Destroyer is a warship classification in the UNSC Navy, as well as the now-defunct Colonial Military Administration. Its hull classification symbol is DD. Fast, maneuverable, and designed for long-term endurance, destroyers are intended to escort larger vessels such as cruisers and carriers.
The Navy has made use of several destroyer classes which vary widely in design.
The most common destroyer type used during the Human-Covenant War and the later years of the Insurrection, the Halberd-class features a distinctive "arrowhead" profile. At 485 meters, it is only seven meters longer than a Stalwart-class light frigate, yet it has almost double the mass;[note 1] this is because they have between one-and-a-half to two meters of titanium-A armor. This class' armament consists of two Magnetic Accelerator Cannons, twenty-six oversized Archer missile pods, and three Shiva-class nuclear missiles. For defense against single ships the Halberd-class destroyer carries eight twin-linked 50mm point-defense autocannons. Unlike most UNSC warships they do not carry GA-TL1 Longsword interceptors.
The Halberd class in service as early as 2517 and continued to serve throughout the Human-Covenant War. Despite their powerful armament and maneuverability, many Fleet officers looked down upon destroyers, considering them too ineffective against Covenant ships. It was generally agreed that seven destroyers were a match for four Covenant frigates. One of the most notable Halberd-class destroyers was the UNSC Iroquois, captained by Commander Jacob Keyes, which performed the daring Keyes Loop during the Battle of Sigma Octanus IV. This destroyer type continues to be in service with the Navy by 2557.
The heavy destroyer class has been in service with the Navy since at least the late 2490s. In 2497, the heavy destroyer UNSC Gorgon was the first ship of its class to be armed with a Magnetic Accelerator Cannon, for which the ship carried only three slugs. Then-Captain Preston Cole served on this ship during the Insurrection. The Gorgon was later assigned to Admiral Cole's fleet during the Human-Covenant War.
Similar in design to a cruiser, the CMA destroyer Heracles belonged to the Hillsborough class of destroyer. The Heracles was the command ship of Battle Group 4 following the disastrous first contact with the Covenant.
The Diligence-class is an older class of destroyer formerly operated for peacekeeping purposes by the Colonial Military Administration. The class has a wide beam and is almost equally tall. Numerous large antennae are mounted across the hull. By the start of the Covenant War, the Diligence-class had been retired for decades, though some ships were brought back into service and retrofitted for used in the war. The only known vessel of this class, the UNSC Kronstadt, deployed an ODST-Spartan team during a raid on Heian at some point between 2540 and 2551.
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