The Venom Combat Armor is the ECA's premiere personal armor project. Utilizing two distinct variants, the Viking and the Valkyrie, the Venom is a capable, air-mobile combat platform. It requires activation in the Research Facility after the appropriate General's Promotion is obtained, being one of the ECA's Emergency Protocols.
Fielded relatively late in the war, the Venom is a prototype powered armour which significantly increases the strength, speed and durability of its human operator. Originally designed as a revolutionary hazardous environment suit for ESA astronauts in preparation of a future European colony on the Moon, the military model was significantly enlarged in order to accommodate for several dense layers of EMP-hardened composite armour as well as an assortment of heavy weapons.
For added mobility, the suit comes equipped with a set of boosters that are strong enough to provide aerodynamic lift within atmospheric conditions, allowing the operator close a considerable distance with a rocket-assisted jump. The few Russian survivors that lived to tell their stories described the Venom as an unstoppable juggernaut, a machine of sheer terror that even surpassed the Shock Troopers due to its imposing, inhuman physique and overwhelming firepower. As a result, Russian propagandists have spread slanderous rumors which painted the Venoms as soulless cyborgs, bio-mechanical abomination who had been subjected to genetic manipulations and forced limb amputations by sinister European scientists in an effort to create the ultimate killer. Contrary to these baseless claims, the Venom suits are operated by healthy, fully conscious human volunteers. Whilst many of the Venom's internal workings remain a well-preserved secret, it is speculated that the operator resides in an internal suspension pod while controlling the machine through a sophisticated neural interface, allowing the mechanical limbs of the suit can be manipulated through natural brain impulses as if they were part of the operator's own body.
Similar albeit noticeably less refined versions of this technology are already used as a modern alternative to wheelchairs and limb prostheses around the world whilst some of the Nordic European states even sponsor these medical exp-skeleton as part of their elaborate healthcare systems.
Due to the technical complexity of the suit and the shortage of advanced materials, it is expected that the total number of operators does not exceed the mark of a hundred. The men and women inside the suits are exclusively recruited from the cream of Europe's large special forces community, including the French 1er RPIMa and Poland's famous GROM.
Upon selection of the Venom protocol, ECA battlefield commanders can choose to deploy operators from two distinct formations: The CQB specialists of Team Valkyrie, whose suits are equipped with shoulder-mounted anti-tank missiles and a heavy assault weapon that combines a 10 gauge smoothbore cannon (typically loaded with canister rounds) with a 40mm drum-fed grenade launcher or the elite sharpshooters of Team Viking, whose suits come with a miniaturised version of the Starstreak anti-air missile and the Longbow, a 65mm anti-materiel 'rifle' that fires high-velocity tungsten-graphene penetrates at long range.