Charon-class light frigate

From Halopedia, the Halo wiki

UNSC Aegis Fate.png
Class attributes


Hull classification symbol: FFG[1][2]



SinoViet Heavy Machinery[4]

In service:

2501 or earlier-present[5][Note 1][Note 2]

General characteristics




490 meters (1,607 ft)[4][1][2]


160 meters (510 ft)[1][2]


139 meters (457 ft)[2]


0.65 million tonnes[4]

Maneuver drive:

Naoto Technologies: V4/L-DFR[6]

Slipspace drive:



782 (includes troop complement and sailors)[7]



UNSC Marines and Orbital Drop Shock Troopers[9]


Titanium-A armor


Air wing:

Air facilities:


The Charon-class light frigate is a type of escort ship manufactured by SinoViet Heavy Machinery and formerly in service with the CMA Navy and UNSC Navy. Ships of this class are used primarily in fleet escort duties, planetary defense, and the landing & deployment of mobile troops.[1][4]


Design details[edit]

At 490 meters in length, the Charon is one of the smaller vessels in UNSC service. It utilises the standard design style followed by its siblings, the Paris-class heavy frigate and Stalwart-class light frigate, with twin hull booms located at the ship's fore - one of which containing the ship's primary keel-mounted Magnetic Accelerator Cannon. The sides of the ship contain flight pods with reaction control system (RCS) thrusters and defensive turrets, alongside ventral elevators for loading supplies down onto a planetary surface.[10]

Owing to its enlarged hangar bay, the Charon-class frigate is better suited to landing forces groundside than other frigate classes.[1] The ship's sublight power plant is a Naoto Technologies: V4/L deuterium fusion reactor. Translight power is provided by a Series IV CODEN Shaw-Fujikawa Translight Engine.[6][2]

Crew and complement[edit]

The Charon has a maximum crew and complement of 782.[7] It can carry several Pelican dropships as well as an assortment of ground and air vehicles. These include M808 Scorpions and its variants, AV-14 Hornets, and various varieties of M12 Warthogs. 12 SOIEV deployment bays line the aft-most portions of the ship's ventral surface, each capable of deploying an M8823 drop pod.[9]

The Charon boasts one of the largest hangar bays by volume of any frigate in the fleet,[4] with the lower hangar fitted with a large opening on its aft wall. Three elevators are installed in the floor of the bay, which can either retract to allow for the launch of its embarked Pelicans, or extended to deploy its fleet of Scorpions and Warthogs to the surface.[9] 32 lifeboats of unknown class are installed on the ship - three on the port and starboard sides of the bridge, 8 on the upper MAC boom, and five on the ventral hulls of the port and starboard modules.[10]


The Charon-class is lightly armed when compared to its peers. With the ship well-suited for carrying and landing troops onto a planet,[1] its armaments are more geared toward providing local fire support.[4] frigate's primary armament is a Mark II, Light Coil – 83B6R3 Magnetic Accelerator Cannon.[6] It also boasts 10 M58 Archer missile pods, with two lining the port and starboard sides of the upper MAC boom and a further pod mounted on each of the two large "wings" flanking the engines of the ship. A further Archer pod is located on the ventral surface of each of the port and starboard modules, with a final Archer located on the port and starboard sides of the ship's belly, just forward of the SOIEV deployment bays.[10][Note 2]

Supplementing the MAC and missiles are four dual-mount M870 Rampart point defense guns installed on the port and starboard hangar bays, one on the dorsal surface and one below.[10][6][2] Additionally, the Charon sports three M4093 Hyperion nuclear delivery system silos[6], which are capable of destroying an unshielded Zanar-pattern light cruiser.[11][2]

Ships of the line[edit]

CMA Navy

Production notes[edit]

Main article: Cut Halo 3 vehicles#Frigates

During an early draft of the Halo 3 script written by Rob Stokes, the role fulfilled by the Charon in the final game was given to the Stalwart-class originally introduced in Halo 2. In this early draft, Battle Group Victory was to consist of seven vessels, with a handful named as UNSC Providence, UNSC Madrid, UNSC Ningbo, and UNSC Ophir. The Providence was an early production name for what would become Forward Unto Dawn in the final game, and appears in a few pieces of early concept art. During the frigate's production, a concept produced by Isaac Hannaford depicts a ship by the name of UNSC Andraste - notably, this design differs in several key areas from the final Charon design, and was later recreated near 1:1 in Halo: Reach as the Paris-class heavy frigate. This artwork would ultimately appear in The Art of Halo 3 and the Halo Encyclopedia (2009 edition), well before Reach had finished development.

