Skar'wa-pattern Mantis

From Halopedia, the Halo wiki

This article is about the Covenant anti-air cannon nicknamed the "Mantis". For the powered exoskeleton, see HRUNTING/YGGDRASIL Mark IX Mantis.
Skar'wa-pattern Sky Striker
T27 AAC.png
Production overview


Assembly Forges[1][2]


Anti-aircraft weapon



59.8 meters (196.1 ft)[1][2]


36.9 meters (121.2 ft)[1]


154.3 metric tons (151.9 LT; 170.1 ST)[2]

Ammunition type:

Ultra-heavy plasma bolts

Feed system:


Rate of fire:

Single shot

Service history

In service:

Human-Covenant War


"They're setting up an AA battery. That thing'll tear the Dawn apart..."
— An Orbital Drop Shock Trooper[3]

The Skar'wa-pattern Sky Striker[2] (UNSC Type classification: Type-27 Anti-Aircraft Cannon, T-27 AAC), nicknamed the "Mantis",[1] is an automated Covenant ground-based stationary anti-aircraft emplacement and the most storied extreme-range artillery piece in the service of the empire.[2]


Design details[edit]

The Skar'wa-pattern is sleek and light in construction, composed of a large ultra-heavy plasma cannon situated atop a large tripod mount,[2] which houses platforms for snipers and spotters on two of its three sides. The three legs are able to adjust to a given terrain. The gun component rests on a proportionally small joint which is complemented by an energy field,[4] and allows 360-degree movement. The weapon itself stands at a height of 36.9 meters (121.2 feet) and has a length of 59.8 meters (196.1 ft).[1] Overall, despite a similar operation, the Mantis masses just over a third as much as the similarly-used Cheru-pattern Tyrant cannon. This mass differential allows the Mantis to be more easily stored and deployed in field operations, compared to the Tyrant's semi-permanent nature of installation.[2] A Mantis AA battery can be quickly assembled using modules transported by common dropships such as Phantoms. This makes them ideal for deployment in narrow gorges or dense cityscapes.[1]

The weapon's energy capacity is unlimited, but it must cool off and release its excess heat after every shot, exposing its weak point; the interior is vulnerable through the heat vent, which is located on the underside the cradle component. A certain amount of damage to the interior will destroy the AA battery; this makes it vulnerable to infantry and ground vehicle attacks. While heavy weapons make quick work of the delicate cooling vent and interior, small-arms fire can be nearly as effective; as few as three overcharged shots from a Type-25 plasma pistol can fatally cripple the gun emplacement.[4][3]

Mantis cannons require no crew to operate the weapon, and are instead served by a remote link paired with predictive flight-tracking algorithms.[2] Troops are often stationed in the vicinity of the AA guns—as well as in their marksman perches—to safeguard them from opposing ground forces. It is not uncommon to find several lances guarding these emplacements, led by a high-ranking Covenant officer. During the final battles of Human-Covenant War, Jiralhanae Chieftains were often seen commanding these emplacements and its garrisoned ground forces.[3][4] Mantis AA batteries are often additionally supplemented by multiple skyhunter tanks nearby such as the Ogab'd-pattern anti-aircraft Wraith, who provide closer-in defence against smaller and more agile aircraft. This lets the Mantis primarily focus on larger threats such as GA-TL1 Longswords or even warships - Mantis batteries are a threat to UNSC frigates, and are capable of denying local warship support to ground forces.[3][4] Their cannons are capable of fire at extreme ranges,[1] allowing them to secure the air and near-orbital space of a given region with ease.[2]

Ultra-heavy plasma cannons analogous to that fitted on the Mantis are also fielded aboard the Sumda'te-pattern Scarab walkers, allowing them to serve as mobile heavy anti-air artillery.[5]

Operational history[edit]

Mantis anti-air guns saw use during the Battle of Meridian, when 18 heavily guarded batteries were destroyed by the first prototype of the HRUNTING/YGGDRASIL Mark IX ADS in an action known as the "Cherbourg Run". The event has been suggested as one possibility as to how the Mark IX got its nickname of "Mantis" within the UNSC armed forces.[6]

Mantis guns were heavily deployed by Truth's fleet during the later stages of the Human-Covenant War. One such weapon was the target of a UNSC operation during the Battle of Voi on November 17th, 2552, having been deployed in the town of Voi in order to keep the UNSC forces away from the Portal excavation. The UNSC planned a low-level strike, using frigates and Longswords, to attack the Prophet of Truth's keyship Anodyne Spirit which was resting on the Portal. Throughout the battle, the AA battery fired continuously, and managed to destroy at least one Longsword. Marines and SPARTAN-117 eventually breached the Covenant resistance in Voi and destroyed the AA gun, allowing Lord Terrence Hood's ships to assault Anodyne Spirit.[4]

Several weeks later, a number of Mantis guns were deployed by Truth's forces during the Battle of Installation 00 as part of efforts to prevent joint UNSC-separatist ships above from reinforcing their troops on the ground. However, these batteries remained incomplete, as Master Chief with the assistance of several Orbital Drop Shock Troopers stopped their construction, allowing UNSC Forward Unto Dawn to land nearby.[3]


Development images[edit]


List of appearances[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Halo: The Essential Visual Guide, page 117
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i Halo Encyclopedia (2022 edition), page 304
  3. ^ a b c d e Halo 3, campaign level The Ark
  4. ^ a b c d e Halo 3, campaign level The Storm
  5. ^ Halo Waypoint, Scarab (Retrieved on Jun 30, 2021) [archive]
  6. ^ Halo 4: The Essential Visual Guide, page 111
  7. ^ ArtStation, Halo 3 - Environment Work: "Halo 3 - Covenant BFG before slight redesign" - Jason Keith (Retrieved on Jun 23, 2021) [archive]
  8. ^ Instagram, Glenn Israel: "Halo Reach - Covenant light artillery platform (2009)" (Retrieved on Apr 28, 2022) [archive]