UNSC frigate

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A battle group of UNSC frigates firing their Magnetic Accelerator Cannons above Voi.

Frigate (hull classification symbol FFG) is a warship classification in the UNSC Navy. Although they do not possess the same degree of armor, armament, and firepower as destroyers, frigates are lighter and more maneuverable. They are also cheaper to produce, allowing greater numbers to be fielded against the Covenant.


Some early-era frigates over Earth.
Early frigates over Earth.

During the Human-Covenant War, UNSC frigates were barely considered a match for even the smallest of Covenant warships. Their armor was susceptible to enemy point-defense pulse lasers and plasma torpedoes, and it is outfitted with substandard weaponry. Only en masse did the UNSC frigate give any UNSC fleet element an advantage against even inferior numbers of Covenant capital ships. By 2552, UNSC frigates designs became more technologically advanced as seen with both the Strident-class heavy frigate and the Anlace-class frigate.

The frigate's speed and maneuvering are its advantage, however, allowing UNSC frigates to provide fire support to other UNSC fighter craft such as Sabres or Longswords and engage both multiple enemy single ship fighters, such as Banshee interceptors or Seraphs, and light enemy warships simultaneously; its speed allows it to put down fire on an enemy ship while being able to avoid a large amount of fire from largely superior Covenant weaponry.[1] In addition to this, its small size and role as a troop carrier vessel make it ideal for supporting ground operations in planetside theaters of action, capable of laying down suppressive fire against Covenant ground forces while deploying its complement of aircraft and marines to bolster UNSC forces on the surface.


While details between the various classes of UNSC frigate vary, all share the same overall design and layout.


The bridge of the frigate is located in the uppermost part of the ship, in the section at the stern-most tip of the MAC gun shaft. The commanding officer's chair is located behind the two primary consoles within the bridge. There also are numerous other consoles located at the sides of the room. There are four bridge stations: Navigation, Operations, Weapons, and Communications. There are airlocks on both sides on the bridge.[2] Modern frigate classes are also equipped with universal hardpoints on their dorsal and ventral hulls, allowing them to dock with other UNSC vessels.[3] On top of the bridge is a maser dish for short-range communication.


The forward midsection of the ship has numerous single ship hangar bays for Pelicans or fighter craft like Longswords on both sides. A UNSC frigate also possess twelve drop pod bays, located in the rear of the ship, which facilitate the deployment of Orbital Drop Shock Troopers. Also, spread throughout the frigate's structure are a number of its many escape pod bays.

Main hangar[edit]

Some frigate classes, namely the Charon-class, also have a large loading elevator in their rear section which is capable of extending out of the ship's ventral side to deploy vehicles or cargo directly to the ground.[4][5] The UNSC Forward Unto Dawn featured a large rear section which had the capacity of holding several Pelicans in addition to numerous ground vehicles. These hangar floor elevators have been seen operating in two different modes; the single-sided hinges on the elevator are able to swing down 90° in order to allow aircraft like Pelicans to drop vertically out of the hangar for quick deployment.[5] So far the frigate is the only UNSC warship that has been seen landing and deploying vehicles directly to the surface of a planet (or Installation 00 in the Dawn's case).

Design details[edit]


Like other human ships, the UNSC frigate is powered by thermonuclear fusion reactors which use deuterium (a stable hydrogen isotope) as fuel. The engines almost certainly use the energy obtained from this process to heat some form of reaction propellant which is expelled out of rear-facing exhausts to generate thrust. There are four exhausts visible on frigates; two large and two small. In addition, the frigate has two sets of forward maneuvering thrusters near the front.[2]

UNSC frigates are capable of hovering in an atmosphere and even landing. This is likely accomplished through the use of anti-gravity generators, although the technology involved has never been elaborated upon. Frigates are able to perform a Class-L flash-dock, a landing procedure used when time is of the essence which requires precise maneuvering control.[6]

For interstellar voyages, the frigate carries a Shaw-Fujikawa Translight Engine.


The MAC barrel on a UNSC frigate.

A typical UNSC frigate carries the following armament:

  • 1 Magnetic Accelerator Cannon which is able to fire one round per charge. A frigate MAC has an average length of 183 meters, or 600 feet.[7] MACs are typically spinally mounted to a frigate, though at least a pair of post-war frigate classes eschew MACs for lasers instead.[8][9]
  • 1-3 Shiva-class nuclear missiles serve as heavy ordnance.[10]
  • 16 Archer missile pods which carry around thirty missiles per pod, adding up to a total of 480 missiles.[10]
  • 4-12 Point-defense guns function as the last line of defense against single ships and incoming missiles. They are used for aerial bombardment on occasion. The model and amount of guns possessed by each ship varies by class, but the 50mm Rampart is the most common, coming in either twin-linked or quad-linked variants.


A frigate generally has a 250 sailor crew, with an equal number of troops also housed onboard.[11][12] The crew number includes deck crews as well as the command crew and technical personnel. Combat personnel, like Marines and ODSTs, are counted separately. The maximum number of personnel a single frigate is capable of housing numbers at least within the thousands.[13] Since many frigates have been seen in ground support roles, it is likely that the complement of Marine and ODST personnel on board is higher in percentage than other ships that are more dedicated to space combat.

