Kerel-pattern assault carrier

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"CAS-class assault carrier" redirects here. For other ships of a similar classification, see Covenant assault carrier.
H3 Assault Carrier render.png
Class attributes


UNSC Three-letter code: CAS[1][2]


General characteristics



5,347 meters (17,540 ft)[1][2][4][5][6][7]


2,118 meters (6,950 ft)[1][2][4][5][6][7]


746 meters (2,450 ft)[1][2][7]


2.7 billion tonnes[8]

Power plant:

Pinch fusion reactor[8]

Maneuver drive:

Raphyus-pattern repulsor engines[8][9]

Slipspace drive:

Primus-pattern borer (CODEN Series VI equivalent)[8]




40,000 warriors[8]


Nanolaminate battleplate[9][10]


Energy shielding[9]


Air wing:

Air facilities:

8 hangar bays[9]


The Kerel-pattern assault carrier (UNSC three-letter classification: CAS-class assault carrier) is a design pattern variation of assault carrier employed by the naval forces of the Covenant.[8] The Kerel served the Covenant (and continues to serve its remnants) as a rarer configuration of the design, complementing the much more common Syfon-pattern assault carriers. This modification is explicitly approved by the Hierarchs.[8]


Design details[edit]

A cutaway of the carrier.

The Kerel-pattern carrier can be primarily distinguished from the more common Syfon-pattern by its distinctive smooth hull and rear cowling, replacing the city-like structures present on the dorsal surfaces of the Syfon design. Kerel-pattern vessels were rare Hierarch-approved variants of the Syfon. The basic silhouette of the ship is otherwise similar to most other Covenant carriers, with a hooked prow, immense hangar segment and a thick neck section connecting them.[8] The rear cowling is shared with another unidentified carrier design pattern. The armoured hull is composed of nanolaminate battleplate,[10] with energy shield emitters supporting it.[9] The Kerel has a length of 5,347 metres (17,540 ft), a beam of 2,118 metres (6,950 ft), and a height of 746 metres (2,450 ft).[4][8] This makes it one of the largest warship classes employed by the Covenant fleet during the Human-Covenant War. Although the carrier's keel length is inferior, its width and mass are more than twice as large as even the UNSC's prototype flagship UNSC Infinity, the largest vessel in human history.

The bridge of the Kerel is located in an armored command pod in the center of the carrier's neck,[8] situated inside an armoured pod protected by multiple redunant energy shield generator systems and inertial compensators to provide the command crew with the utmost protection from attack.[9] The blademaster's yard runs along the outermost sides of the neck, and is used to train the ship's warrior complement in martial arts. The aft of the ship houses an elaborate shrine to the Forerunners known as the Nave of the Creators, which is kept in perfect condition by the ship's crew.[8] The top section of the ship is capable of separating from the lower-aft half thanks to the application of Modular Dispersal Technology, which sees the ship constructed in a decentralised fashion as such as to ensure entire segments of the ship can be detached with a minimal loss of performance. When detached in this manner, the upper-front half of the ship retains its own repulsor engines and Borer for slipspace transportation. This feature is actually intended to be used in order to detach sections of the carrier that sustained extensive damage in order to increase the chances of saving what is left of the ship and its crew for future use.[12][11][4]


For propulsion, assault carriers rely on large deuterium-tritium pinch fusion reactors, housed in cavernous chambers,[13] which power the ship's vital systems. The reactor is located in the centre of the ship, inside the upper hull.[8] As such, and when split into multiple components when Modularly Dispersed, the reactor is retained in the upper hull - leaving the lower component completely without power.[12][11] as well as the three aft-mounted Raphyus-pattern repulsor engines that propel the ship, capable of operating in a vacuum or in an atmospheric environment. For superluminal travel, a Primus-pattern borer (equivalent to a CODEN Series IV Shaw-Fujikawa Translight Engine) is installed.[8]

The vessel is propelled by three massive engine units, and possess, like all Covenant vessels, the ability to make pinpoint slipspace jumps in atmosphere. As shown in the Battle of Earth, such slipspace jumps cause massive discharges of EMP, rivaling those set off by nuclear devices.[14]


Not all assault carriers are created equally - while the Kerel's most common listed weapons configuration boasts an identical armament loadout to its more common Syfon counterpart, individual ships can nonetheless display a large variety in capabilities.[15][16] The configuration of weapons employed by the Kerel-pattern, Shadow of Intent, is listed as the following:

The ship's primary weapon is an Infernus-pattern excavation beam, the same model of excavation beam as that fitted on the much smaller Sinaris-pattern heavy destroyers.[8] This weapon is mounted on the vessel's prow, and is used for artifact excavation and military compliance operations.[9] Augmenting this weapon are an additional two Urpeon-pattern plasma lances for heavy anti-ship work.[8] The plasma lances are located on the dorsal surface of the ship, inside a teardrop-shaped emitter linked directly to the central pinch fusion reactor.[9][13]

