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A Tau Security Orbital is a type of way station that acts as a stopping off point on long interstellar journeys, and as a formidable defence platform for nearby planets and strategic areas of space. They mark the main routes between Tau Septs and are used as communication relay points. They are operated and maintained by the Air Caste. While most Second and Third phase Septs in the Tau Empire rely on quickly deployed modular way stations and orbitals for their defensive and operational requirements, most primary Septs and a small number of firmly established secondary systems have a quantity of permanently situated Security Orbitals. These Security Orbitals tend to be somewhat stouter than other single-point defences without the complexity or size of full stations.
A typical Tau Security Orbital can be expected to be found armed with Railgun and Ion Cannon batteries able to cover all arcs of fire around them, as well as three to four defensive turrets mounted around their station hull. Security Orbitals are also usually equipped with standard Tau starship shielding, and are fitted with advanced tracking systems similar to those of a Skether'qan (Messenger)-class Starship. As Security Orbitals are designed as fixed defensive platforms, they have no form of self-propulsion system.
- Battlefleet Gothic 2010 Compendium, pg. 166
- Imperial Armour Volume Three - The Taros Campaign pg. 216