- "That vessel should not be able to travel across worlds"
- —Unknown observer during the Ardent's Spashdown in Atlantica
//To be inserted upon Noblesse Oblige overhaul
These ships possess an expansive hangar bay, capable of transporting large numbers of Seraph-class Starfighter, Type-52 Troop Carrier “Phantom dropships”, boarding craft, and large fleets of Type-32 Rapid Assault Vehicle “Ghosts” and Type-25 Assault Gun Carriage “Wraiths”, along with one to two massive Scarab Walkers, and - later - the UNSC frigates would dock inside the vessel's launch bay, which shows the vastness of the ships.
Assault Carriers are also used as Flagships, leading Covenant Fleets into battle. Though designed for planetary combat, they also excel at ship-to-ship combat, possessing multiple point-defense pulse laser batteries, plasma torpedo launchers and at least one energy projector.
Assault Carriers are much larger than CCS-Battlecruisers and standard Covenant Carrier; they are rarer and more heavily armed than either of them. They are armed with at least two Energy Projectors, as well as plasma torpedo launchers and pulse-lasers. They also possess gravity used for ferrying supplies, personnel, and vehicles from the ship and to the planet's surface. From their name, it would appear that an Assault Carrier is designed to fight through an enemy world's defenses and head right into the planet's atmosphere and drop off its troops.
As some of the larger ships in the Covenant Fleets are often used as fleet flagships, it is necessary for them to be heavily armed. Assault Carriers possess energy projectors which are powerful enough to cut through UNSC capital ships, on its ventral and dorsal surfaces. They also possess multiple pulse-laser turrets used for intercepting enemy missiles and fighters, and plasma torpedoes for engaging in ship-to-ship combat and assaulting planetary defenses.
Assault Carriers are also equipped with at least one gravity lift, capable of dispatching troops, personnel, vehicles and equipment to the surface of a planet rather quickly. They also possess a large main hangar, capable of carrying multiple Seraphs and Banshee fighter crafts, Phantom dropships and boarding crafts, or a UNSC Frigate. In addition, Assault Carriers possess the ability to launch Covenant Drop Pod, tactically delivering Sangheili warriors into areas without resorting to bulky and obvious dropships. These ships also carry the dreaded Scarab walkers in their holds for quick deployment. Thanks to these innovations, a single Assault Carrier can easily launch large-scale invasions quickly and effectively.
Assault Carriers, like the vast majority of other Covenant ships, are characterized by their bulbous, whale-like front, sleek silhouette and pale white/blue hull. However, they also tend to be characterized by their unique swollen and bulbous "hooked" bow section that is frequently characterized to be similar to the head of a whale and would (theoretically) be a massive weakness as the ship could be blown in half comparatively easily, given its shields were down. Rather than possessing multiple smaller hangar bays, like smaller cruisers, Assault Carriers use a single, gargantuan hangar bay for storage of fighters, dropships, boarding craft and small capital ships, at least 500 meters long, 320 meters wide and 120 meters high. There is a second hangar bay visible, near the stern of the cruiser, above the main engines. For propulsion, Assault Carriers rely on large deuterium-tritium fusion reactors, housed in cavernous chambers, which power the ship's vital systems, as well as the three aft-mounted plasma drives that propel the ship, capable of operating in a vacuum or in an atmospheric environment. They also employ non-reactive gravity drives for standard maneuvering and hovering above the surface of a planet, resisting its gravity.
The Assault Carrier is also fitted with Modular Dispersal Technology, giving it the ability to completely detach sections of its outer hull as well as whole corridors. They can also separate into two distinct sections which leaves the rear section (with the main engines) behind and allows the fore-section to move away with previously hidden engines, the fore section (and likely the rear) are still slipspace capable. The dispersal feature is intended to be used in order to detach sections of the Carrier that sustained extensive damage in order to increase the chances of saving what is left of the ship and its crew for future use.
The UNSC Noblesse Oblige and UNSC Aurora are small enough to fit into the Ardent Prayers’ Hangar. Therefore, it would be plausible that the Assault Carrier could easily carry small Covenant ships, such as a Covenant light cruiser although the advantages of this would be few.
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