Marathon-class heavy cruiser
|Marathon-class heavy cruiser|
1,192 meters (3,910 ft)
375 meters (1,230 ft)
|Chronological and affiliation|
The Marathon-class heavy cruiser (hull classification symbol: CA) is a classification of cruiser in service with the UNSC Navy. These cruisers are generally reserved for use as command ships due to their durability and firepower, and are often given attack and defense roles. Rarely, these cruisers are deployed to assist forces of the United Nations Space Command in planetary invasion operations.
Built as a replacement for the Halcyon-class light cruiser, the Marathon-class is nearly 1.2 kilometers long. Marathon generally serve as the backbone of fleets, though due to their limited numbers they are typically commanded by officers of the rear admiral rate or higher.
- 1 Specifications
- 2 Operational history
- 3 Ships of the line
- 4 Halo: Fleet Battles
- 5 Trivia
- 6 Gallery
- 7 List of appearances
- 8 Notes
- 9 Sources
Superstructure and hull
At 1,192 meters (3,910 ft) long, Marathon-class heavy cruisers are more than twice the length of a typical frigate. Despite their size, Marathon-class cruisers are dwarfed by most Covenant cruiser classes. As the successor to the Halcyon-class cruiser, these vessels have a similar profile, with a forward 'head' and large engine segment protected by armor cowlings. Despite this, the Marathon-class is not identical, with it's design being more streamlined, with the central section curving inward at the bottom, rather then remaining flat. Members of this class are renowned for their durability and extraordinary resilience, with their 191-centimeter hull of Titanium-A armor allowing them to take more punishment than much smaller craft such as frigates and destroyers. Their ability to withstand massive amounts of damage, even in the face of plasma weaponry, made the Marathon-class popular among UNSC naval officers. Unfortunately, their lack of the honeycomb supports meant that these ships were considerably more fragile then the Halcyon-classes they replaced. Nevertheless, by 2552 the Marathon was considered to be one of the more powerful warships ever built by humanity.
Like all warships of the UNSC Navy, Marathon-class heavy cruisers have a degree of operational flexibility that's achieved through the use of modular mission packages and reconfigurable hangar bays. Though a rare configuration, these cruisers could be modified and equipped to function as a light carrier, sacrificing missile pods and all of its cargo bays for additional hangar capacity.
Crew and complement
Marathon-class heavy cruisers feature a standard complement of one thousand personnel. Due to their durability and firepower, ships of the Marathon class are often reserved for admirals to use as command ships. Although, they are occasionally commanded by a captain or a rear admiral. Vessels of the class can also carry large Marine complements.
Cruisers of the Marathon class are fitted with at least two hangar bays. A large deployment bay containing numerous Single Occupant Exoatmospheric Insertion Vehicles, referred to by Orbital Drop Shock Troopers as "Hell's waiting room", is located amidships. Marathons can carry two dozen GA-TL1 Longswords; space aboard a Marathon is optimized to maximize the amount of heavy weapons and armor equipped on each ship, preventing the cruisers from carrying more space fighters. In addition, Marathon-class heavy cruisers can carry several D77-TC Pelican dropships and other ground and air vehicles.
Marathon-class heavy cruisers are equipped with two heavy Magnetic Accelerator Cannons as the primary armament of the class. In addition to the class' MAC weaponry, these heavy cruisers are armed with a variety of other weapons that were once considered to outmatch the armaments of any other ship in service with the UNSC Navy. The secondary armament of a Marathon-class heavy cruiser is a missile delivery system which consists of 1,800 Archer missiles, as well as five fusion rockets. The tertiary armament of the heavy cruiser class is a network of point-defense guns. The Marathon class' vastly superior armaments allowed it to outclass the preceding Halcyon class in every way in terms of weaponry.
The Marathon-class heavy cruiser was commissioned and built as a replacement for the Halcyon-class light cruiser, a smaller and more lightly armed cruiser which suffered from excessive productions costs and a lack of tactical viability. After a brief era of service, most ships of the Halcyon-class were decommissioned, which led to the Marathon-class rising to prominence. By 2525, the Marathon-class was the most popular line of cruiser in service with the Navy. Several Marathon-class heavy cruisers served in Battle Group X-Ray under Vice Admiral Preston Cole during the Battle of Harvest. Throughout the early years of the Human-Covenant War, Marathons continued to serve in Cole's Third Fleet. Several Marathons from the fleet, including UNSC Prophecy, participated in the Harvest campaign. At least one Marathon-class heavy cruiser, UNSC Dresden, participated in the Battle of Biko, where it was destroyed by the Covenant.
As their numbers were diminished by the onslaught of the Covenant, many Marathons were reassigned to the defense of the Inner Colonies and Earth during the later years of the Human-Covenant War.[note 1] Marathons were present at the Battle of Sigma Octanus IV in July 2552, including Vice Admiral Michael Stanforth's flagship Leviathan, which was severely damaged during the battle. Numerous Marathon-class heavy cruisers participated in the Fall of Reach, many of which were destroyed, including Leviathan.
