This article is about the Mongoose introduced in Halo 3, for other vehicles named "Mongoose", see Mongoose (fiction).
The M274 Ultra-Light All-Terrain Vehicle (abbreviated M274 ULATV), commonly known as the Mongoose, is a United Nations Space Command light ground reconnaissance vehicle designed by AMG Transport Dynamics.
The Mongoose is one of the fastest and most maneuverable ground vehicles in the arsenal of the UNSC Marine Corps. It is a highly effective vehicle for reconnaissance, rapid transportation, swift tactical versatility, and for shooting between positions. A smaller cousin to the ubiquitous M831 Troop Transport, the Mongoose is a small ATV capable of carrying a driver in the middle of the vehicle, and features a rear platform that can be used to carry one additional passenger, although official UNSC safety protocols advise against this.
The Mongoose is often used for transportation of messages, documents and light cargo between units. It is additionally used by forward observers, sniper teams and reconnaissance personnel for rapid transportation.
Like the M12 Warthog, the Mongoose is a four-wheel all-terrain vehicle capable of going over any obstacle without any difficulty. The vehicle is powered by a 1,000cc liquid-cooled, mid-engine mounted, four-stroke, hydrogen-injected ICE, allowing it to reach at a maximum speed of 95 kilometres per hour (59 mph).The Mongoose has a fuel economy of between 45 and 65 miles-per-gallon (depending on load), though stocking some jerry cans of Nanoreagent hydrocarbot and a carbon feeler can significantly increase the vehicle's range. The Mongoose is not equipped with any sort of radio or GPS system, or even any gauges, leaving users reliant on external means of wireless communication. The Mongoose also contains a front cargo cage, though it is commonplace for UNSC personnel to remove it to allow the vehicle to travel faster and lighter.
As the vehicle carries no armament of its own, having a passenger is essential if engaging in a combat zone. Due to its smaller profile, the Mongoose is a difficult target for both slow and fast moving enemy weaponry, as opposed to the Warthog, whose size is somewhat substantial. For quick and practical deployment, the Mongoose can be transported by a Pelican dropship.
AMG Transport Dynamics manufactured the first predecessors to the M274 in 2483 and have since released seventeen variants of the vehicle, the M247 ULATV being the most recent. The vehicle was featured in Machines, Materiel and Munitions from the Human-Covenant Conflict, 2525 - Present, a report compiling armaments of the Human-Covenant War.
During the Battle of Metisette, Adriana-111 was surrounded by Covenant infantry on rocky terrain. she thought of the Mongoose as "useless" given her then-current situation, as it "just meant you were a biking target"; instead she used the vehicle as a melee weapon against several Grunts.
If the player manages to splatter an enemy player with the Mongoose in a ranked free-for-all Xbox Live playlist in Halo 3, the player will earn the Mongoose Mowdown achievement, Scout shoulders, and five Gamerpoints.
The Mongoose was originally intended to be put into Halo 2, but was eventually canceled. The Mongoose prototype did not fulfill Bungie's expectations for Halo 2, and although Bungie attempted to add dual coaxial machine-guns to it or an armed passenger, it remained unbalanced and didn't fit into the gameplay. Bungie at the time could not figure out a way to implement it into the campaign, and had trouble getting the physics for it right, stating that the whole thing had a tendency to flip very easily, and gameplay wise, had no purpose as it couldn't be driven with the flag and became virtually useless. The addition of the passenger seat gave rise to whole new possibilities and led to its inclusion in the third game.
List of appearances