|This article, UD-83A Merlin, was written by Ajax 013. Please do not edit this fiction without the writer's permission.|
- "Sure, you can't fly proper orbital missions with it but heck, its a lot more useful in the field than the Pelican."
- ―Captain John 'Slick' Vormann
The UD-83A Merlin is a UNSC Aerodyne for air assault and close air support missions primarily within atmospheres of planets, rather than the longer range extra atmospheric and atmospheric missions of the Pelican and the Petrel. The Merlin is designed to be light, nimble and and fast, with a pair of powerful, vectored thrust, tilting engines, with multiple thrust vectored nozzles capable of switching to only one nozzle to support lift or forward flight, backed up by a pair of single vector thrust X-13 Series variable engine, with a vectored thrust nozzle and a secondary directional nozzle for minute control, to give it transatmospheric ability, along with multiple smaller thrusters for stabilizing and orbital control. The vehicle is capable of carrying plenty of infantry into combat zones and safely escort them ground side. The vehicle is extremely capable for this task, with a sealed cabin and folding doors, protecting the infantry inside, one nose gun, two crew operated weapons, stored on recoil absorbing armatures inside the cabin, capable of destroying light vehicles and numerous self defence systems. Since the vehicle is both smaller and more agile than the Pelican, it can negotiate more dangerous terrain more easily and make landing on smaller landing zones.
The UD-83A Merlin's airframe is constructed from a basis of superplastic-shaped diffusion-adhered metal matrix composites. These light, oxidation resistant light-matrix composites are formed from high modulus and high strength gold doped zirconium oxide fibres and a titanium/aluminium laminate matrix, formed by heat bonding layers of titanium, aluminium and titanium aluminide, forming high strength crystal matrices, the results forming a high strength, yet flexible and light airframe. The skin is formed from four layered plates attached to the frame. The inside layer is a high strength carbon nanotube nanobud mesh composite, which does not melt on re-entry and protects the ship and occupants. Above this is a environmental layer, which regulates internal and external heat, preventing layers from outright melting or freezing, and protecting the occupants. The third layer is a resin bonded layer of structural titanium aluminide with a titanium mesh insert. The fourth layer is a outer layer of AEGIS tiles, built on a non-newtonian shock absorbing layer, providing thermal and oxidation protection. The cockpit and troop bay are situated in titanium-AEGIS compound armoured 'tubs'. These give limited protection against enemy fire. The windscreen is bullet-proof diffusion-bonded self-regenerating stretched-acrylic, with a coating of liquid glass, with a variable electronically controlled gold tinted setting, which protects it from solar rays, laser dazzles and electronic interference. These give limited protection against enemy fire. The skin is painted with thermal diffusing paint, heat controlled hull to generate a black body exterior, infra-red suppressors on the engines, RADAR absorbent paint, liquid glass composites and LASER absorbent laminates, which when compounded with its stealth design, gives it excellent stealth abilities.
The Merlin dropship is commonly used as a multi-purpose dropship, capable of preforming air assault missions, close air support, medical evacuation, surveillance, cargo transportation and troop transport. It is well armoured against small arms fire, crash worthy and possess enough individual fire power to fend off infantry threats, or when properly equipped, even heavily armoured vehicles.
"The thing I like most is it can go where the Pelican can't; hot drops on building roof tops, narrow streets, and forest clearings."
"At Akuze bad shit was going down. Heavy enemy flak all over the place, shit exploding. We were the flying assault teams, riding shotgun with two Dire Wolves. Thing is, you got those suckers riding with you, you gotta leave the doors open. we lose one guy to flak before we make landing. The drop is hot, like white hot, with Remnant on the roof shootin' at us! The Wolves jump from seven meters while the gunners open up the door gun. The LZ is clear in twenty seconds and we go down. Man, I looked back at that thing and just... wow. It was filled with holes but was still going..."
Ground Vehicles of the UNSC
Warthog FAV | Warthog Knight LRV | Gauss Hog LAAV | Rocket Hog LAAV | Guard Hog Crusader | Warthog Assassin RAV | Warthog Troop Transport | Tread Hog DTV | Warthog Medical Vehicle | Warthog Ammunition Carrier | Spark Hog MEWS | Fire Hog CB-RADAR| Warthog Recovery Vehicle | Warthog Flatbed Truck