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Covenant Phantom Troop Carrier

Article by Stephen Loftus [SoundEffect], images by Dojorkan and SoundEffect.

Covenant Phantom Troop Carrier Specs

The Phantom is the second of two Covenant dropship types encountered by UNSC forces. The Phantom is the more maneuverable of the two and packs more firepower. It is generally accepted to be a later, more advanced design than the first.

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Phantom Troop Carrier
Phantom Aft View

The Phantom troop carrier is controlled from a cockpit in the nose section of the craft with seated positions for its pilot and co-pilot. A multi-view holo-screen displays various exterior views as well as tactical and operational data.

Phantom Cockpit
Cockpit Controls and Screens

From the cockpit, a narrow corridor leads to the ship's troop bay in the main body of the ship. The troop bay of a Phantom can optimally accommodate ten warriors along the bulkhead sides and a row of troops in the bay's center area.

Troop Bay Looking to Cockpit Ramp
Portside Bulkhead of Troop Bay

The habitable areas of the dropship are along the craft's centerline. The two structural bulges to the sides are designed to help the ship maneuver within a planetary atmosphere, and contain the engines and two of the three plasma weapons.

Phantom Cutaway

The Phantom's weapons are three plasma turrets that can cover all lower firing arcs. The plasma has a higher rate of fire than the previous dropship, but fires one plasma bolt per shot, compared to the earlier design's three per shot. These weapons play an anti-infantry role, as the Phantom does not have any firing arcs above the midline of the hull. The weapons are defensive for protecting troop deployments, and offensive for strafing runs.

Chin-mounted Plasma Turret Firing
(Note Wraith)
Swiveling Plasma Turrets Seek Foes

There are two ingress/egress options: an opening aft hatch and a gravity-assist lift. This innovation over the previous dropship design allows the Phantom to deploy troops from greater heights without injury to troops or without undue risk to itself. The first dropship had to hover near ground level to deploy its troops, which made it more of a target for enemy ground fire because of the increased time-on-station.

Phantom Dock on High Charity
Gravity-assist Lift Releases Hunters

In addition to the warriors the Phantom can house internally, the dropship can also take cargo such as vehicles into combat areas as well. A single Phantom can carry one of the Covenant's larger ground vehicles, such as a Spectre, Shadow transport or Wraith tank, or it can support a pair of Ghosts.

Phantom transporting a Spectre
Phantom Deploys Two Ghosts With Riders