M312 Elephant

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This article is about vehicle introduced in Halo Wars. For the vehicle in Halo 3, see M313 Elephant.
M312 Elephant
HWunit Elephant.png
Production information


JOTUN Heavy Industries[1]

Product line:




Technical specifications

Other system(s):

Crane system


M41 Vulcan (3)[2]
M247 GPMGT Autocannon (1) (once upgraded) or
Missile launcher


In service:

Human-Covenant War


  • Mobile command base
  • Mobile recovery platform
  • Troop deployment platform


United Nations Space Command


The M312 Heavy Recovery Vehicle, commonly referred to as the Elephant, is a UNSC Mobile Assault, Support, and Recovery Platform.[1] The vehicle is used primarily as an armored mobile recovery vehicle and has seen action most notably in the Human-Covenant War.



Designed and manufactured by JOTUN Heavy Industries, the Elephants were initially used in the utility and farming industries during the early colonial expansion periods.[1] After several decades serving in the civilian market, JOTUN was contracted by the UNSC to develop the Elephants and build them as armored repair and recovery vehicles.[1] In the years since, the Elephant has been modified into several variants and upgrades, though the Elephant's basic design philosophy and versatility remain unchanged.

Design details[edit]

The M312 Elephant is designed to safely transport troops, equipment and light vehicles to and from the battlefield. On one occasion, a single unit was able to pull an entire Shaw-Fujikawa Translight Engine by itself.[3] The M312 also features a protected rear bay, providing more protection to its onboard personnel and equipment than the M313. The vehicle is fitted with three M41 Light Anti-Aircraft Guns as its primary defense/offense weapons system and can be equipped with an overhead M247 light autocannon.

Operational history[edit]

In 2531, when the UNSC Spirit of Fire arrived at Trove in pursuit of the Covenant Arbiter Ripa 'Moramee, who had captured Professor Ellen Anders, the UNSC forces onboard utilized three of the M312 HRVs to perform reconnaissance on the shield world's surface. Two of these were captured by the Flood, but were rescued under the leadership of Sergeant John Forge and Spartan-II Red Team.[4] These three M312s provided support in the battles on the shield world's surface.[5] When the UNSC forces were recalled to the Spirit of Fire, Bravo Platoon was accompanied by an Elephant.[6] After Pelican Victor 397 was shot down by Covenant forces while pulling the Spirit of Fire's FTL reactor to the Apex Site, Captain James Gregory Cutter decided it was too dangerous to use an airlift to transport the reactor any further. Instead, Forge decided to use an Elephant, the only ground vehicle with the mass to pull the reactor. The Elephant pulled the reactor up a series of ramps guarded by Covenant citadels before backing the reactor onto a slipspace translocation pad. The pad teleported the reactor to the Apex, leaving behind the Elephant which was outside of the pad's range.[7]

M312 Elephants were used during the Battle for Earth in 2552.[8]

In 2554, several Elephants took part in the Battle of Draetheus V when the planet came under attack by Merg Vol's Covenant faction. In particular, Spartan Sarah Palmer used them in the form of a convoy to transport hundreds of escaping colonists to a Covenant airfield she had taken over in order to use Spirit dropships to evacuate everyone since most of the UNSC's aircraft had been destroyed. The convoy came under attack from Covenant forces, Suicide Unggoy in particular, but Palmer and UNSC Marines were able to successfully defend the Elephants on the journey which used rocket turrets to provide covering fire of their own. At the airfield, desperate Covenant forces attempted to prevent the colonists from escaping with the Spirits, the Covenant's only way off of the planet, attacking as they transferred from the Elephants to the dropships. However, Palmer and the Marines succeeded in covering the evacuation and hundreds of colonists were able to escape Draetheus V in stolen Covenant dropships.[9]

Known Elephants[edit]

  • Recon Team Lima - Commanded by Sergeant Forge in 2531, took part in the Battle of Trove.[citation needed]
  • Recon Team India - Accompanied Lima onto the surface of Trove, before being captured by the Flood and rescued by Forge and Red Team.[4]
  • Recon Team Echo - Accompanied Lima onto the surface of the Etran Harborage, before being captured by the Flood and rescued by Forge and Red Team.[4]


An Elephant deploying fireteams of Hellbringers and Marines.

The Elephant appears in Halo Wars as an armored personnel carrier and mobile infantry barracks, capable of creating troops in the field and/or deploying them while defending itself. To operate as a barracks, the vehicle must first deploy. This unit can only be used when the player chooses Captain Cutter as their Leader Character in online play or skirmish.

  • Costs: 400 Resource units and requires two Population Cap
  • Capable of training Spartan-IIs and other infantry.


  • "'Twin Engine": Increases the Elephant's speed by about 30%. Costs 250 resources and a tech level of 1.
  • "Defense Turret": Adds an M247 GPMGT Autocannon defending the Elephant in deployed mode. Costs 500 resources and requires a tech level of 2.
  • "Ceramic Armor": The Elephant can now take 25% more damage. Costs 800 resources and a tech level of 3.


  • The Elephant's name is in keeping with the UNSC's tradition of naming most ground-based vehicles after terrestrial animals.


List of appearances[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d Halo: The Essential Visual Guide, page 55
  2. ^ Halo Wars
  3. ^ Halo Wars, campaign level Reactor
  4. ^ a b c Halo Wars, campaign level Anders' Signal
  5. ^ Halo Wars, campaign level The Flood
  6. ^ Halo Wars, campaign level Shield World
  7. ^ Halo Wars, campaign level, Reactor
  8. ^ Halo: Spartan Strike
  9. ^ Halo: Spartan Assault