Naval warfare and operations
The UNSC Navy (UNSCN) is the branch of the UNSC Defense Force responsible mostly for naval warfare and operations in space, though they still operate in the oceans with their terrestrial arm. Its roles include ship-to-ship combat; orbital bombardment; the deployment of atmospheric and space fighters, and the delivery of UNSC Marines into combat.
- 1 History
- 2 Organization
- 3 Personnel
- 4 Equipment
- 5 Identified UNSC vessels and stations
- 5.1 Vessels
- 5.2 Other ships
- 5.3 Civilian craft in temporary commission
- 5.4 Stations
- 6 Trivia
- 7 Gallery
- 8 List of appearances
- 9 Sources
- Main article: Interplanetary War
The UNSC Navy was created during the Interplanetary War of the 2160's—precisely during the Mars Campaign of 2163—as a result of the United Nations' need to oversee and monitor Marine deployments from space, thus forming the United Nations Space Command. After the UN's victory in that war, the UNSC Navy became involved in colonization, the settling of minor trade disputes, and anti-piracy operations as humanity spread through space.
- Main article: Insurrection
Such low-level operations continued until the Insurrection, which forced the Navy to develop a modern space warfare doctrine. Beginning with the Callisto Incident of 2494, the UNSC Navy was involved in a series of small but important actions against Insurrectionists across human space. In 2494, the Eridanus Government requested aid from the UNSC when rebels performed a well-planned and efficiently executed terrorist campaign on the planet. This led to Operation: CHARLEMAGNE in January of 2496, when the UNSC Navy responded to the government's requests and began their campaign to retake Eridanus II, deploying a battle group to engage the makeshift Insurrectionist defence fleet. The clandestine activities of the Office of Naval Intelligence also proved to be particularly useful in dealing with Insurrectionists during Operation: TREBUCHET in the Eridanus and Epsilon Eridani systems. The Navy played an important role in the elimination of rebel cells and in engagements of more organized insurgent groups—most notably the United Rebel Front. Other major battles and engagements the UNSC Navy participated in include the Battle of Theta Ursae Majoris and the Skirmish at Capella.
The lessons learned from the space engagements of the Insurrection may have contributed to the UNSC's eventual victory in the Human-Covenant War. From the Insurrection came the Magnetic Accelerator Cannon, titanium-A armor, naval protocols, and advances in ship-to-ship warfare tactics, all of which would prove crucial in humanity's fight against the Covenant. Furthermore, the Insurrection also saw the beginning of the career of Preston Cole, who would make an enormously decisive commitment to the Human-Covenant War.
- Main article: Human-Covenant War
Prior to the Human-Covenant War, the UNSC Navy had a large fleet of warships, including many capital ships and single-ship craft. However, beginning with the near-total destruction of the Colonial Military Administration's Battlegroup 4 at the First Battle of Harvest, followed by the loss of thirteen out of forty ships at the Second Battle of Harvest, the UNSC Navy sustained heavy losses of matériel and personnel throughout the war against the Covenant. Going on the offensive from 2526 to 2543, the bulk of the UNSC Navy under Admiral Preston Cole fought a series of victorious but enormously costly actions against the Covenant fleet.
At the Battle of Alpha Aurigae in the Origami Asteroid Field in October 2526, a total of 117 UNSC naval vessels defeated the Covenant's twelve—at least three of which were CAS-class assault carriers. However, thirty-seven UNSC ships were lost. The Battle of XI Boötis A in 2528 saw the loss of thirty ships out of the UNSC's seventy to the Covenant. The Battle of the Great Bear at the Groombridge 1830 system in 2530 saw eleven destroyers out of the fleet of seventeen destroyed by three enemy ships.
