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Assault Carrier
Class overview
Name:

CAS-class assault carrier

Operators
Preceded by

Adomous-pattern Brigantine

General characteristics
Type

Carrier

Length

5,347 metres (17,540 ft)

Width

2,118 metres (6,950 ft)

Height/depth

700 metres (2,300 ft)

Mass

2.7 billion tonnes

Engine unit(s)

Furiosa-pattern heavy repulsor engines

Slipspace Drive

Absolve-pattern slipspace borer

Hull

25-50 metres of Nanoluminate hull plating

Navigation system
Countermeasures
Armament

Varies depending on pattern

Crew
Minimum crew
  • 1 Authoritarian
  • 32 Superiors
  • 14 Engineers
  • 1,000 Menials
Additional information
Era(s)
Role(s)
  • Ship-to-ship combat
  • Fighter/interceptor deployment
  • Atmospheric fire support
  • Command and control
[Source]
"Do not misuse my generosity, Shipmaster. An assault carrier is a tool of destruction, capable of beating even fleets of ships unaided. If you abuse it or my trust for anything beyond the mission I have gifted you, you will not only bring shame upon your house and your entire homeworld, but I will personally hang your skull above the door to it's command centre as a lesson to all who disobey me."
Minister of Abnegation, on the importance of misusing an assault carrier, to Xytan 'Wattinree.

The CAS-class assault carrier is one of the most powerful models of capital ship ever deployed by the Covenant empire. Characterised by it's immense center hangar and hook-like prow, the assault carrier's awe-inspiring capabilities are well-documented. It is designed to lead the Covenant fleet into known enemy strongholds, punching through enemy lines and offloading a large complement of ground troops to wage war on the planet's surface. They accomplish this with line-after-line of shield generators, plasma torpedo silos and pulse lasers, with an expansive hangar capable of carrying thousands of strikecraft, dropships and troops. Add to this a number of powerful plasma lances and stripping out the usual warship needs for more weapon, troop and reactor space, and it becomes unnervingly easy to see why these ships are often called invincible combatants by personnel on the front lines.

Table of Contents
Operational History
Human-Covenant War
Variants
Esgem-pattern
Kerel-pattern
Medural-pattern
Syfon-pattern
Wixsom-pattern
Wrath-pattern
Conqueror-pattern
Eiolkaar-pattern
Ships of the Line
Gallery
Notes

Operational History

Human-Covenant War

The CAS-class assault carrier was first deployed against humanity during the Massacre of Bliss. Contrary to popular belief, the five assault carriers here were only supported by a massive fleet consisting of dozens of RPV-class light destroyers, CPV-class heavy destroyers and CRS-class frigates. They overwhelmed the planet's meagre defence fleet and proceeded to instantly glass the defenceless colony. Within four hours, all five hundred million colonists were burned to ash and glass; this was the first in a cycle of losses that would contribute to the CAS becoming among the most feared ships in the Covenant fleet.

Fortunately for humanity, the UNSC would gain a much-needed morale boost when they proved the assault carrier could be beaten. In 2526, Vice Admiral Preston Cole would lure the Covenant fleet from Bliss into a trap within the Origami Asteroid Field during the Battle of Alpha Aurigae. He maneouvered four particularly-large asteroids, each measuring at least six kilometres in length, with weapons fire to direct them towards the Covenant fleet. His ships followed closely behind, and when they were in effective range they sprung out, firing on the two closest carriers, destroying one and crippling the other. While none of the asteroids hit their intended targets, it left the Covenant in sufficient confusion to allow Cole's fleet to speed past the Covenant, before turning around and unleashing a MAC barrage, destroying the other two carriers. In the end, Cole lost thirty-seven ships to this risky tactic, but the fact he destroyed three of the largest ships encountered to date did reinstall the public's faith in the UNSC's ability to win the war.

