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The C709 Longsword is a fighter/bomber craft produced by Misriah Armory. They are the the largest and most common vehicles in the GA-TL1 Longsword family of spaceplanes, and are heavily utilised by the United Nations Space Command as capable multirole aircraft including space interception and terrestrial bombing.
The C709 is a more common model of the GA-TL1 Longsword line, and retains features such as a wide delta-wing shape, an angular boom-like structure, and two engines mounted beneath the wings on either side of the fuselage. It is twice as large as the smaller C712 variant, with a wingspan of 75 metres. It has a non-polarized canopy, and a diamond-shaped air intake that extends from the front of the engines. As it is too big to fit into the hangar bays of most UNSC spacecraft, the C709 Longsword must dock to a warship via clamps and an access umbilical. However, hangar bays of the UNSC Pillar of Autumn such as the Launch Bay 7 can dock the C709 Longswords.
The interior of the C709 Longsword is divided into two levels connected by a staircase, with the bottom floor only used to access the retractable ramp used to embark and disembark from the craft. A corridor runs the length of the fuselage, with the back leading to the staircase and a large door that opens into an additional room: presumably leading to where its armored weapons locker lined with a centimeter of titanium-A is held, as well as a cryo chamber. On the opposite side is the cockpit, which has two seated stations for the pilot and systems operator, and two standing stations for the navigator and copilot behind them. They all have various control interfaces and information readouts. A large screen is positioned directly in front at the front of the cockpit, and an AI holotank is located between the two seats.
The C709 Longsword is more heavily armed than other variations of Longswords, and its payload can be tailored to a variety of mission requirements. Its main weapon is an ALI-50 110mm autocannon, which is intended for use against enemy space fighters and starships. Retractable 120mm ventral guns are fitted onto its ventral surface. These have proven powerful enough to effectively clear a hangar of unshielded Seraphs, fuel pods, and Covenant infantry. Lastly, four ASGM-10 missile delivery systems are fitted, which are specialized for use against fighters but are sufficiently powerful enough to deal damage to unshielded starships. At least one fighter assigned to Operation: RED FLAG replaced their cryo chambers with a M1011 Moray space mine dispenser that carried 36 devices.
Sensors and communications
The C709 Longsword has a suite of active and passive sensor systems, which may scan on the same frequencies as those used by Covenant cruisers. In this event, a strange 'echo' would be sent back to the fighter, where the same signal is received multiple times. If needed, it can jam Covenant sensors to mask its position. If equipped with an artificial intelligence, the crew may use the Longsword's communications systems to remotely control another spacecraft, such as a Pelican dropship.
About two years before the Insurrection during the Far Isle rebellion in 2492, at least one wing of five C709 Longswords may have been used to drop their payloads against one of Far Isle rebel cities, leaving a large crater after the bombing run.[Note 2]
Sometimes after 2527, an old C709 Longsword were commandeered by Soren-066 and Partch in an attempt to escape Reach but failed as it was damaged by other aircraft, forcing the Longsword to crash land.
During the Battle of Installation 04, a number of C709 Longswords escorted the Pillar of Autumn after escaping the Fall of Reach. They destroyed the Covenant's initial recon picket which Cortana described as being "nothing serious," however Cortana detected multiple Ket-pattern battlegroups of the Fleet of Particular Justice approaching. Later, Master Chief Petty Officer Spartan John-117 and Cortana used a Longsword to escape from Alpha Halo before it was destroyed. They later linked up with a Pelican dropship and launched an attack on a nearby Covenant flagship, the Ruma-pattern light carrier Ascendant Justice, using the Longsword to board it and destroying its Seraph fighters with the Longsword's M1011 Moray space mines.
Numerous C709 Longswords, along with the smaller C712 Longswords, were utilized over the course of the Battle for Earth, including against the initial Covenant forces from the Fleet of Sacred Consecration.
After the loss of contact with the Black Team during the Mission to Installation 03, the Blue Team led by John-117 took a C709 Longsword to the Installation 03 and landed near the research camp where they later encountered the Ur-Didact.
In Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary like many weapons and vehicles such as the MA5B assault rifle and M6D magnum and M808C Scorpion, the C709 Longsword was represented by a repurposed Halo: Reach C712 Longsword model, featuring a different cockpit window frame and more streamlined fusion drives. The Halo: Escalation Issue 8 comic seemingly used the similar model of C709 Longsword from Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary, regarding the fighter crewing four Spartans of the Blue Team and having two seated stations.
The release of the Halo Encyclopedia (2022 edition) settled the inconsistently finally, by utilising an image of the C709 from the Halo fan mod Sins of the Prophets to represent the C709; a model created by the SOTP team based on the original Halo: Combat Evolved model for the vehicle.
In-game appearance of the C709 Longsword in Halo: Combat Evolved.
List of appearances
- Halo: Combat Evolved (First appearance)
- Halo: The Flood
- Halo: First Strike
- Halo 2
- Halo Legends
- Halo: Evolutions
- Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary
- Halo: Escalation
- Halo: The Essential Visual Guide, page 112
- Halo Encyclopedia (2009 edition), page 251
- Halo Encyclopedia (2011 edition), page 261
- Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary, Library: Longsword
- Halo: First Strike, chapter 5
- Halo: First Strike, chapter 7
- Halo Legends - Origins II
- Halo: Combat Evolved, Longsword in-game model
- Halo: Escalation, issue 8
- Halo: Warfleet, page 40
- Halo Encyclopedia (2022 edition), page 160
- Halo: Warfleet, page 17
- Halo 2, Longsword in-game model
- Halo: Combat Evolved, campaign level The Pillar of Autumn
- Halo: First Strike, chapter 6
- Halo: Evolutions - Pariah
- Halo: Combat Evolved, campaign level The Maw
- Halo 2, campaign level Cairo Station
- Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary, Longsword in-game model