M850 Grizzly

From Halopedia, the Halo wiki

M850 Grizzly
Production information


Chalybs Defense Solutions[1][2]

Technical specifications


12.3 meters (40.2 ft)[1][2][3]


8.4 meters (27.5 ft)[1][2][3]


7.2 meters (23.6 ft)[2][3]


64.8 metric tons (63.8 LT; 71.4 ST)[3][2]

Maximum speed:

69 kilometres per hour (43 mph)[3]




Year introduced:



Anti-armor platform, anti-infantry platform


United Nations Space Command


"Ah, Grizzly tanks. Forge's pet project."
Serina on Sergeant Forge's fixation with Grizzlies.[6]

The M850 Grizzly, formally the M850 Main Battle Tank, is an armored mobile weapons platform in service with the United Nations Space Command. It was developed by Chalybs Defense Solutions, the manufacturer of the older and more common M808 Scorpion.[1]


Design details[edit]

The M850 Grizzly is the heaviest armored vehicle in service with the UNSC military, and is usually deployed in situations that require devastating firepower and a resilient design in a single, mobile package.[3] The M850 Grizzly shares a similar design to the M808 Scorpion, also developed by Chalybs Defense Solutions. For ease of mobility across varied terrain, the Grizzly is fitted with a four-bogey tread configuration, similar to the Scorpion's. The Grizzly, however, has a fifth stationary tread in the back of the chassis, presumably for extra stabilization. Compared to the M808, the M850 MBT is more heavily armored due to its large profile. As with the Scorpion, the driver's access hatch is located in the center of the chassis in front of the turret.[1][2]

The M850 Grizzly is protected by exceptionally thick armor plating that allows the tank to sustain large amounts of damage.[7] The tank's resilient armor is capable of tolerating multiple blasts from heavy plasma cannons.[2] At 12.3 meters (40 ft) in length and a mass of over 71 tons, the Grizzly is larger than the Scorpion, although the latter reaches significantly higher speeds than the Grizzly's maximum speed at 69 kilometres per hour (43 mph).[3]


A Grizzly firing its twin 120mm M310 SBHV guns.

The turret is larger than that of the Scorpion and features a separate access hatch, as it is designed to support two M310 120mm smooth-bore high-velocity cannons, as opposed to the M808's single M512 90mm cannon.[1][2][4] The cannons can be outfitted with two 90mm S1 canister shells, which produce a high explosive blast radius, increasing the weapons' lethality against all targets.[1] The Grizzly's powerful cannons are capable of breaking through an opponent's shields and hull in a single strike.[3][2]

Like the Scorpion, the M850 Grizzly features a single coaxial 7.62x51mmM247T machine gun mounted on the turret to the right of the cannons;[1] post-war models also include a pintle-mounted M247T near the turret access hatch.[8] Smoke grenade launchers are affixed to the forward edges of the turret.[1] Some Grizzly tanks also feature missile launchers, and two turret-mounted M247T coaxial machine guns.[5][2]

Operational history[edit]

The M850 Grizzly, first manufactured in 2509,[3] is not as old as Chalybs Defense Solutions' better-known, more widely deployed M808 Scorpion, which has been in service since 2218. The origins of the Grizzly are shrouded, due to maneuverings by many competing bureaucratic and corporate interests within the UNSC at the time of its development. The Grizzly quickly found a niche with Army and Marine units despite initial skepticism and the logistical challenges of transporting it. The Grizzly proved invaluable both as an anti-armor vehicle and a mobile fortress that could drive straight into the heart of insurrection positions and outgun any rebel armored vehicles. The beginning of the Human-Covenant War cemented the Grizzly’s reputation as the bane of enemy armored vehicles. On the open field the Grizzly was practically unstoppable, and often forced the Covenant to deploy naval assets in order to decisively end the threat that even one or two tanks could cause to their staging areas and supply columns.[3]

The UNSC Spirit of Fire carried a large complement of Grizzlies, largely due to the preferences of Sergeant John Forge, who turned the tanks' acquisition into a personal project of his.[9] The Grizzly was notably deployed during the Harvest campaign, during which it performed exceptionally.[1] While investigating a Forerunner structure on Harvest in early February 2531, a platoon of Marines assigned to the UNSC Spirit of Fire, as well as Professor Ellen Anders, were attacked by Covenant forces. Two Grizzlies, which had been personally upgraded by Sergeant Forge, were sent to the structure to rescue the survivors. They made their way through several Covenant blockades, killing dozens of infantry and destroying large amounts of matériel while sustaining very little structural damage. As Anders and Forge were airlifted from the site, the Grizzlies remained behind to cover their escape.[6]

A column of Grizzly tanks advancing upon Covenant positions on Draetheus V.

