The GA-TL1 Longsword-class Interceptor is the main single ship of the United Nations Space Command Defense Force, and is a mainstay starfighter, filling a variety of roles simultaneously. The starfigher has been in service as early as 2517.
The inside of the Longsword presents a small corridor leading to the rear, stairs, and a higher corridor to the cockpit. In the two corridors, there are several equipment lockers, along with two secondary crew stations. The cockpit consists of two pilots' chairs and two auxiliary crew stations. With a known total crew complement of four, along with the equipment and weapon lockers, the ship presents itself as less of a fighter-bomber and more of a dedicated bomber and close support craft.
The cockpit design stayed the same between Halo CE and Halo 2 but was changed in Halo 3 and Halo: Reach. Previously, the cockpit had four windows (two on each side, but none in the front) and a view screen. In Halo 3 and Halo: Reach the Longsword has windows wrapping around the cockpit similarly to traditional aircraft. Other aesthetic changes were made between Halo 2 to Halo 3. The first version in Halo: Combat Evolved and Halo 2 had diamond-shaped intakes. These intakes were made smaller and became flush with the hull instead of jutting out in Halo 3 and Halo: Reach. It may be noted that all the Longswords seen in Halo: Combat Evolved and Halo 2 are used entirely in space combat, while those seen in Halo 3 are primarily used in an atmospheric fighter-bomber role, in addition to space combat.
The Longsword utilizes two main fusion engines which are discernible on the exterior of the craft. Their precise nature is not known, but they are able to function in space and they are strong enough to reach Earth's and Installation 04's escape velocity. Likely, it is nuclear-powered, and the electrical energy or heat generated is used to power an electric drive or to heat regular fuel into a much higher impulse. There are multiple RCS points for maneuvering. Like all other engines, the Longsword's engine will begin to overheat if pushed beyond the regular usage of the craft. This could include either going too fast, or sustaining high speed for a prolonged amount of time, as shown in the final cutscene of Halo: Combat Evolved.
The Longsword's main weapons are 110mm rotary cannons, as well as 120mm ventral guns, for dog-fighting Seraph fighters in space and are great for strafing ground targets when the need arises. This versatile fighter can be armed with an assortment of secondary weapons systems including ASGM-10 Missiles, bombs, Moray space mines, Scorpion Missiles, and can even heft a single Shiva-class Nuclear Missile. It can also be remotely piloted, carrying a single Shiva nuclear warhead, as was the case when Captain Jacob Keyes destroyed a Covenant supercruiser
Described as both a fighter and an interceptor, the Longsword is intended to engage enemy fighters, dropships, and boarding craft that are en route to attack UNSC capital ships. The Longsword has been seen performing a variety of roles, making for an extremely versatile craft, and is relatively inexpensive to produce. They are capable of holding their own even against the technologically superior Seraph-class fighters used by the Covenant. The Longsword is also used to escort UNSC dropships as they deliver their passengers and cargo to planet surfaces or to larger ships. The Longsword is also used in attack runs against Covenant capital ships, delivering high-yield missiles, Shiva-class nuclear warheads, or even free-floating Moray space mines to or near their targets. They can also be used in planetary environments by functioning as fighter-bombers, destroying ground targets from the air, as well as escorting capital ships.
- The Longsword is Flyable in Halo: Custom Edition on some Third-Party Maps, With the most known map being Coldsnap, Winter map, and Hugeass, a large grassy map with two infrastructures built into the mountains that surround the map.
- The Longsword is one of the few known UNSC vehicle and craft that are not named or modeled after animals, the others are the Shortsword, the Sabre, the Cyclops, the Broadsword and the Gremlin. It does, however, follow the theme that exo-atmospheric fighters are named after bladed weapons.
- The Longsword fighter underwent many design iterations, as seen in The Art of Halo.
- It is disputed whether the Longsword is black or gray, as it looks gray in the final level of Halo: Combat Evolved, but when it is seen in space, and at all times in Halo 3, it looks darker. This may be due to lighting or graphical enhancement. This could also be indicative of different paint schemes, similar to those of modern-day jet fighters. Or it may have been a new variant of the Longsword.
- Longswords may or may not have working gravity. At the end of Halo: Combat Evolved, John-117 gets out of his seat and walks to the side screen to witness the destruction of Installation 04. However, in Halo: First Strike, the Spartan "floats" to the weapons locker at the back of the Longsword, and that when he picks up the remaining Marines, they too float about. However, this might be because the Longsword (or its artificial gravity) was powered down at the time. A simpler, and more likely explanation, however, is that the Longsword doesn't have artificial gravity, and that the electromagnetic boots of the MJOLNIR armor allowed John to walk on the floor. The most likely explanation, however, is that the references made in Halo: First Strike were simply creative licence.
- The Longsword in Halo: Reach appears to be less sharp than it's appearances in the Halo Trilogy. The edges of the wings and tail are more blunt than sharp and the tail itself is shaped more like a diamond than a triangle.
- The Longsword may have been inspired by the Northrop-Grumman B2 Spirit (stealth bomber) as both aircraft utilize a "flying wing" design and serve as long range bombers, the Longsword's flat profile may also give it some stealth capabilities.
- While the Longswords in Halo: Combat Evolved and Halo 2 are 64 meters long, the ones in Halo: Reach only 30 meters. The reduction in scale is probably due to the them being in-atmospheric versions, instead of exo-atmospheric.
- In Halo: Reach's Firefight mode, a Longsword drops the ordnance pods in the open-air maps.
- Also, on Invasion Boneyard, when the Spartans succeed in defending the objective, Longswords will make a bombing run and destroy the Phantom above the battlefield.
List of appearancesEdit
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 Halo: The Essential Visual Guide, page 112
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Halo Encyclopedia, page 251
- ↑ Halo: First Strike, page 40
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 Halo: First Strike, page 28
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 Halo: First Strike, page 37
- ↑ Halo: Evolutions - Essential Tales of the Halo Universe, Pariah, page ??
- ↑ Halo: Combat Evolved, campaign level The Maw
- ↑ Halo 3, campaign level The Storm
- ↑ Halo 3, campaign level The Ark
- ↑ Halo: The Fall of Reach, pages 322-324
- ↑ Halo: First Strike, page 6
- ↑ 12.0 12.1 Halo 2, campaign level Cairo Station
- ↑ Halo: The Fall of Reach, page ??
- ↑ Halo 2 E3 Demo
- ↑ Halo 3, campaign level Floodgate
- ↑ The Pillar of Autumn (Halo: Combat Evolved level)
- Sabre - An experimental UNSC starfighter.
- Seraph-class Starfighter - The Covenant equivalent of the Longsword.
- SkyHawk - the UNSC's dedicated atmospheric strike fighter.
- Tarasque-class heavy fighter - presumably a similar Covenant fighter.
- Broadsword - UNSC Interceptor