In 2552 Sergeant Major Avery Johnson was supposedly able to singlehandedly control the frigate UNSC Forward Unto Dawn to aid Spartan John-117 and Arbiter Thel 'Vadam on the newly rebuilt Halo, though an auto-pilot function was available with the use of the ship's onboard navigational computer. An AI can monitor and regulate all critical functions without human intervention.


The armor of a frigate is relatively poor compared with that of its larger cousins and counterparts such as the UNSC destroyer, with only 60 cm of titanium-A battle plate. However, due to its relatively light weight, the frigate's strength lies instead in maneuverability and speed. The frigate's relatively wide design is supported by structural support ribs, allowing it to perform orbital incursions. As of 2558, certain frigates (namely, the UNSC Infinity's ten Strident-class sub-vessels) possess energy shielding technology.[14]


The Navy uses multiple frigate classes. Though they vary in size, armament, and purpose, they all follow some of the same design principles.

Class Image Details
Strident-class heavy frigate H4-StridentHeavyFrigate-ScanRender.png The Strident-class heavy frigate is best suited as an escort ship and swift-attack vessel used in large-scale naval space battles.
Paris-class heavy frigate HaloReach - UNSCFrigate.png The Paris-class heavy frigate boasts additional titanium-A armor plating and a larger number of point-defense guns than standard frigates, giving it greater capabilities as a fleet support vessel.
Mulsanne-class light frigate A render of the UNSC Panama (cropped from original). The Mulsanne-class light frigate closely resembles its aforementioned predecessors but lacks the lower bays characteristic of most frigates, and features a more centralized engine system.
Charon-class light frigate H3-UNSCFrigateAegisFate.png The Charon-class light frigate can carry a large complement of troops and vehicles. It is not as heavily armed or armored as other escort vessels of similar design. This belies a role as fleet support and troop carrier, although it is still capable of ship-to-ship combat.
Stalwart-class light frigate Render of UNSC In Amber Clad for Halo 2: Anniversary. As noted on the below blog, this image is not an official Blur-authorised render, but instead a custom render by the artist using the model he developed for Blur Studio. The Stalwart-class light frigate is best suited for planetary defense, fleet escort duties, and troop deployment. It has a smaller complement of vehicles than the Charon class, and less armament than the Paris class, effectively balancing it between troop transportation and fleet support.
Anlace-class light frigate H5G Anlace-class Frigate.jpg The Anlace-class light frigate lacks a MAC spinal mount but has a light MAC on top and primarily employs directed-energy weapons.

Known frigates[edit]

Class Fleet or last known tactical grouping Ship Name Hull classification symbol Last known captain Notes
Anlace-class light frigate Unknown UNSC Anlace Lead ship
Charon-class light frigate Seventh Fleet UNSC Aegis Fate FFG-307
UNSC Chioglossa FFG-127
UNSC Forward Unto Dawn FFG-201 Miranda Keyes
Unknown UNSC Charon Lead ship
Mulsanne-class light frigate Unknown UNSC Mortal Reverie FFG-525
UNSC Mulsanne Lead ship
UNSC Panama
FFG-201 FFG-201 Hull code shared with Charon-class UNSC Forward Unto Dawn.
Paris-class heavy frigate Epsilon Eridani Fleet UNSC Grafton FFG-318 Francis Mallarde
UNSC Saratoga
UNSC Savannah FFG-371 Kristòf Jen
Unknown UNSC Cascadia French
UNSC Commonwealth Wallace
UNSC Gettysburg John-117
UNSC Paris Lead ship
UNSC Promise of Dawn
Stalwart-class light frigate UNSC Home Fleet UNSC In Amber Clad FFG-142 Miranda Keyes Infected High Charity with Flood.
Unknown UNSC Meriwether Lewis
UNSC Midsummer Night FFG-209 Jacob Keyes
UNSC Stalwart Dawn Lead ship
Strident-class heavy frigate Unknown UNSC Strident Lead ship
FFG-427 FFG-427
FFG-502 FFG-502
Unknown Battle Group Leviathan UNSC Allegiance
UNSC Fair Weather
Bliss Defense Fleet UNSC Purpose
Unknown UNSC Agincourt Unidentified Commander
UNSC Burlington
UNSC Journeyman
UNSC Ready or Not Arthur Resnick
UNSC Redoubtable
UNSC Swift Justice
UNSC Tannenberg
UNSC Tripping Light
UNSC Welcome to the Snipehunt
AC-54 AC-54
FFG-045 FFG-045


List of appearances[edit]


  1. ^ Halo: Reach, campaign level Long Night of Solace
  2. ^ a b This piece of Halo 3 concept art specifies several parts of the frigate's design. Some elements, like the Harpoon nuke, are not canon.
  3. ^ Halo: First Strike, pages 208-209
  4. ^ Halo 2
  5. ^ a b Halo 3, campaign level The Ark
  6. ^ Data Drop #6
  7. ^ Halo: The Essential Visual Guide, page 114
  8. ^ Halo 5: Guardians
  9. ^ Spartan Games: Halo Waypoint Update with Spartan - NEW SHIPS!
  10. ^ a b Halo Encyclopedia (2011 edition), page 259
  11. ^ Halo: Warfleet, page 36-37
  12. ^ Halo: Silent Storm, page 19
  13. ^ Halo: First Strike, page 220
  14. ^ Spartan Ops, S1E1 - Departure