Halo 4 redesign, canon status, and inconsistencies[edit]

The Forward Unto Dawn was drastically redesigned in Halo 4, including a restructured hull and the addition of several point defense guns. Though 343 Industries writer Jeff Easterling has clarified that the Charon's original design is canon,[12] the redesign served as the basis of the Strident-class heavy frigate.[13] The Halo Encyclopedia (2022 edition) later intentionally used an image of UNSC Forward Unto Dawn from Halo 3, confirming this intent.

The Halo 4-provided statistics for the weapons complement of the class are inconsistent with the canon Halo 3 visual design for the frigate. While the Halo Encyclopedia (2022 edition) did reuse these figures, this Halopedia page has intentionally chosen to ignore these numbers due to the irreconcilable discrepancies. The primary reason here is that the numbers provided for weapons are based on the Halo 4 iteration of the ship, which was several times larger than the canon Halo 3 iteration. While the Halo 3 model is consistent with the stats' single MAC and 4 M870 Rampart defensive turrets, the missile complements are wildly off. The Halo 4-provided stats list 50 M58 Archer missile pods and 3 massive M4093 Hyperion silos - a missile loadout that would never feasibly be able to fit inside the ship. For comparison, a Paris-class heavy frigate has 26 M58 Archers, a Mulsanne-class light frigate has 20, and the Stalwart-class light frigate has 16. The canon Halo 3 in-game model for the Charon-class frigate has 10 Archer pods, something much more consistent with the other established numbers for the similarly-sized frigates of the UNSC Navy. As such, Halopedia has chosen to ignore

The 2022 Halo Encyclopedia introduced a further inconsistency for the Charon's service life, establishing the vessel as entering service in 2520. This is contradicted by the insurrectionist-captured Charons Bellicose and Iliad, which have been observed as active in 2501 and 2513, respectively. As such, Halopedia has also chosen to treat the 2520 number as a mistake within the encyclopedia, until such a time as a clarification can be provided from 343 Industries.


The class potentially is named after either Charon, a minor god who ferried the souls of the dead to the underworld in Greek mythology, or after a natural satellite of Pluto.


Canon Halo 3 design[edit]

Non-canon Halo 4 design[edit]

List of appearances[edit]


  1. ^ The Halo Encyclopedia (2022 edition) states that the Charon entered service in 2520, which contradicts appearances of two earlier frigates, the insurrectionist vessels Bellicose and the Iliad. They where first spotted in 2501 and 2513 respectively
  2. ^ a b c See production notes section for full details


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Halo: The Essential Visual Guide, page 74, 76
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Halo 4: The Essential Visual Guide, page 186-187
  3. ^ Halo: The Fall of Reach – The Animated Series
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Halo Encyclopedia (2022 edition), page 123
  5. ^ Halo: Evolutions - The Impossible Life and the Possible Death of Preston J. Cole
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h Halo Waypoint, The Halo Bulletin: 10.10.12 (Retrieved on Jul 30, 2014) [archive]
  7. ^ a b Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn: 0:36
  8. ^ a b c Halo 3, multiplayer map Sandtrap
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Halo 3, campaign level The Ark
  10. ^ a b c d e f g Halo 3, Charon-class frigate in-game model
  11. ^ Halo 4, campaign level Dawn
  12. ^ Halo Waypoint, Canon Fodder - Have S'moa (Retrieved on Mar 16, 2021) [archive]
  13. ^ Halo 4: The Essential Visual Guide, page 192