Machines, Materiel and Munitions from the Human-Covenant Conflict, 2525 - Present/Needler

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Type-33 Guided Munitions Launcher
Official designation: Type-33 GML
Length o/a: 57.8 cm (22.75 in.)
Length (barrel): 16.25 cm (6.4 in.)
Weight (empty): 3.74 kg (8.25 lbs)
Weight (loaded): 4.3 kg (9.5 lbs)
Cartridge: unknown1
Max. effective range: 64 meters (210 ft)
Muzzle velocity: 54 m/s (177 f/s)
Magazine capacity: 19 rounds
Rate of fire: 510 rnds/min
Unit Replacement cost: N/A


The Type-33 GML is an unusual projectile weapon. It fires guided projectiles which are long and very sharp—hence the “needler” moniker—that impale soft targets which detonate several seconds after coming to rest in their target. The exact mechanism by which it functions is currently under investigation.


Though not generally considered effective enough to be a combat multiplier, the wounds this weapon inflicts are horrific. In this aspect it is been reasoned by some to be the closest weapon in the Covenant arsenal to the flamethrower of ancient times.2

The standard tactic used by Covenant combatants armed with Type-33 GMLs is to fire several bursts into a confined area before entering; the projectiles ricochet when they hit rigid surfaces at oblique angles and retain sufficient velocity to make dodging them difficult at best.

Linear energy fields3 tend to provide the best protection; as the projectiles are repelled without detonating.


“I don’t know how it works, but it seems [the needles] can only follow you if they can see you.”

“First order of business when dealing with a hostile armed with a needler is finding cover; second order of business is killing the mike foxtrot with the needler.”

“Anything stuck with enough needles will blow sky high—and if a foxtrot is unlucky enough to be carrying grenades, those’re gonna cook off too.”

“I caught three in the leg as I was diving behind a broken wall—they lodged right in there where the greave meets the boot. When they went off it damn near broke my ankle and flung like little splinters of glass or crystal or whatever all up my left side—the corpsman was pulling that ____ out’a me for the better part of two hours.”

“Luckily—listen to me “luckily”—the needles only detonate when they’re imbedded in living tissue. Now that’s lucky because it’s not gonna blow a hole in the wall you’re hiding behind or tear the tires off of the vehicle you’re trying to escape in.”

“It’s about as close to a fire-and-forget small arm that were likely to ever see—and it ain’t ours. This is why we’re losing.”

1Pending treaty negotiations with the Sangheili.

2Or the M7057 DP, although that is not currently listed as a weapon system.

3Such as the Point Defense Gauntlets carried by the Kig-Yar.

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