The Imperium of Man is composed of several different military forces, from the basic infantrymen of the Imperial Guard to the massive Titans and starships that represent the most potent manifestations of the Emperor of Mankind's might. These armed forces each have their own specific vehicles, but they also field several vehicles common to more than one branch, such as the Rhino. These separate armed forces are represented by different armies, and the organisation of this list reflects this reality.
The armed forces of the Imperium include, but are not limited to, the Space Marines, the Imperial Guard, the Adeptus Mechanicus including the Titan Legions, the Inquisition, the Adeptus Arbites and the Orders Militant of the Adepta Sororitas. In addition, owing to their nature as the former Space Marine Legions of the Imperium, the Chaos Space Marines of the Traitor Legions use many of the same vehicles as the Loyalist Space Marines of the Imperium.
Space Marine Vehicles
The vehicles of the Space Marines are suited to their role as a rapid-strike planetary assault force, focusing more on speed and mobility rather than protection or sheer destructive potential. The vehicles used by the Chapters of the Adeptus Astartes include the:
- Predator Destructor
- Predator Annihilator
- Baal Predator
- Deimos Rhino
- Deimos Predator Destructor
- Deimos Predator Annihilator
- Deimos Predator Executioner
- Deimos Predator Infernus
- Land Speeder
- Land Speeder Tornado
- Land Speeder Typhoon
- Land Speeder Tempest
- Land Speeder Storm
- Land Speeder Vengeance (Ravenwing)
- Ravenwing Darkshroud (Ravenwing)
- Land Raider Phobos
- Land Raider Crusader
- Land Raider Helios
- Land Raider Prometheus
- Land Raider Achilles
- Land Raider Proteus
- Land Raider Redeemer
- Land Raider Ares
- Land Raider Terminus Ultra
- Land Raider Tartarus
- Spartan Assault Tank
- Typhon Heavy Siege Tank
- Cerberus Heavy Tank Destroyer
- Assault Bike
- Attack Bike
- Scout Bike
- Thunderhawk Transporter
- Storm Eagle
- Storm Talon
- Void Raven
- Nephilim Jetfighter
- Ravenwing Dark Talon (Ravenwing)
- Aegis Dreadnought (Grey Knights)
- Chaplain Dreadnough
- Death Company Dreadnought
- Furioso Dreadnought
- Hellfire Dreadnought
- Ironclad Dreadnought
- Librarian Dreadnought
- Mortis Dreadnought
- Siege Dreadnought
- Venerable Dreadnought
- Contemptor Dreadnought
- Nemesis Dreadknight (Grey Knights)
- Rhino Advancer
- Damocles Command Rhino
- Grav-Rhino (Adeptus Custodes)
- Drop Pods
- Thunderfire Cannon
- Sabre Tank Hunter
- Caestus Assault Ram
- Fireraptor Gunship
- Argo Drop Ship
Imperial Guard Vehicles
Imperial Guard Vehicles include main battle tanks, armoured transports, artillery pieces, and super-heavy tanks capable of running-over normal sized tanks with ease and successfully destroying even certain Titans. Please see their seprate page for more information.
Adeptus Mechanicus Vehicles
The Adeptus Mechanicus is the primary supplier of all forms of advanced technology, including vehicles and spacecraft, to the Imperium of Man. The Mechanicus does not use normal tanks and vehicles during battle like the other Imperial armed forces, and instead make use of massed regiments of modified human cyborg Skitarii, Combat Servitors, battle robots and massive Titan war engines along with other, more specialised weaponry. The main military force of the Mechanicus includes the following:
A Knight is a walking, humanoid war machine first used by the Mechanicus on its affiliated Knight Worlds. The Knight is crewed by a single pilot and while they are larger than most other Imperial vehicles, they are smaller than even the smallest class of Scout Titan. There are several different types of Knight walkers in use, including the:
- Knight Warden - Knight Wardens are armed with long-ranged, heavy weapons and are well-armoured. They are used as defensive weapons against enemy attackers.
