D82-EST Darter

From Halopedia, the Halo wiki

It has been requested that image(s) be uploaded and added to this page or section.
Remove this template once the image(s) have been uploaded and applied.
D82-EST Darter
A D82-EST Darter lifting off from a UNSC Supply Pad on Sentry during the Halo Wars 2 Open Beta.
Production information


Vosper Engineering[1]



Technical specifications


23.7 meters (77.7 ft)[1]


9.7 meters (31.9 ft)[1]


8.8 meters (28.9 ft)[1]


124 metric tons (122 LT; 137 ST)[1]

Slipspace drive:



Typically none


Chronological and affiliation



United Nations Space Command


The Dropship 82-Equipment Supply Transport[1], more commonly known as the D82-EST Darter, is a dropship used by the United Nations Space Command to deliver supplies, such as rations and munitions, to forward bases.[2]


Design details[edit]

The Darter is a medium-lift utility dropship, filling a niche between the smaller Pelican series and the larger Albatross and Heron dropships. The vehicle is intended for operations which do not involve combat, and as such it is not armed with any kind of weaponry - though it is fitted with a countermeasures package that helps the vehicle ward off some incoming fire. In addition, the Darter is much more agile than its larger cousins, allowing it the ability to drop quickly into contested landing zones that may be challenging for other dropships.[1]

The Darter's cargo bay is capable of transporting large numbers of supply crates at a time. Once it has landed, the underside splits down the middle, lowering a metal pallet from the cargo bay and allowing its cargo to be left groundside to be unloaded. Once free of supplies, the Darter can reseal its cargo bay doors, returning to an orbiting spacecraft to resupply.[3]

Like Pelicans, Darters are not rated for transatmospheric transport of most UNSC combat vehicles, resulting in the employment of Vehicle Depot and Garage base structures instead. Rather than transport vehicles, the Darters transport partially disassembled vehicle components down to the firebase on the ground, to allow workshops in the base to reassemble the vehicle for combat.[4]


The D82-EST Darter has been in service since at least 2531.[3] It is a vital part of the UNSC's logistical operations, capable of deploying personnel, vehicles parts, weapons, and supplies from rations and medical kits to any groundside base. It serves as both an atmospheric and exoatmospheric vehicle capable of delivering troops and supplies wherever needed once a supply pad has been constructed.[5][1]

Operational history[edit]

In 2531, the support vessel UNSC Spirit of Fire had an extensive contingent of Darters, used to transport supplies for ground forces, namely in firebase unit construction.[3] In April 2553 the planetary militia on Venezia had acquired several Darters.[6] By 2559 the UNSC Spirit of Fire was still using Darter drop ships in the Second Ark Conflict.[7] Several Darters were assigned as part of the complement aboard Cairo Station.[8]


In Halo Wars, the D82-EST is used to transport supplies from the UNSC Spirit of Fire to provide additional resources for ground forces. They land on specific landing platforms, built into prefabricated firebase units designed to house supply crates they deliver. The Darter cannot be destroyed in-game. However, if a supply pad is destroyed, the craft assigned to it will disappear from the screen.

Halo Wars 2[edit]

Phoenix Log[edit]

Phoenix Log - Darter
Phoenix log artwork

Utility cargo dropship.

Darters are cargo dropships that form the backbone of the Spirit of Fire's logistical system. Darters are loaded with carefully packaged cargo pallets and passengers aboard the Spirit of Fire. They are then launched to firebases in the combat zone, dropping off vital supplies and returning with injured personnel and strategic resources. A steady stream of Darters is vital for the just-in-time warfighting strategy of UNSC expeditionary operations on hostile worlds.

Production notes[edit]

On an older, now-defunct Halo Waypoint page for the Halo 4 map Outcast, the spacecraft seen flying around the map's skybox was erroneously labelled a Darter.[9] This ship is instead an Ibis-class freighter.


A darter is a tropical seabird, in keeping with the UNSC's tradition of naming most atmospheric aircraft after birds.


List of appearances[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Halo Encyclopedia (2022 edition), page 151
  2. ^ Halo: The Essential Visual Guide
  3. ^ a b c Halo Wars, Darter in-game unit
  4. ^ Halo Wars 2, Phoenix Logs: Garage
  5. ^ Halo Wars 2, Phoenix Logs: Darter
  6. ^ Halo: Mortal Dictata, chapter 4
  7. ^ Halo Wars 2, Darter in-game unit
  8. ^ Halo: Warfleet, page 30-31
  9. ^ Halo Waypoint, Outcast Screenshot Gallery (Retrieved on May 14, 2013) [archive]