M12 Warthog

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This article is about the M12 Warthog. For the weapon, see M12 machine gun.
M12 Force Application Vehicle

Halo Reach Warthog.png

Production information


AMG Transport Dynamics[1]

Product line:





52,000 cR (M12)[2] (Without weapons)[3]

Technical specifications


6 meters (20 ft)[4]


3 meters (9.8 ft)[2]


3.2 meters (10 ft) (M12)[2]


3 metric tons (3.0 LT; 3.3 ST)[1]

Maximum speed:

125 km/h (78 mph)[1]


12.0 L liquid-cooled hydrogen-injected ICE[2]


Ballistic polycarbonate, titanium, carbon nanotube[5]




1 driver, 1 passenger (varies by model)[1]



  • Infantry mobility/multipurpose vehicle[6]
    • Internal security
    • Military patrol
    • Rapid transport[6]
    • Reconnaissance
  • Force application vehicle[1]
    • Anti-armoured platform[1]
    • Anti-aircraft platform[1]
    • Anti-personnel platform[3]



"On the battlefield speed is life and the M12 has that in spades – having a great big damn gun don’t hurt, either."
— Anonymous E2-BAG/1/7 personnel.[2]

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.[7] The M12 Warthog is the most common series within wider Warthog family of vehicles,[6] 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,[1] 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.


Design details[edit]

The M12 model

M12 Warthogs can use a four-wheel[6] or all-wheel[7] drive system[Note 1], with active 4[3] or all-wheel steering[7], a manual transmission[7] and a 12 litre hydrogen-injected ICE[2][3] The ICE powers an infinitely variable transmission.[1]

M12 Warthog variants can have a top speed of 125 kilometres per hour (78 mph)[2][3][1] or 100 kilometres per hour (62 mph).[7] and its hydrogen tanks can power a maximum range of 790 kilometres (490 mi).[2][1][8] The Warthog can employ "Slop" to help render carbon heavy matter into useable fuel for the power plant[9] or employ a Graf/Hauptman Solar/Saline Actuator to filter water or crack it into fuel.[1]

All M12-based vehicles are designed to travel both on and off-road, in all weather conditions[7] though it is regarded as a huge, unwieldy, difficult to steer vehicle — until a user learns how to drive it properly.[2] The Warthog has superb traction on off-road terrain and an updated braking system[10][11] alongside enhanced suspension.[8] 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.[2] The Warthog is prone to rolling over on tight corners.[12]

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.[13]

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.[3] 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.[3] The Warthog's armor plating is comprised of ballistic polycarbonate and carbon nanotubes, built upon a titanium frame.[5] However, UNSC service personnel typically believe the vehicle could benefit from an armor upgrade.[7]

Earlier Warthog models used in the 24th century employed a pneumatically-powered swivel mount for the turret[1], though this was later changed to a hydraulic-powered mount.[8]


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[6], with variants capable of performing armament carrier, utility, command and control (shelter), ambulance, reconnaissance and a variety of other tactical and logistic support roles.[7] Major variations are informally named by their year of production.[1]

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[14], such as the M12A1 Rocket Warthog, M12G1 Gauss Warthog and M12R Rocket Warthog.[6] Warthogs lacking any armament are sometimes referred to as Scout Warthogs.[15]

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".[16]


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.[3] 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[13] - with knowledge of how to use and maintain a Warthog required by all UNSC service personnel regardless of branch, duty or station.[1]

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.[17] The Warthog saw constant use throughout the war from the Harvest campaign[18] to the Fall of Reach.[19], 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.[20]

The M12 was gradually replaced in post-war service with the M12B, though did continue remain sporadically employed.[21]

Outside of UNSC service, the Warthog sees common usage by the Colonial Militia[22] and paramilitary/law enforcement services such as the New Mombasa Police Department.[23]

Development history[edit]

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.[1][3]

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.[3] 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.[1]

UNSC personnel remarks[edit]

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.[2]

  • "It's [the M12] sort of a bear to wheel around, but that's something you gotta expect – the thing is twice the size of my granddad's car – but it's something you get used to pretty damned quick."[2]
  • "On the battlefield speed is life and the M12 has that in spades – having a great big damn gun don’t hurt, either."[2]
  • "One word: handbrake."[2]
  • "I have yet to come up against an obstacle that the Warthog couldn't go right over."[2]
  • "The Sarge hates it when we ram stuff, says the 'Hog ain't indestructible. But it sure feels like it when you're plowing through a crowd of startled Grunts, though."[2]
  • "The seats are unreal! I was thinking of pulling a set out of a parts vehicle and shipping them home...but the wife shut it down – says everyone would be able to tell where they came from."[2]
  • "Look at these legs – pretty nice, huh? It’s totally from getting in and out'a the 'Hog's thirty-six inch damn step height."[2]


