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A Type-25 Spirit, a Covenant dropship.

A dropship is an atmospheric and/or exoatmospheric transport aircraft/spaceplane of small proportions chiefly designed to service a ship, generally by transporting people and/or supplies to and from surfaces or another ship. They are often referred to as an assault boat,[1] shuttlecraft, or troop carrier; depending on the application of their intended type and role.


Some dropships are designed to carry specific types of cargo, such as supplies or prefabricated structures.[2] On capital ships, dropships perform double duty, serving as tenders in day-to-day activities, but fully equipped to act as evacuation crafts in an emergency.

A military dropship's primary technical definition is any logistical support/deployment platform that can deliver (or extract) troops, military assets, and hardware from space platforms to the surface of a planet or ship (or vice versa) for infiltration, invasion, and boarding operations. These dropships also serve as gunships and utility craft, providing ground operations with close air support in addition to ferrying infantry and matériel between combat zones within atmospheric and/or terrestrial environments.[3]

Covenant dropships

The Covenant's ubiquitous "Phantom" troop carrier.

Boarding craft

Evacuation craft

Gunship/close air support

Orbital insertion craft

Tender/troop carrier

VIP/staff transport craft

UNSC dropships

The UNSC's ubiquitous Pelican dropship.

Atmospheric-only craft

  • UH-144 Falcon – The primary air-to-ground support and troop transport aircraft of the UNSC Army.

Cargo/logistical support craft

  • D81-LRT Condor – A long-range, slipspace-capable dropship primarily used by the Sedran Colonial Guard.
  • D82-EST Darter – A dropship, similar to the Albatross, used to deliver supplies directly to forward bases.
  • D96-TCE Albatross – A larger, less common dropship used to transport large quantities of matériel and large groups of personnel.
  • Pod – A very large, heavy dropship used for transporting prefabricated structures to groundside locations.

Evacuation craft

Gunship/close air support craft

Orbital insertion craft

VIP/staff transport craft

Forerunner dropships

Flood dropships


  1. ^ Halo: The Flood, page 35
  2. ^ Halo Wars
  3. ^ Halo Wars: Genesis