Stalwart-class light frigate
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The Stalwart-class light frigate is an escort ship type in service with the UNSC Navy. Manufactured by SinoViet Heavy Machinery, these frigates are designated with the hull code FFG. The Stalwart class are used primarily in fleet escort duties, providing screens for larger capital ships. Designed with planetary defense in mind, Stalwart frigates have proven successful due to their superb balance between fleet support and troop transportation.
Hull and propulsion
The Stalwart-class light frigate is one of the smaller classes of frigate in service with the UNSC Navy, at 478 meters in length with a mass of 0.93 million metric tons. Stalwart-class frigates are protected by a sixty centimeter-thick hull of titanium-A armor. These warships are equipped with an active phased sensor array built into the ship's hull. The bridge of the Stalwart frigate has its own life support that will function even if the rest of the ship is crippled. Extremely mobile, the Stalwart class is outfitted with two OKB Karman 56K fusion drives for sublight travel. The Stalwart is equipped with a Starwerx FTL-290C, a slipspace drive featuring a Series IV CODEN field generator.
Crew and complement
A Stalwart-class light frigate is crewed by 250 sailors. In addition, these frigates also carry a complement of two hundred Marines and sixty-four Orbital Drop Shock Troopers. However, the frigate only carries twenty-four Single Occupant Exoatmospheric Insertion Vehicles. The ODSTs that are deployed from the frigate via an SOEIV drop pod are launched from the ship by a magazine-fed coilgun accelerator.
While Stalwart frigates lack the larger hangar bays seen on the Charon-class light frigate, the class is outfitted with six hangar modules, each capable of launching or recovering only a single dropship at a time. These frigates typically carry six D77-TC Pelicans as well as their associated support equipment, with some Stalwarts also carrying D96-TCE Albatrosses. The class also carries twelve M12 Warthogs and six M808 Scorpion tanks.
Well-armed for a frigate, the Stalwart-class light frigate is equipped with a single 56A2D4 Mark II light Magnetic Accelerator Cannon, serving as the primary armament of the class. The upper boom of the frigate contains the fire control systems and pulsed power storage for the MAC, which is fitted in the lower boom. A rapid-fire variant of the frigate's MAC system is installed on Epoch-class heavy carriers.
For secondary armaments, Stalwart frigates are fitted with sixteen anti-ship M58 Archer missile pods, as well as seventy-six long-range anti-fighter M340A4 Streak missile pods. These frigates are armed with a point defense gun network mounted along the hull for tertiary armaments, consisting of six M870 Rampart point defense guns and fifty-two M710 Bulwark point defense guns.
Designed by distinguished naval engineer David Pulver and Doctor Eugene Taylor, the Stalwart-class light frigate was one of the most prominent classes of frigate in service with the UNSC Navy during the Human-Covenant War. In service by at least 2526, several Stalwart frigates were a part of Admiral Preston Cole's Third Fleet towards the end of the Harvest campaign.
On February 9, 2547, sixteen Stalwart-class light frigates finished their final assembly together at SinoViet Naval Yard AS-9 over Reach, the youngest of which was UNSC In Amber Clad. After two years of service, all fifteen of In Amber Clad's sister ships were destroyed fighting lost battles during the Siege of Paris IV, the attack on Iota, and the Fall of Arcadia. Receiving partial repairs and replenishment at Tribute, In Amber Clad was assigned to Lieutenant Commander Miranda Keyes on April 7, 2550, with the frigate being reassigned to the Sol system's Home Fleet.
Numerous Stalwart-class frigates was prominently seen in orbital use against Covenant fleets during the Battle of Sigma Octanus IV and Fall of Reach. At some point before the Battle of Line Installation 1-4, at least two Stalwart-class vessels were shot down by the defenses of Line Installation 1-4 and crashed into the moon along with several other starships. The In Amber Clad was in dock with Cairo Station above Earth on October 20, 2552 when the Covenant Fleet of Sacred Consecration found and assaulted the planet. Commander Keyes immediately assembled her crew for battle, intending to assist the rest of the fleet. During the opening actions of the engagement, Fleet Admiral Joseph Harper led the Fifth Fleet, which included a force of sixty-seven Stalwart-class vessels in defending Earth. Presumably many of these frigates were destroyed over the course of the battle before eventually succeeding in disabling the shields of the CAS-class assault carrier Day of Jubilation, prompting Keyes to renew her assault on In Amber Clad. However, Spartan-II supersoldier John-117 intervened and destroyed the carrier before this could happen, and the Master Chief regrouped with In Amber Clad to reinforce UNSC forces defending against the Covenant in New Mombasa. The In Amber Clad sent its Marines and ODSTs to aid the Chief in reaching the second carrier Solemn Penance, from which the Prophet of Regret was leading the ground action. After routing the Covenant ground forces, the In Amber Clad pursued the Solemn Penance into slipspace, leading to the discovery of Installation 05 on November 2, 2552.
The In Amber Clad again deployed her ground forces led by the Master Chief to track down and kill the Prophet of Regret before he attempted to activate Halo, triggering the Battle of Installation 05. Through the course of the campaign, the In Amber Clad continued to harass Covenant operations on the ringworld's surface, leading to the Prophet's eventual assassination by the Master Chief. With the outbreak of the Flood, In Amber Clad was captured and its surviving crew assimilated, the vessel itself forced to perform a slipspace jump inside the Covenant holy city High Charity to unleash the growing horde upon its inhabitants. In Amber Clad was rendered inoperable following this action as the survivors battled against both the Covenant and the Flood.
Stalwart-class frigates continued to serve in the UNSC Navy after the War's end. Prior to October 2558, the UNSC Meriwether Lewis hosted a Spartan contingent, with Spartan Edward Buck acting their commander until he was reassigned to Fireteam Osiris aboard the UNSC Infinity.
Ships of the line
Non-canon and dubious canon appearances
During the development of Halo: Reach, the UNSC frigates featured in the game were known as the Stalwart class. Halo: The Essential Visual Guide reveals that the type featured in Halo: Reach is the Paris-class heavy frigate, while the Stalwart class' name was repurposed for the frigates that appear in Halo 2.
List of appearances