This article is about the M12 Warthog. For the weapon, see M12.
The Warthog Force Application Vehicle, more commonly known as the Warthog or simply the Hog, is the name for a series of vehicles serving as the United Nations Space Command Armed Forces' primary joint light tactical ground vehicle.; its variants are capable of performing armament carrier, utility, command and control (shelter), ambulance, reconnaissance and a variety of other tactical and logistic support roles. It is a highly mobile, all-wheel-drive, all-wheel-steering, hydrogen-injected ICE-powered vehicle equipped with a manual transmission.
The most ubiquitous model is the M12 Light Reconnaissance Vehicle and its variants, which is equipped with advanced surveillance and a turret-mounted machine gun for a basic defensive capability. The M12 has been a part of the UNSC's mechanized infantry divisions and armored vehicle divisions since 2319, and is the most publicly recognizable vehicle in their arsenal.
AMG Transport Dynamics designed the first Warthog prototype in 2319, dubbed the "Z-12". The Z-12 prototype vehicles quickly proved to be popular due to a well-crafted advertising campaign and adept engineering team which demonstrated the prototype's impressive feature set and unparalleled functionality in the unpopulated remote territories of both Luna and Mars. AMG claimed that the vehicle that could "go anywhere and do anything". Within the first eight months of the Z-12 prototype's existence, AMG received over three dozen exclusivity contracts. Most of these contracts came from the Colonial Military Administration. By 2321, AMG Transport Dynamics worked with the CMA and established a deal to cover all of their land-based transportation needs. Around the time of this deal, the Z-12 became integrated into the M12 Force Application Vehicle. In addition, a pneumatically-powered swivel mount and armored body panels were added to the vehicle.
By 2329, the M12 FAV had become the most common all-terrain vehicle in service with the military—closely followed by the Mongoose and Civet vehicle lines that were also produced by AMG. CMA personnel began to refer to the M12 as the "Warthog", first establishing the vehicle's nickname. Eventually, the Warthog was adopted by the United Nations Space Command. More than a dozen iterative changes were added to the Warthog, and over two centuries later, after its original creation and design, the M12 Warthog remained the standard utility vehicle in UNSC service. Due to how commonplace the Warthog is, all UNSC personnel are required to know how to operate and maintain an M12 Warthog, regardless of military speciality or branch of service.
Although designed and manufactured by AMG Transport Dynamics, at least one Misriah Armory facility on Mars manufactured Warthogs in 2552. The Phoenix-class support vessel UNSC Spirit of Fire stored records of dozens of Warthog variants within its internal databases for its factory modules to construct, with the AI Isabel creating more based on new technology and lessons learnt from fighting the Banished following the ship's arrival at Installation 00 in 2559. Sergeant John Forge additionally kept a personalised Gauss Warthog out of the ship's motor pool, and spent many hours adding to and tweaking the vehicle's design.
The Warthog is a four-wheel drive, all-terrain utility vehicle capable of going over any obstacle without difficulty. Under the hood the M12's power is generated by a forward-housed low-profile liquid-cooled hydrogen-injected ICE I/C plant, coupled with an automatic infinitely variable transmission (IVT). The hydrogen fuel is burned at a very high temperature with a synthetic carbon/silicon catalyst to achieve even better fuel consumption. This hydrogen engine is the standard among all UNSC ground (and most air) based vehicles, replacing fossil fuel-based engines some 400 years ago. The Warthog features a Graf/Hauptman solar/saline actuator, which is capable of converting up to twelve liters of fresh, brackish or salt water into hydrogen on the fly. Detritus from the process is compacted on board and disposed of manually by the crew. This allows the Warthog to travel 790 kilometers (490 miles) before it needs to be refueled, a range that can be easily extended by the addition of any container capable of holding liquid. Older models boast a fully independent swing-arm suspension system and four in-hub wheel motors.
The Warthog is a huge, unwieldy, difficult to steer vehicle — until a user learns how to drive it properly. With proper application of the hand, or "e-brake" the M12 can actually turn on a dime. Massive disc brakes and its automatic braking systems allow the vehicle to come to a near immediate, but controlled stop should the driver be ejected, or choose to leave the vehicle. The Warthog's tires have moved away from previous inert-gas pocket inflation with far more resilient and superior burst-proof single unit nanotube skeletons. They provide the buoyancy and ride of gas-pocket tires, but are almost indestructible, allowing the M12 to easily roll through situations that would leave other vehicles disabled and vulnerable. The relatively massive tires are a joint project between Michelin-Vance and AMG, and are manufactured by PUMA.
The Warthog shares parts – and handling characteristics – with the Spade and its sibling frontier trucks, which means that many recruits are already proficient with basic vehicle maintenance and off-road driving skills before they ever arrive at UNSC boot camp. However, the vehicle is so ubiquitous that all UNSC personnel are required to know how to operate and maintain the M12 FAV, regardless of military specialty or branch of service. When interviewed, UNSC personnel overall had only positive positive comments for the vehicle, though they believe the vehicle could benefit from greater versatility in mounted weaponry and perhaps an armor upgrade.
Due to its long service history and extremely versatile nature, the Warthog has seen considerable alteration and variation, with variants displaying varying levels of armor protection, armament, passenger capacity and other features. Major variants of the Warthog are denoted by their year of production.
