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Orbital Defense Platform
Production information

United Nations Space Command Defense Force


Weapon Platform

Technical specifications

1336 meters (4383.20 feet)

Slipspace Drive



'Super' Magnetic Accelerator Cannon (1)


UNSC Marines, Naval crewmen


Defensive Weapons Platform


Human-Covenant War


United Nations Space Command (Defense Force)

"That MAC gun can put a round clean through a Covenant Capital Ship."
—Avery Johnson

An Orbital Defense Platform is a class of large UNSC space stations used to defend locations of great importance, typically planets of high strategic value.

Stations are frequently placed in Geosynchronous orbit and deployed in groups, or clusters, of 2 to 5. The well-equipped and large bridge of an ODP is suitable for directing large-scale engagements. Such was the case when Fleet Admiral Sir Terrence Hood directed UNSC forces from an ODP during the Battle of Earth. The most effective method to destroy these great Platforms is via Covenant Boarding Craft. These craft would avoid the heavy slugs, and then plant a bomb. In order to avoid this, the UNSC would attempt to repel the boarders. [1]



Internally, the stations are remarkably spacious, complete with high ceilings and a monorail system to move personnel and equipment. In addition to numerous small craft bays, there are two docks for larger ships, such as freighters, or even frigates. These docking bays could possibly be used to hold Longsword fighters used to protect the station from hostile spacecraft. The design incorporates many features against potential hostile boarding action, including security stations and small arms racks situated at strategic locations.[2]



The primary and crucial armament is a Mk. V "Super" MAC gun capable of causing near-fatal damage to even a shielded Covenant capital warship with a single slug. It can shoot a shell at enormous velocities, plus the shell usually weighs 3,000 tons which is a factor to whether or not it can penetrate a enemy ship's shields in one shot.[2] As with starship-mounted MACs, a platform's cannon is commonly controlled by an AI.

Curiously, no sources indicate the presence of additional weapons, such as point defense cannons commonly mounted on UNSC warships(the absence of such weapons may explain why so many Covenant Boarding Craft were able to latch onto the Platforms orbiting Reach and Earth). However, the possibility that ODPs are armed with such weapons cannot be ruled out yet. The apparent lack of point-defense cannons may be explained by the fact that transient magnetic bursts tend to magnetize the weapons.

Power plant

ODPs do not possess the power generation equipment necessary to fire their main armament. Instead, they receive power from ground-based generators. A possible strategy to neutralize the formidable ODPs would be to disable the generators via ground assault. This would disable the platform's weaponry without destroying it, allowing this valuable prize to be captured. The Covenant used this strategy during their invasion of Reach, dropping troops to the planet's surface and destroying these generators. This paved the way for Covenant forces to completely overwhelm the UNSC forces in the space battle over Reach.

Orbital Defense Platform Locations
Armory A-01 - Bridge - Commons B-01
Commons R-01 - Firing Control - Habitat Alpha - Habitat Delta
Hangar A-01 - Hangar A-02 - Hangar C-01 - MAC Storage
Recreation R-01 - Security B-01 - Security R-01 - Security Station One
Security Station Four - Terminal Two - Tram Station - Umbilicals



By August 2552, Reach was protected by 20 ODPs. At least some of these platforms were in place as early as 2527.[3] During the Battle of Reach, Marines and Spartans were deployed to protect the orbital platforms' planetside power generators but were ultimately unable to do so against determined enemy assaults. The disabling of the defense platforms was a major factor on the battle's outcome[4].


The outbreak of the Human-Covenant War prompted a massive expansion of Earth's defenses. Even as late as the Battle of Reach preparations had not yet been completed.[5] By October 2552, some 300 ODPs were operational.[2] Many of Earth's ODPs were named after points of interest that they roughly kept station over.

A portion and small section of the 300 platforms first saw action at the early stages of the Battle of Earth. Athens Station and Malta Station were each destroyed by conveniently placed Covenant Bombs installed by Covenant boarding parties, while Cairo Station only narrowly avoided the same fate as the other platforms thanks to Master Chief's removal of the Covenant bomb on board.[6] The ODPs were also used later in the Battle of Earth, but the Covenant might have already destroyed numerous stations when Truth led a second fleet to Earth.[7]

Known ODPs


  • All known Orbital Defense Platforms over Earth are named after cities on Earth, Some examples are Cairo, Athens, and Malta.
  • The fact that there are 300 ODPs could be a reference to the Battle of Thermopylae, in which 300 Spartans used the phalanx formation to hold their own against an army of more than 200,000 Persians.


  1. Halo 2, Cairo Station (Level)
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Halo 2, The Armory (Level), Cutscene
  3. Halo: Evolutions - Essential Tales of the Halo Universe, page 50
  4. Halo: The Fall of Reach, page reference needed
  5. Halo: First Strike, page 104
  6. Halo 2, Cairo Station (Level)
  7. Halo 2, The Great Journey (Level)

This article uses material from the "Orbital Defense Platform" article on the Halo wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.


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