|“||The Steel Talons may now be lost to history, but in their prime, they were but steps away from condemning the Brotherhood to that same dusty fate.
The Steel Talons was the nickname of GDI's experimental warfare division. The group was founded in the aftermath of the Second Tiberium War by General Joshua Mitchell, a veteran of the war who was unsatisfied with GDI diverting most of its military research budget to Tiberium abatement. Mitchell's admirers, including retired war hero Nick Seymour Parker, dubbed the division "Steel Talons".
The Steel Talons was notable for using mechanized walkers, which were retired by GDI following the Second Tiberium War due to cost and maintenance issues. They improved on the walker designs from the war, creating new versions of the Titan and the Wolverine, as well as an improved variant of the Juggernaut called the Behemoth.
During the Second Nod Reunification War, it had a major presence in Australia, where it was responsible for defending several high security GDI installations, including a laboratory studying Nod stealth technology and the Institute for Tiberium Research. However, it repeatedly failed to defend these installations from Nod forces led by LEGION. Its failure to defend the Institute for Tiberium Research was especially catastrophic, as it allowed Nod to trigger a Liquid Tiberium explosion that turned much of Central Australia into a Red Zone, rallying Brotherhood forces worldwide and causing a PR nightmare for GDI.
Following the string of humiliating defeats, the Steel Talons fell into obscurity. They were not known to have participated in the Third Tiberium War, but their walkers were seen defending the Rocky Mountains base in 2052. The Steel Talons would later participate in the Incursion War.
After the Brotherhood of Nod splintered following the death of Anton Slavik, GDI came to believe that Nod was no longer a significant threat. Consequently, it began shifting its priority to reclaiming the world from Tiberium, diverting most of its military research budget toward Tiberium abatement, ending a period of rapid technological development that had characterized GDI's military over the previous several decades.
Several military officials questioned this new directive - notably General Joshua 'Mitch' Mitchell, a decorated veteran of the Second Tiberium War renowned for his youth, aggressiveness and tactical innovation. Mitchell contended that even with Nod defeated, it would be foolish to assume that no successor would take its place. Therefore, he argued that funds for Tiberium control should be used to research new combat technology to prepare for the next potential conflict.
After a lengthy, volatile hearing, Mitchell emerged with a partial victory. While GDI refused to divert a significant part of its R&D budget to the General's cause, they did agree to fund a new experimental combat technology division under Mitchell. Dubbed the 'Steel Talons' by Mitchell's admirers - notably famed war hero Nick 'Havoc' Parker - this elite, unconventional combat battalion quickly rose to prominence in the splinter faction skirmishes that followed Nod's implosion, becoming known both for their ruthless efficiency on the battlefield and for the shroud of secrecy they maintained at all other times.
In 2034, a GDI research facility in Australia storing captured Nod stealth technology, under the protection of Steel Talons, was attacked by a Nod strike team led by the AI LEGION. The Steel Talons attempted to repel the Nod invaders, and as a last resort, even attempted to destroy the research facility to prevent Nod from recovering the data. However, LEGION's forces managed to defend the lab until the upload completes, and quickly retreated before Steel Talons reinforcements could arrive in time.
The Steel Talons also maintained several Pulse scanners near Black Hand leader Marcion's base in Australia, whose forces found a way of circumventing them. During the battle between loyalist Nod forces and Marcion's Black Hand, if one of the scanners is triggered, Steel Talons forces would arrive and attack both sides.
After Marcion and the Black Hand rejoined Nod, LEGION faced the Steel Talons once again when he was ordered to destroy GDI's top secret Institute for Tiberium Research. The Steel Talons defending the research facility proved no match for the Black Hand forces led by LEGION, and the Liquid Tiberium facility was destroyed, causing a catastrophic explosion that turned Central Australia into a Red Zone.
What happened to the Steel Talons after 2034 is unknown. Though based on the fact that neither they nor their walkers were seen during the Third Tiberium War, as well as Kane's remark that they were "lost to history", it can be assumed that they faded into obscurity after the string of humiliating defeats they suffered. They apparently still existed as an organization throughout the entirety of the Third Tiberium War and after it, as Steel Talons walkers were seen guarding the Rocky Mountains base in 2052.
- Mobile Repair Transport instead of APC
- Titan walker instead of Predator tank
- Heavy harvester instead of harvester
- Wolverine anti-infantry walker
- Behemoth instead of Juggernaut
- Cannot build Shatterer
- Adaptive armor, gives Titan and Mammoth tank an active defense ability
- Cannot purchase composite armor, power pack, scanner pack, EMP grenades
- Railgun accelerator, increases the rate of fire of railgun-equipped units in an area. Affected units gradually take damage
- Bloodhounds summon two Wolverines and two Pitbulls intead of two APCs and two Pitbulls
- Cannot use GDI Airborne, Sharpshooter team, and Zone trooper drop pod
- Electronic Arts Los Angeles, Command & Conquer 3: Kane's Wrath. Nod Background, "Steel Talons - Origins".
- Verdu, Michael. 2006-09-29. Technology in 2047. Mirror: Technology in 2047. C&C3 X360 Page. 2010-02-21.
- Electronic Arts Los Angeles, Command & Conquer 3: Kane's Wrath. Nod mission 2: "What is Rightfully Ours".
- Electronic Arts Los Angeles, Command & Conquer 3: Kane's Wrath. Nod mission 4: "A Grand Gesture".
- Electronic Arts Los Angeles, Command & Conquer 3: Kane's Wrath. Kane's Challenge: Steel Talons intro.
- Electronic Arts Los Angeles, Command & Conquer 3: Kane's Wrath. Nod mission 13: "Tacitus Regained".
- Sandstorm. Mirror: AHV-8 Sandstorm/Profile. C&C Frontpage. 2010-03-14.
- Electronic Arts Los Angeles, Command & Conquer 3: Kane's Wrath. Nod mission 3: "Persuade Him...".