By 2536, the Covenant had begun to encroach on humanity's Inner Colonies. To prevent the Covenant from discovering more human colonies or Sol itself, Admiral Preston Cole established the Cole Protocol. The protocol forbade retreating vessels from setting a direct slipspace course toward any colony and dictated the destruction of navigation data on Covenant-captured naval ships. Every shipboard commanding officer in the Navy was ordered to read the new protocol. Some naval vessels, such as UNSC Midsummer Night, were ordered to patrol UNSC space to enforce to Cole Protocol. In 2543, the UNSC Navy scored one final offensive victory against the Covenant at the Battle of Psi Serpentis, though at the cost at the apparent death of Preston Cole. Towards the end of the Covenant War, most remaining UNSC ground forces were consolidated on worlds in the Epsilon Eridani and Sol systems. As a result, the only representative that several surviving colonies had of UEG authority and defense were UNSC Navy ships. While the Navy attempted to provide aid to colonies cut off from direct military assistance, worlds with little strategic value or unstable local governments were sometimes abandoned to prevent risking the loss of irreplaceable Navy vessels and personnel.
In 2552, the Navy scored a morale-boosting victory at Sigma Octanus IV, but this was quickly offset by the crippling military losses of the Fall of Reach and the Battle of Tribute. The Navy lost over a hundred ships, including irreplaceable cruisers and supercarriers such as the UNSC Basra, UNSC Trafalgar, and the UNSC Musashi at Reach, and lost ninety percent of naval assets at Tribute. In the same year, a very large portion of its remaining ships were lost when the Prophet of Truth's military forces occupied Earth. As a result, the UNSC Navy was only able to make a contribution of three frigates to the Battle of Earth and the Battle of Installation 00, with the Sangheili navy handling most of the space fighting.
In the aftermath of the Human-Covenant War, the Office of Naval Intelligence began operations to sow dissent amongst the Sangheili, disregarding their wartime alliance in the hopes of rendering them unable to fight should they become a threat again. Among this operation's effects was the beginning of the Blooding Years and the establishment of a Covenant remnant led by Jul 'Mdama. While the former Covenant fleet's naval vessels fell into the hands of various splinter factions established by the former client species, the UNSC Navy began to rebuild and continued to grow. In the aftermath of the war, the rapidly modernizing Navy introduced the Autumn-class heavy cruiser, based on the highly resilient advancements applied to the UNSC Pillar of Autumn as well as the Strident-class heavy frigate among others, rapidly supplanting the prewar designs still central to the UNSC Navy.
In early 2553, the Navy launched its most powerful warship, the UNSC Infinity, though she would not be officially commissioned for another four years. Built in secret using technology recovered from Forerunner and Covenant sources during the war, the Infinity is the UNSC's largest and most advanced warship to date. In March 2553, she secretly intervened in the Sangheili civil war, and demonstrated the UNSC's new technical capabilities by easily destroying the Covenant destroyer Defender of Faith.
In 2557, the Infinity distinguished herself during the First Battle of Requiem and the recovery of Master Chief Petty Officer John-117. The UNSC Navy's forces around Earth had also been rebuilt, and the Home Fleet defended the planet against the Didact when he arrived with the intention of digitizing all of humanity with the Forerunner weapon known as the Composer. Earth's orbital platforms and the Home Fleet's Battlegroup Dakota had little to no effect against the Didact's ship, the Mantle's Approach, but the Infinity managed to damage the ship, allowing John-117 to enter using an F-41 Broadsword and destroy the ship with a HAVOK tactical nuclear weapon. The fighting continued six months later with the Infinity's second expedition on Requiem.
Command and control
- Main article: UNSC Naval Command
The UNSC Navy is subordinate to the UNSC High Command (HIGHCOM). The Navy is administered by the UNSC Naval Command, or NAVCOM, headed by the Chief of Naval Operations, which in 2558 was Fleet Admiral Lord Hood. The CNO is assisted by the Deputy Chief of Naval Operations. NAVCOM is split into three commands; Fleet Command, or FLEETCOM, has oversight of ship deployment, mission structures, and space operations, including the transport of troops and naval fighter operations. Logistical Operations Command, or NavLogCom, oversees the construction, maintenance, and distribution of supplies and matériel, including ships, ammunition, replacement parts, and food. Naval Special Warfare Command, or NAVSPECWARCOM, and Naval Special Weapons (NAVSPECWEP) are responsible for all Naval special operations, including deployments of SPARTAN-IIs. The UNSC Navy also operates Central Commands (CENTCOM) which hold responsibility over a certain area of space. A CENTCOM commander has the authority to blockade a system, or aid in the coordination of a battle occurring within the regional space they command. UNSC and UEG space is further divided, governed, and protected by the Navy's Fleet Command sectors which each contain a number of planetary systems.
