D77-TC Pelican

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For the Pelican from Halo 3, see D77H-TCI Pelican. For the Pelican introduced in Halo 4, see D79-TC Pelican.
Dropship 77-Troop Carrier
Production information


Misriah Armory[1]


Pelican Dropship 77-Troop Carrier

  • Variants:
    • D77H-TCI
    • D77C-NMPD


Dropship, gunship

Technical specifications


30.5 meters (100 ft)
Troop Bay: 6.19 meters (20.3 ft)[2]


Wingspan: 23.3 meters (76 ft)
Troop Bay: 4.65 meters (15.3 ft)


10 meters (33 ft)
10.5 meters (34 ft) with landing gear
Troop Bay: 3.23 meters (10.6 ft)


Two main engines housed in middle section of ship, ten maneuvering thrusters housed in four vector pylons.

Navigation system(s):

Motion trackers[3]


Single or twin-linked nose-mounted projectile weapons: M370 autocannon (standard),[4][5] 40mm chain gun,[6] large-caliber rotary machine gun[7]


10-14 passengers; in addition to:


  • One pilot
  • One co-pilot
  • One crew chief
Chronological and affiliation


26th century




United Nations Space Command


The D77-TC Pelican, formally known as the Dropship 77-Troop Carrier and commonly known as the Pelican, is an extremely versatile space-to-ground capable craft used by the United Nations Space Command, mainly for the pickup and transportation of personnel, vehicles and equipment, as well as a powerful gunship.

The D77-TC Pelican is mainly responsible for the rapid insertion and extraction of troops, vehicles, and equipment to the battlefield. The D77-TC has been in service for over fifty years, and is the primary tactical support aircraft of the UNSC. The Pelican serves a multi-role purpose; it is fully capable of atmospheric flight and can land almost anywhere without difficulty. The Pelican is also capable of limited spaceflight, which the UNSC uses as a primary way of delivering troops to the surface from orbit. The UNSC also uses Pelicans as civilian vehicles for quick evacuations.[10][11]

The Pelican's standard armament consists of one Class III externally powered projectile weapon at the fore of the vehicle, and one Class I gas-operated projectile weapon mounted at the rear, in the extended crew area. More heavily armed variants exist, and the Pelican can be converted to a gunship role with the addition of numerous and more powerful weaponry.[12]


Payload capacity[edit]

The Pelican is capable of carrying up to seventy tons of passengers and cargo using a combination of internal and external methods. The main compartment of the Pelican is sometimes called the "blood tray".[13] Optimally, the "blood tray" has enough compartment space for ten seated people, but can hold five additional standing people, though the Pelican can carry many more passengers if necessary.[14] However, this increased payload capacity is sometimes due to internal modification. For example, the SPARTAN-IIs were assigned a specialized Pelican that was able to hold an entire team of twenty-five, as well as fitting cutting gear to board a Covenant warship. Three Pelicans used for the SPARTAN-III Program carried 300 children, though this may have been the effort of numerous trips back and forth from the surface.[citation needed]

The large aft overhang gives an attachment point for additional cargo and ordnance. Possible payloads include a troop deployment pod, an M808B Main Battle Tank, an M12 Force Application Vehicle, or eight resupply canisters.


The Pelican's primary armament consists of one or more nose-mounted projectile weapons, typically autocannons or machine guns. Commonly known as "chin guns" due to their placement,[4] these weapons are controlled via an Integrated Helmet and Display Sight System (IHADSS), which links to the pilot's or co-pilot's heads-up display and allows them to target the gun by head movements.[14][15] The Pelican's standard armament is a chin-mounted M370 autocannon, which is sometimes linked with another such weapon;[16] the M370, which fires 70mm depleted uranium slugs a high velocities, apparently superseded the 40mm chain gun that was common prior to 2525.[6] Some Marine Corps Pelicans are armed with a single a rotary machine gun instead of a chain gun.[7]

In addition to its primary armament, the Pelican can carry externally mounted missile pods, each holding eight ANVIL-II Air-to-Surface Missiles. A machine gun such as an M247 General Purpose Machine Gun with an optional 25mm grenade launcher,[7] or an AIE-486H Heavy Machine Gun, can be mounted facing out the troop bay to provide cover fire for embarking and disembarking troops. These weapons can be folded against the roof of the bay when not in use.


The main engines are mounted in pairs in four nacelles, one on each wing and two at the rear. The nacelles can articulate independently, thus vectoring the direction of thrust and improving the dropship's low-altitude maneuverability. Six ventral thrusters, two on each wing nacelle and one on each aft nacelle, allow the Pelican to land and take off vertically. These engines are capable of both space and atmospheric operation. The D77-TC, although fully capable of orbital insertion, is too small to be equipped with a Shaw-Fujikawa Translight Engine, and thus is incapable of slipspace travel.[citation needed]

Additional features[edit]

The Pelican's electronic systems are hardened against electromagnetic pulse. The craft also features jamming and detection gear, as well as a computerized mapping system. The Pelican is also equipped with an onboard weapons locker, which can hold weapons and ammunition for up to 30 troops.[14]



Main article: D77H-TCI Pelican

The D77H-TCI appears nearly identical to the regular D77-TC except for being more angular. However, instead of the side-by-side positioning of the pilot and copilot, the pilot sits at the fore of the dropship, with the co-pilot behind him/her, and at a higher position, in tandem. The D77H-TCI is capable of sporting missile pods that are integrated directly into the wings rather than the externally mounted pods used by the D77.