- Knight Paladin - The Paladin Knight is armed with both ranged and close-combat weapons. They are commonly equipped with Battle Cannons and large Chainswords.
- Knight Lancer - The Lancer Knight is a scout unit, armed with a single Battle Cannon and a Power Lance though it is capable of achieving much higher overland speeds than the other pattern of Knights. These Knights are commonly used to outflank enemy units during a battle.
- Knight Crusader - The Crusader Knight is armed with heavy weapons intended to be effective against enemy armouredvehicles. A Crusader Knight is usually armed with Lascannons and have increased armour to better withstand the assaults of potent armoured vehicles. They are the slowest and least nimble of all the patterns of Knight.
- Knight Castellan - The Castellan Knight is the tactical opposite of the Crusader Knight and is armed with weapons effective primarily against enemy infantry, such as a multi-barreled Autocannon.
- Knight Errant - The Knight Errant is armed with heavy weaponry and is the most potent of the Knight patterns, capable of fighting enemy super-heavy vehicles and even Titan-sized foes such as Ork Gargants.
- Knight Baron - The Knight Baron is piloted by a superior warrior with razor-sharp combat and Knight-handling skills. A Baron Knight usually leads a Knight squadron into battle. As a sign of their command status, every Baron uses a Knight custom built to their exact specifications. These Knights are usually armed with rapid-firing Battle Cannons and a Power Lance.
An Ordinatus, (pl. Ordinatii), are massive war-machines created by the Adeptus Mechanicus as needed. The Centurio Ordinatus is the organisation responsible for constructing and deploying these war machines. Every individual Ordinatus is a unique construction and is named for the world on which it was first built or employed. Each Ordinatus is unique in that it was designed for a specific purpose, or for a particular battle. Every Ordinatus has a very specialised weapon system configured for their intended role. Known Ordinatii war-machines include the following:
- Ordinatus Armageddon - The Armageddon was originally constructed for the First War for Armageddon, against the Forces of Chaos during 474.M41. This machine was constructed to destroy enemy Chaos Titans head-on with its Nova Cannon.
- Ordinatus Golgotha - The Golgotha was an Ordinatus armed with eight massive Hellfire Missiles mounted in a battery on the surface of the machine. It was constructed for combat on the Squat homeworld of Golgotha during a massive Ork invasion.
- Ordinatus Mars - During the Horus Heresy, even the Adeptus Mechanicus homeworld of Mars was in a state of rebellion as the Schism of Mars raged across the Red Planet's surface. One of the first Ordinatii to be constructed, the Mars was created during this time to break through the defences of the Traitors holed up in the Forge of Castellum Jericho. The Ordinatus was armed with a massive Sonic Disruptor, which was well-suited for bringing down even the reinforced walls of that Forge city.
- Ordinatus Priam - The Priam was a huge machine equipped with various drilling and digging implements. It was originally designed to travel through a planet's mantle in order to bypass the defences of the city of Priam.
- Ordinatus Gehenna - The Gehenna is equipped with a massive weapon known as the Apocalypse Cannon. This weapon is capable of destroying mountains and punching a hole through a planet's crust to release a cataclysmic upwelling of magma. The Gehenna was fought over during the 13th Black Crusade in 999.M41 by the Forces of Chaos and the Imperium.
- Ordinatus Magentus - The Magentus is equipped with a Sonic Destructor Cannon, similar to the Ordinatus Mars, and is capable of annihilating entire city blocks and even mountain slopes. It was part of the Adeptus Mechanicus contingent during the Imperium's battle against Chaos Space Marines of the Word Bearers Legion on the planet of Tanakreg.
- Unknown Ordinatus - This Ordinatus was either built or transported to the planet Volcanis Ultor by the Dark Mechanicus. It was intended to destroy the Grey Knights before they could manage to breach the Forces of Chaos' defence lines. However, the Ordinatus is destroyed by the wreckage of the Grey Knights Strike Cruiser known as the Rubicon. After the Rubicon was destroyed by the starships defending the planet from space it was intentionally crashed by its Grey Knights crew into the Ordinatus.
