From Halopedia, the Halo wiki
Energy projectors are a broad classification of naval weaponry used by the Covenant aboard their spacecraft. They operate as high-tier plasma weaponry firing streams of high-intensity plasma at a target typically guided by a combination of magnetic fields and gravitic energy.
Energy projectors employ the use of gravitic impellors and magnetic lensing to accelerate, focus and direct beams of high-intensity plasma generated by the ship's pinch fusion reactor. The most powerful energy projectors form tight beam lances for excavation and cutting, while lesser mechanisms emit streams of plasma which are bent towards targets using magnetic fields. When preparing to fire, energy projectors employ targeting vanes that iris into position around a magnetized muzzle, ready to direct the plasma they fire. This charging period is signified with a buildup of plasma around the targeting mechanism and a bright glow, before the firing sequence commences.
Some classes of Covenant space stations also carry energy projectors as their main defensive capability; one of the few known instances of this was when the UNSC Infinity encountered a Covenant battlestation orbiting the gas giant Oth Lodon in 2558. In this engagement the station, commandeered by Insurrectionists of the New Colonial Alliance fired the station's main energy projector upon the UNSC flagship, severely damaging it with a single shot. This particular projector was mounted upon the station's central "tower", allowing for maximum range and effect against approaching targets.
Types of energy projector
There are multiple kinds of energy projector used by the Covenant. In the same way that coilgun technology is used by humanity in a wide variety of applications ranging from small point-defense guns to gargantuan Magnetic Accelerator Cannons, so do energy projectors for the Covenant.
- Main article: Excavation beam
Excavations beams serve aboard the largest Covenant ships as tools for mining and orbital bombardment, and are as such typically placed on the ship's ventral surface - giving rise to the colloquialism "ventral beams". They are used on only the largest capital ships, and can have their output dialled as such to excavate Forerunner artefacts with fine-tuned precision or obliterate ground installations with plasma until the surface is but glass.
Excavation beams are generally only equipped on the largest Covenant capital ships; carriers, cruisers and destroyers all see them as a standard fitting - with generally only one excavation beam per-ship (the Sh'wada-pattern supercarrier serves as a notable exception to this rule, hosting multiple arrays of excavation beam).
- Main article: Plasma lance
Unlike excavation beams, plasma lances serve as a primary anti-warship weapon aboard the largest Covenant ships, serving in a role similar to the Magnetic Accelerator Cannons of humanity. Plasma lances fire tightly-focused streams of high-velocity plasma that deal damage via both thermal and kinetic means, able to bisect unshielded warships entirely.
Plasma lances are distributed more throughout the Covenant naval forces than excavation beams; while still predominantly used on larger warships, they also see some use on the smaller vessels of the Covenant too. Notable examples include the Rothen-pattern fireship and Mutan Et-pattern storm cutter.
- Main article: Plasma beam emitter
Plasma beams function as a scaled down-form of plasma lance for use as a more general-purpose anti-ship weapon comparable in form to human naval coilgun turrets. They are found on most Covenant warships in higher numbers than plasma beams, and serve as a major weapon system for use in combat.
- Main article: Focus cannon
Focus cannons are small-scale energy projectors used by the Covenant for ground warfare and excavation. Unlike their aforementioned counterparts, focus cannons are generally not mounted on starships, but instead on the ground vehicles of the Covenant. They are most prominently used on excavators such as Locusts and Scarabs, though select heavy ground vehicles like the Zashk-pattern Draugr may also use them too.
In Halo Wars, the Prophet of Regret uses the Cleansing Beam as his leader power. An orbiting vessel "glasses" the target, and has the power to destroy almost anything. The weapon's capabilities can be upgraded to progressively increase power and decrease supply usage at the temple. The upgrades are named Regret's Sentence, Regret's Doom, and Regret's Condemnation, respectively.
To use it, the player must select the Prophet of Regret and press the Y button. The player can then use the left thumbstick to move the beam around the Prophet's field of view. The Cleansing Beam can damage all units, including the player's and allies' forces; however, Regret himself cannot be damaged by the beam. The beam's color is dependent upon the player's team color.
Large Covenant ships, such as the Shadow of Intent, have energy projectors located on their undersides.
A Covenant assault carrier glassing New Mombasa with an energy projector.
The Cleansing Beam in Halo Wars.
A Ket-pattern battlecruiser glassing New Alexandria.
John-117 avoiding Solemn Penance's energy projector.
The Unrelenting firing its energy projector.
List of appearances