- “This... is everything I had always dreamed it could be.”
The MJOLNIR Powered Assault Armor/Mark V was the fifth of seven versions of the MJOLNIR Powered Assault Armor. The suit was issued to the members of Noble Team on November 24, 2551 and to the remaining SPARTAN-II Commandos on August 29, 2552. and was in service until October, 2552, when it was replaced by the Mark VI.
In 2542, seventeen years after the MJOLNIR Mark IV entered military service, production began on the next generation of MJOLNIR Armor, in order to improve SPARTAN-II/MJOLNIR effectiveness against the Covenant in combat. A team under the leadership of Chief Technical Officer Dr. Catherine Halsey would spend the next ten years developing the suit. Using data collected from the Mark IV, hundreds of minor technical improvements were made to the Mark V, 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 are two major breakthroughs in the ways in which the suit improves its wearer's combat effectiveness.
The first major difference was a major overhaul of the suit's crystalline layer which is now split into two parts. Woven by molecular tools into a superdense optical computer memory, the first reactive metal liquid crystal layer is "sandwiched" between the external armor and the internal padding. This revolutionary crystalline layer forms a network, capable of supporting the kinds of Artificial intelligence usually reserved for warships, on a piggyback system. The second layer is still amorphous and amplifies force, doubling lifting capability and increasing reaction time by a factor of five. Unfortunately the system is still so reactive that normal human beings cannot use the suit without injuring or killing themselves. The synthesis of an Artificial intelligence with the human brain is not possible without an upgrade to the user's standard Neural Interface.
This specialized version of the neural lace is issued to all SPARTAN-IIs before they can interface with the Mark V. 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 control the armor's movement and input from the on board sensors connect directly to the user's mind. In addition, an AI personality and processing matrices 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 installed, the time translating thought into motion is rendered almost instantaneous.
The second major breakthrough was the addition of a self-recharging energy shield system, reversed engineered from captured Jackal Point Defense Gauntlets, which repel objects and weaponized bolts of energy, in addition to any other environmental hazards. 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 ballistic arms fire.
The suit also possesses numerous magnetic holsters for the attachment of additional weapons, equipment, and ammunition packs. The suit also possesses an advanced Heads-Up-Display (HUD) integrated with the helmet's visor. This is linked to various sensors to display an improved motion-tracking system for ally and enemy forces, biometric health readouts, and shield status which are all brought to the wearers immediate vision.
In its final phase the MJOLNIR battle suit weighs half a ton, or 1,000 lbs when in use and has a fully neural-linked system with an onboard AI using the human mind for parallel processing. The SPARTAN-II/MJOLNIR combination is designed to be the most devastating intelligence tool ever created.
On November 24, 2551 the Mark V was first fielded to the five SPARTAN-IIIs and one SPARTAN-II of Noble Team. Due to Noble's affiliation with the top-secret SPARTAN-III Program Dr. Catherine Halsey was likely unaware of this at the time, as with the existence of the S-III Program. It is interesting to note that the base MJOLNIR Mark V variant worn by Noble Team is aesthetically different than the variant issued to John-117 and the other SPARTAN-II commandos on August 29, 2552 during the final days of the Fall of Reach. This is likely due to Noble Team receiving an early prototype of the Mark V to field-test for the final version.
One key advancement of the Mark V was the revolutionary crystalline layer allowing the support of starship-grade artificial intelligence, if this feature was included originally, than on August 30, 2552, SPARTAN-B312 of Noble Team should have been able to transport Cortana's fragment to the UNSC Pillar of Autumn directly within his armor system, but curiously he did this via a cumbersome protective casing attached to his lower back. It would have been much more practical and safer for B312 convey the Smart AI via a small data crystal chip within his helmet as was done for the very first time the day before by John-117. In addition, the external casing would be vulnerable to small arms fire in close combat. It is very likely that Noble Team was fielded a prototype of the Mark V that lacked this enhancement. This would also serve to explain why the SPARTAN-II commandos received the Mark V nine months after it was already fielded to Noble Team despite the declining state of the war. The SPARTAN-IIs likely were fielded the armor very soon after it was finalized, also sporting a modified design of the outer plating.
It is possible that Dr. Catherine Halsey only showed hostility to Noble Team upon seeing them wearing a variant of what she believed to be her currently unfielded armor design. Halsey would have also noticed that these SPARTANs, apart from Jorge-052, were obviously not her S-IIs, thus confirming her long-held suspicions of UNSC efforts to create secret SPARTANs. She would not learn that Noble was officially composed of SPARTAN-IIIs until acquiring the data inside CASTLE Base.
On August 29, 2552 John-117 was the first SPARTAN to ever test the 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 traversing through a dangerous obstacle course. This course involved ten fully armed ODST's, a field of Lotus Anti-Tank Mines, three automated 30mm chain guns, a forest of wooden poles, and an unexpected aerial assault from a Skyhawk aircraft intending to kill him utilizing its four 50mm cannons and Scorpion Anti-Tank Missiles. This test showed that onboard AI's could exponentially improve the armor's reaction times. This was exemplified by John-117, who was able to deflect a speeding anti-tank missile with a lightning-fast melee strike, a feat of unprecedented speed and reaction time; made possible by John's accelerated neural synthesis with his MJOLNIR by the AI Cortana.
Armor variants and upgrades
A number of different variants of the Mark V were manufactured for use in the combat 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 IV[G] - Originally developed for the Mark IV, this "Grenadier" variant served as the basis for many future projects.
- Mark V[B] - Privately manufactured variant issued exclusively to SPECWARCOM Group Three.
- Mark V[M] - also known as Security- Privately manufactured variant with radio antenna.
