a weapon.
  • The Limited Edition of the Xbox 360 action-RPG Fable II includes a set of MJOLNIR armor for your character to wear. It is called "Hal's Armor/Outfit". Additionally, the player can obtain a longsword with a crystal blade carved in the shape of the plasma envelope of the Energy Sword called "Hal's Sword". The name 'Hal' (obviously derived from 'Halo') is described in-game as the name the citizens of Albion gave to a mighty hero from another world. Also in the downloadable Knothole Island add-on, in the "Box of Secrets", you can unlock 'a rare ranged weapon', "Hal's Rifle", which is an Assault Rifle.
  • In Halo: Combat Evolved, the Master Chief has the initials 'MLR' engraved below his MJOLNIR Mark V boot. This can be seen in multi-player if a player stands on another.
  • The MJOLNIR Mark VI was rated #12 in The 13 Most Badass Video Game Power Suits, a feature by Maxim.com.

Gallery

Sources

  1. Halo PC Strategy Guide Page 5
  2. Halo: The Fall of Reach Chapter 13, page 115
  3. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thor
  4. Halo Encyclopedia chapter 3, page 88
  5. Halo: The Fall of Reach, page 70
  6. Halo: The Fall of Reach page 71
  7. Halo: First Strike Chapter 2, page 13 Halo: Ghosts of Onyx Chapter 1, page 36
  8. Halo Encyclopedia Chapter 3, page 89
  9. Halo: The Fall of Reach Chapter 27, page 249
  10. Halo: The Fall of Reach Chapter 13, page 114; chapter 27, page 248
Types of Armor
UNSC Marine BDU (Vest | Helmet | Boots)ODST ArmorMarine Vacuum SuitBlack Body Suit
MJOLNIR Armor (Mark I | Mark II | Mark III | Mark IV | Mark V | Mark VI | Armor Permutations)
SPI Armor (Mark I | Mark II)Hayabusa Armor
Covenant Sangheili Combat HarnessJiralhanae Power ArmorUnggoy Combat Harness
Forerunner Combat Skin

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External


This article uses material from the "MJOLNIR Powered Assault Armor" article on the Halo wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.







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