The Stingray missile gunship is a Tau vehicle that serves as a potent ranged anti-infantry weapon. The vehicle was developed to break up the waves of Orks rampaging through the Tau region of space in the wake of the Damocles Gulf Crusade. A single large warhead, similar to the simple shell used by Imperial Earthshaker Cannons, was first considered by the Tau as a possible solution to the problem of dealing with massed infantry assaults. However, this was determined to be less effective than a modified Seeker Missile, with a large number of Smart Missiles loaded into the payload bay. The resulting weapon was first fielded on modified Sky Ray air defence tanks. The first field tests proved promising, but revealed shortcomings in the vehicles used for the test. First among these was the sheer size of the new missile, which made the carrier vehicle extremely dependent upon resupply during extended combat. A new turret was then developed that could carry more missiles, but this required changes to the basic hull such as the reduction of protective armour plating to allow the unit to keep up with Devilfish and Hammerhead formations. This new version of the vehicle that would become the Stingray was significantly less dependent on resupply during battle, and the larger turret allowed refinements to the missile itself, increasing the number of Smart Missile submunitions.
A Stingray missile gunship is outfitted with a number of Submunition Missiles mounted on its turret. Each of these missiles contains a number of Smart Missile submunitions built into the warhead. When a Submunition Missile detonates, these Smart Missiles scatter over a wide area and individually search for and home in on targets using basic Drone intelligences. A Stingray is also armed with a Smart Missile System for basic self-defence, and can be fitted with several normal Seeker Missiles to provide long-range fire support against targets designated with a Marker Light.
Ordo Xenos Departmento Analyticus Technical Specifications Edit
Technical specifications for this Tau vehicle are not yet available from the Ordo Xenos.
- Epic Armageddon – Tau Army List Version 4.4, pg. 11