- MJOLNIR/CQC - Close-Quarters Combat. Precursor of the MJOLNIR/C variant.
- MJOLNIR/C - A more advanced Close-Quarters Combat variant.
- MJOLNIR/HAZOP - A variant for missions considered too hazardous for standard equipment.
- MJOLNIR/HP/HALO - Additional armor plating and hard points for missions involving High-Altitude Low Opening jumps.
- MJOLNIR/EOD - A variant designed for explosive ordnance disposal.
- MJOLNIR/AA - An "Air Assault" variant, developed as a part of a project to improve the ODST helmet.
- MJOLNIR/MP - A shared asset with Beta-5 Military Police.
- MJOLNIR/SCOUT - A variant with limited stealth capabilities.
- MJOLNIR/FJ/PARA - A lightweight variant for airborne units.
- MJOLNIR/RECON - A stealth variant specialized for reconnaissance missions.
- MJOLNIR/OPERATOR - A variant used by Beta-5's Asymmetrical Action Group.
- ODST Ballistic Battle Armor - The Mark V is compatible with several parts of the ODST armor, including the shoulders, the chest piece, and the helmet.
Various upgrades were also designed along with the standard Mark V, in ONI's CASTLE facility on Reach to aid certain Spartan's abilities in combat. The following is a list of known upgrade components and variants:
- Neural Induction Circuits - Allowed the Armor to respond to the wearer's movement at a faster rate.
- Linear Accelerator - Doubles the strength of the energy shield system and allows the MJOLNIR to take more hits before failing.
- Image Enhancing Computer - Better visual display on the MJOLNIR's Heads-Up Display.
- Improved Tracking System - better tracking system on the MJOLNIR'S heads-up display, which improved accuracy at distances up to a thousand meters.
- Improved Motion Sensors - Improves sensitivity readings on the motion tracker allowing for more accurate readings.
- CBRN Hardened Uplink Module or CRBN/HUL
- Hardened External Sensor Array-External or HESA-E - This device may be related to the Image Enhancing Computer detailed above.
- External Hardened Uplink or HUL - A recording device designed for acquiring intel.
- External Command Network Module or CNM - This device is standard issue for Special Forces unit commanders.
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 the T-PACK and a Jetpack.
- Armor Lockup - A compact generator device on the back of the user generates a powerful shield that offers temporary near-invulnerability to all ground weaponry and sends out an Electromagnetic pulse once the lock down is disengaged.
- Active camouflage - Enabled by a device similar in appearance to Armor Lock, the Active Camo add-on can make the user nearly invisible for brief periods of time. As a drawback, the more the user moves, the more visible they become. The reason this is stated to happen is because a computer is used to generate the patterns and effects needed for the user to become invisible, and quick movement creates more work than the computer can handle. In addition, all sound is muffled to the user while the camo is engaged.
- Helmet: The MJOLNIR helmet is one of the most crucial 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, calves, 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 all the 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 reactively 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.
- Reactive Metal Liquid Crystal Layer: Sandwiched between the external armor and the internal padding, the liquid crystal layer of the suit is split into two sections that forms the inner structure of the suit. The first layer contains the Reactive Metal Liquid Crystal this reactive metal increases the strength, reaction time, mobility, speed, and all around physical performance of the SPARTAN-II. The second layer supports suit's Artificial intelligence, 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 warship and as such this layer accounts for over eighty percent of the MJOLNIR armor's 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 placed on the legs, waist, and back of the suit and is used to hold any equipment or any weapons with a magnetic property. The suit also contains a magnet system within its boots that allows 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 reverse engineered from Covenant technology. Beginning in 2532 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.
- 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, only breaking under extreme pressure, such as in a high velocity impact or when the Hydrostatic Gel has been over pressurized.
- Biofoam Injector Port: The biofoam injectors on the Mark V is a port where a direct supply of biofoam or other medicines, must be administered from a standard military first aid kit when the wearer is injured, as the suit does not hold or generate its own supply inside the suit.
- Fusion Reactor: The fusion reactor is the most essential part of the MJOLNIR system, as it provides power to all equipment used by the 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.
- 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 directly linked into 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.
- Power Supply Control Unit: The Power Supply Control Unit controls the power supply of the armor.
- In Halo: Reach, the helmet features a symbol similar to the United States Army insignia, two crossed muskets, possibly the symbol for the UNSC Army.
- In Halo: Reach, the helmet is unlocked at Lt. Colonel and costs 130,000 cR.
- It is somewhat hard to shrug in MJOLNIR Mark V armor.
- The Mark V was released for Halo 4 in the Infinity Armor Pack.
- In Halo: Reach, the binary code at the bottom-left corner of the Mark V BIOS translates to "Dave," a reference to David Candland, Bungie's interface designer.
- Halo: Combat Evolved (First appearance)
- Halo 2 (Mentioned only)
- Halo 3
- Halo: Reach
- Halo: The Fall of Reach
- Halo: The Flood
- Halo: First Strike
- Halo: Ghosts of Onyx
- Halo 4
- ↑ Game Informer: Jorge-052 Profile
- ↑ Bungie Weekly Update, 1/29/10
- ↑ Halo PC Strategy Guide Page 5
- ↑ Halo: The Fall of Reach Chapter 13, page 115
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 Halo: First Strike page 140
- ↑ Halo: First Strike Chapter 2, page 13 Halo: Ghosts of Onyx Chapter 1, page 36
- ↑ Halo Encyclopedia Chapter 3, page 89
- ↑ Halo: The Fall of Reach Chapter 27, page 249
- ↑ Halo: The Fall of Reach Chapter 13, page 114; chapter 27, page 248
- ↑ Halo: First Strike, page ??