On February 23, 2531, Spirit of Fire was suddenly drawn toward the interior of Trove; three platoons remained groundside, prompting the crew to attempt a hasty retrieval operation. Alpha Platoon was escorted by a Grizzly, which was used to provide cover fire for the Marine infantry as they fought numerous Flood forms. Though the Marines were highly susceptible to infection while on foot, those inside the sealed cockpit of the tank were immune; this allowed the MBT's crew to clear a path for the infantry and other vehicles, who eventually arrived at a hastily established firebase. When the survivors reached the evacuation zone, the tank was presumably left behind.[10]

Grizzly tanks were utilized during the Battle of Mombasa in 2552 by an ODST squad, when they were ordered to destroy Covenant shield generators and help pinned-down marines recover vital intel.[11]

The M850 saw limited use later in the war. This was not due to poor performance, as the Grizzly was considered to be very powerful and reliable. Rather, it was due to the tank's exorbitant cost, stringent maintenance requirements, relative difficulty of transportation, and the remaining heavy-lift spacecrafts were tasked for high-priority reconstruction.[1][3] After the Human-Covenant War, several Army units maintained Grizzly units for planetary defense.[3] Several Grizzlies were used in the Battle of Draetheus V against Merg Vol's Covenant in 2554.[12]

M850 Grizzlies were utilized by the crew of the Spirit of Fire against Banished forces on Installation 00 in April 2559.[5]


Halo Wars[edit]

In-game, the Grizzly is an extremely capable vehicle, suitable for defeating large numbers of enemy troops and vehicles. Since it possesses a secondary canister shell attack, it can kill infantry with ease due to the shell's large blast radius. This canister shell ability is the same upgrade that can be applied to the Scorpion tank by the player and the upgrade works equally well for both. The armor plating is superior to that of most vehicles, able to survive multiple shots from a Hunter's assault cannon, and can survive a sustained hit from a Deutoros-pattern Scarab's main gun twice as long as a Scorpion. The coaxial machine gun has a faster firing rate and inflicts more damage per hit than the Scorpion's, at the cost of a longer reload time. Its main disadvantages are the cost it requires to be researched, its reduced effectiveness against other vehicles and its minor ineffectiveness against airborne units. Like the Scorpion, it is "hard countered" by SP42 Cobra, especially while they are in lockdown mode. Though the in-game model features smoke grenade launchers they are not usable. In the campaign level Relic Interior, the player can use Professor Ellen Anders to repair their two Grizzlies while in other levels they can be repaired the same way as any other vehicles.

In Halo Wars' skirmish and multiplayer modes, the Grizzly serves as one of Sergeant John Forge's unique units. It is accessed as an upgrade to the Scorpion.

  • Resources: Resources 1800 (upgrade for Scorpion); Resources 500 (for individual unit)
  • Minimum Tech Level: Tech level 4 (upgrade for Scorpion); Tech level 2 (for individual unit)
  • Population Count: Population 3

Halo: Spartan Assault and Halo: Spartan Strike[edit]

The player can operate the M850 Grizzly in the campaign levels Assault on the Covenant Landing Zones, Breach of the Bulwark, and Behind Enemy Lines. The coaxial M247T machine gun is present but can be used by the player by pulling the trigger while the main cannon is fired with the grenade trigger. Instead, as with the game's version of the Scorpion, the player may utilize an M247T mounted on top of the main turret; this machine gun may be rotated 360 degrees. The Grizzly is the most powerful vehicle in the game, far outclassing the firepower and armor of the Scorpion and Zurdo-pattern Wraith. Its main cannons have a high rate of fire and produce a heavy degree of splash damage, allowing the player to keep targets under near-constant fire.

