In this series, read about the Mahavir mechanized infantry suit, featured in the Battle of Hell’s Edge video! This is part one of a multipart series!
The Mahavir mech is perhaps the most iconic combat system in Aryavarta, and certainly an iconic symbol of the military power of the Surya Empire. Even more interesting is the history of its development.
After the Great War, scientists and engineers around the world realized the wealth of possibilities awaiting them in the realm of cybernetics. Before the Great War, some basic control by thought interfaces did exist, but they were relatively clunky and were not very practical for use. During the Great War, the Usurper made use of cybernetic systems to not only enhance his soldiers, but to also forcibly conscript soldiers en masse into fighting for him. The technology used during the Great War, while fairly successful, was not without side effects. Many of the cybernetic enhanced soldiers developed psychological issues, ranging from depression, to full on mental disorders. Other problems included cybernetic machinery malfunction, which caused deaths of the enhanced user or sometimes death of fellow soldiers. Regardless of the imperfections of the technologies, the largest and most powerful nations of Aryavarta had found a solid starting point for cybernetic technology. With the help of former Adminstratum scientists, the Empire’s scientific advances in cybernetics progressed at an astounding rate.
Military strategists in the Surya Empire were convinced that cybernetic technology would completely change the face of modern warfare, especially after the Battle of Registaan, the largest armored conflict in the history of Aryavarta, where thousands of Imperial tanks battled the Adminstratum armored divisions in the final battle of the Arika continent. Strategists believed that the conventional tank, while still useful, had many shortcomings. For one, tanks could not effectively bring firepower in urban environments without being vulnerable to systems that worked at the speed of thought. Secondly, tanks were simply more expensive in human terms. A tank at the time required at least 3 people to run effectively. A cybernetic system only needed 1 man. Of course, not everyone was a fan of cybernetics. Critics of cybernetics in warfare pointed out that the Administratum still lost, in spite of advanced cybernetic technology. There were several reasons for this. As mentioned before, the cybernetic enhancements lead to a variety of psychological issues with users, meaning that they were not as effective on the battlefield. Moreover, tanks were not completely outclassed. In large, open fields, such as the Registaan desert, the advantages of a cybernetic system faded away. Training, and basic qualities of the warfare system in question, became more important. The lesson to be learned was that simply wiring a man to a tank did not make for a good cybernetic system.
The Emperor at the time, Maharaja Ranjit Malhotra, decided to push development in cybernetic warfare systems. In 2947, 7 years after the Great War, the Maharaja assigned official royal budget to the task of developing a viable cybernetic warfare system. Many major corporations had many experimental designs. There were many failures and small successes. The biggest initial issues were still the psychological effects of cybernetic technologies. Gradual progress over the course of 6 years lead to the development of safeguards and refined technology that eliminated the psychological issues. One of the bigger and well known systems of 2953 was the Yodha, developed by Somrajic Heavy Industries, was the first milestone for the technology. However, it was still fraught with reliability issues, and was still far too clunky and complex to be put into military use.
Over the course of almost 20 years, the Empire would see various designs and new machines floated, such as the Yodha 4, the Mechanized Hoplite, and Dreadnought. They all ran into a variety of issues, ranging from interfacing issues, usability/complexity, to reliability. In 2967, Khanna Mechanized Systems (KMS) pioneered the first iteration of what would become the Mahavir. KMS did two things that no one else had done: the first was to solve many of the reliability issues that plagued cybernetics. Second, KMS realized that the cybernetic systems were not necessarily too complex to use. After all, by now, cybernetic systems for simple things such as instant messaging, browsing networks, etc., were hitting the market and being widely used. The issue was that the average person simply did not possess the discipline and mental capabilities required to operate something like a cybernetic mechanized military system. Maharaja Ranjit was impressed by the capabilities shown off by KMS. The destructive power of the mech far outclassed anything on Aryavarta. He realized, however, that using such a weapon would require a very different kind of military.
(End of part 1)
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