Imperial robots are non-sentient, mechanical automatons used for labour and combat. All robots fall under the jurisdiction of an obscure branch of the Adeptus Mechanicus known as the Legio Cybernetica. Three to five robots, plus their attending Tech-adept, are organised into a single unit known as a maniple, which are then combined into a unit known as a cohort comprising less than a hundred maniples. During the Great Crusade and the following Horus Heresy, entire cohorts of robots were used alongside the regiments of the Imperial Army and the Space Marine Legions. On several occasions, robots were made honorary members of a Space Marine Legion or Chapter for their exemplary service in defence of their human masters.The known types of Imperial combat robots include:
- Castellan-class robot - The Castellan is armed with twin Power Fists and a Heavy Bolter.
- Cataphract-class robot - The Cataphract is armed with a Heavy Bolter, arm-mounted Flamers and a back-mounted weapon.
- Colossus-class robot - The Colossus is armed with a Heavy Bolter, arm-mounted Siege Hammers and a back-mounted weapon.
- Conqueror-class robot - The Conqueror is armed with a Power Fist, an arm-mounted Autocannon and a back-mounted Heavy Bolter.
- Crusader-class robot - The Crusader is armed with twin Power Swords and a back-mounted Lascannon.
Titans are gigantic humanoid combat walkers used by the Adeptus Mechanicus' Titan Legions. The smallest Titan, the Warhound-class Scout Titan, stands as a high as a small building while the largest, the Imperator-class Emperor Titan, can stand hundreds of metres high. A single Titan has the ability to level a city and can single-handedly destroy entire armies of lesser foes, for these war engines are essentially walking Battleships. The armament of a Titan is flexible and many weapon combinations are possible. There are four classes of Titan currently in use by the Collegia Titanica of the Mechanicus:
- Warhound-class Titan - The Warhound is the smallest of the Titans, known as a Scout Titan, and is usually used as a scout for the larger classes of Titans ina Battle Group. Warhounds are more animal-like in appearance than their humanoid counterparts and are deployed in small squadrons limited to only two Scout Titans.
- Reaver-class Titan - The Reaver is larger than the Warhound, and is considered a true Battle Titan. The Reaver is the smaller of the two classes of Battle Titans in use by the Imperium and it is the most common type of Titan deployed onto Imperial battlefields.
- Warlord-class Titan - The Warlord is the largest of the Battle Titans deployed by the Imperium. The Warlord is usually the largest Titan many people will ever see in combat, as the only larger type of Titan, the extraordinarily rare Emperor Titans, are no longer constructed by the Mechanicus and are deployed to meet only the most horrific of threats to the God-Emperor's realm.
- Imperator-class Titan - The Emperor Titans are the largest Titans built by the Mechanicus, standing hundreds of metres tall and carrying an entire Imperial fortress into combat on their backs. There are several classes of Emperor Titan in existence but the most common is known as the Imperator-class, from which all Emperor Titans got their designation. These Titans are extremely rare and very few Titan Legions still possess one amongst their ranks. These war machines are considered to be avatars of the Machine God by the Tech-priests of the Cult Mechanicus.
The Imperial Navy controls the use and distribution of both atmospheric aircraft and spacecraft in the Imperium, from the smallest interceptor to the largest Battleships and Cruisers. The following are known aircraft and spacecraft of the Imperial Navy:
The Aquila Lander is a light shuttle typically used by the Imperial Navy as a transport to carry officers and other important persons either from orbit or to another starship.
The Arvus Lighter is a small atmospheric landing craft typically used by the Imperial Navy to transport cargo to and from the surface of a planet to orbit. The Arvus can also be pushed into combat when needed.
The Lightning is used by the Imperial Navy to establish air superiority during a battle due to its increased speed and maneuverability over the Thunderbolt fighter. It can be seen and heard plummeting from orbit or being scrambled from Imperial naval air bases.
