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As a dominent Pelican model for many decades, the D77H-TCI Pelican features a versatile airframe, a power-efficent thruster configuration, and dense ablative armor for quick-transfer deployments deep into foe-occupied area. Like the previous standard D77 model used during the Human-Covenant War, it features an extrordinary level of versality with regard to its arsenal, albeit parts with its forebearer in a variety of ways with several interior and exterior design differences. This includes most notably vertically staggered cockpit seats in tandem, with the co-pilot seated behind and above the pilot, instead of both crew sitting next to each other, and the controls and instrument panels are rearranged and upgraded. A small holotank is installed in the cockpit, allowing a "smart" AI to project its holographic avatar to the craft's pilots.
The D77H-TCI Pelican's standard armament has two Anvil-II air-to-surface missile pods—which are integrated seamlessly into the fuselage rather than being externally mounted to the wings—and a rear-bay-mounted machine gun–typically an AIE-486H machine gun–in its troop bay for providing sufficient suppresive fire for supporting ground teams and loading or offloading personnel in contested sites, and covering the departure of its passengers, although this prevents it from carrying a vehicle internally. The ANVIL pods can fire up to twelve missiles at once, six from each pod. It may also features a trio of nose-mounted chainguns.
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. Eight 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.
Crew and complement/Payload capacity
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 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, an M808 Scorpion, or several resupply canisters.
A gunship version of the D77H is in service; this heavily armed version is equipped with more chainguns, missiles, and a large cannon mounted at the ventral-fore of the dropship. Another configuration of the D77H Pelican were used by the UNSC Spirit of Fire crew during the Harvest campaign and Battle of the Etran Harborage.
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 Zanar-pattern 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 Trove, 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.
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