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Were you looking for the D77-TC Pelican, introduced in Halo: Combat Evolved? For the Pelican introduced in Halo 4, see D79-TC Pelican.
The D77H-TCI Pelican, formally known as the Dropship 77 Heavy-Troop Carrier/Infantry and more commonly known as the Pelican, is a newer model of the D77-TC Pelican dropship.
The D77H-TCI Pelican is the primary tactical support aircraft of the UNSC. Like the previous model, the D77H-TCI Pelican serves a multi-role purpose. The dropship is fully capable of atmospheric flight and can land almost anywhere without difficulty. It is also capable of limited spaceflight, making it the prime troop transport of the UNSC.
There are several interior and exterior design differences between the D77-TC and D77H-TCI models. Most notably difference is in the cockpit area. Instead of the pilot and co-pilot sitting next to each other, the co-pilot is seated behind and above the pilot, and the controls and instrument panels are rearranged and upgraded. A small holotank is installed in the cockpit, allowing an artificial intelligence to project its holographic avatar to the craft's pilots.
There are also differences in the bay of the craft: the so-called "blood tray". Although the D77H-TCI Pelican carries the same number of passengers as its predecessor, its troop-bay is more flexible, able to carry up to two M274 Mongoose ULATVs internally, in addition to ten passengers. Like the original models, the D77H-TCI's tail-mounted magnetic clamps are capable of carrying an M12 Warthog FAV, an M808 Scorpion MBT, or several resupply canisters.
The D77H-TCI Pelican, like its predecessor, can be armed with a 40mm or 70mm chain gun, an M638 20mm autocannon, a rotary machine gun, or a pair of twin-linked rotary cannons. The Pelican is also able to mount a machine gun - typically an AIE-486H Heavy Machine Gun - in its troop bay for supporting ground teams and covering the departure of its passengers, although this prevents it from carrying a vehicle internally. The D77H can also be equipped with ANVIL-II Air-to-Surface Missile pods; rather than being externally mounted to the wings, these pods are integrated seamlessly into the fuselage. The ANVIL pods can fire up to twelve missiles at once, six from each pod. A gunship version of the D77H is in service as well; this heavily armed version is equipped with more chainguns, missiles, and a large cannon mounted at the ventral-fore of the dropship.
The main engines are mounted in pairs in four nacelles, with one situated on each wing and two at the rear and posterior. The nacelles can articulate independently, thus altering the direction of thrust, referred to as vectoring in aviation; this improves the Pelican's low altitude maneuverability. Four ventral thrusters are identified by markings and a rendered thrust effect, one on each wing nacelle and one on each aft nacelle, allow the drop ship to land and take off vertically. These engines are capable of both space and atmospheric operation. It has eight jet intakes, three on each side and two on top, though intakes are obviously not able to function in a vaccuum. The D77H-TCI, like 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.
The D77H-TCI Pelican was introduced at least during the Insurrection and numerous, along with the original D77-TC Pelican, were as well deployed during the battles of the Human-Covenant War. During the Battle of Chi Ceti, the SPARTAN-II company used a D77H-TCI Pelican to make a boarding action against the Covenant CRS-class light cruiser Unrelenting by flying out of the Pelican with thruster packs to board the nearby enemy vessel.[Note 1]
Multiple D77H-TCI Pelicans were in use over course of Harvest campaign and later Battle for Arcadia and Battle of the Etran Harborage, including one such Pelican with a woodland camouflage scheme that was used by the Sergeant John Forge and the Fire Team Lima to board the heavily damaged UNSC Prophecy to purge its NAV database and recover the survivors of the Marathon-class heavy cruiser.
In the final year of the Great War, the D77H-TCI Pelicans may have been used during the Battle of Sigma Octanus IV and the Fall of Reach.[Note 2] An extensive number of D77H-TCI Pelicans was prominently deployed during the Battle for Earth, including during the final space battle against Prophet of Truth's loyalist armada led by Anodyne Spirit. They were again deployed extensively by the Battle Group Victory supported by the Sangheili separatist Fleet of Retribution during the Battle of Installation 00, the final battle of the war.
In the aftermath of the Human-Covenant War, many D77H-TCI Pelicans remains in service even when they were supplanted by the D79-TC Pelican. Numerous D77H-TCI Pelicans were used against a splintered Covenant group during the Battle of Draetheus V in 2554. A number of D77H-TCI Pelicans were assigned to the UNSC Infinity, the flagship of UNSC Navy, and were deployed by the supercarrier notably during the Operation: WHISTLE STOP and WOLFE.
Law enforcement variant
The D77C-NMPD is a variant of the D77H-TCI that was utilized by the New Mombasa Police Department in Kenya, Africa, on Earth. 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.
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