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This article is about the Combine helicopter. For the HECU helicopter, see AH-64 Apache.
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"Eli's hideout is here, a stones throw from the apron and nestled in the old hydro plant. But getting there, with that Hunter-Chopper on your ass, next to impossible."

The Hunter-Chopper is a Combine rotorcraft used to provide heavy fire support for Combine Overwatch forces. Like the Combine APC and the Razor Train, this vehicle is a conventional human design re-engineered by the Combine using their technology.


Hunter chopper canals

A Hunter-Chopper in the Canals.

The Hunter-Chopper is essentially the Combine's re-imagining of a human attack helicopter, retaining many features found in modern attack helicopters but having been augmented with Combine technology and redesigned for greater efficiency and lethality. Most notably, the Chopper includes a drive engine, similar to those found on Combine Gunships, as well as an additional vertical rotor at the front of the craft. The rear section of the Chopper's tail is mounted on a pivot, so that the tail rotor can angle itself and provide greater maneuverability. The Hunter-Chopper is crewed by two Overwatch Soldiers, a pilot and a gunner. The Hunter-Chopper also has infrared viewing systems, allowing it to sight concealed targets.



A Hunter-Chopper deploying mines in the chapter Water Hazard.

Hunter-chopper bomb

The Hunter-Chopper's contact mine.

The Hunter-Chopper is armed with a powerful pulse turret which, while lacking in accuracy, allows the chopper to attack and damage multiple targets at once. The pulse turret takes a few instants to charge before being able to fire bursts of various durations.

The chopper also fires guided rockets for more accurate and powerful strikes on stationary targets, however, this is only seen once and never used against the player. The Hunter-Chopper can be seen firing these rockets into a ventilation tunnel opening near the end of the chapter "Black Mesa East".

The Hunter-Chopper can also drop mines or bombs which detonate after a set timer or on contact with the target. Hunter-Choppers use these explosive mines as an offensive attack by dropping them directly in front of moving targets and on top of weak structures. The mines are also buoyant, making them quite effective against watercraft such as the Airboat. Although it is unclear where or if they are stored in the vehicle, Hunter-Choppers seem to have a large supply of mines and they can be dropped either one at a time or in carpet-bombing mode, spraying mines across a large area.


The Hunter-Choppers are most often seen in and around City 17 and the Canals searching for refugees attempting to escape the city. On the coast, however, Hunter-Choppers are rare, where they have been supplanted by Gunships.

In Episode Two, Hunter-Choppers are seen near White Forest. It is unknown whether they originally patrolled these areas or if they were called in from elsewhere after the Citadel's destruction.


Hunter-chopper cannon

Detail of the Hunter-Chopper's pulse cannon.


The Hunter-Chopper's pulse cannon featured on the Airboat.

  • Hunter-Choppers are invulnerable to small arms fire. However, they are vulnerable to damage from the Airboat's mounted gun (which is a salvaged Hunter-Chopper weapon itself), and explosive weapons such as its own bombs and the RPG.
  • When fighting the Hunter-Chopper with the Airboat near the end of the chapter Water Hazard, it is advised to not to shoot at it while it is doing a strafing run with its pulse cannon as the player may take a lot of damage. Instead, it is recommended to take cover or hide behind a rock until it finishes strafing, and shoot at it while it turns back.
  • Listening during an encounter with the Hunter-Chopper, the player will be able to tell prematurely when the helicopter is about to shoot; it will make a distinctive noise before firing the turret.
  • After being severely damaged, the Hunter-Chopper will attempt to kill its attacker by releasing its entire payload of mines as a last resort.
  • Much of the time, items with which to take the Chopper down will be incidental: for instance, the Hunter-Chopper's own bombs in Episode Two.

Behind the scenes

Chopper attack

The original Hunter-Chopper, a Ka-27.

