Machine-linked autocannon

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Machine-linked autocannon
The M1024 MLAs on the YSS-1000 Sabre prototype during the Fall of Reach.
Production overview




Ammunition type:



Asynchronous linear-induction motor[2]

Rate of fire:


Effective range:


Service history

In service:


The machine-linked autocannon (MLA) is a classification of coilgun mounted as turrets on various space fighters in service with the United Nations Space Command.[1][3]


Design details[edit]

These autocannons use electromagnetic asynchronous linear-induction motor (ALIM) technology to fire hyperdense projectiles at velocities unmatched by chemical energy-based weaponry.[2] In UNSC service, such weapons are usually given the designation of ASW/AC - or Anti-Ship Weapon/Autocannon.[3]

Numerous starfighters in service with the UNSC are equipped with machine-linked autocannons. These include exoatmospheric craft like GA-TL1 Longswords, FSS-1000 Sabres, F-41 Broadswords, and even suborbital bombers like the B-65 Shortsword. Several models of the autocannon exist, while the calibre of the rounds ranging from 30mm to 50mm. The autocannons are very effective in engaging hostile spacecraft, such as Phantoms and Type-31 Seraphs.[4]


M9109 ASW/AC 50mm[edit]

The various iterations of the GA-TL1 Longsword fighter are equipped with M9109 coilguns that fire 50mm projectiles at such speeds that they immediately begin to burn up from air friction when fired within an atmosphere.[2] They are often used in an air-to-surface combat capacity during tactical strikes. The Longsword's autocannons are very effective against Covenant Type-31 Seraph.[4][5] The C712 model includes eight M9019s,[2] while the C718 Longsword includes four.[6]

M8545 ASW/AC 40mm[edit]

When their advanced stealth system fails them, Winter-class prowlers are equipped with twin M8545 autocannon.[7]Lightly armed, these autocannons are only a last resort as the prowlers are designed to evade and escape threats.[8]

M1075 ASW/AC 35mm[edit]

The F-41 Broadsword fighter is equipped with two rapid-fire M1075 autocannons.[9][10] The autocannon is not rigidly attached to the fighter's hull, but is on retractable, semi-articulated armatures.[11] The versatility of these autocannons allows it to target hostiles with ease. It is very powerful, being able to effectively eliminate Forerunner weaponry, such as Z-8250 light artillery.[12]

M1020 ASW/AC 30mm[edit]

Two M1020 autocannons are mounted on the F-29 Nandao fighter.[13]

M1024 ASW/AC 30mm[edit]

Two M1024 cannons are mounted on the FSS-1000 Sabre as its main armament.[4][14][10] The Sabre is armed with two cannons, one on each wing, situated close to the cockpit. The cannons fire 30mm rounds that travel slowly and requires the pilot to lead the shots. The cannons are very powerful and can take out a Banshee in one or two shots and can quickly take out a Type-31 Seraph starfighter's shielding, leaving it vulnerable to homing missiles.[15]

M955 ASW/AC 30mm[edit]

The B-65 Shortsword is equipped with several M955 autocannons that fire 30mm projectiles. The autocannons complement the Shortsword's M/RODAS delivery system, allowing it to engage hostile aircraft.[16][17]

Production notes[edit]

The novel Halo: Shadows of Reach establishes that the M1075 model autocannons installed on the F-41 Broadsword can fire their projectiles with a velocity of one-tenth the speed of light. This number is incredibly dubious, given the energy needed to support such acceleration. When asked on Twitter, Shadows of Reach author Troy Denning later clarified that this number should be considered hyperbole until further comment from 343 Industries, additionally adding that he would consider the muzzle velocity of these weapons more in line with existing smaller-scale magnetic weapons such as the M99 Stanchion.[18]

List of appearances[edit]


  1. ^ a b Halo: Warfleet, page 91
  2. ^ a b c d e Halo: Warfleet, page 17
  3. ^ a b Halo Waypoint, The New Halo Encyclopedia is Out Today (Retrieved on Mar 11, 2023) [archive]
  4. ^ a b c Halo: Reach manual, page 8
  5. ^ Halo: The Essential Visual Guide, page 112
  6. ^ Halo Encyclopedia (2022 edition), page 160
  7. ^ Halo: Warfleet, page 46
  8. ^ Halo Waypoint, ONI Acrisius (Retrieved on Jun 1, 2020) [archive]
  9. ^ Halo 4: The Essential Visual Guide, page 114
  10. ^ a b Halo Encyclopedia (2022 edition), page 158
  11. ^ Halo: Warfleet, page 28
  12. ^ Halo 4, campaign level Midnight
  13. ^ Halo Encyclopedia (2022 edition), page 159
  14. ^ Halo: The Essential Visual Guide, page 161
  15. ^ Halo: Reach, campaign level Long Night of Solace
  16. ^ Halo: The Essential Visual Guide, page 176
  17. ^ Halo Encyclopedia (2022 edition), page 161
  18. ^ Twitter, Troy Denning (@TDenningauthor): "We're just going to say 10% light speed was hyperbole. I would consider the actual muzzle velocity to be something closer to, but still in excess, of the M99 anti-materiel rifle's." (Retrieved on May 8, 2021) [archive]