The Office of Naval Intelligence is technically subordinate to the UNSC Naval Command. In practice, however, ONI's activities extend far beyond intelligence gathering, and it often receives mandates and directives from HIGHCOM or even higher. ONI holds a strong presence in the UNSC fleet and maintains joint control of the Navy's post-war flagship, UNSC Infinity. Despite being under the command of the Navy, ONI's Commander-in-Chief holds a seat on the Security Council with equal stature and privilege to the committee members of the Navy, Marines, Army, and Air Force.
Commanding positions in NAVCOM tend to be held by admirals. Because of their role as an "amphibious", space-deployed force, the UNSC Marine Corps enjoys a close relationship with the Navy, with Marine complements being deployed on most warships.
- Main article: UNSC fleet
UNSC Navy forces are divided into a number of fleets. These tend to be large formations, though they seldom patrol together; single ships are commonly seen patrolling throughout UNSC space. System defense fleets, such as the UNSC Home Fleet or the Epsilon Eridani Fleet, are commonly formed to patrol and defend a human colonized-system. Defense fleets were often considered to be little more than glorified revenue police, though they proved to hold an imperative role during the Human-Covenant War as they provided desperately needed training cadres and battle-ready—albeit, sometimes outdated—warships. The UNSC Navy also has several numbered expeditionary fleets, five of which were active during the Covenant War—the Second, Third, Fifth, Seventh, and Sixteenth Fleets. Several expeditionary fleets were decimated early in the Covenant War. By late 2552, there was no longer any appreciable difference between fleets, as the Navy was no longer capable of conducting offensive operations without leaving the remaining colonies and Earth vulnerable.
These fleets are further divided into several battle groups, more common tactical formations which are formed on an as-needed basis and vary dramatically in size from three ships to large carrier groups. Battle groups are flexible fighting organizations that can be "plugged together" into arranged task forces. A squadron is a group of warships that is smaller than a fleet. By the final years of the Covenant War, squadrons became administrative—rather than tactical—units that ships were enrolled in for record-keeping and honorific purposes. Artificial intelligence administrators of the Navy carefully arranging the dwindling ship roles into attack, battle, carrier, monitor, and support squadrons. Many of the Navy's fleets had also become "paper fleets", or "dead fleets", with no command and no ships. These fleets were assigned to sectors lost to the Covenant early in the war, with their destroyed squadrons remaining attached to the sector to honor their sacrifice and as deference for tradition. A new ship was occasionally inadvertently attached to one of these dead fleets due to bureaucratic error.
Into the 26th century, the UNSC Navy continued to use maritime ships to patrol the seas. Little is known about this Naval arm. It is known, however, that Earth and the fortress world of Reach had bases for it. Other than that, it is known that the Navy possessed numerous aircraft carriers with full complements of F-99 Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicles, suggesting that they were constantly kept at a high level of alert.
Other than participating to some extent during the Battle of Mombasa, the wet Navy may have been involved with the operation to the Yucatan Peninsula, where the SPARTAN Blue Team attacked and destroyed a Covenant excavation force on the sea floor of the Gulf of Mexico.
Large numbers of men and women are employed by the UNSC Navy. Servicepeople hold ranks, which are divided between officers and enlisted. UNSC Navy personnel are given training in self-defense. All crewmen are trained to use the M6 series of handguns. Naval personnel are sometimes referred to as "swabbies", which can be a joke or a sign of disrespect. Navy recruits serve in initial recruit training operated by the Unified Combined Military Boot Camp. At boot camp, recruits are trained, tested, and evaluated on their physical fitness, proficiency with firearms, and command potential. Following graduation from UCMB, a naval recruit may be required to complete additional training revolving around the vacuum of space and microgravity. Finally, a recruit is assigned aboard a naval vessel or installation as a non-commissioned recruit within the Navy. Several human colonies are home to Officer Candidate Schools that provide training and allows enlisted personnel or civilians to become officers. Renowned OCS academies include the Luna OCS Academy and the Corbulo Academy of Military Science.
UNSC Navy personnel wear distinctive uniforms for identification, comfort, and practicality. Dress uniforms are worn on formal occasions, such as ceremonies and other official functions, while service and working uniforms are the basic uniform worn by UNSC Naval personnel while on duty.
