M441 Hornet Remote Explosive System

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This article is about a weapon. For the VTOL aircraft, see AV-14 Hornet.
M441 Hornet Remote Explosive System
HORNET mines trailing from the UNSC Nereid.
Production overview


Space mine



Nuclear weapon

Service history

In service:


The M441 Hornet Remote Explosive System,[3][4] commonly known as the HORNET mine, is a type of space mine employed by the UNSC.


Design details[edit]

Hornet mines are tetrahedron-shaped, large and bulky nuclear explosives. They are considered stealthy and employ plutonium cores, with a nominal yield of 30 megatons and vaccuum-enhanced loads.[1] Despite their size especially when compared to missile warheads, the Hornets are considered small.[1]

Overall, Hornet mines measure a metre or more in diameter.[2]


Hornet mines are primarily carried by Sahara-class heavy prowlers.[5] Sahara-class vessels can seed orbital space around a planet with dozens of these weapons.[1] However, the presence of these weapons aboard a prowler risks a massive release of Čerenkov radiation upon emerging from slipstream space, meaning prowler crews may need to jettison their Hornets if they need to make a stealthy transition to realspace. As such, some prowler classes such as the Winter-class prowler instead employ the non-nuclear M1011 Moray space mine instead.

Operational history[edit]

Biohazard quarantine[edit]

In 2541, a network of Hornet mines were deployed around the colony world of Barugi following the outbreak of the asteroidea merozoite at Barugi Preparatory Academy.[6]

Against the Covenant[edit]

During the Onyx Conflict, the UNSC Dusk laid a field of HORNETs, destroying twelve and damaging four Covenant warships. This helped to prolong the survival of Admiral Patterson's battlegroup, which was facing an overwhelming number of Covenant ships at the time. The severe reduction in the number of Covenant ships allowed the UNSC fleet to score a brief victory, before overwhelming Covenant reinforcements arrived and destroyed the surviving human ships, with the exception of the Dusk.[1]

Created crisis[edit]

In 2558, the UNSC Nereid was carrying a number of HORNET mines when the ship lost all power in the wake of an attack from the Created. An attempt those aboard made at restarting its slipspace drive involved using the mines to power it as a sort of radioisotope thermoelectric generator. The effort was futile, however.[2]

List of appearances[edit]