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The B-65 Suborbital Long-Range Bomber, more commonly known as the Shortsword, is a UNSC atmospheric bomber used primarily for short-range, heavy payload bombing runs against enemy ground targets, especially Covenant forces. The bombers were in use by the UNSC by 2531.
The Shortsword-class Bomber shares a similar design to the GA-TL1 Longsword-class Interceptor. It features an elongated and angled wings, comparable to that of a Longsword, and retracted tail wings. This makes the Shortsword a versatile aircraft, able to deliver its deadly payload and provides it greater freedom of action at lower altitudes. A Shortsword's payload is interchangeable, capable of delivering conventional ordnance, or less conventional munitions into theatres of combat, dropping them onto the target zone at low altitude and high velocity. These strikes are launched from an orbital support ship, indicating at least a rudimentary exoatmospheric capability.
The use of the Shortsword differs depending on which faction the player uses. Professor Anders uses it to drop a Cryo Bomb, a simple point-and-click power. Sergeant Forge uses it to perform Carpet Bombing runs, where the beginning of the bombing run must be selected. An arrow appears, and can be rotated around the start point, setting the angle of the bombing run, useful for hitting a number of enemies in different formations. All UNSC leaders in Halo Wars can call on a Shortsword to deliver a Disruption Bomb.
- The Shortsword appears similar in appearance to the real-life B2 Stealth Bomber of the United States Air Force, with the exceptions of the large "bang" apparatus on the Shortsword and the Shortsword's "short range". Both aircraft fill a similar role, acting as bombers, although it is unknown if the Shortsword has any stealth capabilities, or if conventional stealth capabilities would have any impact on Covenant tracking technology.
- Also it is unknown whether the Shortsword has a capability of flight out of atmosphere but it is likely due to the fact that it can be called from the Spirit of Fire which would be out of atmosphere at the time. Furthermore, the thrusters on the wingtips can be used to maneuver the craft in space.
- At some time during the development of Halo Wars, the Shortsword was originally to be a usable unit, docked at the Airpad. However, the idea was eventually scrapped. In the concept art, its tail is retracted and its wings are angled up to make it more compact to allow for docking.
- However, it can still be called on to deliver UNSC leader powers or disruption bombs.
- The Shortsword cannot be destroyed in-game.
- Mega Bloks has made a set of the Shortsword.
- In the first campaign level Alpha Base, when clearing the base interior you will encounter a couple of Wraiths, however do not worry. These will automatically be destroyed by a few Shortswords apparently summoned into the map from off the board. Also, once you have freed Alpha Base, a few Shortswords will fly over.
- The most probable branch of the UNSCDF that this aircraft is used by is the UNSC Air Force.
- Halo Wars (First appearance)