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UNSC Forward Unto Dawn: Misc



Up to date as of February 08, 2010

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UNSC Forward Unto Dawn
Production information


Technical specifications

489.8 metres (1,607 ft)


155.2 metres (509 ft)


139.2 metres (457 ft)

Engine unit(s)

Fusion Reactor - 2 Primary/2 Secondary

Slipspace Drive

Shaw-Fujikawa Translight Engine

Slipspace velocity

2.1 light-years/day


60 centimeters Titanium-A battleplate


30 Missiles/Pod

Cargo capacity

Food, Ammunition, Fuel


Support for heavier ships, Transport, Command Vessel, Frigate


2552-2553, entire vessel was split in half, one piece returning to Earth, another drifting to an unknown planet along with John-117 and Cortana.

Present for battles/events



UNSC Home Fleet

Known commander(s)

The UNSC Forward Unto Dawn (FFG-201) was a United Nations Space Command Frigate.

It was also more commonly known by UNSC personnel as "The Dawn".[1]




Battle of Earth

While nothing is known about the Dawn's active role in the early stages of the Battle of Earth, since the ship was the flagship of Admiral Hood it can be accurately assumed that the ship was present to escort him from Orbital Defense Platform Cairo, his previous command. It is also presumed that the ship, along with the few remaining warships of the Home Fleet, hid on the continent of Africa until the Battle of Voi.

During the Battle of Voi, the Forward Unto Dawn was part of a formation of three UNSC frigates over the African Savannah of the Home Fleet. Combined with several squadrons of Longsword fighters, they assaulted Truth's position.

It fired its MAC guns at the Forerunner Dreadnought, containing Truth, in attempts to stop him from activating the Portal to the Ark. This attempt failed, and it appeared the Dreadnought survived unscathed, escaping through the Portal to the Ark. [2]

Battle of Installation 00

"I'm giving the Brutes all I've got...but this is a heavy-weight fight! The Dawn's only got the tonnage to last a few rounds."
Miranda Keyes on The Ark.

The Forward Unto Dawn went through the slipspace portal along with several Covenant Separatist vessels including the Shadow of Intent along with the rest of the Sangheilian Fleet.

It dropped five D77H-TCI Pelican Dropships in a zero-G drop for a landing on the Ark. However, the Separatist-UNSC and Loyalist fleets heavily engaged. This left Commander Keyes desperate for a landing zone, as most, if not all, of the Covenant ships heavily outclassed the Dawn. The first objective for the Dawn's Marine complement was to clear a landing zone for the Dawn to escape. It became the Flagship for human operations at the Ark, despite the fact that it was a mere Frigate.

After Cortana was recovered from the infected remains of High Charity, it seems that the remaining humans were transferred to the Shadow of Intent and/or the UNSC Aegis Fate, leaving Sgt. Johnson as the temporary captain of the ship (Unorthodox as the Sergeant is not a Naval Officer). He took it as close as he could to the Control Room of Replacement Installation 04, leaving it and using a Warthog, he traversed the remaining distance to aid the Master Chief and the Arbiter. After the ring's activation, it was used to help John-117 and Thel 'Vadam escape into the portal.[3]

After crash-landing in the Hangar Bay of the ship, the Arbiter traveled to the bridge of the ship while the Master Chief stayed to implant Cortana into the ship to allow them to escape from the ring's activation. After being hit and nearly knocked out of the Dawn by the very Warthog he was driving a few moments ago, John-117 was nearly crushed by a Scorpion tank that was falling out of the Dawn's hangar, but managed to hang on. He survived the travel into the portal, but unfortunately the ship was cut in half as the portal collapsed, leaving John stranded in slip-space until the half of the ship could decelerate enough to drop into normal space.

Current Status

The Forward Unto Dawn.
"Well...some of us made it."
—Cortana, after escaping the second Installation 04.

The forward half of the vessel, including Thel 'Vadam, was able to transition to Earth and land in an unknown ocean (possibly the Indian Ocean given the portal's location). The Arbiter was rescued successfully from this impact. The latter half of the vessel finally fell out of slipspace, but in a currently unknown location. While jumping through the portal, the stern half of the Dawn was separated from the forward half by the firing of Alpha Halo. As a result, the ship's power failed, as can be seen by the failure of artificial gravity.[3]

Whether the vessel was left relatively close to the Ark, or the back half of the frigate managed to fit into the portal and get thrown out at a random destination is unknown. The latter theory brings to question how Cortana knew that the firing "did a number on the Ark", while the first theory brings with it the question of how the Master Chief survived the Halo's firing sequence.

Cortana dropped a distress beacon while the Master Chief sealed himself in one of the Dawn's cryogenic chambers (these are designed to work independent of a ships power, they are able to be dumped into space still active upon a ship's impending destruction).

Five years later, in 2557, the Dawn was still stranded in space. Cortana, showing signs of Rampancy, filed a report on the history of the Forerunners and Humanity. An undetermined amount of time later, the Dawn's melted, mangled aft section was seen drifting towards an unknown planet[4].


  • The second chapter of the level, "The Ark", is called "Forward Unto Dawn".
  • On the lower part of the bow there is a black 7 inside a yellow star with a yellow chevron under it, this being one of Bungie's 7 references.
  • If you look at the designations of the UNSC Frigates firing on the Forerunner Dreadnought on the level "The Storm", they all say Forward Unto Dawn and the ships numbers are the same as well. This shows that Bungie only made two Frigate models, with the Aegis Fate model only being used for the multiplayer level "Sandtrap"
  • The Forward Unto Dawn was originally the flagship of Fleet Admiral Hood. However, he left it in the capable hands of Miranda Keyes as she fought her way to the Ark.
    • It is rare for a very high ranking officer like Fleet Admiral Lord Hood to have such a small vessel as the flagship of the Home Fleet. This is probably because many of the more powerful UNSC ships were destroyed during the first actions of the Battle of Earth.
  • It is said that frigates have 30 Archer Missile Pods. The Dawn however has fifty: two behind its bay, two in front of its bay, two on both sides of its MAC gun and one on each side of the thrusters, although this could be a modification, since it once belonged to Admiral Hood.
  • In the final level of Halo 3, "Halo", before the ship is torn in half, there is no mention or sight of the crew, which had boarded the Shadow of Intent before Sergeant Johnson positioned Forward Unto Dawn, this is mentioned in the cutscene at the beginning of the level "Halo", Rtas 'Vadum can be heard saying "We are all aboard, humans and Elites."
  • It is small enough to fit in the hangar of the Shadow of Intent.
  • In a Star Trek: Armada II ship pack including UNSC Frigates, the Forward Unto Dawn was released as a hero ship, along with the UNSC Gettysburg. Its special improvements are enlarged size and more hull strength.
  • On the opening cutscene for The Ark, Johnson's Pelican along with two others are dropped from the hanger of the Dawn. This is interesting, as later on in the level, elevators are seen there. This could have been possibly overlooked by Bungie. Or it is possible that the bottom of the elevators were retracted or were pulled into the frigate so they were not seen in the cutscene and were deployed after the dawn's landing on the Ark.
  • Forward Unto Dawn is the third of three main ships, Pillar of Autumn and In Amber Clad, to be destroyed in or near the end of the game.



  1. Halo 3: Official Strategy Guide, page 109
  2. Halo 3, level "The Storm"
  3. 3.0 3.1 Halo 3, level "Halo"
  4. Halo 3, final cut scene



This article uses material from the "UNSC Forward Unto Dawn" article on the Halo wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.


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