Fuel rod

From Halopedia, the Halo wiki

A Class-2 fuel rod projectile in mid-flight.

"It’s so weird. I don’t know who first called it a fuel rod gun, but it’s kind’a funny. I suppose the projectile is reminiscent of how you might expect to see a nuclear fuel rod depicted in a gee eh cartoon—all glowing green and throwing off sparks."
— Anonymous E2-BAG/1/7 serviceman.[1]

Fuel rods (Sangheili: Ket-lambdatha) are a colloquial nickname given by human personnel for a form of explosive munition used in several Covenant weapon systems.[2][3]


The ket-lambathda gained their human-given nicknames from their appearance, visually resembling popular culture depictions of nuclear fuel rods.[1] Despite this, the technology has very little in common with nuclear technology. Fuel rods consist of caseless, transparent projectiles[3] containing incendiary gel - a radioactive substance composed of energetic meta-materials and strained-bond lattices—an imperfect form of Forerunner infusion gel.[4][2]

When the fuel rod weapon is fired, the radioactive chemical inside the fuel rod is ignited and launched from its containment shell, exploding on impact with a surface or once enough gas has been expelled from the projectile to reach environmental equilibrium.[2]


Fuel rods are primarily employed by the Covenant in anti-armor and anti-air roles, fired by their fuel rod guns and fuel rod cannons. The visibility of the fuel rod projectiles in flight give them a distinct psychological effect on enemy soldiers, which helps in their intimidation value.[1] Fuel rods fired by vehicle-mounted cannons can be guided by remote lock-on, while those fired from infantry-mounted weapons typically fire with a pronounced arc allowing them to be used as an indirect-fire mortar.

The XM4600 Zeus plasma munition howitzer developed by the United Nations Space Command during the Human-Covenant War utilises fuel rods encased in a custom 320mm shell.[5]


At least two variants of fuel rod munition have been catalogued by the UNSC;


Class-2 fuel rod projectiles are unguided and 38 millimeters (1.5 in) in diameter.[3][1][6] They are the primary projectile fired by infantry-portable fuel rod guns including the Gespu-pattern, Korva-pattern fuel rod gun, Pez'tk-pattern fuel rod gun and Zasqi-pattern fuel rod guns, alongside some variants of assault cannon.[2]


The fuel rod cannons mounted on the Ogab'd-pattern anti-aircraft Wraith and Muv'te-pattern anti-aircraft Wraiths, alongside those of the Banshee use the heavier Class-3 fuel rods, which have a greater range and a capability to track heat signatures.[7] The Morsam-pattern Seraph is additionally equipped with four fuel rod cannons, which are capable of locking onto air targets.[8]


Though widely used among UNSC personnel, "fuel rod" is actually an informal term supposedly originating from common popular culture depictions of nuclear fuel rods.[1][2] Rumors surround fuel rods, with many UNSC Marines under the apparent belief that even carrying a weapon that uses them for ammunition can cause Boren's Syndrome.[9] In practice, Spartan Operations personnel are advised to avoid handling fuel rod components without protective MJOLNIR Powered Assault Armor, due to the projectiles' radioactivity and toxicity.[6]


List of appearances[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e, Type-33 Light Anti-Armor Weapon (Retrieved on Jan 31, 2021) [local archive] [external archive]
  2. ^ a b c d e Halo Encyclopedia (2022 edition), page 298-299
  3. ^ a b c Halo: The Essential Visual Guide, page 77
  4. ^ Halo Waypoint, Community Update - Infusion Invasion (Retrieved on Oct 30, 2021) [archive]
  5. ^ Halo Encyclopedia (2022 edition), page 141
  6. ^ a b Halo: Official Spartan Field Manual, page 195
  7. ^ Halo: The Essential Visual Guide, page 9
  8. ^ Halo: Reach, Seraph in-game vehicle
  9. ^, Type-51 Carbine (Retrieved on Jan 16, 2021) [local archive] [external archive]