  • As the Combine were originally to recycle or replace existing human technology, the original helicopter model was a human one, based on the Soviet military helicopter Ka-27. Another Russian helicopter, the Mil Mi-8, is featured at the end of Episode Two, in White Forest.
  • If one is to go to the Half-Life 2 beta canals, the chopper is flying and will shoot at the player, but it will not give chase.[2]
  • The game-play mechanic of the Hunter-Chopper dropping more bombs than it can seemingly hold came from a bug during development. Programmer Brian Jacobson accidentally set the unit to drop so many bombs, system instability occurred. However during play testing, he liked it so much that he decided to make that a feature in game. (Albeit altered to run under realistic processing parameters.)[1]
  • The Hunter-Chopper has a variant called "Electrical Drone" which is partially functional. Although it is never seen in any official game, it can be created in Hammer. The electrical drone behaves similarly to a normal Hunter Chopper, producing the same sounds and the same rotorwash effect, but it will appear as a helicopter mine in-game (which is probably a placeholder for an appropriate model which was never completed), and will not fire directly at the player, instead, it will cause minor electrical damage to anything which stands directly beneath it.
  • The Hunter-Chopper resembles a heavily-modified Mil Mi-24 Hind D, especially from the front. Due to the fact that the Hunter-Chopper is essentially redesigned human technology, this may not be a coincidence. The Hunter-Chopper and Hind both share similar characteristics; they are both used to attack enemy targets, they both have tandem cockpits and they are both large, heavily armed and armored helicopters.
    • It also resembles the Mil Mi-28, another Russian tandem cockpit helicopter that has a sharper design.

Related achievements

Half-Life 2

Hl2 kill chopper Revenge! (5G)
Destroy the Hunter-Chopper.

Half-Life 2: Episode Two

Ep2 kill chopper nomisses Puttin' On a Clinic (5G)
Defeat the chopper in Episode Two without any misses.


D1 canals chopper

Hunter-Chopper in the Canals.

  • It is possible to destroy a Hunter-Chopper with the turrets mounted on a control tower in Gate 5, and with the airboat's mounted gun. When the chopper flies off for repair, the player can advance with the airboat through Gate 5, far enough for the next chopper to appear, but not far enough for gate to close. When the next chopper starts pursuing, the player can retreat to the tower with pulse turrets and destroy it, because it does not flee. On some occasion it may just stand still and does not chase or shoot the player after all but may not reach to the tower.
  • In order to destroy the Hunter-Chopper in Episode Two, the player must use its mines via the Gravity Gun and punt them at the Chopper itself. There is an acheivment called Puttin' On A Clinic, which involves destroying the chopper with its mines without any misses.
  • When the Hunter-Chopper's mines - even inactive ones underneath structures - are taken by the Gravity Gun, they beep much louder and flash. Closed Captions mark it as "Mine captured."
  • In Lost Coast, the Chopper is just a Gunship using the Hunter-Chopper's model. It has the same capabilities as one, gets destroyed in three RPG blasts, and destroys a catwalk when it is destroyed, allowing the player to advance.

Rebel firing at a Hunter-Chopper with an OSIPR in the Outlands.

  • The Chopper gun mounted on the Airboat looks identical to the one used by the chopper, but sounds completely different. It also does not need to charge up before firing, having to recharge its ammo after it is depleted and shoots a tighter pulse stream than the Chopper's.
  • During the final fight with the chopper at the end of Water Hazard and Riding Shotgun, it is possible to see the corpse of a Combine Soldier fall out of the chopper after it has taken enough damage. However, this is entirely cosmetic. It has no effect on the actions of the chopper itself - the gun does not stop firing nor does the aircraft fall to the ground.
    • This could imply that the chopper has a autopilot or that the other Soldier will take his place, and the chopper can be controlled with only one crewmember at minimum.
  • After acquiring the pulse rifle on the Airboat, it is possible (although tricky) to drive it past the barricade at the start of the level and return to the previous map (where the Chopper was seen chasing the player), and destroy the Chopper with the newly installed weapon there. However, since the chase spans several maps, the player will find that each map actually contains its own Hunter-Chopper; each of them can be destroyed to allow the player to explore the levels more thoroughly.
  • When the helicopter is damaged enough, it makes a warning sound that sounds like the "Autopilot disengaged" warning from a Boeing 767.
  • On the body can be seen the alphanumerics "V952", also featured on other Combine devices.




List of appearances


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