The Ty'tan Program was a Tau military effort designed to delve into the research and development of supersoldiers to augment the Fire Caste. However despite mixed success, in the end the program was abandoned.
The ultimate object of the Ty'tan Program was the creation of a new breed of soldiers unlike anything the Empire has ever seen. To spearhead Tau expansion and military conquest the program was founded to create supersoldiers.
The Program divided itself into three different division of research and development, each was independent and isolated from eachother with their own personnel and supervising officers. Each sub-division would attempt their own avenue of research to create their own soldiers.
The most troublesome of all the sub-divisions but in the end it also proved to be the most successful of the program. Using a lengthy process of deep core surgical, chemical, psychological augmentation, and powered exoskelatal armor they were able to create a functional Hunter Cadre of supersoldiers.
The final product, the Shar'd, proved to be dreadfully effective, being bigger, stronger, faster, and more deadly than any Fire Warrior. Unfortunetly they were disbanded due to cost of maintainence.
Project Thorn attempted the least costly and risky avenue to achieve it's aim. Ironically it would be the first to fail and be destroyed. Project Thorn attempted to create Tor'Kar operatives to act as part of black operations under direct orders of the Ethereals. They were inserted behind enemy lines to ensure larger deployments of Fire Warriors.
They attempted to use superior breeding, life long training and less invasive chemical enhancements to succeed. Biochemical enhancements were used to increase oxygen and blood flow rather than totally remodel the subject's physiology like Steel Caste and Custodes had done. The result was elite warriors that were not especially difficult to create or maintain.
However the least likely thing happened as the Tor'Kar rebelled, they were very independantly minded and their enhancements somehow blunted the power of the Ethereals. After a fierce battle the Tor'Kar were defeated and scattered. Many were killed in the rebellion, some survived to become mercenaries, others remained within the Empire to sow vengeance as they saw fit. Scattered reports also suggest that a score of Tor'Kar fled to the Farsight Enclaves, to what end remains unknown.
Unlike their contemporaries, the scientists of Project Custodes favoured quality over quantity. They wanted to create warriors who could take on Space Marines one-on-one. The project may have been modeled after the Imperium's Gland Warriors.
The Shar'tor, as they came to be called, were born into a life of intense and sustained indoctrination. Each one was a individual investment, handled with exceptional care during the long hours of deep core bioconstructive surgeries. Various vat-grown organs were created using the genes of the singular subject and surgically implanted along with special drug secreting glands that enhanced the Shar'tor's combat effectiveness. However their skills were not perfect and early attempts frequently resulted in physical rejection and death. After countless cycles of trial and error they had a breakthrough.
The result were powerful warriors who towered over their compatriots and were hugely muscular. Once successfully created each one would be clad in servo assisted armor. Combat test showed that each one was vastly superior to most gue'la warriors and even their fellows in Ty'tan. Unfortunetly for all their promise they fell far short of the Astartes. The Kai'gue'la were still superior in every aspect.
What was worse was that the Tau could only produce Shar'tor in their ones and twos with the success rate at 21%. There currently were only some thirty odd Shar'tor active after almost a decade. But the scientists remained opptimistic that with a sustained and stable pool of recruits along with technological advancement projections, they should be able to produce Shar'tor with higher success within a few decades
However it would not be. In 995.M41 a routine supply run went horribly wrong, the supply ship had been hijacked by Stealth Squads of the Cypher Chapter. It remains unknown how the gue'la learned of the project, let alone it's location. Whatever happened, the Astartes attacked Ze'rho Station and ransacked the facility. They massacred the personnel, destroyed the facility, stole it's data and escaped. With this Project Custodes was permenantly lost.
As a result of project research there were several spin off products to Ty'tan.
- Black Cadres - Elite units of Tau assigned and sworn to defend and serve key Ethereals, most notably Aun'Rho. Black Cadres are the result of superior breeding and hellish training from the day their born. Each one is psycho-conditioned and fed fear suppressants through their armor.
- Blackout Armor - Originally developed for Project Thorn, Blackout Armor is a set of sensor-proof body armor made for covert operations. Made from sensor reflective materials with inbuilt jamming equipment, thermal dampeners and a Stealth Field generator, it is almost totally undetecable by most means. However it is exceedingly expensive and difficult to produce so was limited to the Tor'Kar who made off with many suits during their rebellion. Currently suits are dispensed to special forces and elite units exclusively.
The Program operates across the Tau Empire in top secret research bases.
The Ty'ros Sept was a major base of operation for Project Steel Caste. However during a massive imperial attack the research facility their was discovered and ransacked. The Imperials uncovered incomplete information on the program which attracted the attention of the Inquisition and proved to be a near disaster for the Program. It is unknown is operations continue there.
A secret asteroid base codenamed Ze'rho was the primary facility for Project Custodes. However it was attacked and destroyed by Stealth Squads of the Cypher Chapter. With it's destruction Project Custodes was also lost.
- Aun'O Ty'ros Rho - Most recently the programs's primary benefactor. Aun Rho has been a stout supporter of the program for quite some time now.