Strident-class heavy frigate
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The Strident-class heavy frigate is a type of heavy frigate in service with the UNSC Navy, designated with the hull code FFG. Manufactured over Mars and Tribute by Aerofabrique SA, these frigates are used as both escort ships and swift-attack vessels. Outfitted with energy shielding and powerful weaponry, the Strident class represents one of the newest generations of warships within the Navy.
The Strident class fulfills a number of versatile roles in the UNSC Navy, from convoy escort to troop transport. The multi-purpose Strident-class heavy frigate most often fulfills escort and attack roles in the fleet. In attack roles, they rely on their speed and numbers to engage enemy capital ships. To compensate for their relative fragility, Strident-class frigates maneuver and attack as a synchronized group to minimize exposure to plasma fire.
Blurring the lines between frigate and destroyer, the lean and lethal Strident class is considered an invaluable asset to the Navy. Up to ten of these frigates can be stored in the internal hangars and docking clamps of UNSC Infinity. After an initial assault, they are deployed en masse to deliver a final, crushing blow and mopping up any stragglers in the process.
Superstructure and hull
The Strident-class heavy frigate is an incredibly fast and agile warship capable of precise naval combat. 575 meters in length, the ship is fairly narrow on the port-starboard axis. Relatively fragile, the Strident class is armored with easily replaceable Titanium-A armor panels, with additional plating around the ship's delicate engines. Like other frigates, the Strident possesses port and starboard "wings" and has a laterally split hull. A blister with several viewports is on the dorsal surface near the bow. Rather than relying solely on the ship's hull for protection, the Strident class can be outfitted with energy shielding. Production delays mean most frigates are not equipped with energy shielding, though small generators capable of sealing the hangar and airlocks are standard. Channels for waveguides and bay sockets for emitters are installed, making final integration of shields a straightforward process once modules are available.
The frigate's bridge features a state-of-the-art combat management system and a datacore capable of hosting a smart AI ship director. The AI and automated systems handle target detection, threat evaluation, tracking, and calculating of firing solutions, though the crew sets target priority and authorizes weapons release. These frigates maintain a low sensor signature. The ship's SOEIV deployment bays are mounted on the mid-ventral surface. Like other warships of the UNSC Navy, sublight propulsion is provided by a deuterium fusion engine.
Crew and complement
The Strident-class heavy frigate is crewed by 190 sailors. These warships traditionally carry no expeditionary troops, though may occasionally hold and deploy a handful of Orbital Drop Shock Troopers. Due to the frigate's relatively small size, the Strident class carries little in the way of complement. The class has a single internal hangar bay, capable of housing a single Pelican dropship. However, three more dropships can be carried on exterior hull clamps.
The Strident-class heavy frigate is described as a lean and lethal warship, capable of carrying incredible firepower. The frigate's primary armament is its ship-mounted Mark IV, heavy coil - 94B1E6/Magnetic Accelerator Cannon. The 94B1E6 heavy MAC and its twelve massive capacitor banks allow the Strident's firepower to rival the twin MACs on destroyers and light cruisers. However, the Strident class is unable to carry much in the way of ammunition due to its small size; for this reason, most combat operations take place near supply depots. For attacking targets of strategic significance, these frigates are fitted with a single M4093 Hyperion nuclear delivery system, armed with three warheads. It requires several minutes to load and prepare each missile. The MAC and the Hyperion warheads combined are capable of defeating a variety of Covenant capital ships, as long as their shields are down.
The secondary armament of the frigate is two M42 Archer missile pods. To protect against fighters and missiles, six M870 Rampart point-defense guns are fitted, emplacements combining quad-mount coilguns and a targeting scanner. They evaluate incoming threats and switch the ammunition to either sub-caliber armor-piercing sabots or proximity detonation fragmentation shells on a target-by-target basis. The Strident class is armed with five Mark 55 Castor naval coilguns as its secondary ship-to-ship armaments. The Castors are designed to fire a variety of munitions, including experimental shield-piercing rounds. Three of the Castor turrets are equipped with two smaller Mark 57 Arena point defense guns in a "quickshot" configuration, with one on each side.
The Strident-class heavy frigate was designed late in the Human-Covenant War, implementing hard-earned lessons from previous frigate designs. The Strident class was the testbed for streamlined manufacturing techniques intended to accelerate production. During the war, one of these frigates was used to deploy Orbital Drop Shock Troopers during a battle for an unknown world in October 2552. Following the war's conclusion, hundreds of Strident- and Anlace-class frigates were commissioned and assembled in shipyards above Mars and Tribute to replace the combat losses and engage Covenant remnants occupying the Outer Colonies. While prominent in the years following the Covenant War, the Strident class is not a direct replacement for other frigate classes.
During the New Phoenix Incident in July 2557, at least three ships of this class escorted UNSC Infinity as part of Battlegroup Dakota. They engaged the Didact's flagship, Mantle's Approach, though they could not prevent him from activating the Composer and killing millions of residents in New Phoenix, URNA.
At the onset of the Requiem Campaign in 2558, Infinity's embarked Strident class sub-vessels were launched to engage the Covenant fleet around Requiem. During the battle, Infinity Sub-Vessel 3 destroyed a CRS-class light cruiser that was sending waves of troops and vehicles at Fireteam Crimson over "Two Giants". Later, as Infinity was stranded and ambushed at the world of Aktis IV by Jul 'Mdama with the aid of Catherine Halsey, the flagship deployed its entire fleet of Strident-class heavy frigates to ward off the attacking Covenant fleet, which they eventually succeeded in doing.
As the Created began their take over of Earth during The Reclamation, Stridents were in orbit of the planet and subsequently disabled. A year later, five Strident frigates were deployed by the UNSC Infinity during Operation: WOLFE.
Ships of the line
Low-detail models of the Strident-class are seen in the background on the Halo 4 level Midnight. These ships are intended to appear only in the background, but exploiting a glitch allows the player to examine these vessels up close, along with two other theretofore-unseen classes. Because these ships are intended to appear only as scenery, they are rendered as brushes rather than level geometry; as such, the player can fly the Broadsword through them without harm. This model bears several structural differences to the final model seen in Spartan Ops; it is lighter in coloration, similar to the other ships of Battlegroup Dakota, and the bridge section is sleeker, shorter, and located farther aft.
A Strident-class frigate in Halo: Initiation is depicted in the likeness of the lower-quality in-game model rather than the high-detail one in Spartan Ops. Curiously, a campaign-style Strident is shown alongside two canonically designed Stridents at the end of Halo: Escalation #7. It is possible that these are different models, though they may just have been mistaken for separate ship designs.
List of appearances