The AIE-486H Heavy Machine Gun (abbreviated AIE-486H HMG or simply HMG), more commonly referred to as the Heavy Machine Gun Turret, is a UNSC machine gun effective against infantry and light vehicles .
The AIE-486H Heavy Machine Gun is a standard Gatling-style heavy machine gun, used by the UNSC for offensive and defensive purposes. It is also more powerful than the UNSC's stationary turret, the M247 GP Machine Gun.
For defensive purposes, it can be mounted on a tripod, but when used for an assault, it can be quickly and irreversibly detached from its mount. When dismounted, the weapon has a limited ammunition capacity of 200 rounds and takes about a second to "spin up" before reaching its highest rate of fire. Pulling the trigger once will cause the gun to fire a maximum of two rounds at a moderate rate; holding it down builds up the rate of fire to a higher speed.
The gun's muzzle climbs slowly during sustained fire (like the M7 Caseless Submachine Gun). Its recoil is lessened by the gun's weight, but this also decreases the user's walking speed and overall mobility. Unlike other heavy machine guns in the Halo series, the AIE-486H does not overheat with continuous fire. This is a realistic portrayal, as having three barrels on the gun disperses the heat equally among them, allowing the gun to remain cool and continue functioning for long periods of time.
The AIE-486 fires 7.62x51mm Saboted Light Armor Penetrator rounds at a high rate of fire. The SLAP design incorporates a polymer sabot, which allows for the use of a tungsten penetrator projectile of a lesser diameter than the original bore. By using the casing of a large cartridge with a lightweight projectile, the velocity of the projectile is greatly increased. The bullets are powerful enough to punch through the armor of a Ghost or Wraith and destroy it with ease.
Like all machine guns, the AIE-486 packs a powerful punch, filling the air with many rounds at a high rate (though not as much as the SMG). The AIE-486 is mainly a support weapon, providing heavy firepower for front-line units. The AIE-486 is extremely effective against Covenant forces, and is strong enough to take down a fully armored and shielded Jiralhanae or Sangheili within about 5–10 seconds. A Spartan-II or a Sangheili is strong enough to forcefully detach the turret from its mount, rather than dismantling the tripod with tools. Once the weapon has been detached, the player will appear in a third-person view. The turret is also fitted with a titanium shielding, to protect the user from anyone attempting to shoot back.
In its stationary form, the AIE-486 is a basic death trap if its user is flanked from multiple locations. Once detached from its tripod the AIE-486 has a limited ammunition supply (200 rounds as opposed to the infinite ammo supply available to a mounted machine gun), and once it runs out the turret must be discarded, as there is no physical way to reload the turret or remount it on the tripod. While wielding the turret, a Spartan or Sangheili will move or strafe significantly slower than their normal speed. This could be due to the weight of the turret or, perhaps, an intentional change implemented for balancing the gameplay.
- On higher difficulties it is key to detach the turret; being stationary, the enemy will be able to flank you or fire on your position with ease.
- During the most difficult encounter on Tsavo Highway it is key to detach the turret and pull to the back of the buildings and begin taking down jet pack Jiralhanae, then if the opportunity presents itself lay into the chieftains with it.
- Taking advantage of the AIE-486 on Crow's Nest during both the hangar encounter and the Landing Pad Bravo encounter, the turret will work well at chipping away at the jet pack Jiralhanae' shielding, allowing your allies to take them down more quickly.
- In both Campaign and Multiplayer, a player model carrying a detached turret moves faster when moving diagonally or sideways.
- Placing a Bubble Shield down so the barrel is just outside the shield helps you kill enemies with ease.
- The Machine Gun Turret is not as powerful as the Warthog's LAAG, so be careful when taking on an undamaged, unengaged Warthog, or else you'll quickly wind up dead. Only fire upon Warthogs that haven't seen you and are concentrating elsewhere.
- A way of moving faster with the turret can be done by constantly dropping and picking up the turret. This, while looking like you're dribbling the gun, allows almost normal movement. Be aware of other weapons lying around, as you might pick one of those up instead.
- HMGs are easily detached using explosives. A good tactic is to grenade the turret instead of detaching it to reduce the amount of time in a stationary position, although this will also move the detached HMG away from the explosion, which can lead to it being lost or worse, enemies obtaining it.
- Detaching the turret in Multiplayer has its advantages and disadvantages. You will move more slowly, making you more vulnerable to small arms fire and grenades. It is tactically wise to only use the turret in defensive situations that will provide good cover. If you have the opportunity to use the turret on offense be sure to have another player backing you up as you lay into the other team.
- The turret is one of the best defensive weapons to use on Avalanche, High Ground, Last Resort, and Sandtrap during objective based games.
