Kai-pattern Seraph

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This article is about the Seraph seen in Halo 2 and Halo 3. For Seraph model seen in Halo: Reach, Halo 4 and several other sources, see Morsam-pattern Seraph.
Kai-pattern Heavy Strike Fighter
The Kai-pattern Seraph in Halo Encyclopedia (2022 edition).
Production information


Tertiary Assembly Forges[1]

Product line:


Technical specifications


23.9 meters (78.4 ft)[1][2]


15.9 meters (52.3 ft)[1][2]


1.63 meters (5.35 ft)[1][2]


50 metric tons (49 LT; 55 ST)[1][2]


Impulse drive[1]


Nanolaminate hull plating


Standard loadout[2]


1 Obedientiary pilot[1][2]


In service:


Combat space fighter




The Kai-pattern Heavy Strike Fighter is one of the premiere fighters in the Seraph line of space fighter, utilised by the Covenant for centuries. Beginning in the 25th century, the Kai began to be replaced with the newer Morsam-pattern fighters, though the Kai continued to serve in the Covenant's fleets up until the empire's collapse in 2552.[2]


Design details[edit]

The Kai-pattern Seraph features a piscine, teardrop-like shape, fitting with the overall design elegance the Covenant is known for. Seraph fighters are mostly stored in the hangar bays of Covenant ships or stations when they are not in battle or escorting a ship. The Kai-pattern is equipped with a multiphase energy shield, although this does not seem to always be the case.[3] The shields also reinforce the craft's inertial compensators, absorbing energy from impacts that would rip other craft apart.[1] Seraph hull plating self-repairs when damaged, adjusting to compensate for lost aerodynamic features during combat.[1] The tail assembly acts as a thrust vectoring system, increasing its maneuverability by redirecting the impulse drive exhaust. However, the tail of a Kai-pattern Seraph isn't physically articulate in the way that the Morsam-pattern is. Power can be temporarily diverted from other systems in order to give the fighter an acceleration boost.

Though not specifically intended for atmospheric use, Seraphs still are significantly faster than Banshees while flying at low altitudes. They have even been shown to fly in the hurricane-force winds of the gas giant Threshold.[4] The Seraph's control pod offers reinforced, armored protection for the pilot, containing the multi-port connectors to fit the pilot's combat harness.[1] Seraphs are controlled via a direct neural interface with their flight harness, using minimal safety cutouts and filters. While the pilot's body is rendered immobile to reduce the risk of injury, they control the ship with their thought, in much the same way as a UNSC pilot's neural interface.[1] Unlike UNSC systems, however, this method induces significant pain called interface burn in the pilot. Elites enter a meditative state before they complete an uplink to control the pain, while Brute pilots embrace the pain to trigger their own focus.[1]

Sangheili pilots considered piloting a Seraph merely a means to attain enough glory to be reassigned to a ground combat position, valuing their fighters only as tools to accomplish this. Despite their extensive training, their honor code gave them a tendency to peel off from their squadrons to engage in one-on-one dogfights, making them vulnerable in combat. On the other hand, Jiralhanae pilots were excluded from such training, but their pack mentality and rigid social hierarchy made them far more effective teams. Human pilots soon learned to fear Brute-piloted Seraphs, identified by clan markings and Forerunner symbols carved on their hulls, more than Elite-piloted Seraphs.[1]


The Kai-Pattern Seraph can be found in a number of specialist variants with varying armaments.[2] However, the standard-issue design wields four Tevaas Mu-pattern heavy plasma cannons and two Novox-pattern Fuel rod cannons.[1] These plasma cannons are fired in twin-linked pairs which are offset at angles in order to maximise the starfighter's peripheral coverage. Gravitic mirrors installed around each of the cannons provide aiming and focus for each volley.[2]

Operational history[edit]

The Kai is a long-lived design pattern, having served in the Covenant for centuries prior to the empire's fall into civil war. As such, their ubiquitous nature meant that they became the standard by which all other forms of air superiority were measured in the Covenant fleet. Beginning in the 2400s, the Kai was reinterpreted by the Assembly Forges of High Charity in a sleeker form as the Morsam-pattern Seraph - a variation which began to circulate throughout the fleet. Both were still heavily used by the 2500s, and both saw service in the Human-Covenant War.[2]

During the war, Seraph starfighters provided excellent fire support to all Covenant forces in space and groundside. Seraphs were organised into talons of eight or more craft, which would split into hunting pairs when on a mission.[1] They were prominently used by the Third Fleet of Glorious Consequence during Operation: WARM BLANKET,[3] and again by the Fleet of Sacred Consecration during the Battle for Earth.[5]

During the Battle of Installation 04, an artifact hunting (later-turned heretic) group led by Sesa 'Refumee was dispatched to investigate a Forerunner gas mine within the atmosphere of Threshold. The team had at least one Kai-pattern in their posession, which was intended by 'Refumee as an escape option in the event of an attack by the Covenant. Though 'Refumee reached the fighter, he was intercepted in the hanger by Arbiter Thel 'Vadamee and before the heretic leader could make his escape. The Seraph was abandoned in the gas mine and destroyed shortly thereafter with it.[4]

During the Battle of Installation 00, the Prophet of Truth's fleet deployed numerous Seraphs against the UNSC/Sangheili separatist fleet in an effort to stop them from landing ground forces on the Ark. The Seraphs shot down a few Pelicans, but could not stop the others from breaking through.[6]

Production notes[edit]

Pre-Xbox Halo image of the Seraph tank.
The Combat Evolved-era Seraph, then a Covenant tank.
Main article: Cut Halo: Combat Evolved vehicles § Covenant tank

"That, my friend, is a Seraph fighter. [...] But, the funny thing is that the Seraph fighter is actually the old, old, old, old Halo Covenant tank, right, that Shi-Kai built. That ship that you just saw, that sort of, round, almost... What do you call it? Cuttlefish. Used to be a Covenant tank, back in the day. And maybe again."
Joseph Staten discussing the Covenant tank's evolution into the Seraph fighter.[7]

During the development of Halo: Combat Evolved, what would become the Kai-pattern Seraph was originally developed by Shi Kai Wang as a Covenant tank unit in 1998.[8] The Seraph, fully modelled and textured, was present in the 2000-era builds of Combat Evolved when the game was still a third-person game. The model seen in this early build featured "wings", though was ultimately one of the many vehicles cut from the game as development progressed. The model was later reused in the Halo 2 levels The Arbiter and The Oracle, featured as a starfighter in the Threshold gas mines - though without the wings present in the original design. Despite this, the model found in Halo 2 uses the exact same textures as the original.[9]


In the Halo Legends episode The Package, when Kelly-087 yells "Seraph formation!", the subtitles mistakenly say, "Syrup formation!"


Development images[edit]


List of appearances[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s Halo: Warfleet, page 58-59
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Halo Encyclopedia (2022 edition), page 288
  3. ^ a b Halo Legends, episode The Package (animated short)
  4. ^ a b Halo 2, campaign level The Oracle
  5. ^ Halo 2, campaign level Cairo Station
  6. ^ Halo 3, campaign level The Ark
  7. ^ Halo 3 Legendary Edition, Halo 2 Developer Commentary
  8. ^ Twitter, Paul Russel (@Dr_Abominable): "The Seraph was actually, verbatim, a design (also built) for a covenant tank dating back to 1998." (Retrieved on Oct 30, 2020) [archive]
  9. ^ Twitter, RejectedShotgun (@RejectedShotgun) (Retrieved on Jul 11, 2021) [archive]