Able-class heavy destroyer
From Halopedia, the Halo wiki
The Able was designed as a compromise between the various frigate and cruiser lines of humanity, intended to take advantage of new technologies and increased budgets to push naval architects in new directions. The Able's bridge is located on the dorsal surface of the ship, and is designed with a raised platform in the centre, housing a padded chair for the ship's captain to sit in. The bridge crew stations surround this platform. The ship is capable of supporting an on-board artificial intelligence.
In its original introduction, the Able-class stocked eight or more Archer missile pods, alongside a complement of Helix point-defence guns for close-in defence. Perhaps the most notable feature on the ship is the introduction of the Magnetic Accelerator Cannon: while various classes of carrier had carried shipborne MACs since at least the 2470s, with cruisers and corvettes employing them at least by the 2490s, these ships were the first heavy destroyers to begin employing the weapons. UNSC Gorgon became the first heavy destroyer to mount a MAC system during the 2490s, with the CMA Navy counterpart Hillsborough-class heavy destroyers later coming in 2499.
The MAC on the Gorgon had an extremely limited ammunition pool, when compared to later vessels. The vessel's MAC was capable of stocking only three MAC shells, though following three days and two battles without resupply, the Gorgon's cannon had been reduced to just one round.
In 2525, the Able-class destroyers were subject to an extensive armaments refit. This refit destroyer was used to fight in the Human-Covenant War, and stocks six M66 Sentry naval autocannons, twenty M58 Archer missile pods, four M96 Howler missile pods, and replaced the Helix point-defence guns with eight M870 Rampart point defense guns. By this time, the 5D8F6 Magnetic Accelerator Cannon was now standard.
Ships of the line
- UNSC Able – The lead ship of the class
- UNSC Gorgon – The first heavy destroyer to be outfitted with a Magnetic Accelerator Cannon.
The Able-class entered service in both the CMA and UNSC navies in 2490, though was never fielded in large numbers and ultimately only ever served as a footnote in the campaigns of the Insurrection. Despite this, the class did see a particularly noteworthy use in the case of UNSC Gorgon captained by Captain Preston Cole, which became the first heavy destroyer to be equipped with a Magnetic Accelerator Cannon. Cole took up captainship of the Gorgon in around 2499, after five years of captaining a corvette following the Callisto Incident in 2494. While commanding the vessel, Cole led a mostly-successful counterinsurgency campaign against the Insurrection, with the notable exception of the Bellicose–a stolen UNSC frigate which came into conflict with the Gorgon and was able to escape numerous times. By 2503, Cole was removed from command of the Gorgon due to the unveiling of his relationship with Lyrenne Castilla–an Insurrectionist leader and captain of the Bellicose who had used her relationship with the Captain to feed information to the rebellion, including details on the Gorgon's MAC. On January 2, 2504, Battle Group Tango, comprised of four heavy destroyers, were believed to successfully hunt down and destroy the Bellicose–albeit at the cost of heavy damage to two vessels of the battle group.
Ships of the heavy destroyer class remained active well into the Human-Covenant War. The Gorgon was one of many vessels retained under the command of now-Vice Admiral Cole following his victory in the Harvest campaign in 2531. For at least five years throughout the 2530s, the Gorgon accompanied Cole's fleet during the Massacre of the Outer Colonies successfully. Most vessels of the class were lost in the early years of the war, though a handful did survive in the UNSC Home Fleet until 2552, wherein they fought and were destroyed in the defense of Mars.
The Able-class' visual appearance was designed by the fan mod Sins of the Prophets for inclusion in the mod's 2.0 update and canonised by 343 Industries in a 2023 Canon Fodder. The model itself was modelled by Jared Harris, with the concept done by Halopedia site administrator Tacitus and Canon Fodder render done by Halopedia admin BaconShelf. The team worked alongside Halo franchise senior writer Kenneth Peters to visualise the Able-class in full to visualise UNSC Gorgon–a ship first depicted in the short story The Impossible Life and the Possible Death of Preston J. Cole.
The canonisation of the Able represents the third time the mod team has had their work included in Halo–beginning with an official collaboration to include several renders in the Halo Encyclopedia (2022 edition) (notably, the canonisation of the Ester-pattern armored frigate and Point Blank-class prowler designs) and the accidental incorporation of their model for an unidentified Covenant assault carrier class in Halo Infinite.
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List of appearances
- Halo: The Fall of Reach (Indirect mention) (Definitive Edition)
- Halo: Evolutions - Essential Tales of the Halo Universe
- The Impossible Life and the Possible Death of Preston J. Cole (First appearance)
- Halo Waypoint, Canon Fodder - Digsite Dissection (Retrieved on Jul 28, 2023) [archive]
- Halo: Evolutions - The Impossible Life and the Possible Death of Preston J. Cole, section 5
- Halo Encyclopedia (2022 edition), page 127
- Halo Encyclopedia (2022 edition), page 118
- Halo Encyclopedia (2022 edition), page 128
- Halo Encyclopedia (2022 edition), page 125
- Stephen Loftus on the Autumn class' talk page
- Halo: The Fall of Reach, chapter 15