Autumn-class vessels are heavy cruisers, but also provide escort support when needed.
The Autumn-class heavy cruiser is a United Nations Space Command cruiser starship classification designed after the war and based on the unique design of the heavily upgraded Halcyon-class light cruiser UNSC Pillar of Autumn. During the Fall of Reach and the Battle of Installation 04, the Pillar of Autumn performed feats of combat unrivaled by any other vessel during the course of the war. This was largely attributed to the Autumn's many combat upgrades, and inspired the Navy to develop and adopt a new standard-issue cruiser classification in the years following the Human-Covenant war.
|Hull and Armor Overhaul||While the hull profile and deck design is taken directly from that of the Halcyon-class light cruiser, the Autumn-class, is nearly 300 metres (980 ft) longer and sports thicker armor composed of Titanium-A3.|
|Triple Fusion Reactor||While most older cruiser classes used a double nuclear fusion reactor set for power, Autumn-class vessels make use of a newer, larger reactor powered by the other two in concert. This greatly increases energy output and allows the engines to temporarily operate at 300%.|
|Magnetic Accelerator Cannon||Autumn-class cruisers use a Mark IX MAC that recycles waste energy and allows the primary weapon systems to fire at least three times in a row without needing to recharge.|
During the war, Halcyon-class cruisers performed relatively well against superior Covenant vessels, largely due to their complicated and costly design. The cost of the unique Halcyon design required to construct many of these cruisers caused NAVCOM to introduce a new, more economical, standard cruiser classification early in the war: the Marathon-class heavy cruiser. While the Marathon-class was heavily armed and boasted incredibly thick armor, it became even scarcer as the ships dwindled from attrition. Due to the scarcity of the Halcyon-class and the rareness of the Marathon-class, the Navy had only a handful of heavy cruisers by the final days of the war. However, a heavily modified Halcyon-class vessel (one of the oldest of its kind), UNSC Pillar of Autumn, received a wide array of upgrades prior to Operation: RED FLAG near the end of the war. These upgrades allowed Pillar of Autumn not only to serve with distinction during the Fall of Reach and the Battle of Installation 04, but allowed it to go head-to-head against a Covenant Supercruiser and emerge victorious, something no UNSC ship could boast until that point. Though the Autumn would eventually be destroyed on Installation 04, its upgrades inspired NAVCOM to commission yet another cruiser design named the Autumn-class in its honor. The design would not be finished until after the war, at which point the cruiser role in the UNSC Navy was filled by this new heavy cruiser class. The Home Fleet, decimated during the Battle of Earth and Battle of Mare Erythraeum, possessed at least ten Autumn-class heavy cruisers by early 2558, an improvement over the eight Marathon-class heavy cruisers fielded in October 2552.
Ships of the lineEdit
- While it shares the same classification as a Marathon-class heavy cruiser, the Autumn-class is 233 metres (760 ft) longer than the Marathon-class and is a mere 93 metres (310 ft) shorter than the Valiant-class super-heavy cruiser.
- In the last scene of the live action series Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn, a total of 13 Autumn-class heavy cruisers are seen escorting UNSC Infinity.