The class is additionally fitted with eight Luxor-pattern heavy plasma beam emitters and twenty-four Mictix-pattern heavy plasma torpedo silos, alongside an array of 700 Ferriel-pattern pulse laser turrets.[8] Seven plasma cannons line the horizontal trench running across the ship's prow. These weapons can be fired individually or combined to fire their energy in one devastating mass - though require the ship's shields to be disabled to fire.[17] The plasma cannons are likely the Luxor plasma beams or, more likely, the Mictix plasma torpedo silos, based on their usage during the Ambush at Duraan.[17]

Crew and complement[edit]

A carrier discharging its assault aircraft over a human city.

Kerel-pattern carriers are capable of operation with a crew of as few as two hundred Superiors - even in dire circumstances such as those faced by the Swords of Sanghelios during the Blooding Years.[8][17] The hooked prow's endmost section contains living and entertainment quarters for the ship's permanent crew. Recreational facilities include habitat domes and hunting preserves, similar in nature to those of the Mjern-pattern agricultural support ship.[9]

When under ideal operating circumstances, a carrier can boast a troop complement of 40,000 warriors, with facilities such as the blademaster's yard for on-board training and recreation. Supplementing the troop complement is an armada of ground vehicles including three Scarab quadruped excavators, 196 Wraith tanks and 700 Ghost scout bikes. 44 Shadow troop transports are additionally embarked aboard the carrier for groundside troop movement.[8]

Alongside the ground complement, Kerel-pattern carriers house a massive air wing of both atmospheric and exoatmospheric strikecraft. Eight hangar bays line the sides of the ship's lower section, flanking the gravity lift. These hangars have an additional large forward entrance,[9] and their cavernous nature is such that they are capable of housing whole smaller warships such as UNSC frigates.[18] The ship's air and deployment wing includes 250 drop pods, 20 R'sisho-pattern Ticks and 44 Spirit or Phantom dropships for transport - for use when the massive gravity lift on the ship is unavailable. Escorting these troop transports are 600 Banshee ground attack flyers, alongside 192 of their Elsedda-pattern "space Banshee" cousins for exoatmospheric intercept. 64 Seraph fighters supplement this number for heavier intercept and limited anti-ship capability.[8]

In addition to their combat complements, carriers also stock a number of Ren transport shuttles for logistics and personnel transportation.[11]


In the starship classification system, the Kerel-pattern is considered a part of the examiner category of vessels.[3]

Within the hull classifications of Covenant ships undertaken by the Office of Naval Intelligence, the Kerel is one of two warships designated the CAS-class assault carrier - alongside its more common cousin the Syfon-pattern.[4] The "S", for Salvation, denotes that the CAS-class assault carrier is a dedicated warship.[19] Along with the Covenant's other assault carriers and supercarriers, the Kerel-pattern assault carrier was designated a Class-Five flagship carrier by the United Nations Space Command due to their use as a flagship of Covenant fleets.[20]

Kerel-pattern ships are considered effective when used in fleet command and offensive space warfare roles. This puts them in contrast with the Ruma-pattern light carrier and Sh'wada-pattern supercarrier, which are both considered more useful in force deployment roles than in combat.They generally serve as the primary flagship of most fleets, working as the fleet command centre and the seat of the armada's fleetmaster or Supreme Commander.[4]

Ships of the line[edit]

Operational history[edit]

The massive launch bay of the assault carrier.

The Kerel-pattern assault carrier had entered service at least by circa 2135.[8]

During the deep and bloody siege of Earth that was still continuing, numerous assault carriers were assigned within multiple Covenant reinforcement fleets to complete the destruction of humanity's last and most important and defended stronghold.[21] Near the end of the Battle of Mombasa, at least three assault carriers that were part of a large Jiralhanae excavation fleet sent by the Prophet of Truth joined the remaining battlecruisers of the Fleet of Sacred Consecration in finishing the glassing of Mombasa and excavating the Portal at Voi.[22] One, having exited slipspace nearby to begin glassing operations, nearly killed Alpha-Nine as they escaped in a hijacked Phantom.[22] Near the end of the Battle for Earth, at least a few of survived carriers retreated with Truth's ship and his fleet through the portal to the Ark.[23]

