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A Jackal-class Raider is a Necron starship that has been part of every Necron fleet so far encountered by the Imperium of Man. Necron fleets have always included numbers of smaller ships roughly equivalent to Imperial Escort vessels. Although there have been two instances of such craft operating on their own, this seems to be the exception rather than the rule, and it appears that they are usually very closely controlled by the Tomb Ships or Harvest Ships in their fleet. The Jackal is the slightly larger of the two types of Necron Escort vessels so far encountered, with the other being the Dirge-class Raider.
As with all known Necron vessels, Jackal-class Raiders possess an unknown form of drive technology that allows the ship to undertake interstellar travel without the need to enter the Warp. The Raider's drive technology eliminates the spacecraft's inertia, allowing it travel at extreme speeds and with extreme acceleration, whilst also giving the spacecraft an agility that few other ships can match. In truth, however, the Jackal-class, like all Necron spacecraft, primarily relies upon the use of Dolmen Gates to serve as portals into the Webway, which allows them to cross the vastness of space without resorting to the use of the Warp since the undying Necrons possess no psykers.
- 796.M41 Battle of Adinbur Prime – Jackal-class Raiders ambush the Patrol Group Tiryns near the planet of Adinbur Prime. Luckily for the Imperial contingent, Battlefleet Artemis was nearby and was able to reinforce the beleaguered vessels and repel the assaulters successfully.
- 992.M41 Orphean War – During the Orphean War, numerous Jackals were encountered by Battlefleet Orpheus. Under the command of Kutlakh the World Killer, Phaeron of the Maynarkh Dynasty, they destroyed many times their number in Imperial ships and helped to shatter the combat effectiveness of Battlefleet Orpheus by the time they disengaged.
- 998.M41 Assault on the Noctis Labyrinth – Jackal-class Raiders provided diversionary targets at the edge of the Sol System, unleashing attacks by Imperial defenders in an attempt to repel them. A plea for aid from the Tethrock Quay naval base was the first indicator of the Necron vessels' arrival. The Imperial warship Lux Imperator disappeared and the warship Solar’s Fury was destroyed soon after. These attacks culminated with a suicide rush by five Shroud-class Light Cruisers to Mars itself whenre they landed near the Noctis Labyrinth. It is known to the Inquisition's Ordo Xenos that the Noctis Labyrinth is the legendary home of the being called the Void Dragon, and they fear that the Necron incursion may have been linked to an attempt to awaken this ancient enemy of the Emperor.
Jackal-class Raiders are composed entirely out of Necrodermis, a unique living metal which comprises the undying mechanical bodies of every Necron warrior, vehicle and starship. The material’s regenerative properties and hardy nature means that Raiders are immune to the detrimental effects posed by celestial phenomena such as solar flares, radiation, gas clouds and nebulae, and are also able to repair their armour at a rapid pace during an engagement. However, standard Necron combat protocol dictates that a clean disengagement is preferable to a fight to the end, and Raiders will do this by "fading out," where the vessel in question dematerialises into an unknown extradimensional space; taking it out of the battle. The standard armament of a Jackal-class Raider includes:
- Lightning Arc Batteries – Lightning Arcs use stored solar energy and, when activated, release it as a forest of living energy tendrils which envelop targets and probe for weaknesses. Lightning Arcs act as the main weapon batteries for Necron ships, but are different from the equivalents used by the other starfaring species of the galaxy in that the arcs they fire are able to split up and guide themselves to their own targets, providing a mass-strike ability like no other known ship-based weapon. A Lightning Arc battery is usually able to cover all angles of approach except for the rear.
- Portal – Portals are vast stone gateways located within a Necron warship, and act as extradimensional conduits for boarding enemy vessels. More precise than conventional Imperial Teleporters, they are most commonly used to flood enemy starships with a relentless host of Necron Warriors and swarms of Canoptek Scarabs.
- Battlefleet Gothic Armada, pp. 73-74, 77
- Codex: Necrons (3rd Edition), pg. 11
- Imperial Armour Volume Twelve – The Fall of Orpheus, pp. 51, 56-57