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"Make the Predator's virtues your own. Let your resolve become as impervious as the Predator's armoured hull, and let your rage strike with the righteous fury of its guns. As it crushes the foe beneaths its remorseless advance, so shall you smite the traitor and alien without hesitation or regret. Know that to take the field alongside a Predator is to fight as the side of one of Mankind's most honoured guardians. To strive with less than your all beneaths its iron gaze is to dishonour yourself and your battle-brothers before one of Mankind's greatest heroes."
—From the teachings of Roboute Guilliman, as laid down in the Apocrypha of Skaros
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A Predator Destructor of the Raven Guard Chapter during battle

The Predator Destructor, usually referred to simply as the Predator, is the most common main battle tank employed by the Space Marines of the Imperium of Man and the Traitor Legions of the Chaos Space Marines. It is a more heavily armed and armoured version of the Rhino armoured personnel carrier. The Predator Destructor is the most common variant of the Predator used by the Space Marines, and its long-barelled Syrtis Pattern Autocannon main armament makes it most effective in an anti-infantry role.

All Rhino and Predator variants are based off of designs originally created during the Dark Age of Technology, using Standard Template Construct (STC) database designs. The tanks can be constructed on Forge Worlds of the Adeptus Mechanicus or in a Space Marine Chapter's own forges, and afterwards they are sent to the Chapter's Armoury until they are needed. A Space Marine Chapter will usually maintain around 20 to 30 Predators of all types at a time. The Master of the Forge is responsible for all the vehicles of a Chapter, and upon request will issue these vehicles where and to whom they are needed.

Space Marine battle tanks are not permanently attached to any one company. Instead they form a vehicle pool, and individual tanks are available for deployment to Space Marine commanders as required. Upon its creation, a Space Marine battle tank is assigned a name that reflects its role as a protector of the Chapter's brethren. From that point onwards, the vehicle is as much a part of the Chapter as the Space Marines themselves, and over the years its many deeds and victories will be celebrated as greatly as the Chapter's flesh and blood heroes.

History

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A Predator Destructor destroyed by Orks

The Predator Destructor, and the other Predator variants, first saw service during the Dark Age of Technology where they served as the main battle tank of all of Mankind's forces. The Predator variant of the Rhino was first developed when Mankind encountered a violent and warlike breed of xenos, who would later be identified as the Orks. The forces of Mankind were having great difficulty combatting the Ork's reckless attacks and headlong charges, and thus the Predator tank was developed with thick armour and powerful weapons that allowed it to resist the attacks of most Ork weapons. The original Predator designs were constructed with a small amount of troop-carrying capacity, but during the years of the Emperor's Great Crusade in the late 30th and early 31st Millennium this transport capacity was gradually replaced with more storage space for ammunition, especially if the Predator was equipped with sponson-mounted weapons. This practise eventually became the standard and all Predators are equipped with sponson-mounted weapons at present.

Notable Features

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A Predator Destructor wading through deep water

The Predator tank features a special armoured chassis consisting of three different layers of protection. The inner layer provides the main defence for the vehicle and is constructed of bonded Ceramite and Adamantium alloys which provides protection that is over five times greater than conventional steel, yet is much lighter. The second, center layer is made of reinforcing Thermoplas containing a sub-dermal energy dissipation fibre mesh which protects against extremes of heat, cold, and radioactivity. The third, outer layer consists of a non-magnetic acrylic identification sheath that helps the vehicle keep hidden from enemy scanners. Like all variants of the Rhino armoured personnel carrier, the Predator is capable of crossing deep water, but is not truly amphibious.

Armament

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A Predator Destructor near a Warhound-class Titan

The Mars Pattern Mark IVb Predator Destructor is the most common of all the Predator types in use by the Adeptus Astartes today. The Destructor Pattern is armed with a turret-mounted "Syrtis" Pattern Autocannon, featuring an automated ammunition feeder, muzzle flash suppressor, and discharge extractor. The weapon is slave-linked to a multi-spectral remote targeting surveyor and accuracy talisman that is controlled by the vehicle's commander, who is also the vehicle's gunner. During the Great Crusade, the Predator sacrificed its small troop carrying capacity in exchange for more ammunition storage, as many Predators were being equipped with sponson-mounted weapons. This practise became standard and now all Predators are equipped with sponson-mounted weapons, which are usually Heavy Bolters or Lascannons. The sponson-mounted weapons are controlled remotely by the tank commander from the turret using a multi-spectral targeting surveyor that is protected from enemy fire by an armoured cowling. The sponson-mounts are able to be equipped with a variety of weapons, with Heavy Bolters and Lascannons being the most common. All variants of the Predator can also be outfitted with a Dozer Blade, Extra Armour Plating, a Hunter-Killer Missile Launcher, improved communications equipment, a Pintle-mounted Storm Bolter, a Searchlight, and Smoke Launchers.