The Marauder is the primary bomber used during in-atmosphere planetary bombing raids by the Imperial Navy. It was at one point used also as the primary space bomber of the Imperial Navy, but has been replaced with the heavier Starhawk bomber for all exo-atmospheric bombing runs. The Marauder has several variants that are in use by the Imperium.
- Marauder Destroyer - This variant of the Marauder bomber is equipped with more weapons and is mostly used as a night-attack heavy bomber, this variant was first developed during the Third War for Armageddon in order to combat the Orks who had air superiority.
- Marauder Colossus - This variant of the Marauder was designed as a heavy ordinance bomber capable of destroying heavily fortified structures and strong-points.
- Marauder Vigilant - This non-combat variant of the Marauder Bomber is equipped with sophisticated and powerful surveillance equipment in order to carry out aerial reconnaissance and signal intelligence intercepts on enemy forces.
The Thunderbolt heavy fighter is one of the two main fighter aircraft patterns used by the Imperial Navy, the other of which is the Lightning air superiority fighter. The Thunderbolt is the mainstay weapon system of Imperial Navy fighter wings and is a rugged, well-armed and armoured heavy fighter with all-around capabilities, a good maximum speed and above-average maneuverability, powerful nose-mounted weapons and hard points located on the wings for missile or bomb load-outs. It is an aircraft that is well-liked by those who fly and service it and it has served the cause of the Emperor for many centuries.
The Valkyrie is an Imperial Vertical Takeoff and Landing (VTOL) airborne assault carrier used primarily by the Imperial Guard as both a gunship and a transport for airborne infantry combat units like Storm Trooper Squads and the regiments of the Elysian Drop Troops. The Valkyrie's primary armament is a Multi-Laser or a Lascannon that is mounted just to the side of the cockpit. There are several known variants of the Valkyrie, used for different tasks.
- Valkyrie Sky Talon - This variant of the Valkyrie is used to transport light vehicles intended as heavy support for drop-infantry, such as the Elysian Drop Troops.
- Vendetta - Unlike the Sky Talon variant of the Valkyrie, the Vendetta is heavily armed and is used as a tank hunter. The Vendetta will stay in the drop zone after unleashing its lethal human cargo to act as heavy air support for ground infantry.
The Vulture is a gunship of the Imperial Navy that is capable of vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL). It is used as a heavy air support vehicle for Imperial Guard ground units and the Valkyrie transport. The Vulture is very similar in appearance to the Valkyrie, but pursues a drastically different role on the battlefield. The Vulture is capable of equipping a large variety of weapons and is able to engage both infantry and armoured units, and can effectively attack fortified enemy structures and bunkers.
The Avenger is a strike aircraft of the Imperial Navy that is dedicated to ground attack missions on behalf of the regiments of the Imperial Guard. The Avenger is a dedicated strike fighter, intended to conduct high-speed, low-level attacks on ground targets, with armoured vehicle formations and high-value strategic assets such as munitions dumps forming its principal prey. The Avenger Strike Fighter boasts firepower that exceeds most other Imperial aircraft of its size, and its particular reputation as a tank-killer is due to the potent Avenger Bolt Cannon it carries. A rapid-firing Gatling Bolter weapon, the Avenger Bolt Cannon is known to be a highly effective tank-killer.
