The Jericho Crusade
Mark 3 "Iron Armour"
Mark III “Iron Armour”
This model dates from the wars of the Great Crusade, waged close to the galactic core. Many of these worlds were the Squat Homeworlds, which were not pleased to find themselves the object of galactic conquest. The Squats’ independent and stubborn nature, along with the conditions of the fighting, spurred the creation of this new armour type. This armour was ideal when cover was minimal and combat was a matter of frontal assault. The most visually brutal and imposing of all the widely produced armour marks, the Iron Armour was a heavy, modified Mark II design (itself the first mass-produced Power Armour of the Crusade era). The Iron Armour’s structure has augmented frontal defence and incorporates additional ablative plates, and is intended foremost for use in boarding actions, tunnel assaults and void warfare, although it is considerably heavier and more power hungry than its contemporaries. The new helmet design is a heavily armoured model with sloping plates designed to deflect shots to the left and right, and inspired the Mark IV and VI helmet designs.
Mark III was never intended to replace the previous Mark but to act as an optional suit specialised for situations where heavier frontal protection would be advantageous, such as in the close confines of spacecraft and mining complexes. Because of this, no Legion was ever fully equipped with the Mark III. While successful in the conditions it was designed for, the armour is too clumsy and uncomfortable for conventional fighting. It is sometimes worn by ceremonial guards due to its visual brutality, and can also still be found used in close-quarters situations by various Space Marine Chapters.
It is commonly called the Iron Suit or Armorum Ferrum in recognition of its great strength.