Production notes[edit]

  • The Warthog was originally going to be a Humvee-like vehicle in the early stages of development of Halo: Combat Evolved.[24]
  • WETA Workshop, based in New Zealand, built a two-third-scale, operating Warthog. It has several numbers on it, some possibly pertaining to that specific model or maybe even that specific Warthog, including, but not limited to, 5c8611, N/AAV-20 (a label similar to the M/AAV-20 that can be seen on the Halo Reach-era Warthog), and others. WETA's Warthog is almost accurate in every function, including a "working" minigun, four-wheel steering, digital displays, air bags, and the ability to "crab crawl". Stamps portraying the number and type of Covenant troops killed can be seen on the dash. This Warthog is featured in the Halo: Landfall live-action film series.[25]
    • Some Bungie employees were given the chance to drive WETA Workshop's Warthog. Three members of the Bungie team were driving the Warthog around a parking lot when they scraped the side of it on a small wooden structure built onto the side of a wall.[26]
  • During Halo 2's development, Bungie considered creating more specialized Warthog variants including arctic, transport, and jungle models. The first two models were later featured in Halo 3 as the M864 Arctic and the M831 Troop Transport, respectively, while the latter model was named in the Halo Encyclopedia: The Definitive Guide to the Halo Universe as the M868 Tropic.


  • A warthog is a wild member of the pig family that lives in Africa, in keeping with the UNSC's tradition of naming ground-based vehicles after real animals, with the exceptions of the Cyclops and Gremlin, which are named after mythical creatures.
  • A remote-controlled toy Warthog was one of the first Xbox 360 Avatar accessories available after the August 11, 2009 dashboard update that introduced Avatar accessories. It is available from the Xbox Live Avatar shop for 320 Microsoft Points, under Halo 3: ODST-themed accessories.
  • In Halo 3, Halo 3: ODST, and Halo: Reach, the Warthog's tires are printed with the word PUMA. This is a reference to an episode of Red vs Blue's in which Simmons and Grif argue with Sarge about whether to call the vehicle a Puma or Warthog.


List of appearances[edit]


  1. ^ The M12 has been described as having both 4 wheel and all-wheel drive systems. This article takes the standpoint that these differences are dependant on the particular model of Warthog in question.


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r Halo Waypoint, Warthog (Retrieved on Jun 1, 2020) [archive]
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r, M12 Warthog (Retrieved on Jun 1, 2020) [archive]
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Halo Legendary Crate, Data Drop 18
  4. ^ Halo Encyclopedia (2009 edition)
  5. ^ a b, Halo 3 post-game stats: "The ubiquitous Warthog - three thousand kilos of fuel-injected ballistic polycarbonate, titanium, and carbon nanotube." (Retrieved on Jun 1, 2020) [archive]
  6. ^ a b c d e f Halo Waypoint, Summer Red, Summer Blue (Retrieved on Jun 1, 2020) [archive]
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h, Halo Reach Ordnance Guide - M12 Warthog (Retrieved on Jun 1, 2020) [archive]
  8. ^ a b c Halo Encyclopedia: The Definitive Guide to the Halo Universe, p.250 (2011 ed.)
  9. ^, The Mongoose (Retrieved on Jun 1, 2020) [archive]
  10. ^ Halo 2 Manual
  11. ^, The Bungie Guide to Vehicles (Retrieved on Jun 1, 2020) [archive]
  12. ^ Halo: Combat Evolved Manual
  13. ^ a b Halo Waypoint, Canon Fodder - Sweet Centennial (Retrieved on Jun 1, 2020) [archive]
  14. ^ Halo: Reach Manual
  15. ^ Halo 5: Guardians
  16. ^, Unique unit: Fireball Warthog (Retrieved on Jun 1, 2020) [archive]
  17. ^ Halo Wars 2, Phoenix Logs: Detail=Warthog
  18. ^ Halo Wars
  19. ^ Halo: Reach
  20. ^ Halo 3, campaign level Halo
  21. ^ Halo: Tales From Slipspace
  22. ^ Halo: Contact Harvest
  23. ^ MEGA Brands, NMPD Warthog (Retrieved on Jun 1, 2020) [archive]
  24. ^ Halo 3 Legendary Edition bonus disc
  25. ^ WETA Workshop: Halo 3
  26. ^ YouTube: Bungie Crashes a Real Warthog