The LAU-65D/SGM-151, also known as the Missile Pod, is a UNSC emplacement launcher unit which fires self-guided missiles. Capable of seeking and tracking targets at long distances, it is most commonly fired from a static position; while reports have surfaced of troops removing the pod from its fixed emplacement and using it in a mobile fashion, these have so far been inconclusive.
The system consists of a stationary mount which provides a stable firing platform for the missile pod itself. An internal eight-round magazine within the pod is replenished by an external magazine in the base of the emplacement. When fired the missiles are first propelled upwards by the pod itself before initiating their automated self-propulsion guidance system. ASGM-4s, lower-grade versions of the large ASGM-10 Missiles used by Longsword Interceptors, are heat-seeking armor-piercing ordnance used for both anti-aircraft and anti-armor roles.
This system is normally found mounted on defensive emplacements, walls and vehicles. While it features forward and rear grips, allowing the user to remove the Missile Pod from its emplacement and carry the weapon, at 202.4 centimeters long it is too massive and cumbersome for anyone but Spartans and particularly strong Sangheili to wield in this way.
The mounted version of the Missile Pod can be seen in the campaign level The Storm in Halo 3, and again in NMPD HQ in Halo 3: ODST. When mounted, it has an infinite amount of missiles. The Missile Pod can carry eight rounds when detached, which are less powerful than the Rocket launcher, but it can fire continuously without the need for reloading. In its mounted form, the Missile Pod is used by Marines as a rocket-powered mortar by firing its missiles vertically into the sky. This allows the missiles to hit targets from above, inflicting maximum damage and leaving less time for the target to avoid the strike; however, in its mounted form, it can't hit targets on the ground up close easily (it will just fire up into the air and do no damage).
Once the missile is fired, it will travel about five meters before becoming self-propelled. This, along with the pod's ability to maintain a lock even when there's an obstacle (such as a small hill in Valhalla) between the pod and the target, means the wielder can fire at an upward angle, giving the missile enough vertical clearance to fly over the hill and into the target.
It is also effective against foot-bound stationary ground targets (such as an enemy sniper); the missile's high speed means that even if the target hears the missile, he or she may not be able to react in time before it hits. This is most effective at short and medium range, mostly because it is harder to see an enemy at longer ranges, much less determining if one is moving. One of the best anti-vehicle tactics is to lock on, aim up in the air, and fire; however, its low ammo capacity when unmounted means it should be used sparingly. Also, on Valhalla, a possible tactic is to carry the missile pod into the Man Cannon while firing at an enemy. The enemy will most likely not see you and will die confused, leaving you able to repeat the trick.
Due to its rarity in the campaign (it only appears on the level The Storm), not many tactics have appeared to support its usage in campaign. If picked up during that level, it can be used to take down the Scarab appearing in the level fairly easily, as its lock-on will automatically target its joints and the enemies on board. Presumably, an ambitious player could carry it to the anti-aircraft gun, but accidental usage could waste all of its ammunition. The player could also kill the Arbiter, then quickly drop the Pod next to him; missiles fired by the Arbiter will home in on enemy infantry, as well.
The missile pod also appears in the Halo 3: ODST campaign in the level NMPD HQ in the final area where Dutch and Mickey are holding out. There are two mounted missile pods, and numerous missile pods near the crashed Pelican and you can use them to take out the many Banshees and Phantoms that appear. As there are many flying enemy vehicles a good tactic would be to keep the missile pods mounted so you can utilize the infinite ammo, as there are other detached missile pods around the pelican which you can use.
The Missile Pod can be a weak weapon against infantry. It typically takes a direct missile hit to kill an opponent with one shot. Quite unlike the Rocket launcher, its splash damage is confined to a smaller area, making it challenging to use in a one-on-one mid-range fight. The pod is extremely deadly against vehicles, however.
It causes the wielder to fall victim to the high maneuverability of a Ghost, as the wielder is slow due to its weight. On Valhalla, it is capable of destroying Banshees, Mongooses, Warthogs, and turrets. On Construct, the missile pod becomes a powerful infantry weapon because the map's architecture allows for quick kills, making it especially useful for killing the sword wielders or campers at the Gravity Lifts.
It is noteworthy to use in a Big Team Slayer match next, as a few short missiles can take out a central threat, such as a Scorpion, Banshee, or Wraith antagonizing your opponents and getting kills for you and your team.
Using the missile pod against infantry can be deadly but must be a direct hit. When playing an objective game (capture the flag or bomb) bring the missile pod into a room and camp by the flag or bomb area. You can get many kills this way.
- On Heroic difficulty, it takes eight rounds of the LAU-65D/SGM-151 to destroy a Phantom; however, it only takes four missiles to the rear section to destroy it because the engines will go critical, which will end up destroying the rest.
- If you give the Missile Pod to the Arbiter during single player campaign by killing him and dropping the pod at his feet, he'll be able to lock onto infantry with the Missile Pod.
- The LAU-65D/SGM-151's missile is considerably weaker than the M41's ordnance, taking two missiles to destroy a Warthog.
- The maximum magazine size of a Missile Pod can be changed in Forge. However, this has no effect on the weapon's actual ammo capacity, which is always 8. Similarly, you can't spawn missile pods mounted on turrets, probably for game balancing reasons, since a missile pod with infinite ammo is a tremendous defensive advantage.
- The Missile Pod can be used to do the Halo 2 "Ring of Rockets" trick.
- Too Close To The Sun is a Halo 3 multiplayer achievement. It is awarded for destroying a Banshee in either campaign or a ranked multiplayer playlist with a Spartan Laser or Missile Pod. Unlocking this achievement will give you the Scout Body for Spartan Armor Customization. It is represented by a red ten-pointed star with a brown-winged white star.
- In Multiplayer, if a vehicle is locked onto by a Missile Pod, the driver, gunner, or passenger, should hear a droning/buzzing/beeping noise from their HUD as a warning to get out of the vehicle, or for the sake of the vehicle and crew's safety, take evasive action.
- This weapon is some-what similar to the modern-day Javelin, in that both lock-on and shoot their missiles upward and attack from a top-down strike.
- The Missile Pod deals less damage that a Rocket Launcher but is far more effective due to its lock-on ability against Hornets and Banshees.
- Missiles are deadly but cannot negate obstacles during flight. Banshee and Hornet Pilots have been seen flying to get a tall structure between them and the oncoming projectiles in order to avoid damage.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 Halo: The Essential Visual Guide, page 125
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 Halo Encyclopedia, page 330