AC-220 Vulture Gunship
Easily the largest in its class, the AC-220 Vulture gunship is the preferred aerial combat vehicle of the UNSC during protracted air-and-ground engagements, particularly when addressing a heavily-fortified enemy stronghold. Its contemporary, tank-like design was conceived in 2498 to curtail the spreading rebellion in the Outer Colonies—although its core attributes have been present since the AC-47, AC-130, and AC-163 five hundred years earlier.
The Vulture is not a remarkably fast vehicle, but it can be mobile and even more so, functionally effective, within a 360-degree radius chiefly due to its VTOL directed-thrust propulsion systems and its dorsal A-74 armament. Additionally, the craft has a heavy, titanium-based plating which makes it extremely dominant in aerial encounters, even against the Covenant’s imposing armament.
The materiel components of the AC-220 are as robust as they are intimidating. Extending from its fore undercarriage are a series of GUA-23/AW/Linkless Feed Autocannons which can directly fire into infantry and light armor, shredding it where it stands. On its back are two self-guided missile emplacements: the A-74 Sylver Vertical Missile Launcher and the dual Argent V missile bays; both are specifically tailored to unleash a unified barrage on a target, overwhelming any energy or armor shielding it might have. The net results of such a combined arsenal are, as expected, extraordinarily destructive.
The UNSC’s AC-220 Vulture requires highly-trained pilots and can service a crew of six. The gunship was effective in combat against the Covenant, but due to their size, lack of radioactive shielding needed for space travel, and general manufacturing cost they were only used in key battles in that war.