Experimental combat division
Experimental weapons division with a strong focus on firepower.
The Steel Talons unlike ZOCOM is a unique experimental technology division of GDI that specializes in utilizing untested technologies, providing near overwhelming force and firepower. The Talons were formed after the resolution of Firestorm Crisis, by General Joshua Mitchell. Mitchell's belief in having a substantially more highly advanced weaponry than any Nod opposition shaped the Talons' combat doctrine.
Thanks to General Mitchell, the group was a test bed for a variety of the state-of-the-art military technologies, many of which were adopted into regular use by GDI forces by the Third Tiberium War. Notably, the division still uses mechanized walkers, such as the Titan and Wolverine. Both have been redesigned since the Second Tiberium War.
Steel Talons is not the official designation of the unit; the name was given to the unit by Mitchell's admirers in the media, notably the famed war hero Nick Parker. Because of their unique purpose, the Division is somewhat autonomous from the rest of GDI.
With Nod's defeat and splintering, GDI believed that the organization was no longer a major concern. With the damage done to the environment, the GDI switched its strategy to fighting Tiberium instead. Many resources were refocused towards Tiberium reclamation, as was most of the research and development funding. As a result, the military's sudden technological development (which began since the First Tiberium War) had ended. Several officers objected to this trend, the most vocal being General Joshua Mitchell.
Mitchell's arguments finally convinced GDI (after a reportedly "volatile" meeting) to provide funding towards an elite experimental combat division. With the trend of moving towards reliable, cheaper technology, the Steel Talons were not equipped with harmonic resonance weaponry. Instead, the Division focused on then-new weapons and tactics.
Following their formation, the Steel Talons gained a reputation for its secrecy, aggressiveness and effectiveness. In the skirmishes in the interbellum of the Firestorm Crisis and the Third Tiberium War, the unit would rise to prominence, even though it would fail repeatedly to stop LEGION.
Perhaps, as a testament to their willingness to use tried and tested GDI weapons during TWII (albeit improved ones), their insignia looks like a mirror image of the GDI insignia during the Second Tiberium War.
Their fate in the Fourth Tiberium War is unknown, but it is most likely they were also reorganized into GDI's Offense-Defense-Support restructurization, but it is confirmed that they are, at the very least within the Incursion War, a fighting division of GDI.
Because the Steel Talons first formulated the technology, the battalion's arsenal is similar to GDI's during the Third Tiberium War. However, their combat doctrines shift focus to armoured warfare, explaining why the battalion does not deploy Zone Troopers, Commandos or Sniper teams. Armouries are therefore unnecessary. They don't deploy Predator tanks, Sonic Emitters or Shatterers either and primarily replaced with walker units but can be easily crushed by Commandos with a single detonation. Due to not using harmonic resonators, they are unable to construct Sonic Emitter's, relying on Guardian Cannon, which can be upgraded with rail guns. This battalion also lacks defensive power and the base defenses is completely powerless against mobs of enemies, making it very soft to strike with heavy units.
- Experimental precursor to the Mk. III Juggernaut, equipped with a loading bay for infantry to increase its close-range defensive ability.
- Similar to a regular engineer, but has a handgun that is more effective against hostile infantry than the outdated GD45 handgun which is a standard issue handgun for engineers.
- It has fire port for 1 infantry squad to allow it greater survivability in the field.
- Guardian APC-variant. Has a repair crane to fix allied units in the field and drones.
- New-type Mechanized Walker that predates the usage of the Predator MBT. Can be upgraded with railguns and adaptive armor and can crush tanks.
- New-type Anti-infantry walker predating the Zone Trooper. It can be upgraded with advanced AP rounds that make short work of even heavily armoured Black Hand infantry.
- A double-edge sword, the Railgun Accelerator increases the refire rate of railgun equipped vehicles but also damages those units during the accelerator's activation.
- Increases armor of Mammoth tanks and Titans. It also gives immunity to EMP, but reduces the rate of fire.