The main purpose of the Imperial Navy is the command and control of all forms of Imperial combat spacecraft and capital warships. The Imperium's size alone means the Imperial Navy needs millions or even billions of void-capable spacecraft and starships of every shape and size. The known types and variants of the Imperial Navy's starships and strike craft are as follows:
- Apocalypse-class Battleship
- Oberon-class Battleship
- Firestorm-class Cruiser
- Cobra-class Destroyer
- Castellan-class Shield Ship
- Stalwart-class Escort Ship
- Dominator-class Cruiser
- Goliath-class Factory Ship
- Galaxy-class Troop Transport
- Emperor-class Battleship
- Retribution-class Battleship
- Vengeance-class Grand Cruiser
- Exorcist-class Grand Cruiser
- Avenger-class Grand Cruiser
- Mars-class Battlecruiser
- Overlord-class Battlecruiser
- Armageddon-class Battlecruiser
- Lunar-class Cruiser
- Tyrant-class Cruiser
- Dominator-class Cruiser
- Gothic-class Cruiser
- Dictator-class Cruiser
- Dauntless-class Light Cruiser
- Defiant-class Light Cruiser
- Endeavour-class Light Cruiser
- Endurance-class Light Cruiser
- Sword-class Frigate
- Firestorm-class Frigate
- Falchion-class Destroyer
- Fury Interceptor
- Starhawk Bomber
- Shark Assault Boat
- Fire Ship
- Defence Monitor
The three major Ordos of the Inquisition have three Chambers Militant, including the Ordo Malleus' Grey Knights Space Marine Chapter, the Ordo Xenos' Deathwatch Space Marines, and the Ordo Hereticus, which is partnered with the Sisters of Battle, the Orders Militant of the Adepta Sororitas, though in fact any Inquisitor can requisition any member of the Imperial armed forces at any time (though such demands are phrased as requests to the Adeptus Astartes rather than orders). Many of the vehicles in use by Inquisition forces are simply modified versions of the vehicles used by the Imperial Guard and the Space Marines. Known vehicles of the Inquisition and the Chambers Militant include, but are not limited, to the following:
ChimeraWhile the Chimera is the standard armoured personnel carrier of the Imperial Guard, the Inquisition has their own specially outfitted Chimeras that are used by their Inquisitorial Storm Troopers and other units seconded to their purpose.
Land RaiderThe Land Raider, the heavily-armoured super-heavy main battle tank and personnel transport of the Space Marines, can also be used by the forces of the Inquisition. These vehicles are used to carry large numbers of Inquisitorial Storm Troopers and Deathwatch or Grey Knights Space Marines into battle.
Penitent EngineThe Penitent Engine is a combat walker similar to a Dreadnought fielded by the Ordo Hereticus and Sisters of Battle. The machine itself is a large, semi-humanoid combat walker, with two long arms tipped in buzz saws. The pilot, a repentant zealot of the Imperial Cult or the Adepta Sororitas determined to become a martyr in the fires of battle for whatever real or imagined sins they may have committed, is strapped to the unarmoured front of the war engine. In addition to its cutting implements, the Penitent Engine is also armed with two Flamers attached to each arm. Penitent Engines are an awe-inspiring sight to any who walk into battle alongside it as they are potent reminders of the fate of Heretics. Many times Penitent Engines are used by the Ecclesiarchy as a form of punishment or reward for repentant sinners and criminals, though it is not strictly necessary for the individual in question to have actually committed any true sin against the God-Emperor or His Imperium before they are installed in the machine. The pilot is cybernetically, and painfully, hard-wired into the frame of the engine and is pumped full of drugs and stimulants that drives him or her into a frenzied state in combat. The Penitent is then pointed in the general direction of the enemy and unleashed, whereupon they charge out of control at the nearest enemy, ripping them open with the Penitent Engine's Dreadnought-sized close-combat weapons or incinerating them with its built-in Flamers until either the foe, or more likely, the Penitent, is dead.
RhinoThe Rhino, while best known as a Space Marine armoured personnel transport, can also be used to transport Inquisitors and their retinues on a battlefield. Entire squads of Inquisitorial Storm Troopers can also be transported in a Rhino if its improved armour is needed rather than the standard Chimera.
Sisters of Battle Vehicles
The Sisters of Battle, officially known as the Orders Militant of the Adepta Sororitas, serve as the Chamber Militant of the Inquisition's Ordo Hereticus, who are colloquially better known as the Imperium's Witch Hunters. The Sisters of Battle also serve as the armed forces of the Adeptus Ministorum. They share some of the same vehicles as the Space Marines as well as make use of several vehicles unique to their forces, such as the:
RhinoWhile the Rhino Armoured Personnel Carrier (APC) is the standard transport of the Space Marines, it is also in wide use amongst the Orders Militant of the Adepta Sororitas. Rhinos are fielded as transports for most troops of the Sisters of Battle. These Rhinos are identical to the ones fielded by the Astartes, however, they are usually adorned with the various sigils and iconography preferred by the Sisters of Battle.
