Cairo Station, hull classification symbol OWP-142, is an orbital defense platform in geosynchronous orbit about 35,900 kilometers above Earth. Named after the Egyptian city of Cairo, it is in the same battle cluster as Athens and Malta stations and seems to be mainly guarding the area above the Mediterranean. The station was commanded by Fleet Admiral Lord Terrence Hood during the Battle of Earth.
Cairo Station was assembled and put into Earth's orbit by Vosper Engineering in August 23, 2550, and officially commissioned on September 14, 2552 when it was designated as the flagship headquarters of the Earth Defense Coordination Zone. In preparation for the inevitable Battle for Earth, Fleet Admiral Joseph Harper had UNSC Chevalier deploy a security team to the station to facilitate the arrival of Fleet Admiral Terrence Hood. The security team was later assessed before Hood arrived.
On October 20, 2552, John-117 received the MJOLNIR Mark VI armor in the Cairo armory prior to attending an awards ceremony on the station's command center. The ceremony was interrupted by the start of the battle for Earth when thirteen Covenant CCS-class battlecruisers and two CAS-class assault carriers attacked Earth. They tried to break through the Cairo's battle cluster by sending boarding craft to plant bombs on the stations to destroy them. Fleet Admiral Hood commanded the UNSC forces from the station during the attack. Unlike the Athens and the Malta, Cairo survived the Covenant attempt to detonate an antimatter charge on board. In an ironic twist, the bomb was located and used by John-117 to destroy a Covenant assault carrier.
Hood remained aboard the station for most of the battle. Hood and a navigation officer aboard Cairo helped Blue Team hijack Covenant destroyer Bloodied Spirit and jump into slipspace for Onyx by providing slipstream space coordinates and other intel. When John-117 returned later to Earth, Cairo was still intact, but appeared damaged from the battle. Lord Hood was still on board and in command of the UNSC forces participating in the Battle of Earth. The Cairo, the other MAC platforms, and three UNSC fleets held firm against the onslaught of the Prophet of Truth's Covenant forces. Cairo ultimately survived the Battle of Earth.
Cairo Station's main purpose is as a defensive station for Earth. Its main armament is a Mark V "Super" Magnetic Accelerator Cannon, capable of causing severe damage to even a shielded Covenant capital ship with a single hit, and is capable of being operated by an AI such as Cortana. However, there is an apparent lack of point-defense systems, as enemy boarding craft were able to attack the station unhindered. Presumably, like Reach's orbital weapon platforms, it runs on power transmitted from a planetside generator.
Internally, it is very similar to UNSC ships with set out decks and specialized rooms. Like all United Nations Space Command space constructs it featured regular bulkheads for protection against hull breaches but seemed especially adept for fending off boarding parties. It had large stockpiles of combat barriers, large supplies of M247 GPMGs, security booths providing defense points and regular weapons lockers in the walls containing Battle Rifles and SMGs. It is possible that these weapons are a substitute for point defenses. These extra defenses against boarding parties are an obvious precaution, as the ODPs like the Cairo would be large targets for Covenant forces. Unlike the Athens or the Malta, the Cairo's hangars were outfitted to support Pelican dropships and F-41D Broadswords fighters.
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