UNSC Navy vessels are typically armored with Titanium-A armor; such protective armor remained the defensive standard of UNSC vessels until they were further reinforced with the introduction of energy shielding in the post-war era. At least the Navy's flagship, UNSC Infinity, and Strident-class heavy frigates are equipped with energy shields.
The primary offensive armament of UNSC spacecraft is the Magnetic Accelerator Cannon (MAC). These are high velocity coil guns that are used to accelerate projectiles ranging in mass from 600 metric tons in the case of smaller warships, and 3,000 tons in the case of Super MAC platforms. These projectiles are composed of titanium, depleted uranium, or tungsten with a ferrous core. "Super MAC" Orbital Defense Platforms accelerate MAC rounds to "point four-tenths" the speed of light with twenty-three linear accelerator coils, while ship-based MACs have a lower velocity. Super MAC platforms can also reload a round in five seconds, where as ships will need several minutes to charge their MAC coils.
The UNSC frigate Gettysburg is quoted as firing a 600 ton shell at 30 kilometers per second. Before Reach fell, the UNSC Pillar of Autumn was equipped with a modified MAC that could quickly fire three lighter projectiles in succession instead of just one heavier projectile. It was originally intended to allow the Pillar of Autumn a better chance of disabling a Covenant ship, which was a feature required for a mission that was later scrubbed following the Fall of Reach.
Almost all UNSC warships are equipped with M58 Archer missile pods for ship-to-ship engagements, which prove most effective against unshielded targets. A common tactic among UNSC ships is to disable the target's shields with MAC rounds and then pummel it with Archer missiles. In 2525, UNSC ships carried fusion missiles as an offensive weapon. They seem to have been removed or replaced in later years. UNSC ships may also carry Shiva-class nuclear missiles. In addition, the UNSC mounts 50mm auto-cannons on its ships for defense against enemy fighters and boarding craft, controlled by shipboard AIs.
UNSC warships also carry significant Marine detachments for internal security, boarding actions, and planetary assault, and carry all the equipment and matériel needed by Marine forces. It is implied that a significant portion of the interior of UNSC warships are devoted to this purpose, as there are armories and barracks that hold these supplies.
Ships of the UNSC Navy also carry a number of GA-TL1 Longsword interceptors. These are armed with 110mm rotary cannons and ASGM-10 missiles, and sometimes a Moray space mine system or even a single Shiva-class nuclear missile. They can also be remotely-operated and used to carry a remotely-detonated Shiva missile, which, when detonated, effectively destroys both the Longsword and its selected target.
Despite all of this firepower, however, UNSC warships during the Human-Covenant War had great difficulty in defeating Covenant ships even with a numerical advantage. It typically took multiple hits from a ship-based MAC weapon to disable a Covenant ship's shields, although larger, ODP-based "Super MACs" fire a round that can literally shatter Covenant capital ships. Archer missiles had to be used in tremendous volumes to breach Covenant shield systems. Even with their shields down, Covenant ships have been noted to remain operational after multiple direct hits from normal MAC rounds. Throughout the Human-Covenant War, this advantage in firepower and shielding gave the Covenant an effective 3:1 ratio when in battle against the UNSC. However, as of the post-war era, thanks to Forerunner technology and the Huragok retrieved from Onyx, UNSC ships have become faster and stronger, making them more effective against Covenant vessels.
The largest vessels of the UNSC fleet are carriers and supercarriers. While possessing weapons of their own, their primary role is to deploy fighter craft such as the GA-TL1 Longsword, and may serve as flagships in fleet actions. If a carrier is unavailable, however, then heavily-armed and armored cruisers may fill this role. The current flagship of the UNSC Navy is the UNSC Infinity, the first of the Infinity-class vessels which make use of defensive and offensive advances reverse-engineered from both Forerunner and Covenant technologies, with the specific intention of matching Covenant warships in terms of offensive firepower. The UNSC Navy has operated four known classes of cruiser; the Marathon-class heavy cruiser, the Valiant-class super-heavy cruiser, the now-obsolete Halcyon-class light cruiser, and the postwar Autumn-class heavy cruiser.
