The Charon-class light frigate is a UNSC frigate class suited for, fleet escort duties, and troop deployment. It has the largest complement of vehicles for land support, but less armament than the Paris-class heavy frigate, making it best suited for troop support rather then fleet support.
The Charon-class frigate is meant mainly for fleet and/or planetary defense, such as Earth's home fleet. They are typically used en masse, but are still rather weak, compared to most Covenant warships. However, some frigates, such as the UNSC Forward Unto Dawn, played an important role in the Human-Covenant war, mainly the Battle of Installation 00. It was mostly a ground assault support ship, and be troop transportation, while still having fleet support capabilities. However, usually they are only powerful in numbers.
The UNSC Infinity could carry up to ten upgraded Charon-class light frigates in internal launch bays.
The bridge is located near the back of the MAC shaft. Its interior consists of the Captain's chair behind the two main consoles, and several other consoles behind them. The bridge has been noted to require a crew of about 30 people. The four bridge stations are Navigation, Operations, Weapons, and Communications. A frigate has up to 12 SOEIV bays near the rear for the deployment of Orbital Drop Shock Troopers. The bottom has a cargo bay that is about as wide as a Sabre fighter. The front half of the frigate also has a structure of sorts on each side, which are thought to be longsword/pelican launch bays, and at the front of these structures are the forward maneuvering thruster's
The Charon-class frigates is the medium class of UNSC frigates, at 490 metres (1,607 ft.) long. It and the other frigates share the height of 112.3 metres (368 ft.). Its width is 156 metres (510 ft.).
The frigates use thermonuclear fusion reactors that use deuterium for fuel. The engines use the energy from this to create thrust out of the exhausts on the frigates. There are four exhausts on frigates, two large, and two small. It is assumed the frigates have high maneuverability in all dimensions, the assumption being supported by the forward maneuvering thruster's. Also, they possess the ability to simply hover over land. This was seen on Installation 00. It is possible the UNSC used captured Covenant made antigravity mechanism, but unlikely.
A frigate's crew is not necessarily very big, but they can still carry standard personnel. The bridge alone requires 30 members, and of course the rest of the ship still needs a deck and technical crew. Frigates also carry detachments of marines and pilots, and of course Orbital Drop Shock Troopers. Overall the personnel of a frigate can reach the low thousands. A frigate has 80 escape pods, and each can carry 3 men. This allows 240 personnel to escape at a time.
The armor of a Charon-class frigate is poor compared to is larger cousins or counterparts such as the Destroyer. It has only 60 cm of Titanium-A armor on the main forward section, however the armor increases significantly on the engine nacelles, close to a meter thick. This is one of the reasons why frigates are better in numbers, but their real strength lies in their speed and maneuverability, as frigates can be much faster than other UNSC ships. The overall structure helps it make the trip in and out of atmosphere safely. These frigates also have hard points on the top so another ship could come along, dock with it, and carry the crippled ship away.
- The design of the frigate has been changed between Halo 3 and Halo 4.
- The design difference could be because of new technology picked apart from the Human-Covenant war.
- Or the frigate in Halo 4 could be an entirely new design as the design is too radically different to be a simple refit of the frigate fleet.
- Strangely, the UNSC Forward Unto Dawn, which followed the Halo 3 design at first, changed to the Halo 4 design.
- The design change may alse be a retcon in the overall design of the ship in order to distinguish the Charon-class from the similarly designed Paris-class.
- At some point before 2557 some (if not all) frigate's received the same form of Energy Shielding as the UNSC Infinity.
- It is unknown if all the Charon-class type frigate's have been equipped with Shields.
Known Charon-class light frigatesEdit
- UNSC Aegis Fate
- CMA Arabia
- UNSC Forward Unto Dawn
- CMA Vostok
- Unidentified Algolis-based frigate