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The spire consists of multiple sections; a lower section projects several energy beams that keep an upper section suspended high above it, as well as a floating shield-generator array. From the upper level, a large dome-like energy shield is extended to the ground. This shield is resistant to conventional weapons, and is capable of disabling any enemy vehicles that pass through it.
The spires are used to transport ground forces to the surface from a large vessel such as a CSO-class supercarrier via teleportation, and also appear to serve as bases and staging areas. The spire also served as a cloaking device for Covenant vessels positioned above it.
There are two ways to reach the top of the spire: via the same gravity lifts that hold the upper level aloft, or off one of several lifts positioned at intervals around the Spire.
Unlike most other forward operations structure and vehicles, Spires do not have an easily accessible reactor core like Scarabs or Type-38 Anti-Aircraft Cannons. The shields generated by the spire must be deactivated manually through a control interface in the upper portion of the structure, which are typically manned by Sangheili Ultras.
Covenant spires are presumably deployed from starships and dropped directly onto their intended location; this is evidenced by the nature of the only spire ever observed at close range, Spire One. The spire's base lay partially buried at the center of a massive crater, surrounded by blasted sand. This may have resulted from it being dropped from a great height.