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UNSC Iroquois (hull classification symbol DD-906) is a Halberd-class destroyer of the UNSC Navy. Commissioned in April 2552, Iroquois was the first ship to respond to the Covenant fleet en route to Sigma Octanus IV on July 17, 2552. Her first commanding officer was Jacob Keyes, who executed the famed "Keyes Loop" maneuver during the Battle of Sigma Octanus IV; his exemplary performance would lead him to be reassigned as commanding officer of the cruiser UNSC Pillar of Autumn.
Iroquois is outfitted with spinal-mounted, twin-linked Magnetic Accelerator Cannons (specifically 1170mm/647mm high-velocity coilguns), 26 oversized Archer missile pods, and three Shiva-class nuclear missiles.
Iroquois is covered with two meters of Titanium-A battleplating and Vanadium steel alloy. She is painted with non-regulation red war stripes painted on each side of the name "Iroquois," a reference to the namesake Native American tribe. The ship also features a circular shaped bridge. Commander Keyes approved of the war stripes painted on the ship, but intended to have them removed anyway. Both stripes would be damaged during the Keyes Loop. The commanding officer of the repair ship UNSC Cradle offered to repaint them for Keyes, but Keyes refused the offer, choosing to leave the damage intact to display the destroyer's battle history.
During the Covenant's initial probe of Sigma Octanus IV, Iroquois was the first UNSC warship to respond to the attack. Iroquois engaged the Covenant fleet, which consisted of one DDS-class carrier, one destroyer, and two frigates. Though outnumbered, Iroquois managed to destroy the Covenant destroyer and frigates using a decisive maneuver and a Shiva-class nuclear missile. The carrier avoided the engagement and headed planetside to deploy its ground forces, then left the system. Iroquois, still in orbit and badly damaged by the maneuver pulled off by Commander Keyes, deployed the ship's Spartan-II complement to engage the Covenant forces on the surface of Sigma Octanus IV near Cote d'Azur.
After the engagement, Iroquois needed major repairs due to the damage she had received: The ship needed replacement ventral armor; a full engine overhaul; replacement of 15% of electronic systems; five new superconducting magnets; and a replenished supply of Archer missiles, MAC rounds, and Shiva nuclear warheads. The ship was repaired on the Cradle, which arrived in the Sigma Octanus system along with a fleet led by Admiral Michael Stanforth. However, full repairs were not possible as full-scale battle began in earnest with the arrival of a larger Covenant fleet.
Battle of Sigma Octanus IV
Iroquois participated in the Battle of Sigma Octanus IV despite not being fully repaired. During the engagement, Iroquois spotted a Covenant stealth ship in orbit above the planet and attempted to destroy it with a barrage of Archer missiles. The barrage missed its target when the alien ship jammed the missile guidance locks. In response, Iroquois rammed the tiny craft, stopping Covenant ground forces from transmitting data from the planet's surface. With the Covenant ground operation foiled by Spartan Blue Team, the remaining Covenant vessels fled the system.
Shortly after the battle, Iroquois was tagged by a Covenant spy probe, subsequently leading the Covenant to the colony and military stronghold of Reach. Captain Keyes and his bridge crew were reassigned to the Halcyon-class light cruiser UNSC Pillar of Autumn just prior to the invasion of Reach in August 2552.
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