- It is a bad idea to use the turret for long periods of time on sniper matches.
- Breaking a turret without using any weaponry is made easy by standing on top of it, crouch-jumping, and letting go of the crouch button before you hit the ground.
- Do not underestimate the power of leaving the weapon attached to its mounting. While mounted ammunition is effectively unlimited and thus the weapon can produce a tremendous volume of firepower. This can be effective at tactically suppressing particular fire zones from enemy advance, and forcing snipers to keep in cover. It will draw a great deal of the enemy's attention, forcing them to expend strength trying to counter it.
- You turn much slower than normal when carrying a turret, watch your flank and try to be as evasive as possible.
- If engaged in a team match, it can be wise to occupy the weapon while mounted if one has a team mate to watch the flank. This team mate can help pick off enemies that the turret cannot reach and to warn the team mate operating the turret when the enemy is moving in on the flank so that both can relocate or deal with the threat.
- On Standoff, the turret can be an excellent defensive tool, since there are no snipers on this map you can mow down enemies with ease. Your biggest threat is the Spartan Laser, but if your team controls it, the only other thing you need to watch out for is getting flanked by a fast Warthog.
- Although it is called a heavy machine gun, the 7.62x51mm NATO round it uses would actually classify the AIE-486H as a medium machine gun.
- Like the M41 LAAG, the AIE-486H bears a striking resemblance to the GAU-19/A machine gun used by the United States military. The GAU-19 and AIE-486H both share the same distinctive flash suppressor. Unlike the GAU-19, which fires .50 BMG (12.7x99mm) rounds, the AIE-486H fires the 7.62x51mm Saboted Light Armor Penetrator rounds.
- The AIE-486H fulfills the same defensive role of the GAU-19/A, being mounted on aircraft like the Pelican, reminiscent to the GAU-19/A being mounted on a modern-day helicopter.
- During Forge matches, the mounted AIE-486H can be picked up, moved, and rotated, even while another player is using the turret. If the other player rips the turret from the base while this is happening, the player will duplicate the turret. This can be used to arm an entire team with turrets. These traits also apply to Plasma Turrets, and anyone seated in the turret position of a vehicle won't be forced out like the driver will.
- While the AIE-486H HMG might appear more mobile than the Halo 2 turret, it is shown to be heavier and harder to carry, even slowing Spartans and Sangheili. The M247 Machine Gun (from Halo 2) is actually lighter in its portable form; it is able to be carried by Marines as seen in the levels Cairo Station and Outskirts, and the stationary form doesn't appear difficult to rip off.
- The AIE-486H is usable in Halo 3: ODST in its detached state, just as it is in Halo 3. This is done for gameplay reasons only, as an un-enhanced human should not be strong enough to pick the turret up, much less carry it around, fire it accurately on the move or be faster than a Spartan wielding one. It is also impossible for an ODST to rip a turret off due to the fact they do not have enhanced strength.
- The Spartan-IIs in Halo Wars appear to have no noticeable speed decrease while wielding these turrets.
- The NMPD Officers in Halo 3: ODST call it a .50 cal even though it uses the 7.62x51 NATO round.
- Unlike most real world rotary cannons, there is no obvious power source for the motors that turn the barrels, which would typically be a battery pack located on the side of the weapon, although numerous weapons in the style of the M61 "Vulcan" have gas-operated variants, making this a likely alternative.
- In Halo 3 there is a faster way of walking with the turret than the normal speed without constantly dropping and picking up the turret, it is done by moving the left stick approximately at a 45 degree angle from the camera position; which makes the player move straight and right at the same time in an angle of 45 degree but faster than walking directly straight. The player can move at the point where he wants by balancing the 45 degree of the movement by moving the camera at a point where the 45 degree angle move him straight to the place where he wants to go. It is suggestible the player use this technique when the area is free of enemies and move the turret into a normal position before the firefight starts so the player won´t be exposed and could attack quickly. This tactic also works with the other support equipment.
- In the Halo 3 campaign, Jiralhanae and even Unggoy are able to take control of the machine gun turret and use it against you.
- Although Halo: Reach has the M247 HMG, in carnage reports on Bungie.net and Halo Waypoint, it is listed as the AIE-486H HMG.
- The AIE-486H does not have a high rate of fire reminiscent to a real minigun, mostly for gameplay reasons, either because the gameplay can't handle a more realistic fire rate, or it is for balancing reasons. Both the M41 LAAG and M46 LAAG also have this drawback.
- Type-42 Directed Energy Support Weapon
- Type-52 Directed Energy Support Weapon
- M247 General Purpose Machine Gun
- M247T Medium Machine Gun
- M247H Heavy Machine Gun