Covenant fleet at Origami Asteroid Field
Vice Admiral Preston Cole leading a fleet against the assault carriers from Bliss.
Despite isolated cases where these ships were destroyed, CAS's use as flagships saw them becoming signals of the Covenant's inevitable victory. Throughout the early war, entire armadas of even modern UNSC ships were destroyed by being charged by a single assault carrier. The fact that they often carried skilled military commanders, like Imperial Admiral Xytan 'Jar Wattinree, and were escorted by particularly-massive fleets only made it worse for those tasked with fighting them.

Variants

Esgem-pattern

Esgem-pattern

Easily the most common pattern of assault carrier encountered throughout the war, the Esgem-pattern assault carrier is as close to a standard as one could get within the Covenant. Equipped with a 'mere' forty-metre hull of nanolaminate, the Esgem-pattern also features the lightest shielding and weapons output among the class, and a fleet coordination suite useful for only commanding battle groups smaller than a dozen ships. As a result, when given the option many fleet masters request reassignment onto a different pattern when available.

Fortunately for the Esgem, it is not completely useless. It is still a formidable warship, capable of easily beating fleets of even smaller Covenant vessels with ease, and provides a number of incredible opportunities for shipmasters to exploit in combat. The first is its speed; the Esgem is actually far lighter than other patterns of assault carrier, and this allows it to pull off manoeuvres that would be impossible in another subclass of carrier. This made it extremely-effective at assaults, where it can effortlessly punch through the defensive net and begin landing ground troops. This led to the carrier's next advantage. Because it did not have as many weapons, the Esgem could carry about twenty percent more soldiers and material, allowing it to either instantly deploy more troops at once or sustain them for longer periods of time. Another advantage lies in its adaptability; the Esgem's reactor is just as powerful as any other subclass yet the demands on it have been greatly reduced. This ensures that power can be redistributed to other systems in combat, usually weapons, or support additional external upgrades to its hull. In fact, the age of an Esgem can sometimes be told on based on how extensively it's internal systems are upgraded. Finally, as it's ultimate trump card, the Esgem usually supports a Hiranum-pattern slipspace stabilisation beacon. This tool allows for a tactical advantage by manipulating the local space-time fabric to allow it's fleet to reach higher speeds, or more usually to call in reinforcements to jump into its immediate vicinity. It has been seen that the beacon can defeat slipspace inhibitors, allowing for travel in places where it should not be able to jump in theory.

Kerel-pattern

"A well-disciplined crew are more valuable than even the most powerful Kerel."
―An old Sangheili proverb.
Kerel

A mutation of the base Syfon-pattern, the smooth Kerel-pattern assault carrier is among the strongest warships in the Covenant fleet, and feature the closest imitations to the Forerunner technology ever created by Huragok craftsmen. In fact, the Kerel is so valuable that only shipyards blessed by the Hierarchs themselves are allowed to construct these, and only Sangheili given special permissions by the High Council are permitted to crew them, with a special ceremony being held transferring these ships under the command of a new shipmaster. In fact, it's possible for centuries to go by before these valuable warships are crewed.

The Kerel-pattern assault carriers have an unimaginable level of firepower. Built more like a battleship than any class of carrier, the Kerel is capable of unleashing thirty percent more firepower than any other pattern of assault carrier, which includes up to a dozen energy projectors. Its shields are among the strongest in the Covenant fleet, only beaten out by the raw power supplied by the CSO-class supercarrier. Even it's engines are upgraded to the Raphyus-pattern to push the massive beast, making these ships as shockingly fast as an Esgem-pattern, although arguably less manoeuvrable in combat. While their troop capacity is reduced, it can still carry enough soldiers to lay waste to even the heaviest-fortified worlds and attack entire fleets. As a result, the Kerel is a ship master's dream vessel to command, making the contests to command them all the more vicious and invigorating.

Medural-pattern

Medural

Unique in that it was secretly fabricated by the Jiralhanae on the Prophet of Truth's orders, the Medural-pattern assault carrier, despite being a Sangheili-named craft, is a less-elegant and more raw variation of the CAS-class assault carrier. More thickly-armoured due to raw construction methods, the Medural relies on cruder, more reliable and easier to maintain technology to function. As a result of its unnecessary over-massing and raw architecture, these carriers are favoured by Jiralhanae shipmasters and are generally avoided by Sangheili for fear of being judged by their own kind.