UNSC destroyers and frigates of various classes are used for escorting larger cruisers and carriers, as well as for independent patrol and scouting operations. Both are roughly the same size, but destroyers are designed with greater emphasis on firepower and armor over versatility. Frigates are multi-purpose warships that are used in a broad range of roles, ranging from heavy air support to fighter escort and fleet engagements. Some UNSC frigates are equipped with a sizeable cargo bay for larger dropships and armor complements. The UNSC has also employed light frigates equipped with stealth systems in a specialized reconnaissance role.
The Navy maintains a wide variety of smaller craft and support ships. These include prowlers for electronic intelligence gathering, refit stations, exfiltration craft, shuttles, and corvettes. Corvettes are notable as being one of the fastest ships in the UNSC Navy, and a number of sub-classes have been developed including the Mako-class and the fast-attack corvette.
At least some UNSC ship production is handled by the Reyes-McLees Shipyards over Mars, though this may no longer be true due to the Covenant invasion of the Sol system in 2552. Additionally, SinoViet Heavy Machinery manufactured and decommissioned Paris-class heavy frigates on Reach prior to the Fall of Reach.
Space fighters are small, maneuverable spacecraft, often used for bombing or "dog fighting" in space or in an atmosphere. The UNSC Navy operates a number of fighters, the most common of which is the GA-TL1 Longsword. The Longsword is a multi-role fighter that can be used in a variety of missions, including ground support, anti-ship attacks, and combat with other fighters.
The F-41 Broadsword is a multirole space fighter in use after the Human-Covenant War. Like the Sabre, the Broadsword is equipped with energy shielding that covers the entire fighter and recharges when depleted. However, these shields are not rated for slipspace travel. The Broadsword is equipped with two M1075 ASW/AC 35mm MLA cannons and two M6088 ST/MMP missile pods. The fighter can also be equipped with a single piece of heavy ordnance, such as a HAVOK warhead.
A less common UNSC fighter is the OF92/EVA "Booster Frame". The Booster Frame is an experimental fighter developed as a prototype. They are specifically designed for extra-vehicular activity and special operations roles, dropped from hooks within the hangars of specialized UNSC ships. The fighter itself has no sealed cockpit, so a pressurized suit must be worn in order to operate the vehicle.
Identified UNSC vessels and stations
Civilian craft in temporary commission
Other orbital facilities
|Check out our collection of quotes related to UNSC Navy on its quotes page.|
As with the rest of the UNSC military, the structure and many of the traditions in the UNSC Navy are based on those in the United States Navy.
Models of UNSC Naval personnel in Halo 4.
A prowler, one of many such vessels forming the Navy's reconnaissance division.
The UNSC In Amber Clad, a Stalwart-class light frigate which typically serve as light escort vessels for larger warships and troop carriers.
A Paris-class heavy frigate during the Fall of Reach.
The Forward Unto Dawn, a Charon-class light frigate flies over Installation 00.
The Strident-class heavy frigate, a postwar design and one of the most advanced frigate types to date.
The UNSC Heracles, a Hillsborough-class destroyer, the first human vessel to survive an encounter with the Covenant in 2525.
The Marathon-class heavy cruiser was one of the most powerful vessels in the entire UNSC fleet.
The Autumn-class heavy cruiser, based upon the older Halcyon-class and postwar successor to the Marathon-class.
The Valiant-class super-heavy cruiser, one of the most powerful vessels of the UNSC Navy distinguished itself as the flagship of several major UNSC fleet detachments.
A flotilla of Vindication-class light battleships, one of the many new postwar additions to the UNSC Navy.
The Epoch-class heavy carrier was just one of many carrier types to spearhead and support humanity's naval forces.
A Phoenix-class colony ship, now refitted as massive armor and personnel carriers for use on the frontlines.
The UNSC Infinity, the UNSC's postwar flagship and among the first vessels to employ reverse-engineered Forerunner technology.
The most powerful non-nuclear weapon in the entire UNSC, an orbital defense platform could destroy Covenant ships in a single round.
The UNSC Cradle, a specialized refit station capable of slipspace travel, takes the offensive in the Battle of Sigma Octanus IV.
A Vindication-class light battleship of Battlegroup Dakota during the Battle of Earth.
A trio of Strident-class heavy frigates from Battlegroup Dakota take part in the Battle of Earth.
