Z-1800 Phaeton

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Z-1800 Phaeton
Production information


Minoris Assembler Vats[1]





Technical specifications


10.3 meters (33 ft 10 in)[1]


8 metric tons[1]


Contragravity generators[1]


Smartmatter blocks[1]



One pilot[2]


In service:


  • Ground attack[1]
  • Infantry support[1]



"They were mean Forerunner ships about ten meters long and heavily armed with hard-light autocannons."
Edward Buck on the Phaeton.[3]

The Z-1800 Exoatmospheric Multirole Fighter (Z-1800 EMF),[2] colloquially known as the Phaeton, is a class of Forerunner weapon-ship. It is employed in a role analogous to a human VTOL gunship.[4] These craft were encountered by UNSC forces in several engagements following the Requiem Campaign.[5][6]


Design details[edit]

Controlled by a single pilot, the Phaeton can teleport short distances rapidly in any direction.[7] The Phaeton is armed with chin-mounted, twin-linked directed-energy weapons, as well as missile launcher-like weapons on both sides of the fuselage. The Phaeton's directed-energy weapon cannons overheat after being fired continuously for 8.93 seconds.[7][8] The missiles fire in two pairs of two and feature moderate homing behavior. In addition, the Phaeton has a highly mutable design pattern.[9]

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  • Phaeton Helios - Phaeton variant with increased armor and agility, and armed with homing pulse missiles in rapid-fire pods and a chin-mounted cleansing beam.
  • Phaeton Eos - A Phaeton variant that is optimized for defense. It is equipped with a constructor beam and can launch shield generator pylons.[1]

Operational history[edit]

One of the smallest classes of weapon-ship, the Phaeton was employed by the Forerunners in the billions during the war against the Flood. A single Forerunner Warrior-Servant could command thousands of Phaetons and support vessels, trusting in their Soldier pilots to self-organize into tactical phalanxes that could be thrown against the trillions of Flood combat forms and their vast fleets of corrupted Forerunner ships. Few survived to see the firing of the Halo Array, though their remains form debris rings around shattered worlds and dead fleets throughout the galaxy.[2]

Most Guardians were assigned a modest wing of Phaetons to carry out their duties. These vessels were supplemented by newly grown craft in October 2558. Cortana's Prometheans used Phaetons during the battles of Kamchatka, Meridian, Genesis, and Nuusra. In addition, both Blue Team and Fireteam Osiris were able to use the craft on Genesis and Sanghelios.[10]


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The Z-1800 Phaeton fills a very similar gameplay niche to the AV-14 Hornet from Halo 3 and Halo 2: Anniversary in which it is a VTOL aircraft capable of taking on a wide variety of missions and performing them without any major problems. The Phaeton's autocannons have a very long range, seeking targets up to 83 meters (270 ft) away, and can kill a Spartan in 6 hits and 1.1 seconds.

The Phaeton's pulse missiles are also ideal for clearing out groups of land enemies or engaging aerial forces, as they tend to exhibit moderate homing behavior. In addition, the Phaeton can teleport short distances rapidly in any direction to evade enemy fire more easily than most other vehicles can.


The Phaeton can only accomodate for one person, the pilot, unlike the Hornet, which can have support units on its sides, leaving the Phaeton more vulnerable to enemy anti-air forces. The autocannons also take some time to reach their maximum firing rate, which can make dealing with heavy ground or air troops slightly more difficult, and are burdened with overheating after almost 9 seconds of continuous fire. Like with all other vehicles, the Phaeton is vulnerable to EMPs, leaving it wide open to skyjacking due to the vehicle being temporarily disabled.

In addition, the Phaeton is most strongly exposed in its underbelly section; as few as 20 bursts from a BR85N battle rifle or 4 direct blasts from a Scattershot to the underbelly are needed to destroy it.


  • In Greek mythology, Phaeton, also spelled as Phaethon, was the son of the Titan Helios.
    • The Phaeton Helios is named after Helios.
    • The Phaeton Eos is named after Eos, Helios' sister.


List of appearances[edit]