This article is about the anti-air Wraith. For more uses of the term Wraith, see its disambiguation page.
While the standard Type-26 model is equipped with a plasma mortar, which is used mainly against slow-moving ground targets, the Type-52 model is equipped with two rapid fire, double barreled Fuel Rod Cannons, as its main armament. These cannons fire special Class-3 Fuel Rods which have much greater range than the normal Class-2 rounds fired by other cannons and are capable of tracking an aircraft's heat signature. They are highly effective against nearby air targets as well as ground targets. The Type-52 shares the Type-26's secondary plasma turret, a non-detachable stationary turret emplacement fixed at the midsection of the vehicle that is optionally manned for defense against medium to close range ground targets and to prevent boarding actions. It should be noted that the plasma bolts fired by the AA-Wraith can explode mid-air, creating a cloud of deadly plasma, resembling the clouds of shrapnel produced by modern day flak guns' bursting rounds.
The double sets of Fuel Rod Cannons are devastating to both airborne or ground forces. Dozens of shots can be put out in rapid succession, laying waste to enemy emplacements, leveling fortified bunkers in a matter of seconds, and removing an enemy aerial presence. The cannon can also be a threat to low flying Longsword fighter-bombers, even though they have heavier armor than the Pelican dropship. Luckily, however, the Anti-Air Wraith seems to be used almost exclusively for destroying and harassing air vehicles and use against ground targets is very rare.
The Type-52 is also distinguished from the Type-26 by its red crimson color scheme instead of the standard Wraith's blue-purple armor color. Upon the driver's exiting the AA Wraith, its double flak cannons fold inward and contract into the body of the vehicle, presumably to keep them protected from enemy gunfire or saboteurs and possibly to allow more compact storage. It might even be necessary in order to travel at high speeds or be air-lifted by a Phantom dropship. Like the Fuel Rod Gun and Energy Sword of Halo: Combat Evolved, it has a dead man switch, causing the vehicle to self-destruct when the driver dies or exits. Except for a glitch, the AA-Wraith is otherwise inoperable by the player.
A few AA-Wraiths were deployed during the Covenant occupation of New Mombasa. Two were deployed at Kikowani Station to defend the Huragok Recharging Stations. A third was stationed along Waterfront Highway, part of the extensive expanse of defenses there.
Multiple Type-52 vehicles were deployed in the African city of Voi during the Loyalist occupation of Voi in the Battle of Earth. All of them were eventually destroyed in the UNSC counterattack, and the glassing of a small part of Africa.
- Even though Bungie did not make the AA Wraith a drivable vehicle in the traditional sense, it is possible to board and ride in one. By exploiting the 'Drive an AA Wraith' glitch, the player takes control of AA Wraith. When exiting it, a similar animation to the normal Wraith is shown, the cannons folding together and going down through the hatch. Even though you can still ride the Wraith, the attack power of it is greatly reduced in comparison to an AI-controlled AA Wraith.
- While riding an AA Wraith, it has an different reticle than the normal Wraith and is thus suggestive that Bungie had plans to make the AA Wraith a normal driving vehicle.
- When a player is in the gunner position, there is no reticle.
- A shot from a Fuel Rod Gun is more powerful than a single shot from a cannon on the Anti-Air Wraith. This is probably because of the faster rate of fire and infinite ammo the Anti-Air Wraith has, making it overpowered otherwise.
- The Anti-Air Wraith never appears in Halo: Reach or Halo 4.
- The Anti-Air Wraith's human counterpart is the Wolverine.
- In Halo 3: ODST, there is a destroyed AA Wraith that has a turret from a normal Wraith on the back, this is likely a glitch associated with the large number of debris vehicles in the game.
- The Anti-Air Wraith is one of very few Covenant vehicles that can boost and fire at the same time.
- During the Halo 3: ODST campaign level Coastal Highway, the player encounters numerous 'normal' Wraiths, but due to a glitch (intentional or otherwise) it is possible to encounter AA Wraiths. The AA Wraiths can only spawn when the player is very far ahead of the 'Olifant' and as such suggestive to an Easter Egg instead of a glitch.