From Halopedia, the Halo wiki
This article is about the Phantom introduced in Halo 2. For other Phantom models, see Phantom.
The Type-52 Troop Carrier, more commonly known as the Phantom by UNSC forces, is a troop carrier and gunship in service with the Covenant. They are used primarily as troop transports, flying into combat zones and deploying infantry while providing suppressing fire. The Type-52 Phantom is one of the primary dropships in service with the Covenant. Introduced into the final year of the Human-Covenant War, the Type-52 Phantom was created by Assembly Forges to replace the earlier Type-44 Phantom as its improvement over it in every way.[Note 1]
The Type-52 Phantom is the most well-known of Phantoms among the humans, with its lustrous silhouette being marked in minds of wars survivors from the Fall of Reach and Battle for Earth though many Covenant forces never used it before the loss of High Charity that effectively ended its production.
The hull of a Phantom is nearly invincible to small-arms fire, although explosives can easily damage or destroy the dropship. The Type-52 Phantom is primarily composed of a curved central hull that features a closed operator cabin in the front and a twin impulse drive propulsion system that feature pivotal fins to control the direction of the thrust at the back of the Phantom. On either side of the dropship lie bay doors that can be sealed for exoatmospheric environments. At the bottom of the Phantom, there is a ventral gravity lift that is able to tow and carry vehicles to and from destinations or deploy passengers. The gravity lift and bay doors were created to allow quick and simple infantry deployment in nearly any terrain type or environment. A ramp is also attached to the dropship to allow passengers to simply walk off when the Phantom has landed. An intruder countermeasure system is also found on Phantoms.
One of the Covenant's primary dropships, the Type-52 Phantom is capable of both infantry transportation and deployment in atmospheric and exoatmospheric environments. Despite being larger than the more traditional Type-25 Spirit, the Phantom is notably more maneuverable—capable of gracefully steering and weaving through tightly-cropped environments like narrow gorges, caverns, or urban centers such as a city with ease. The Phantom is roughly equivalent to the D77-TC Pelican in terms of function and performance. Phantoms are more heavily armed than the Type-25 Spirit dropship, sporting three defensive weapons that offer 360-degree turning radius.
Crew and complement
The Phantom crew consists of a pilot, a co-pilot, a navigator, and an operations officer who is in charge of the defensive automatic heavy plasma cannons. The Phantom can carry from as little as sixteen to as much as thirty "standard" passengers in its troop bay, depending on the personnel size of each model of the Type-52 Phantom. Generally, passengers are deployed from the ventral gravity lift and from the doors located by either of the dropship's large side doors. However, due to their size, Mgalekgolo soldiers are deployed from the Phantom through the use of its gravity lift. They have also been seen to transport teams of Huragok, which are carried in cases and swing from the Phantom's underside.
Like the Spirit dropship, the Phantom is capable of carrying a variety of Covenant vehicles such as two Type-32 Ghosts or a single Type-26 Wraith or Type-46 Spectre, as well as essential equipment such as deployable lookout towers, and components of anti-aircraft batteries by utilizing its gravity lift.
Although Phantoms are rarely deployed in a gunship role, they are equipped with a large armament. The Phantom has several armor and armament configurations that vary depending on the model. Typically, Phantoms have a single heavy plasma cannon located underneath its nose and twin, with two side-mounted Type-52 plasma cannons attached to the dropship’s open bay doors. These plasma cannons are often operated by Unggoy soldiers. A second model replaces the heavy plasma cannon with a fully automatic one. Another model is armed with three separate, automatic, fully rotational heavy plasma cannons.
Several other models of Phantoms with cannon configurations exist, although they are essentially the same in both design and function. The troop capacity and armament of a Phantom varies depending on its model.
The Fleet of Retribution used customized Phantoms following the Great Schism. These Phantoms were similar in function and appearance to the "normal" Phantom model, but they were colored an iridescent green instead of the usual purple, likely to match the UNSC's vehicle color schemes shortly after allying with humanity against the Jiralhanae-led Covenant during the Battle for Earth and Battle of Installation 00. These Phantoms were equipped also with cloaking technology, something rarely seen on ships of their size. After the Covenant's defeat, Type-57 Phantoms were used instead and the green color was replaced with a red color to match the color scheme of Swords of Sanghelios infantry. By 2558, at least one green-colored Phantom was used by Kig-Yar pirates on Ven III, which may indicate that this dropship may be a original Phantom used by the Fleet of Retribution and have been fallen into their hands.
The role of the Phantom is to transport squads of Covenant troops and vehicles into a combat zone with speed and efficiency. While the T-25 "Spirit" Troop Carrier serves primarily as a dropship, the Phantom, with its heavier armament, also fills the role of a ground support gunship. As their hull is heavily reinforced, Phantoms are invulnerable to small arms fire. The Phantom has three defensive weapons, making it a more challenging adversary than the Spirit. Like the Spirit, the Phantom is mostly scripted to deploy troops and leave, sometimes without coming to a halt, though in rarer cases it may stick around to lay siege on the player.
In Halo 2, the Phantom is invincible and can not be destroyed, although its weapons can be taken out, forcing it to retreat. The two silver engine plates can also be destroyed, although it will have no effect on the Phantom's speed. In Halo 3, Halo 3: ODST and Halo: Reach, the Phantom's three guns, the side doors and platforms, the engine plates, and its hind flaps, as well as its entire well being, are destructible. The Phantom's rear is most susceptible to damage, although this weakness was removed in Halo: Reach. When destroyed, the Phantom will float down, emit sparks and a loud whirring noise, then explode into wreckage, although in Halo: Reach the Phantom simply explodes.
Changes from Halo 2 to Halo 3
Changes from Halo 3 to Halo 3: ODST
Changes from Halo 3 to Halo: Reach
Accoring to Shi Kai Wang, when Halo 2 began it's development, Bungie was in the mindset of improving on what they learned on Halo: Combat Evolved, in a "box product" mentality. Wang, who didn't liked the Type-25 Spirit's design, wanted to give the Covenant dropship vehicle a more animalistic personality. At first, Wang tried to redesign the Spirit into a curved shape, but after seeing it lacked the Spirit's personality, and functionally proved to be too hard to carry units, the design was discarded. After many attempts, Wang managed to sketch the Phantom's characteristic silhoutte, based on the Cobra; the cobra's posture and "wing span" being the inspiration for the Phantom's shape and its curve posture when threatened being the inspiration for the Phantom's ability to carry vehicles.
When the Phantom's base design was done, Wang tried to formulate where the units would deploy from inside the Phantom: originally, he tried units would deploy from the back, but the Spirit's troop deployment method showed it wouldn't be as fun. At the end, Wang came up with the idea of a tractor beam in the Phantom's belly, using the Spirit's holographic tractor beams as a tube, forcing the troops to deploy one by one, allowing players to engage the enemy from any direction. The Phantom's design end up being one of Shi Kai Wang's favourites.
List of appearances