A standard Predator Destructor is armed and equipped with:

A Predator Destructor may take the following weapons:

Predator Destructors may also have a variety of vehicle equipment such as:

Known Formations

  • Predator Assassin Squadron - A Predator Assassin Squadron is a formation that consists of between three and five Predator Destructor or Predator Annihilator tanks. These squadrons are tasked and outfitted with the optimum weapons configuration for the destruction of a preordained target. These formations are usually tasked with the destruction of a single enemy target above all others, and the crew of these vehicles would rather die than see their quarry escape their tank's wrath.

Unit Composition

  • 1-3 Predator Destructors

Patterns

  • Skarath Pattern, Mark IId - An older variant based on the Mark I Rhino chassis. It possesses a distinctive square turret mounted on the forward hull as opposed to the centre.
  • Phaeton Pattern, Mark IIIb/c - An older variant which is very similar to the Mark IId, which is also based on a Mark I Rhino chassis with a distinctive square turret mounted on the forward hull as opposed to the center.
  • Mars Pattern Mark IVb - Most common pattern of Predator Destructor. This type of Predator mounts twin-linked "Stormbringer" Lascannons, with flash dampeners and focussing rings, powered by diaquartzoid crystal batteries for maximum efficiency. Additional features include self-sealing hatches to protect against hostile environments, narrow-band long range communications array, spinal implant interfaces and umbilical pick-ups which allow the Space Marine crew to plug into the vehicle's systems through their Power Armour.
  • Mark IVc Pattern
  • Baal Pattern Predator - The Baal Predator is a specialised variant of the standard Space Marine Predator Destructor main battle tank, used exclusively by the Blood Angels Space Marine Chapter and their Successor Chapters. It is so named after the Blood Angels' Chapter homeworld of Baal. This variant of the standard Predator replaces the vehicle's Autocannon with twin-linked Assault Cannons. The Baal Predator is also faster and more maneuverable than the standard Predator variant. The Baal Predator's Standard Template Construct design was not approved by the Adeptus Mechanicus, and thus its use by Space Marine Chapters that are not the Blood Angels or their Successor Chapters is limited.
  • Deimos Pattern Predator - The Deimos Predator is one of the oldest variants of the standard Predator Destructor main battle tank used by the Adeptus Astartes of the late 41st Millennium. The Deimos Predator is an ancient and revered design that dates back to the time of the Great Crusade. The Deimos Predator differs from other Predator variants in that its turret and sponson-mounts are elegantly curved to the point that they are almost circular and the tank makes use of more advanced internal systems and support for technologies now lost to the Imperium. Each and every Deimos Predator was Artificer-crafted by the finest machine-wrights of the great forge-complexes of Mars.

Variants

There are several variants of the basic Predator Destructor design in use by the Space Marines, usually equipped with different weapons and equipment. The three major variants are as follows:

Notable Users of the Predator Destructor

Notable Deployments of the Predator Destructor

Chaos Predators

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A Predator Destructor of the Iron Warriors Traitor Legion

The Predator Destructor tank has been the iron fist of the Traitor Legions since the days of the Horus Heresy, and it is the most common Predator variant used by the Chaos Space Marines. The Forces of Chaos have used Predator tanks in every conceivable theatre of war, from the civil wars that broke out between the Traitor Legions following the attempted cloning of Horus to the Black Crusades of Abaddon the Despoiler. The Predator is used by all of the Traitor Legions, and all Renegade Space Marine Chapters that have turned against the Imperium. There are rumours of Predator Tanks within the arsenals of the Forces of Chaos that are controlled by the daemonic entities of the Warp itself, and thus lack a crew. These tanks are marked with the fell iconography of the Chaos Gods, and feature special weapons such as toxic sprayers and Sonic Weapons.

The Predator Destructor is more common amongst the ancient Traitor Legions than it is in the newer Renegade Chaos Space Marine forces that have defected from the Imperium in later times. There are many Predators being produced every day within the Eye of Terror on Chaos War Worlds and corrupted Dark Mechanicus Forge Worlds. Many smaller Chaos Space Marine warbands will scour battlefields in order to find and recover battlefield wreckage, and thus are able to add to the number of Predators and other vehicles they have at their service. The Forces of Chaos deeply enjoy looting and corrupting Imperial vehicles, and since Predators are easy to repair, they are favoured prizes. The Predators under the control of Chaos Space Marine warbands are usually armed with either the standard Predator Autocannon or a set of twin-linked Lascannons. They can also be armed with pintle-mounted twin-linked Bolters (including Combi-Bolters) or other Combi-Weapons, and sponson-mounted Heavy Bolters or Lascannons. Predators in use by Chaos and Renegade Astartes warbands that have recently betrayed the Imperium, or recently captured Imperial Predators, may be armed instead with a Storm Bolter or even a Hunter-Killer Missile Launcher. They can also be armed with a Havoc Missile Launcher, an ancient weapon system that has long fallen out of use in the Imperium. Chaos Predators can also be equipped with destroyer blades, Dirge Casters, dozer blades, extra armour plating, Chaos Icons or Marks, or Warpflame Gargoyles.