The assault carrier Shadow of Intent later became the flagship of the Fleet of Retribution, which also includes another assault carrier.[24] The Special Operations Commander and Fleetmaster Rtas 'Vadum, in command of the ship, led his fleet to Earth in pursuit of a surviving Flood ship, arriving in time to glass the infected area of the planet.[25] Shadow of Intent and its escorting cruisers joined the remnants of the UNSC Home Fleet's Seventh Fleet to launch a joint attack on the Covenant at Installation 00, destroying their fleet and providing a distraction while ground forces engaged Truth's loyalists that had landed on the installation.[26][18] It later evacuated the UNSC and Sangheili personnel and returned to Earth for a short time before returning to Sanghelios.[27] The Shadow of Intent later became embroiled in a conflict with Tem'Bhetek's faction which was seeking revenge against the Sangheili. After defeating the faction, Rtas decided to seek out the surviving San'Shyuum.[28][9][8]

By 2554, Jul 'Mdama, a shipmaster and Supreme Commander of his self-proclaimed Covenant commanded the assault carrier Song of Retribution during his attempts to enter the Forerunner shield world Requiem.[7] Three years later, the Song of Retribution led a fleet of numerous Zanar-pattern light cruisers.[29] After rebelling against Jul, Sali 'Nyon stole away the assault carrier Breath of Annihilation from him.[30]

Numerous assault carriers were present at the peace talks on Ealen IV under the command of the Arbiter, Thel 'Vadam, and the Elder Jiralhanae Chieftain, Lydus. Many assault carriers were also used under the command of Vata 'Gajat during the battle that ensued in an attempt to capture the delegates.[31]


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Kerel-pattern carriers were employed by the various ministries of the Covenant, during the empire's reign. Following the empire's dissolution, Kerel-pattern carriers fell into the hands of the imperial remnant warlords.


Covenant remnants[edit]

Production notes[edit]

Kerel-pattern assault carriers were first introduced into the series as the assault carrier design featured in Halo 2 and Halo 3 - then-known by the name of the CAS-class assault carrier. The design remained relatively consistent until the release of the Halo 2: Anniversary in 2014, with the Blur Studio cutscenes depicting Solemn Penance differently. The two designs were later canonised in 2017's Halo: Warfleet – An Illustrated Guide to the Spacecraft of Halo as two individual design patterns of Covenant carrier that serve alongside one another in the Covenant fleet.


Concept art[edit]


List of appearances[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d Halo Waypoint, Shadow of Intent (Retrieved on May 11, 2021) [archive]
  2. ^ a b c d Halo Waypoint, Song of Retribution (Retrieved on Jan 26, 2021) [archive]
  3. ^ a b c Halo Encyclopedia (2022 edition), page 262
  4. ^ a b c d e f Halo: The Essential Visual Guide, page 28
  5. ^ a b Halo Encyclopedia (2009 edition), page 264
  6. ^ a b Halo Encyclopedia (2011 edition), page 276
  7. ^ a b c d Halo 4: The Essential Visual Guide, page 195
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj ak al Halo: Warfleet, page 70-71
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Halo Mythos, page 151-152: While these pages visually depict a Syfon-pattern carrier, the information itself describes Shadow of Intent - canonically a Kerel-pattern vessel
  10. ^ a b Halo Waypoint Forums, Catalog Interaction: "[frumentarii] threat dynamic analysis noted significant improvement in the vessels [dynamic capabilities] and alterations to [nanolaminate] hull plating" (Retrieved on Oct 13, 2014) [local archive] [external archive]
  11. ^ a b c d Halo Legends - The Package (animated short)
  12. ^ a b Halo Waypoint, Modular Dispersal Technology (Retrieved on Mar 14, 2011) [local archive] [external archive]
  13. ^ a b Halo 2, campaign level Cairo Station
  14. ^ Halo 3: ODST, campaign level Prepare to Drop
  15. ^ Twitter, Halo (@Halo): "And Jul's ship is certainly a powerful example of Covenant/former-Covenant Assault Carriers but there's quite a..." (Retrieved on Jan 23, 2023) [archive]
  16. ^ Twitter, Halo (@Halo): "bit of variety in that ship class. Not all Assault Carriers are created equally." (Retrieved on Jan 23, 2023) [archive]
  17. ^ a b c Halo: Shadow of Intent
  18. ^ a b Halo 3, campaign level The Ark
  19. ^ Halo Waypoint, Canon Fodder - Have S'moa (Retrieved on Oct 30, 2021) [archive]
  20. ^ Data Drop 4
  21. ^ Halo: Uprising, issue 4
  22. ^ a b Halo 3: ODST, campaign level Coastal Highway
  23. ^ Halo 3, campaign level The Storm
  24. ^ Halo 3, campaign level Heretic
  25. ^ Halo 3, campaign level Floodgate
  26. ^ Halo 3, campaign level The Covenant
  27. ^ Halo 3, campaign level Halo
  28. ^ Halo: Shadow of Intent
  29. ^ Halo 4, Terminal 1
  30. ^ a b Halo: Escalation, issue The Absolute Record
  31. ^ a b c d Halo: Escalation, issue 1
  32. ^ Halo: Spartan Assault, campaign level Operation A: Umbra