Hekar Taa-pattern Blockade Runner
The Hekar Taa-pattern Blockade Runner is a vestigial class of corvette used by the Sangheili during the War of Beginnings. This class of corvette was later utilized by the fleets of Covenant remnants, including the Swords of Sanghelios and Jul 'Mdama's Covenant. While these corvettes lack in armor and protection, Blockade Runners are fast ships with powerful armaments.
Hull and superstructure
The Hekar Taa-pattern Blockade Runner is a swift class of corvette, abstaining from protection for speed and firepower. As with most older Sangheili designs, these warships were designed for the sole purpose of breaking through enemy formations, as well as flanking around enemy lines to hunt down and destroy damaged vessels. Like most Sangheili warships, the aesthetics of the Blockade Runners of the Hekar Taa-pattern have strong biomimetic elements, bearing a resemblance to the arkon taa, a type of carnivorous fish found in the northern waters of Sanghelios and other Sangheili colonies. The Blockade Runner is comparable to the modern CCS-class battlecruiser, albeit with less armor.
Sleek and nimble, yet a powerful medium-sized warship, Blockade Runners are designed to allow even the boldest shipmasters to complete their missions. Configured with only minor modifications, the ancient stealth generators that these corvettes are outfitted with conceal the vessel's location through brute-force jamming and expenditure of small drones, as opposed to the sensor distortion grids utilized by modern active camouflage systems installed on Covenant designs. Blockade Runners also host a large complement of crew, for countering boarding efforts and launching attacks of their own. However, they are purely Sangheili warships, and modifications made for other species are typically clumsy refits. Even then, many Sangheili still find serving aboard a Hekar-Taa an uncomfortable experience, due to the ships' scented air and droning subsonic hymnals that were once standard features two millennia ago.
The repulsor engine found on the Hekar Taa is a cruder model than those found on more modern Covenant warships, requiring constant monitoring and adjustment to operate at full power in contrast to the longevity of their newer counterparts. While its hyperscanner panels are still far superior to most human sensors, modern Covenant ships are able to easily avoid being detected.
The Blockade Runner's armaments are antiquated, but not ineffective. The unrefined energy projectors offended San'Shyuum bureaucrats of the Covenant, but they are more than capable of disabling the energy shielding and shattering the hulls of modern warships. The plasma torpedoes equipped to the Blockade Runner primarily shoot backwards, further aiding the corvette in its breakthrough strategies. These corvettes are also outfitted with plasma cannons. Often supported by more modern designs, such as the ADP-class escort, a Blockade Runner is still capable of generating enough firepower to threaten even the most powerful warships of the Covenant, Swords of Sanghelios, Banished, or UNSC Navy.
The older style of energy projector found equipped on the blockade runner generally lacks range and delicacy, but makes up for these shortcomings in sheer power. These cannons can be further overcharged beyond what the Covenant consider prudent, though this double-edged sword may lead inexperienced crews to run the risk of crippling their weapon systems. The blockade runner additionally contains a centrally-located hangar, with many older models still stocked with ancient designs of the Banshee and other craft, now discarded or recycled during modern-day refits.
The Blockade Runners were first used by the Sangheili against the San'Shyuum during the War of Beginnings. One legendary Blockade Runner, Joori's Light, succeeded in evading destruction and capture at the hands of the San'Shyuum during the war. When the war came to an end and the Covenant was established through the Writ of Union, the crew of Joori's Light refused to join the Covenant and instead escaped to uncharted space. Many current-surviving blockade runners are vestiges of this time, having originally belonged to a fleet headed by Ophon 'Qaram, with the blockade runners serving as his signature warship. These ships were used to strike at San 'Shyuum fortifications, before vanishing prior to retaliation by enemy forces.
Over the course of history the ships received upgrades. As the Blooding Years embroiled Sanghelios, Blockade Runners were pulled from hidden stocks in the outer edge of the Joori system by Thel 'Vadam's Swords of Sanghelios and Jul 'Mdama's Covenant to bolster their fleets. Upgraded to modern specifications, these corvettes have been used in supporting ground operations during the civil war against the better judgement of their shipmasters. In October 2558, some Blockade Runners were present during the Battle of Kamchatka, the attack on Argent Moon, and the Battle of Sunaion.
Ships of the line
Halo: Fleet Battles
Behind the scenes
In the real world, blockade runners were lightly armed and armored warships designed for speed, intended to evade engagement by blockading naval forces, usually to transport cargo or to carry messages or personnel to other ports.
List of appearances