In both Spartan Assault and Spartan Strike, the Grizzly can destroy any vehicle wreckage by simply running over it. However, the Grizzly will take damage, albeit very little, if the player runs over any abandoned civilian vehicles without destroying them first, as the explosion from the vehicle being run over will damage the Grizzly. The Grizzly is an overall powerful assault vehicle capable of plowing through enemy forces, leaving a path of destruction in its wake.

In Spartan Strike, if the player fires the main cannon too frequently, it will occasionally only fire a single shot.

Halo Wars 2[edit]

A render of the Grizzly model for Halo Wars 2.
A render of the Grizzly in Halo Wars 2.
  • Info: Very heavy tank, strong vs ground units
  • Tier: 3
  • Cost: Population 10, Supplies 850, Supplies 765, and Supplies 680, Power 80, Power 72, and Power 64 (Supplies and Power cost reduced by Lv 0, 1, and 2 Accelerated Assembly Leader Power respectively.)

Grizzly Upgrade: Missile Barrage

  • Info: Powerful Area Attack, Ground Attack only
  • Tier: 3
  • Cost: Supplies 0, Power 1,000

In Halo Wars 2, Grizzlies feature missile launchers in place of their canister shell ability. Grizzlies are given to the player to use in Last Stand, and are available in the Operation: SPEARBREAKER campaign by using Major Elijah Vaughan's Grizzly Battalion Leader Power. Like their Halo Wars counterparts, Grizzlies are exclusive to Sergeant Forge in multiplayer, though they now replace Scorpions outright, and can be built at the UNSC Garage. Grizzlies are no longer listed as Super Units in Halo Wars 2, the only UNSC Super Unit being the G81 Condor gunship. In Blitz, they cost Blitz Energy 160.

Phoenix Log[edit]

Phoenix Log - Grizzly
Phoenix log artwork

Superheavy assault tank.

Grizzly tanks are armed with dual high-velocity cannons that make quick work of most armored vehicles and dual medium machine guns to suppress enemy infantry. The missile barrage upgrade allows them to fire an area-of-effect bombardment. The Grizzly's heavy armor is reflected in their slow speed and cost, and they are vulnerable to enemy aircraft.

Approaching the upper limit of mass and volume that can be dropship-transported, the Grizzly is a superheavy tank unit deployed as a siegebreaker by specialized UNSC armored groups. The Spirit of Fire has an unusually large complement of the vehicles due to the machinations of Sergeant John Forge, though the secrets and convoluted story of their acquisition went with him to the grave.

Changes from Halo Wars to Halo Wars 2[edit]

  • Population consumption tripled, from Population 3 to Population 9.
  • Missile Barrage replaces canister shell as the researchable ability.


  • Like most UNSC vehicles, the Grizzly vaguely resembles its animal namesake. Both the tank and the grizzly bear are extremely large and resistant to harm, and both possess powerful attacks; the bear is capable of decapitating a human with a single swipe of its paw, while the M850 MBT can destroy all but the most powerful ground targets with relative impunity.
  • The Grizzly was said to be equipped with a flamethrower early in the development of Halo Wars.[13] However, as the same interview sensationally described the Cyclops as a "colossal bipedal mech", the claim may have been erroneous.
  • Halo Wars 2 has an infected Grizzly that goes unused.


Concept art and illustrations[edit]


List of appearances[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p Halo: The Essential Visual Guide, page 86
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n Halo Encyclopedia (2022 edition), page 141
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Halo Waypoint, Grizzly (Retrieved on Jul 31, 2021) [archive]
  4. ^ a b c Halo Wars, Personnel profile: Sergeant John Forge
  5. ^ a b c Halo Wars 2, Grizzly in-game unit
  6. ^ a b Halo Wars, campaign level Relic Interior
  7. ^ Halo Encyclopedia (2009 edition), page 251
  8. ^ Halo: Spartan Assault, Grizzly in-game unit
  9. ^ Halo Wars 2, Phoenix Logs - Grizzly
  10. ^ Halo Wars, campaign level Shield World
  11. ^ Halo: Spartan Strike, campaign level Mission 25: Behind Enemy Lines
  12. ^ Halo: Spartan Assault, campaign level Mission 18: Assault on the Covenant Landing Zones
  13. ^ Official Xbox Magazine, January 2009 (Issue #42) - {{{3}}}, page 38-43