A mech used by the Systems Alliance.
In the aftermath of the relays being restored, the Systems Alliance Marine Corps found themselves faced with a great shift in galactic politics and technology. The Quick Reaction Force was in need of new weapons systems.
General instability in the Attican Traverse had begun to favour military tactics that focused on forcing combat into urban environments, while attempting to limit damage to local infrastructure. Presence of civilians in areas of operations and desires of marine commanders to contain their own collateral damage had limited air support's and armoured assets' feasibility in colonial interventions.
Financial burdens from the Reaper War imposed budgetary limits in the search of solutions, thus the decision was made to adapt a pre-existing vehicle with minimal research and development needs.
The answer was found from the Terminus-based Ashen Legions of Arctyran. Developed by the turian legionaries, the Kortul-class Equites was a behemoth of a bipedal mech powered by an equally massive Aldhoan drive system, made possible by the abundancy of element zero in the Nemean Abyss. 15 meters tall, a cumbersome juggernaut that left destruction in its wake, Kortul was not the answer, but it had the right idea.
Technological gains from Cerberus' Cronos Station and the Atlas Mech supplied the know-how to shrink Kortul into the machine the Marine Corps needed.
The M-02 Mastodon stands seven meters tall, less than a half of the Kortul's height. The element zero core takes notes from both Kortul's Aldhoan drive and Cerberus' Atlas. Jump jets capable of low-level flight manoeuvers for up to three seconds enable an M-02 to be combat dropped onto the battlefield. Advanced actuators in the limbs provide agility to manoeuver in urban terrain with required precision.
The piloting system utilizes force-feedback limb control and a helmet-mounted display (HMD) that detects head and eye positioning to manipulate the mech's head and focus the various sensors on the vehicle. This system enables minimal loss of situational awareness inside the vehicle, an important advantage in urban environments over conventional designs.
Weapon systems for the M-02 are interchangeable and handheld, operating more in the manner of infantry arms than vehicle mounted weapons. As a result, combat loadouts are highly modular and diverse, permitting several different ammunition types for carried weapon system. A platoon of three vehicles can adapt to almost any situation they may find themselves in the field. Published list of weapon systems include rotary-barrel anti-infantry mass accelerators, anti-material marksman rifles, automatic grenade launchers, guided missile launchers, and liquid-fuel flamethrowers.
The second generation model of the M-02 was being approved for production through a series of trials designed to mimic numerous planetary and orbital environments, as well as the full complement of mission classifications that the Mastodon was designed for usage in. Structural improvements included acceleration gel fittings in the cockpit to ensure pilot survivability in high force collisions, increased heat sink and ventilation efficiency, and an escape crew capsule module that has been fitted into the pilot compartment.
Pilot equipment and vehicle peripheral additions included improvements to the pilot's safety gear (additional vehicle restraints, airbags installed in the pilot's suit collar and heat resistant fabric weaves), a new HMD system with 150 degree panoramic feed from on-board sensors, and integrated power supply compatibility for energy weapon systems. Second generation Mastodons were to be shipped with polycrystalline-composite shields that mimicked design of Cerberus riot shield, sacrificing the supposed "invulnerability" of the material to create a lighter, more cost-effective version of the device that utilizes reactive armor plating to maintain structural integrity under fire.
- Urban Patrol Craft
- Armored Support by Fire
- Infantry Shock Unit
- Search and Destroy Unit
- Assault Breach Vehicle
- Armored Recovery Vehicle
- Combat Engineering Vehicle
- With the fall of Arctyran, the schematics for the Kortul class Equites have fallen in to the public domain. The vehicle has since been adopted by the Church of the Divine Flame and Holy Void, the Knightiamilitum Hospitaller, and ironically, the Imperial Arkia. The proud turian designers of the Equites are likely rolling in their graves at the idea of their conquering enemy adopting the exoskeleton for their own purposes.
- As of 2190, the Systems Alliance has scrapped Mastodon production in favor of cheaper and more practical combat platforms.