Law enforcement[edit]

Main article: D77C-NMPD Pelican

The D77C-NMPD is a variant of the D77H-TCI that was utilized by the New Mombasa Police Department in Kenya, Africa, on Earth.[17] It was differentiated from its military counterpart by a black and white color scheme, with the word "POLICE" replacing the traditional "MARINES" on the external hull, and a noted lack of armament. Under the craft's chin, where a machine gun turret or autocannon would normally be installed, were various interchangeable sensors used by the police for aerial surveillance and crowd control. An AIE-486H Heavy Machine Gun was typically mounted in the personnel bay of the D77C-NMPD, similarly to the D77 and D77H models.


Building upon the versatile foundation of the venerable D77 airframe, the G77S Pelican is an impressive gunship design cooked up by Isabel and the UNSC Spirit of Fire's engineers to help turn the tide of battle against Banished forces on the Ark. The G77S Pelican Gunship boasts a powerful range of armaments, including top-mounted ANVIL missile pods, four payload hardpoints, a forward M370 chaingun turret, and multiple 12.7mm Vulcan cannons.[18]

UNSC Air Force variant[edit]

The version of the Pelican used by the UNSC Air Force features a few major differences from other variants of the aircraft. First, the cockpit layout resembles that of the newer D77H-TCI model with the co-pilot's station located behind and above the pilot rather than side-by-side. Also, most Air Force Pelicans have chin-mounted M638 autocannons rather than the 40mm or 70mm weapons typically mounted on Marine Corps Pelicans. Another difference seen in Air Force Pelicans is that the cockpit is not separated from the troop bay; instead the troop bay and cockpit form a larger interior space than on the Navy and Marine Corps Pelicans.[citation needed]

D78 Pelican[edit]

Although the D79-TC Pelican largely supplanted the D77 in post-war service, surviving hulls would be upgraded with improved avionics and thrusters, redesignated D78-TC and continuing to serve.[19][20]

Identified Pelicans[edit]

Halo: Fleet Battles[edit]

UNSC Pelican Boarding Craft[edit]

  • Flight slots: 0
  • Movement: 12"
  • Damage track: 4
  • Security detail: 2
  • Systems loadout: Heroic save (Trooper)


Main-Superintendent.png Browse more images in this article's gallery page.
  • A pelican is a seabird, in keeping with the UNSC's tradition of naming atmospheric vehicles after real animals, with the exceptions of the Cyclops and Gremlin, which are named after mythical creatures, and the Longsword, Shortsword, Sabre, and Broadsword which are named after bladed weapons.
  • All Pelican dropships in Halo: Combat Evolved bear either the numbers E419 (Echo 419) or V933 (Victor 933). This was likely done to save resources during the development of the game.
  • The Pelican shows clear inspiration from the UD4L Cheyenne dropship from the movie Aliens, which has inspired the Halo series in many ways.
  • In Halo 2 gameplay, players can see the insides of the Pelican's cockpit, but no pilots are inside, despite they can be heard in COMs.
  • There is a glitch in the Halo 2 level Metropolis where the player can ride in a Pelican. It will take the player out of the map, flip, and eject the player. If the player attempts to right the flipped Pelican, the script will read "Hold X to flip Banshee", because Bungie never intended for the Pelican to be operable by the player, and therefore did not make a unique message. The Pelican's in-game physics will make it impossible to correctly and permanently flip the Pelican, as it will always reposition itself in an upside-down position.
  • In Halo: Reach, the player can pilot a Pelican through an Easter egg.
  • In Halo: Reach, the inside screens show information on the Office of Naval Intelligence's SWORD Base.
  • In Halo: Reach, all Pelicans are registered as NOBLE Team assets, as they are all given the tag "NOBLE 48".


List of appearances[edit]


  1. ^ Halo: Arms Race
  2. ^ Image comparison
  3. ^ Halo: Combat Evolved, campaign level 343 Guilty Spark
  4. ^ a b Halo: The Essential Visual Guide, page 135
  5. ^ Halo: The Flood, page 39
  6. ^ a b Halo: The Fall of Reach, page 92 ("John sized up her armaments - dented and charred armor, a pair of old, out-of-date 40mm chain guns.")
  7. ^ a b c Halo 2
  8. ^ Halo: Reach, campaign level Tip of the Spear
  9. ^ Halo Waypoint: Pelican
  10. ^ Halo: Reach, campaign level Exodus
  11. ^ Halo: Uprising
  12. ^ Halo 4, campaign level Shutdown
  13. ^ Halo: Ghosts of Onyx, page 203
  14. ^ a b c Halo: Combat Evolved: Sybex Official Strategies & Secrets, page 66
  15. ^ Halo: the Flood, page 77
  16. ^ Halo: Ghosts of Onyx, page 40
  17. ^ Halo Waypoint: D77C-NMPD Pelican
  18. ^ Halo Waypoint - Canon Fodder: The Art of War(s)
  19. ^ Halo 4: The Essential Visual Guide, page 112
  20. ^ Halo Waypoint: Pelican