The Type-52 Anti-Aircraft Artillery (abbreviated Type-52 AAA), often referred to as the Anti-Air Wraith, is a specialized variant of the Type-25 Wraith tank. It is only drivable by using certain tricks and glitches.
The Type-52 Anti Aircraft Artillery is a variant of the Covenant "Wraith" tank, but it differs in its primary armament; while the standard Type-25 model is equipped with a Plasma Mortar, which is used mainly against slow-moving ground targets, the Type-52 model is equipped with "rapid fire" double Fuel Rod Cannons as its main armament, and has high effectiveness against nearby air targets as well as ground targets. The Type-52 shares the Type-25'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. It has also posed a threat to Pelicans. It should be noted that the plasma bolts fired by the AA-Wraith can explode mid-air, creating a cloud of plasma or some other glowing, gaseous substance. This resembles the clouds of shrapnel from flak guns' bursting rounds.
The double sets of Fuel Rod Cannons are devastating to all forces, airborne or ground. Dozens of shots can be put out in rapid succession, laying waste to enemy emplacements, leveling fortified bunkers in a matter of seconds. 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 cannon can also be a threat to low flying Longsword fighter-bombers, even though they have heavier armor than the Pelican dropship.
The Type-52 is also distinguished from the Type-25 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 tank, 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 in Halo: Combat Evolved, it has a dead man switch, causing the vehicle to be destroyed when the driver dies.
- Main article: Drive an AA Wraith
The player can drive the Type-52 if the glitch is performed properly (otherwise the AA Wraith will automatically destroy itself).
Although intended to be an Anti-Air unit, the Type-52 is devastating against ground units; able to rain heavy fire on enemy forces. Though they are not particularly accurate, the Anti-Air Wraith's projectiles are much easier to aim than the standard Wraith. Within a few hits, the Anti-Air Wraith is able to rip apart small vehicles, like Choppers and Ghosts. The AA Wraith is also very capable of fighting much larger vehicles, including other Wraiths and even Scarabs. The Anti-Air Wraith is available in three of the nine campaign missions. To use an Anti-Air Wraith, one must first kill the gunner with the sniper or battle rifle, jump on top and, without boarding the vehicle, melee the drivers hatch; once the hatch is off melee the driver once to take off his armor. Then crouch on top and move around until the "Hold Right Bumper (RB) to board" message disappears, when that happens hold Right Bumper and shoot the driver with a Battle Rifle or Sniper rifle. Note: If you do board the Wraith when trying this, then simply get off and try again. If you get out while driving it will destroy itself.
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.
A few AA Wraiths were deployed during the Covenant occupation of New Mombasa. Two were deployed at Kikowani Station to defend the Engineer Recharging Stations. A third was stationed along Waterfront Highway, part of the extensive expanse of defenses there.
- If you are playing on Co-op with more than one other person, make sure you are careful when driving or standing on the front of the Wraith, like its blueish counterpart, the projectiles can kill you instantly if you are caught in the way of the shot. This seems to happen more often with the AA Wraith.
- It seems that Bungie originally considered making the AA Wraith a drivable vehicle, since when you take control of it with a glitch and then jump out of the Wraith, you can see an animation of the cannons folding together and going down through the hatch, much like the normal Wraith. The fact that the AA Wraith is drivable at all proves this fact, but it was likely made unusable due to it being significantly overpowered, although this is likely because Spartans have the needed animations. It also contains its own special aiming reticule which is seen nowhere else, and seems to be a temporary reticule designed specifically for either the standard Wraith, the AA Wraith, or both. This was strange since Bungie actually made a weapon_hud_interface tag for the AA Wraith's weapon, the fuel rod cannons, and even specified custom-made reticule for it. Similarly, if you take up the gunner position in the AA wraith (glitch controlled), you will find that there is no targeting reticule.
- The Anti Air Wraith controlled by the player isn't as effective at destroying aircraft as one that is computer controlled, likely because the AI is more efficient at targeting, since it does not need to calculate how far to lead the shots and since the AI is part of the game, it will likely know where the aircraft (sometimes even if controlled by the player, although the AI will most likely not hit the player) will move.
- 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.
- Although the AA Wraith is obviously overpowered to an extent, it will still usually lose against the Scorpion, easily observable in Halo 3: ODST in the level Coastal Highway, since it appears almost immediately after you have access to the Scorpion tank. It is much easier to do in split-screen co-op, with the absence of lag, and the fact that players are better skilled than the AI. No matter how much the AA Wraith fires at the Scorpion, the Scorpion will always take only two shots to take out even an undamaged Wraith. The Scorpion will win, safe to say, 10/10 times, provided that they both start shooting at each other at the same time, else the Scorpion would easily fall victim to the AA Wraith's fire.
- A good way to destroy the Wraith without any grenades is to board it in the back and melee the rotating disc. It has been discovered that it is the Wraith's weak spot and should be shot at with heavy weaponry if you don't want to be shot at by the gunner (if you can't kill him).
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 Halo Encyclopedia, page 247
- ↑ Halo 2: Special Collector's Edition Manual, page 17
- ↑ Halo 3: The Official Guide, page 52
- ↑ Halo 3: The Official Guide or the Triple A, page 63