List of appearances
- ^ a b Halo: The Flood, page 100
- ^ Halo: Glasslands, page 64
- ^ a b Halo: Evolutions, "The Impossible Life and the Possible Death of Preston J. Cole", pages 436-437
- ^ a b c d e Halo: Evolutions, "The Impossible Life and the Possible Death of Preston J. Cole"
- ^ Halo Encyclopedia, page 44 (2011 edition)
- ^ Halo: Contact Harvest, pages 9-20
- ^ Halo: Evolutions, "The Impossible Life and the Possible Death of Preston J. Cole", page 457
- ^ a b Halo: Evolutions, "The Impossible Life and the Possible Death of Preston J. Cole", page 470
- ^ Halo: The Cole Protocol, page 33
- ^ Halo: The Cole Protocol, page 36
- ^ a b c d e f Halo: Fleet Battles, Cole Rulebook - page 9
- ^ Halo: The Fall of Reach, page 320 (2001 edition)
- ^ Halo: First Strike, page 168 (2003 edition); page 206 (2010 edition)
- ^ Halo 3: ODST, Dutch's biography
- ^ Halo 3, campaign levels The Storm, Floodgate, and The Ark
- ^ Halo: Glasslands, page 22
- ^ Halo 4: The Essential Visual Guide, page 195
- ^ Eleventh Hour reports, Report 2
- ^ Halo: Glasslands, page 43
- ^ Halo: Glasslands, pages 421-422
- ^ Halo: The Thursday War, page 303
- ^ Halo 4, campaign level Midnight
- ^ a b Halo: First Strike, page 22
- ^ a b Halo Encyclopedia, page 64 (2011 edition)
- ^ Halo: Reach, Reflection radio conversation
- ^ Halo: The Fall of Reach, page 289
- ^ Halo: The Thursday War, page 46
- ^ Halo: Escalation, Issue #1
- ^ a b c Halo 2
- ^ a b c Halo: Ghosts of Onyx
- ^ Halo: Combat Evolved
- ^ a b c d e Halo: The Fall of Reach
- ^ Halo 2, campaign level Cairo Station
- ^ Halo: Ghosts of Onyx, page 205
- ^ Halo: The Essential Visual Guide, page 188
- ^ Halo Wars: Genesis
- ^ Halo Graphic Novel, page 86
- ^ Halo 3, multiplayer level Longshore
- ^ Halo: Ghosts of Onyx, pages 203-204
- ^ Halo: Combat Evolved, campaign level The Pillar of Autumn
- ^ Halo: First Strike, page 92
- ^ Halo: Evolutions, "The Impossible Life and the Possible Death of Preston J. Cole", page 421
- ^ Halo: The Fall of Reach, page 38
- ^ Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn, Part 1
- ^ Halo: Contact Harvest, page 322
- ^ Halo 2, campaign level Delta Halo
- ^ Halo: Ghosts of Onyx, page 185
- ^ Image showing frigate shields above hull
- ^ Halo: The Fall of Reach, page 297 (2001 edition); page 320 (2010 edition)
- ^ a b Halo: The Fall of Reach, page 108 (2001 edition); page 130 (2010 edition)
- ^ Halo: The Fall of Reach, page 128 (2010 edition)
- ^ Halo: The Fall of Reach, page 118
- ^ Halo: The Fall of Reach, page 147
- ^ Halo: The Fall of Reach, page 19
- ^ a b Halo: The Essential Visual Guide, page 112
- ^ Halo: The Fall of Reach, page 297
- ^ Halo: Glasslands, pages 421-422
- ^ Halo 4: The Essential Visual Guide, page 191
- ^ Halo: The Fall of Reach, page 139
- ^ Halo: Evolutions, "Midnight in the Heart of Midlothian"
- ^ Halo: The Cole Protocol, page 35
- ^ Halo: Ghosts of Onyx, page 213
- ^ Halo: The Fall of Reach, page 85
- ^ Halo: Contact Harvest, page 60
- ^ Halo: The Fall of Reach, page 238
- ^ Halo: Reach, campaign level, New Alexandria
- ^ Halo 4: The Essential Visual Guide, page 114
- ^ Halo Waypoint, Gauss Technology article
- ^ Halo Waypoint, Booster Frame article