At least eight Marathon-class cruisers (including UNSC Canberra and Say My Name, assigned to the Fifth Fleet, a part of the UNSC Home Fleet) were present at the onset of the Battle for Earth. Led by Fleet Admiral Joseph Harper aboard Canberra and supported by sixty-seven Stalwart-class light frigates, these ships formed a defensive perimeter around the orbital defense platform cluster over the Mediterranean to prevent the Fleet of Sacred Consecration from reaching Earth's surface. Admiral Carl Patterson's Battle Group Omicron, drawn from the Home Fleet, contained one Marathon-class heavy cruiser that participated in the Onyx Conflict, where she was destroyed with the rest of her battle group. Several Marathon-class cruisers of the Home Fleet were presumably destroyed over the course of the Battle for Earth, particularly after the final wave of Covenant reinforcements arrived.
Most remaining Marathon-class heavy cruisers were decommissioned after the Autumn-class heavy cruiser was introduced, with only a handful staying in service. The Autumn class became slated to serve as the core of the reconstituted UNSC Navy's fleet, a role the Marathon class had previously fulfilled. A Marathon-class heavy cruiser served as the flagship of Admiral Graselyn Tuwa during an operation on Gao in 2553. The presence of the cruiser prevented Minister of Protection Arlo Casille from taking naval action against the UNSC, realizing that the cruiser could easily decimate his entire fleet of patrol corvettes.
Ships of the line
- UNSC Canberra – Fleet Admiral Joseph Harper's flagship; led the Fifth Fleet against the Covenant during the Battle for Earth on October 20, 2552.
- UNSC Dresden – Equipped with a saddle box drive. Destroyed during the Battle of Biko in 2526.
- UNSC Feeling Lucky – Part of the Fifth Fleet; destroyed during the Battle of Earth on October 20, 2552.
- UNSC Hannibal – Destroyed during the Fall of Reach.
- UNSC Leviathan – Vice Admiral Michael Stanforth's flagship. Severely damaged during the Battle of Sigma Octanus IV in July 2552 and destroyed during the Fall of Reach.
- UNSC Marathon – The lead ship of the class.
- UNSC Prophecy – Destroyed during the Harvest campaign in February 2531.
- UNSC Say My Name – Deployed ODSTs to board Solemn Penance as part of Operation: BUMRUSH during the Battle of Mombasa on October 20, 2552.
Halo: Fleet Battles
UNSC Marathon Heavy Cruiser
This element includes a single Marathon-class heavy cruiser.
UNSC Supported Marathon Heavy Cruiser
This element includes a Marathon-class heavy cruiser and one Paris-class heavy frigate.
UNSC Reinforced Marathon Heavy Cruiser
This element includes a Marathon-class heavy cruiser and two Paris-class heavy frigates.
UNSC Paired Marathon Heavy Cruisers
This element features two Marathon-class heavy cruisers.
|Browse more images in this article's gallery page.|
- Though in-universe the class is likely named for the Battle of Marathon, in reality its name is a reference to Bungie's Marathon trilogy and its eponymous ship, the UESC Marathon.
- The Marathon class is featured in Halo: Fleet Battles; although the Halcyon-class light cruiser was originally intended to appear instead, it was decided that the latter's appearance would not be canonically possible. The design for the Marathon class in the game was noted to have been difficult to sculpt, although the models created by Blur Studio for Halo 2: Anniversary aided in the process.
ODSTs gathered around a holo-table inside a Marathon-class cruiser.
A Marathon class is destroyed in the Halo: The Master Chief Collection announcement trailer.
A Marathon hull being pierced by a CAS-class assault carrier's energy projector.
Marathon-class heavy cruisers in Halo: Fleet Battles.
Profile of a Marathon in Halo Mythos.
List of appearances
- According to Halo: The Fall of Reach, as of July 2552, UNSC Leviathan was one of twenty cruisers left in the Fleet, presumably referring to the entire Navy. Even if one assumes that this refers only to FLEETCOM Sector One, this number is clearly retconned in later media.
- Halo Waypoint: UNSC Cruiser
- Halo: The Essential Visual Guide, page 42
- 3D model data from Halo 2
- Halo 2: Anniversary, campaign level Cairo Station
- Halo: First Strike, "Tug o' War", page 413 (2010)
- Halo Encyclopedia, page 251 (2010 edition); page 261 (2011 edition)
- Halo 3: ODST, campaign level Prepare to Drop
- Halo: The Fall of Reach, page 242 (2010)
- Halo: The Fall of Reach, page 188 (2010)
- Halo: Fleet Battles, Core Rulebook - page 125
- Halo Wars: Genesis
- Halo: Fleet Battles, Stats
- Halo Wars, Timeline
- Halo: The Fall of Reach, page 162
- Halo: The Fall of Reach, page 224 (2010)
- Halo: First Strike, page 168 (2003), page 206 (2010)
- Halo Waypoint: UNSC Say My Name (defunct, backup on Archive.org)
- Halo 2, campaign level Cairo Station
- Halo: Ghosts of Onyx, pages 292, 333
- Halo 3, campaign level Crow's Nest
- Halo 4: The Essential Visual Guide, page 191
- Halo: Last Light, page 71
- Halo Waypoint: Canon Fodder - Fifty Caliber
- Halo Waypoint: Michael Stanforth
- Stephen Loftus on the Autumn class' talk page
- Halo Waypoint: Canon Fodder: In the Loop