The M12 LRV Warthog is the UNSC Light Reconnaissance Vehicle, used for its scouting capacity, or as an integral part of a mechanized infantry unit; the M12 has been apart of the UNSC's armored vehicle fleet for 50 years, and is the most recognizable vehicle in their arsenal. The M12 is a four wheel all terrain vehicle capable of going over any obstacle without difficulty; under the hood the M12's power is generated by a forward-housed low-profile liquid-cooled hydrogen-injected ICE I/C plant. The hydrogen fuel is burned at very high temperature with a synthetic carbon/silicon catalyst to achieve even better fuel consumption. This hydrogen engine is the standard among all UNSC ground based vehicles, replacing fossil fuel based engines some 400 years ago. The M12 features a Graf/Hauptman solar/saline actuator, and will convert up to 12 liters of fresh, brackish or salt water into hydrogen on the fly, this allows the Warthog to travel 790 kilometers or 490 miles before it needs to be refueled. Detritus is compacted on board. The M12 is a huge, unwieldy, difficult to steer vehicle – until a user learns how to drive it properly. With proper application of the hand, or “e-brake” the M12 can actually turn on a dime. Massive disc brakes and its automatic braking systems, allow the vehicle to come to a near immediate, but controlled stop should the driver be ejected, or choose to leave the vehicle. The Warthog's tires, have moved away from previous inert-gas pocket inflation, with equally burst-proof single unit nanotube skeletons. They provide the buoyancy and ride of gas-pocket tires, but are almost indestructible. The relatively massive tires are a joint project between Michelin-Vance and AMG.
The M12's design places it into the jeep family of vehicles, it has no doors and has a total seating of three. The M12 although deemed a reconnaissance vehicle is at best an understatement, the M12 is fully capable of both offensive and defensive capabilities, the M12 can also serve as a support vehicle, or a transport vehicle. The M12 can be armed with a wide variety of equipment, however its main armament is the M41 Light Anti-Aircraft Gun, the mounted weapon includes a battery for short term operation separated from the vehicle, but normally operates on the vehicle’s power supply. A M68 Gauss Cannon can be mounted on the back of the M12, making it capable of taking on light armor.
The M12 is the workhorse of light ground infantry vehicles, it is adaptable to almost any role and situation and is arguably the most customizable vehicle in the Military's fleet. It is fast able to reach top speeds of 78 MPH and more importantly, swing around rapidly to allow a gunner a better angle on a prospective target. The mounted M41 chain gun can cut down heavily armored infantry within seconds, this also applies to shielded infantry as well. With enough controlled fire from the 12.7X99mm armor-piercing rounds, the M41 can easily rip through the armor of a ghost and destroy it. The Warthog's titanium armor though light, is tough it can take at least one fragmentation grenade and keep rolling and can also withstand small amounts of energy weapon fire. It also makes a impervious scout, and transportation vehicle, able to make a smooth getaway, or rapid infiltrations if needed.
While fast the M12 is prone to roll over very easily, It is vital that the driver can get in and out of dangerous situations without flipping the heavy and hard-to-right vehicle. The open nature of the Warthog always puts its driver and passengers at risk, a good marksman can easily take down the driver, or the passengers of the M12. Although the armor of the M12 is tough, a couple of direct hits from grenades, or a well placed rocket, will end its reign of terror almost immediately. Covenant energy weapons, are the biggest threat to the Warthog, a direct hit from a Banshees light Plasma Cannons would render the vehicle inoperable and kill its passengers. If the M12 were to be hit by a Covenant Fuel Rod Gun from either infantry or a Banshee the hog would instantly catch fire and be reduced to a smoldering chunk of steel, infantry plasma weapons can inflict moderate damage, if the hog is hit with enough the vehicle may be disabled, a direct hit to the front of the Warthog from a overcharged Plasma Pistol would melt the steel and flash vaporize the hydrogen contents within the engine and severely damage it.