The main battle tank of the ancient Legiones Astartes, the Predator is such a versatile war machine that it can thrive in almost any theatre of war. It can be fitted with different weapon loadouts, allowing for anti-armour operations, anti-infantry firepower, or a mixed role depending on the enemy force's disposition. By sacrificing all troop-carrying capacity, the frontal chassis of the Predator can be reinforced, giving it far greater resilience than its personnel-carrier counterpart.

In a typical assault, Chaos Predators are used to provide fast-moving fire support. Capable of laying down punishingly accurate salvoes of firepower, the main battle tank is used to eliminate enemy armour, pave the way for an infantry assault, or throw back enemy squads that attempt to counterattack. When organised into squadrons, these tanks can change the course of a battle with a coordinated bombardment.

Frequently, the Predators used by the Chaos Space Marines have been in active service for longer than those who march alongside them. They have become embellished with horrific decorations, ragged pennants, leering gargoyles, beast-headed gun muzzles and icons of Chaos, making them as much a statement of their owners' hatred of the Imperium as weapons of war.

Adeptus Mechanicus Technical Specifications

Predator Destructor
Vehicle Name: Predator Destructor Main Armament: Turret-mounted Autocannon
Forge World of Origin: Mars Secondary Armament: Sponson-mounted Heavy Bolters
Known Patterns: I - XII Traverse: 360 degrees
Crew: 1 Driver, 1 Gunner Elevation: -15 to 28 degrees
Powerplant: Quad Mark II Adaptable Thermic Combustor Reactor Main Ammunition: 120 Rounds
Weight: 44 Tonnes Secondary Ammunition: 1100 Rounds
Length: 6.6 metres Armour:
Width: 6.0 metres with sponsons
Height: 4.4 metres Superstructure: 65 millimetres
Ground Clearance: 0.44 metres Hull: 55 millimetres
Max Speed On-Road: 68 kilometres per hour Gun Mantlet: 65 millimetres
Max Speed Off-Road: 50 kilometres per hour Vehicle Designation: 0120-766-0723-RH 812/819
Transport Capacity: N/A Firing Ports: N/A
Access Points: N/A Turret: N/A

Also See

Sources

  • Codex Adeptus Astartes - Space Marines (8th Edition), pp. 88-89, 176
  • Codex: Blood Angels (3rd Edition), pg. 9
  • Codex: Blood Angels (4th Edition), pg. 11
  • Codex: Blood Angels (5th Edition), pp. 35-36
  • Codex: Black Templars (4th Edition), pp. 40-41
  • Codex: Dark Angels (4th Edition), pg. 86
  • Codex: Dark Angels (6th Edition), pp. 39, 78, 103
  • Codex: Space Wolves (5th Edition), pg. 41
  • Codex: Space Marines (3rd Edition), pg. 14
  • Codex: Space Marines (4th Edition), pp. 38-39
  • Codex: Space Marines (5th Edition), pg. 78
  • Codex: Space Marines (6th Edition), pp. 100-101, 176
  • Codex: Space Marines (7th Edition)
  • Codex: Chaos Space Marines (3rd Edition, 1st Codex), pg. 18
  • Codex: Chaos Space Marines (3rd Edition, 2nd Codex), pg. 34
  • Codex: Chaos Space Marines (4th Edition), pp. 42, 96
  • Codex: Chaos Space Marines (6th Edition), pp. 54, 99
  • Codex Heretic Astartes - Chaos Space Marines (8th Edition), pp. 70, 146
  • Codex: Ultramarines (2nd Edition), pg. 69
  • Warhammer 40,000: Apocalypse (6th Edition) (Digital Edition), pp. 161, 166
  • Warhammer 40,000: Index Astartes - Predators (Digital Edition)
  • Imperial Armour Volume Two - Space Marines and Forces of the Inquisition, pp. 26-38, 42-44
  • Imperial Armour Volume Two, Second Edition - Warmachines of the Adeptus Astartes, pp. 61-67
  • Imperial Armour Volume Three - The Taros Campaign, pp. 23, 54, 122, 131
  • Imperial Armour Volume Five - The Siege of Vraks - Part One, pg. 64,
  • Imperial Armour Volume Six - The Siege of Vraks - Part Two, pp. 57, 86, 128, 173-175
  • Imperial Armour Volume Seven - The Siege of Vraks - Part Three, pp. 33, 38, 58
  • Imperial Armour Volume Eight - The Raid on Kastorel-Novem, pp. 59, 66, 201
  • Imperial Armour Volume Nine - The Badab War - Part One, pp. 96, 114, 122
  • Imperial Armour Volume Ten - The Badab War - Part Two, pp. 26-27, 93, 103, 158-163
  • Imperial Armour Volume Eleven - The Doom of Mymeara, pg. 54
  • Imperial Armour Volume Thirteen - War Machines of the Lost & The Damned by Andy Hoare with additional material by Alan Bligh & Neil Wylie, pp. 28-29
  • Insignium Astartes, pg. 48
  • Angel Exterminatus (Novel) by Graham McNeill, pp. 382, 389

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