The first major deviation from other assault carriers is its well-greebled hull, which seats some additional light plasma cannons and external components. The hull can be up to fifty metres thick in places and is made of an ablative blend of Nanolaminate, a strange form of ceramic and metal, making it stronger, lighter and more flexible. This is further supported by electromagnetic plates, which give off variable light seen on the carrier. The internal corridors are very feudal in their look, with much more angular panelling, with sword-like locks on doors. Even the colours tend to be muted down to shades of grey, though during the Great Schism they were coloured purple to reflect their new position. This was all more comfortable to the Jiralhanae, who preferred the rugged, industrial style.

Syfon-pattern

Sofen-pattern

Unlike any other pattern of assault carrier, the Syfon-pattern is designed first as a civilian vessel, being a luxurious cruiseliner for the Covenant's political elite. Built above and below its beautifully-crafted silver hull is an entire city containing thousands of individuals, and entire clans of Sangheili can forever be raised on the back of these ships. As a result, the Syfon is seen as the crowning jewel of a San'Shyuum's career, and as most of these carriers are privately-owned, being assigned to one represents that an individual has shown a great amount of loyalty to the San'Shyuum that owns it.

However, as it was also designed by a Sangheili shipwright, the Syfon does have it's military applications. As it contains a larger reactor and large hunting paddocks to sustain the indulges of its inhabitants, these assault carriers can only carry forty percent of the ground assets a regular carrier can, so it is forced to make it up in other areas. The Fib-pattern shield generators are three times as strong as the shields on other assault carriers. However, with large agricultural spheres and an internal fabricator capable of creating the latest fads in technology, the Syfon is designed for long-distance military deployments and sees extensive use as a heavy explorer. When a new relic is discovered in unknown space, the Syfon is usually at the forefront of the fleet sent to secure it.

The Syfon-pattern carrier has only been infrequently-seen during the Human-Covenant War, as Sangheili commanders preferred to serve on more purpose-built warships. However, these ships have been seen as flagships, with politically-savvy Fleet Masters carrying promising families and their home clans in an attempt to climb the societal ladder.

Wixsom-pattern

Wixsom

This assault carrier pattern was a prototype for the initial models of the CAS-class. It is unknown how many of these models where made, although it is suspected at least one hundred members this pattern have been made.

The Wixsom-pattern assault carriers are unique in that they lack much in the way of firepower, but more than made up for it with advanced shields at the time. This odd focus infers that they were designed for carrying high-value personnel, such as Prophets and Sangheili military leaders. The more recent models have not been spotted, but they most likely look like the Kerel-pattern assault carriers.

Wrath-pattern

Developed and deployed exclusively by the Demiurge, the Wrath-pattern has removed several ship-to-ship batteries, and instead replaced them with longer ranged, heavier plasma cannons. While they have a reduced rate of fire, their accuracy and range are increased, making them deadly at ship-to-ship combat, or at orbital bombardment.

Conqueror-pattern

Jiralhanae

Eiolkaar-pattern

Utilised almost exclusively by the First Fleet of Gallant Ingenuity, the Eiolkaar-pattern assault carrier is the successor of the fleet's previous Esgem-, Kerel-, and Mendural-patterns in an effort to standardise all heavy capital ships within the Covenant remnant. Built on the frame of outdated and decommissioned warships such as the fleet's CCS-class patterns, these ships have been outfitted with enhanced subsystems and fallback systems to protect against electromagnetic pulses. The UNSC first became aware of the existence of this pattern while research was conducted on Installation 07, where one vessel with several escorting CCS-class battlecruisers and Type-57 Phantoms passed it over during what is believed to be a patrol of the sector. It is believed that this fleet is aware of the Halo's significance but does not seem to react to its presence. Like all First Fleet ships they are often a darker purple colour, but in the case of CAS-class carriers, the Eiolkaar is identical in colouration to Kerel-pattern carriers, with the white lights of First fleet refits.

