The MARS is a command and assault suit when flight capability based off that of the Cyberdisk, allowing it to hover stationary in mid-air or fly in an atmosphere or vacuum. The anti-gravity generators are housed on the back in self contained units that can eject if damaged, or if Elerium containment is breached. If in midair when this happens, the suit also has backup rocket motors to slow its descent. Maximum flying speed is 160mph (256 km), but cruising speed is considered to be 75mph (120 km). The MARS can technically operate at any altitude.
Like the MA-2B ARES, the MARS benefited from the improved automation and shielded electronics technology gleaned from research on alien Sectopod Terror Units. The MARS is the current pinnacle of Manned Armor design, incorporating all the advances of the ARES repeated below.
The MARS, like the ARES, features an improved interface and OS, as well as a superior sensor suite, computing system, and Nuclear/Biological/Chemical protection. Armor and mobility are unchanged. Most importantly, the 3C also has an integrated psionic amplifier, freeing the pilot's hands from carrying a cumbersome psiamp apparatus. This makes it an ideal Command/PSI as well as Assault Suit, especially when Elerium stockpiles are high.
This power suit stands just over eight feet tall, three and a half feet wide at the shoulder, and weighs in at over 390 pounds, minus the pilot. However, despite its large size and weight, (even without flight enabled) a pilot can run at a sustained speed of 20mph with minimal exertion, and can make unassisted leaps of 4 feet vertically. Its hands, arms, and legs are nimble enough to also engage in melee combat, should it be necessary.
Protection wise, the innermost layer lies directly between the pilot himself and the inner alien alloy exoskeleton of the suit. It consists of a spongy layer that form fits the pilot's body when activated, and also serves the purpose of insulation, thermal cushion, and impact absorption. Thicker than the layer in PASGT armor, it serves an identical role, and monitors the pilot's physical status, heartbeat, injuries and temperature. Like in the previously mentioned armors, embedded on the outside of this layer are small coolant tubes that aid in regulating the soldier's body temperature.
The next layer is composed of a non-permeable rubber-analogue that serves as a backup for the main environmental system controls, and makes the suit completely environmental even in the event of a breach. Like in PASGT armor, it is also the layer responsible for power channeling as it is embedded with hundreds of feet of fiber-optic and copper power line to connect the various armor systems together. The third layer is a complex fiber-mesh weave of conductors and coolant fluids, to provide additional protection from intense heat.
The layer after this is composed of a quarter inch of a special areogel that, when exposed, will flow into the breach and harden when it comes in contact with the air. This layer allows the armor to absorb all but the most severe impact and explosive attacks while keeping the user protected. It also acts as a self-sealant in case of attacks that get through the final, ballistic layer. The outer layer of armor is made up of double layered .22-inch thick alien alloys and reinforced ceramic plates. This layer also has built in sensor systems, including a laser-sensor (blares an audio warning to the soldier when he/she is lased by any known targeting laser), a proximity sensor, radar-warning indicator, limited radiation shielding and detection, and a missile warning sensor that notifies the soldier of missiles or other 'hot' objects are being launched (basically an IR device, note that this does not work on Blaster Bomb projectiles which use gravity waves to move).
The Electronics Suite includes an integrated Combat / Targeting Computer that is Smartlink capable. This system calculates, stores, and transmits data onto the faceplate of the power armor and assists in the tracking of targets. The system also has a database of targets and has the ability to identify them reliably. This includes enemy units, as well as civilians, friendlies, and native creatures. Lastly, it also has a map of area based on sensor data and known topography. The computer also handles the radio, compass, clock, life support, and the available modular enhanced imaging options.