Its description as a "force application vehicle" is spectacularly accurate; the Warthog has both offensive and defensive capabilities, as well as intel gathering and supply transport and practically any other task that can be accomplished by a wheeled vehicle. The Warthog can be configured to become a troop carrier, armament carrier, ambulance, reconnaissance vehicle, or communications vehicle. All M12-based vehicles are designed to travel both on and off-road, in all weather conditions. Removing the Warthog's turret and replacing it is a fairly simple process, meaning that vehicles can be reconfigured to serve in roles ranging from light reconnaissance to troop/ cargo transport to anti-armor in a relative short period of time. As such, Warthog variants are typically classed according to their bed-mounted weapon systems. These are;
However, not all Warthogs are deployed for combat. Some vehicles deployed for recon and transportation or in the case of resource shortages may have their turret removed, and are given the name of Scout Warthog. In essence, the Scout Warthog is the "purest" form of the Warthog chassis, and many variants of Warthog are classified based on the base chassis rather than the weapon they carry. The two primary chassis variants of the Warthog are the M12 Warthog and M12B Warthog.
The M12 Warthog was the predominant Warthog employed by UNSC forces between the 24th and 26th centuries, and saw use in the Insurrection and Human-Covenant War. It is descended for the Z-12 prototype vehicles designed in 2319. M12 Warthog models have been seen in the following variants;
By late 2552, however, the vehicle chassis known as the M12B Warthog had begun circulation, seeing deployment in the last battles of the war and coming to prominence in the Post-War period. It incorporated side compartments into the body, features a more angular body style, utility bars over the hood and around the bed, and several other largely cosmetic changes, while keeping a similar design to the first chassis. This design typically carries several Jerrycans filled with water to be rendered into hydrogen for the engine. It has a lighting system of 24 LED brake light and ULED headlights. This chassis has a programmable nano-prismatic paint to refract color at any chromacity, depending on the vehicle's destination. A security bit was designed to prevent marines from tinkering with the finish, based on early and embarrassing experiences of the tech's deployment. Unlike most models used throughout the Human-Covenant War, this chassis uses a swing-axle system, a redesigned transmission and drive shafts, and constant-velocity joints. The M12B also features adjustable, non-pneumatic "smartwheels".
UNSC/ CMA Warthogs
Since the vehicle's inception, the Colonial Military Administration and United Nations Space Command have been the primary employers of the Warthog platform, with the UNSC Army and Marine Corps making heavy usage of the vehicle in their military campaigns. The UNSC employed the Warthog in the Insurrection and again in the war against the Covenant, where Gauss-equipped vehicles formed vital tank-hunters with their superior off-road capabilities versus Covenant hovercraft. Rocket-equipped Warthogs often served as the first and last line of defense against Covenant aircraft, with other vehicles used in a scouting capacity, or as an integral part of a mechanized infantry unit. Disarmed Warthogs would serve important roles in logistics, carrying personnel, food, fuel and cargo in all environments.
Aside from its military application by the CMA and UNSC, the Warthog has seen widespread popularity among civilian populaces and Insurrectionists. During the Insurrection, Insurrectionist forces under Howard Graves would utilise modified Warthogs at their base Camp New Hope, in which the vehicles would have a middle section welded between the front and back, creating armoured Warthog APCs. In 2558, the New Colonial Alliance leader Ilsa Zane would operate a personally modified Warthog capable of firing Argent V missiles.
Civilians also employ the Warthog for everyday transportation and racing. The most common variant of civilian Warthog is the 'Hog, a vehicle with variants on both the M12 and M12B chassis'. However, several Warthog variants have also been produced, designed for racing including the M12 GT, M12S Warthog CST and 550 Scuderia StarSpeed M-12R. The latter variant, colloquially referred to as the Rally Warthog, is designed by AMG's competition division for racing on New Carthage, and has seen many victories. The rally races it is involved in often involve dangerous fauna and other competitors, meaning some Rally Warthogs are equipped as Warthog LRVs.
Private corporate entities such as the Liang-Dortmund Corporation have been authorised employ military Warthogs, among other military hardware. Following the Human-Covenant War, the threat of Insurrectionist, Kig-Yar pirate or Covenant remnant raids, and the possibility of attack by alien megafauna, have necessitated the employment of corporate-branded vehicles sporting chainguns and gauss cannons. Due to backdoor deals involving bribery, however, even rocket Warthog platforms have been deemed necessary for corporate use by government officials.
UNSC personnel remarks
The Warthog was featured in the report Machines, Materiel and Munitions from the Human-Covenant Conflict, 2525 - Present by Doctor Robert Mclees, in which he interviewed UNSC personnel on their thoughts on the Warthog.
The Warthog can be found in every Halo game, and is a ubiquitous vehicle on most mid-large multiplayer maps. They are typically capable of rapidly traversing a map and, when crewed by a communicating driver-gunner pair, are capable of dominating infantry and vehicles alike. However, they are prone to flipping, and can be easily countered by grenades or other explosive weapons. In addition, they are highly susceptible to anti-personnel weapons fire due to their lack of armour protecting the crew. In Halo: Reach and onwards, sustained fire from weapons such as battle rifles and DMRs will quickly wear down a Warthog and cause it to explode.
In Halo Wars, Warthogs are lightly armored, fast and nimble scout units. They are player's first unit and do not have any damage capability other than running things over. Along with infantry units, they can be used to collect discovered resource crates. A Warthog cost 150 resources to construct at the command center and a unit takes up one population.
Sergeant Forge can mount the Warthog and in result the Warthog instantly upgraded into Gauss Hog which was unique to Sergeant Forge.
Halo Wars 2
In Halo Wars 2, the Warthog has been re-classified as a Core Vehicle, and is now constructible at a UNSC Garage, as opposed to the command centre.
Warthog Upgrade: Gauss Cannon
The Armored Warthog is classed as a Core Vehicle, and performs well against Infantry, Vehicles and Aircraft. In addition, the Flame Warthog and Veteran Flame Warthog are available to Kinsano, the Armored Warthog is available to Anders and the Trooper Warthog is available to Isabel.
A number of Warthog replicas have been constructed in real life for promotional purposes.
List of appearances