ExorcistThe Exorcist is a specialized mobile artillery platform utilised by the Sisters of Battle. The vehicle has a single weapon, the armour-piercing Exorcist Launcher. The Exorcist's main weapon can be shaped like an organ that fires its missiles skyward or as a normal Missile Launcher similar in appearance to the Space Marine Whirlwind vehicle. Exorcists are incapable of being manufactured in the 41st Millennium, and thus they are rare vehicles and are regarded as works of art, as much a symbol of the Emperor's divine justice as a provider of long-range fire support. As the STC data for the Exorcist has been lost by the Mechanicus, fewer and fewer Forge Worlds are capable of conducting repairs and maintaining the Exorcists that remain. As a result, those Exorcists still in service are rather unpredictable in operation.
ImmolatorThe Immolator is a specialised infantry assault transport vehicle used by the Sisters of Battle. It carries small squads of Battle-Sisters into the thick of combat. The Immolator is a simple variant of the Razorback armoured transport commonly used by the Space Marines. Like the Razorback, the Immolator uses the same body as the Rhino armoured personnel carrier and is equipped with a top-mounted weapons system. Like the Razorback, it has half the personnel transport capacity of a Rhino, due to the ammunition for the top weapon taking up cargo space within the hold. The Immolator can be armed with either Twin-linked Heavy Flamers, Twin-linked Multi-meltas, or Twin-linked Heavy Bolters.
The Incarcerator is a specialised, non-combat vehicle occasionally used by the Inquisitors of the Ordo Hereticus and the Sisters of Battle. It is essentially a combination of a holding cell and execution chamber mounted on the chassis of a Rhino armoured transport.
RepressorThe Repressor is a specialised armoured assault transport used primarily by the Sisters of Battle when they need to enter a heavily crowded area. Armed with a Storm Bolter and a Pintle-mounted Heavy Flamer, the Repressor is used for crowd-suppression and general anti-infantry work. In addition, the expanded passenger compartment has six firing slots so that its passengers can fire out from the vehicle with their personal weaponry. The tank is primarily used in an anti-insurgency and mob-suppression role, and is also with outfitted with a front dozer blade for battering through gates and mobs of people.
- White Dwarf 126 (UK), pp. 28-45
- White Dwarf 191 (UK), pp. 48-53
- White Dwarf 104 (UK), pp. 15-31
- White Dwarf 112 (UK), pp. 68-72
- Imperial Armour
- Imperial Armour Update 2006, p. 48
- Imperial Armour Volume One - Imperial Guard and Imperial Navy, p. 284
- Imperial Armour Volume Two - Space Marines and Forces of the Inquisition, p. 54
- Imperial Armour Volume Three - The Taros Campaign
- Imperial Armour Volume Four - The Anphelion Project
- Imperial Armour Volume Five - The Siege of Vraks - Part One
- Imperial Armour Volume Six - The Siege of Vraks - Part Two
- Imperial Armour Volume Seven - The Siege of Vraks - Part Three
- Imperial Armour Apocalypse
- Imperial Armour Apocalypse 2nd Edition
- Imperial Armour Apocalypse II
- Warhammer 40,000: Fire Warrior (PC Game)
- Codex: Daemonhunters (3rd Edition), p. 64
- Codex: Witch Hunters (3rd Edition), p. 64
- White Dwarf293 (UK), pp. 80-81
- Chapter Approved: The Second Book of the Astronomican, p. 128
- White Dwarf 212 (UK), p. 125
- Codex: Imperial Guard (5th Edition)
- Codex: Space Marines (5th Edition)