Ships of the Line

Name Pattern Commissioned Destroyed Notes
Absolute Retribution
Kerel[1]
Unknown
Formerly served in the Covenant Navy, later given to the Opposition by the Covenant separatists.
Breath of Annihilation
Syfon
Commanded by Sali 'Nyon, later became the flagship of his Covenant remnant after the shipmaster defected from Jul 'Mdama.
Clarity of Faith
Esgem
August 2552
Commanded by the 'Talamee brothers, destroyed by Line Installation 1-4 over an unidentified moon.
Day of Jubilation
Syfon
October 20th, 2552
Attached to the Fleet of Sacred Consecration, destroyed by John-117 during the Battle for Earth.
Day of Revenge
Syfon
Commanded by Grakan 'Vutanee, assigned to the Fleet of Righteous Valor, participated in the Battle of New Zesty.
Delving Pride Syfon
Presumed December 28th, 2552
Delving Pride was commanded by Rtoro 'Vadam and participated in the battle of instalation 03, and was most likely destroyed during the battle.
Enduring Conviction
Esgem/Medural[2]
March-April, 2559
Commanded by Let 'Volir, defected to the Banished after the Human-Covenant War. Destroyed by Installation 00's Aggressor sentinels.
Eternal Reward
Esgem
November 3rd, 2552
One of two Sangheili-controlled assault carriers fighting over High Charity, destroyed during the same battle.
Glorious Justice Esgem Commanded by Grara 'Hadum, flagship of the Wartorn's Third Expeditionary Fleet.
Harbinger of Reconciliation
Kerel
Commanded by Kel 'Katam, currently serves as the flagship of the Quillick.
Pious Fervor Esgem N/A Commanded by Civa 'Vrama, flagship of the Wartorn's Second Expeditionary Fleet.
Resplendent Fervor
Medural
Commanded by Luro 'Taralumee of the Third Fleet of Glorious Consequence, attacked by Blue Team during Operation: WARM BLANKET.
Rising Salvation Esgem April 18, 2365 November 6, 2552 Commanded by Chieftain Infirmus, destroyed during the Remnant Campaign.
Seeker of Truth
Kerel
Commanded by Thel 'Vadamee, served as the flagship of the Fleet of Particular Justice.
Seeker of Truth
Eiolkaar
2556
Built by the First Fleet of Gallant Ingenuity.
Shadow of Intent
Kerel
2135
Hijacked by Rtas 'Vadum during the Great Schism, currently serves as the flagship of the Swords of Sanghelios' Fleet of Retribution.
Solemn Penance
Syfon/Eiolkaar[3]
Commanded by Rhul 'Salmutee, commanded by the Prophet of Regret during the Battle for Earth, discovered Installation 05. Later stolen away by the First Fleet of Gallant Ingenuity.
Solemn Trail
Syfon
Commanded by Khas 'Vadum assigned to the Fleet of Righteous Valor, participated in the Battle for Earth, and the Fall of Reach.
Song of Retribution
Kerel
Commanded by Jul 'Mdama, served as the flagship for the Storm Covenant after the Human-Covenant War.
Sovereign Heart Kerel N/A Commanded by Gruze 'Vurum, flagship of the Wartorn's First Expeditionary Fleet.
Transcendent Passage Syfon January 1, 2432 Originally the flagship of the Ministry of Abnegation's fleet, disabled during the Fall of Alluvion, later rebuilt by Dast Eru and turned into a mobile habitat.
Unrelenting Storms Esgem April 18, 2365 N/A Commanded by Viko 'Krasov, now operated by the Wartorn.

Gallery

Notes

  1. Once given the Absolute Retribution, the Opposition applied Armosis plating on its hull.
  2. The Enduring Conviction changed patterns after Banished engineers applied their own upgrades to it.
  3. The Solemn Penance was upgraded to Eiolkaar-pattern specifications before 2556.