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This article is about the M12 Warthog. For the weapon, see M12 machine gun.
The M12 Force Application Vehicle (M12-FAV), commonly referred to as the Warthog or simply the Hog, is a fast attack vehicle serving as the United Nations Space Command Armed Forces' primary joint light tactical ground vehicle. The M12 Warthog is the most common series within wider Warthog family of vehicles, and saw service throughout the Insurrection and Human-Covenant War until the introduction of the M12B Warthog by late 2552.
The most ubiquitous models are the M12 Light Reconnaissance Vehicle variants, which is equipped with advanced surveillance and a turret-mounted machine gun for a basic defensive capability. The M12 and its predecessors such as the Z-12 have been a part of the UNSC's mechanized infantry divisions and armored vehicle divisions since 2319, and is the most publicly recognizable vehicle in their arsenal. By the later stages of the Human-Covenant War, a second chassis variant of the M12 known as the M12B Warthog entered service with some UNSC units.
M12 Warthogs can use a four-wheel or all-wheel drive system[Note 1], with active 4 or all-wheel steering, a manual transmission and a 12 litre hydrogen-injected ICE The ICE powers an infinitely variable transmission.
M12 Warthog variants can have a top speed of 125 kilometres per hour (78 mph) or 100 kilometres per hour (62 mph). and its hydrogen tanks can power a maximum range of 790 kilometres (490 mi). The Warthog can employ "Slop" to help render carbon heavy matter into useable fuel for the power plant or employ a Graf/Hauptman Solar/Saline Actuator to filter water or crack it into fuel.
All M12-based vehicles are designed to travel both on and off-road, in all weather conditions though it is regarded as a huge, unwieldy, difficult to steer vehicle — until a user learns how to drive it properly. The Warthog has superb traction on off-road terrain and an updated braking system alongside enhanced suspension. With proper application of the hand, or "e-brake" the M12 can actually turn on a dime. Massive disc brakes and its automatic braking systems allow the vehicle to come to a near immediate, but controlled stop should the driver be ejected, or choose to leave the vehicle. The Warthog is prone to rolling over on tight corners.
The M12 Warthog shares parts – and handling characteristics – with the Spade and its sibling frontier trucks, which means that many recruits are already proficient with basic vehicle maintenance and off-road driving skills before they ever arrive at UNSC boot camp.
The base model of the M12 has no doors and has a total seating of two (though additional personnel can be carried in the cargo bed, be it a single gunner or multiple additional riders). The instrumentation package available to the driver or passenger include GPS, navigational assisatance, emergency beaconing and dataports. The Warthog has armor plating covering the vehicle's chassis and the front of the mounted turret capable of resisting conventional heavy machine gun fire and improvised explosive devices, as well as providing limited protection from Covenant plasma weapons. The Warthog's armor plating is comprised of ballistic polycarbonate and carbon nanotubes, built upon a titanium frame. However, UNSC service personnel typically believe the vehicle could benefit from an armor upgrade.
Given the Warthog's extensive service life, the vehicle has seen dozens of alterations and produced variants. The turret in the back of the vehicle is removable and replaceable. Although some Warthogs are used solely for transportation, most are armed and have a multi-mission capability, with variants capable of performing armament carrier, utility, command and control (shelter), ambulance, reconnaissance and a variety of other tactical and logistic support roles. Major variations are informally named by their year of production.
The armament of a given Warthog vehicle typically decides its designation, with the most ubiquitous being the M41 Vulcan chaingun, seen on M12 Light Reconnaissance Vehicle configurations. The armament of an M39 rocket turret, M68 Gauss cannon or M79 rocket launcher typically designate a given Warthog as a Light Anti-Armor Vehicle, such as the M12A1 Rocket Warthog, M12G1 Gauss Warthog and M12R Rocket Warthog. Warthogs lacking any armament are sometimes referred to as Scout Warthogs.
Other Warthog variants also exist, one of the more common ones being the M831 Troop Transport Warthog. Some Warthogs are also created for specialised environments including the M862 and M864 Arctic Warthogs, M868 Tropic Warthog and the M914 Recovery Vehicle. Spartan Red Team also employed a specialised Warthog, and the UNSC Spirit of Fire employed a special Warthog known as the "Fireball Warthog".
The M12 served as the UNSC's go-to ground vehicle for over two centuries, following its official adoption by the CMA in 2321. It was at this time the Z-12 prototype was given the formal designation of M12. The Warthog has since had over a dozen major variants, with military surplus models becoming extremely common throughout the Outer Colonies. This, combined with the parts commonality and shared handling characteristics of the similarly-common Spade truck ensures that most recruits are familiar with the Warthog prior to joining up - with knowledge of how to use and maintain a Warthog required by all UNSC service personnel regardless of branch, duty or station.
The commonality of Warthogs in the colonies was a key strategic advantage to the UNSC during the early years of the Human-Covenant War, and dozens of Warthog variant templates were kept aboard the factory modules stored aboard Phoenix-class colony ships such as UNSC Spirit of Fire. The Warthog saw constant use throughout the war from the Harvest campaign to the Fall of Reach., though by late 2552 the newer M12B model of Warthog had begun to supercede the original M12. Both models saw action in the battles of Installation 04, Earth and Installation 00. Notably, an M12 was responsible for allowing John-117 and Arbiter Thel 'Vadam to escape the rapidly-destructing Installation 08.
AMG Transport Dynamics designed the first Warthog prototype in 2319, dubbed the "Z-12". The Z-12 prototype vehicles quickly proved to be popular due to a well-crafted advertising campaign and adept engineering team which demonstrated the prototype's impressive feature set and unparalleled functionality in the unpopulated remote territories of both Luna and Mars. AMG claimed that the vehicle that could "go anywhere and do anything". Within the first eight months of the Z-12 prototype's existence, AMG received over three dozen exclusivity contracts. Most of these contracts came from the Colonial Military Authority. By 2321, AMG Transport Dynamics worked with the CMA and established a deal to cover all of their land-based transportation needs. Around the time of this deal, the Z-12 became integrated into the M12 Force Application Vehicle. In addition, a pneumatically-powered swivel mount and armored body panels were added to the vehicle.
By 2329, the M12 FAV had become the most common all-terrain vehicle in service with the military—closely followed by the Mongoose and Civet vehicle lines that were also produced by AMG. CMA personnel began to refer to the M12 as the "Warthog", first establishing the vehicle's nickname. Eventually, the Warthog was adopted by the United Nations Space Command in 2350. More than a dozen iterative changes were added to the Warthog, and over two centuries later, after its original creation and design, the M12 Warthog remained the standard utility vehicle in UNSC service. Due to how commonplace the Warthog is, all UNSC personnel are required to know how to operate and maintain an M12 Warthog, regardless of military speciality or branch of service.
UNSC personnel remarks
Following the Human-Covenant War, the Warthog was a subject of the report Machines, Materiel and Munitions from the Human-Covenant Conflict, 2525 - Present. To produce this document, Doctor Robert McLees interviewed several members of E2-BAG/1/7, who had some highlighted quotes about the vehicle. Notably, the service personnel interviewed held the vehicle in high praise, though did note it could benefit from improved armor.
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