The Halberd-class destroyer is a class of destroyer in service with the UNSC Navy with a hull classification symbol of DD. Manufactured by SinoViet Heavy Machinery, the Halberd class was in service with the Navy during the Insurrection, throughout, and after the Human-Covenant War.
As with other destroyer classes, the Halberd combines heavy armament with high speed and thick, high-quality armor. A relatively small class of warship, these destroyers can use wolfpack tactics to engage more powerful Covenant warships with coordinated MAC fire and hit-and-run attacks to overwhelm their target's often superior defenses.
Superstructure and hull
The Halberd-class destroyer features a distinctive "arrowhead" profile. The hull of the Halberd class is reinforced with approximately two meters of Titanium-A armor, with parts of the hull featuring components made up of Vanadium steel. The hull is embedded with thermal superconducting radiators to more efficiently transfer the heat generated by the destroyers into space. At 485 meters in length, the class is only seven meters longer than a Stalwart-class light frigate, yet it has almost double the mass at 1.8 million metric tons; this is due to the destroyer's thicker and higher-quality titanium hull that allows destroyers of this class to take a tremendous amount of damage. Replacement armor plates can be quickly cut to shape and patched onto the ship at any naval depot, though any repairs to the destroyer's underlying structure often require the specialized care of a shipwright. Fast and requiring only a small crew, Halberd-class destroyers do not have as much armor as larger warships within the UNSC fleet. Though they lack general-purpose utility, the destroyers' heavy armaments compensate for this issue. The Halberd class has a modular design which allows them to be configured for different missions.
Halberds are also equipped with an advanced sensor array, the Mk. 45 long-range fire director. The destroyer class has a circular bridge with an array of display monitors for its crew. Like all warships of the UNSC Navy, the bridges on Halberd destroyers give the ship's command crew visibility of surrounding space, as per naval design guidelines. Later into the Human-Covenant War, Halberd-class destroyers were outfitted with an ε-pattern layout, providing an increased field of view. Each destroyer of the class has two armories, each filled with an assortment of firearms and equipment.
Halberd-class destroyers are powered by high-thrust fusion drives located at the aft, with four primary and four secondary drives. Powered by massive reactors, these fusion rockets generate both power and direct thrust with Deuterium and Helium-3 fuel mixed with Hydrogen or water reaction mass. The superheated exhaust is then redirected with thrust-vectoring plates and magnetic fields to increase the destroyer's manoeuvrability.
The destroyer has six emergency thruster tanks strategically placed on hardened points of the hull. Translight power is provided by a Shaw-Fujikawa Translight Engine, located in the destroyer's expansive engine room. The aft of the Halberd-class has reinforced armored screens fitted to protect fusion drives and the slipspace engine.
Crew and complement
The single hangar bay of the Halberd class is small and confined, with little maneuvering room for shuttlecraft. When the Halberd-class destroyer was introduced, its hangar was considered state-of-the-art, featuring a specialized set of gravity generators that can decelerate incoming small craft, which can also be reconfigured to fit an electromagnetic catapult launch assist that can quickly deploy shuttlecraft. Traditional electromagnetic launch hooks and arrestor cables are still fitted, in case of emergencies. Unlike most warships of the UNSC Navy, they do not carry space fighters. They do, however, carry two D77-TC Pelican dropships.
Halberd destroyers are only crewed by 250 sailors, a relatively small crew for a ship of its size. They also carry a small complement of fifty Marines, enough for a single platoon. The crew quarters are cramped with limited recreational facilities and only basic kitchen facilities. Strictly utilitarian in design, each crew member is allocated a single sleeping pod, though some personnel may have to share the same pod with another when the ship carries additional personnel.
In "wolf-pack" task forces, Halberd destroyers carry no Marine complement.
Though these destroyers are not as heavily armored compared to other warships in the Navy's fleet, they are armed with enhanced weapons systems that make up for their relatively light defensive capabilities. The Halberd-class destroyer's primary armament is a spinal-mounted 14B11R2 MAC battery, which is composed of twin-linked 1170mm/647mm (46"/25.5") high-velocity coilguns. The primary MAC is capable of firing all standard munition packages, ranging from hyper-dense kinetic slugs to semi-autonomous drone missiles. The secondary, smaller coilgun is only capable of firing kinetic rounds. The MAC battery is powered by capacitor cells that can quickly be swapped out if the cells become damaged or degraded.
The Halberd class is also armed with twenty-six oversized M58 Archer missile pods, capable of holding a total of over eight hundred individual Archer missiles. The class may also hold a payload of three Shiva-class nuclear missiles. For defense against single ships, the destroyer class carries four twin-linked M870 Rampart point defense guns. One of the most heavily armed classes of UNSC vessels, a group of Halberd-class destroyers is capable of engaging and inflicting heavy damage upon even the largest of Covenant ships.
The Halberd-class destroyer was the most commonly deployed destroyer class during the Human-Covenant War and the later years of the Insurrection. Such vessels were in service as early as 2517 Halberds engaged the Covenant as early as December 2525.
Halberd-class destroyers were attached to Battle Group X-Ray in 2526. Numerous destroyers from X-Ray were assigned to "wolf-pack" task forces. The operable life expectancy of the destroyers in these task forces was several weeks. One such task force, Task Force Pantea, fought the Covenant over Netherop. Despite their powerful armament and maneuverability, many fleet officers looked down upon destroyers, considering them too ineffective against Covenant ships. It was generally agreed that seven destroyers were an even match for four Covenant frigates.
Although Halberd-class destroyers can be configured for a variety of mission types, resource shortages during the Covenant War led to most Halberds being configured purely for escort duty, with entire subsystems left out to reduce construction time. At some point between 2548 and 2552, one destroyer of this class, UNSC The Heart of Midlothian, participated in the Algolis Invasion, where she destroyed five Covenant ships when the self-destruct fail-safe was initialized after she was boarded. Many Halberd-class destroyers participated in the Battle of Sigma Octanus IV, most notably UNSC Iroquois, which was captained by Commander Jacob Keyes. During the initial skirmish, Iroquois performed the daring Keyes Loop, destroying three Covenant warships in the process. Several dozen destroyers later participated in the Fall of Reach as part of the Epsilon Eridani Fleet. Halberd destroyers continue to be in service with the Navy by 2557, with some serving with the UNSC Home Fleet over Earth.
Ships of the line
Halo: Fleet Battles
This element includes four Halberd-class destroyers.
Behind the scenes
The destroyer class was likely named after the halberd, a two-handed pole weapon used during the 14th and 15th centuries. A Halo Waypoint article for UNSC The Heart of Midlothian claimed that the Halberd destroyer has a mass of 7,900 metric tons, a rather unrealistic weight significantly lighter than many modern auxiliary ships. This was later amended in Halo: Warfleet, giving the destroyer a mass of 1.8 million metric tons.
List of appearances