The Storm Eagle is a heavy assault gunship used by the Chapters of the Adeptus Astartes as a heavy air support unit. Storm Eagle gunships will follow a Space Marine Chapter's Thunderhawk gunships and Drop Pods into battle, where it can lend its weapons to a devastating aerial assault. The Storm Eagle mounts an impressive amount of firepower for an aircraft of its size and is also capable of transporting twenty Space Marines directly into the thick of a ground assault.
The Storm Eagle gunship is a design that dates back to the time of the Great Crusade in the late 30th Millennium, where it was deployed alongside the larger and more numerous Stormbird and Thunderhawk designs used by the Space Marine Legions' space and aircraft-fleets. It was a dedicated tactical strike unit and was very heavily armed for its size, but lacked the Space Marine transport capacity of the other patterns of gunships. The Storm Eagle was first constructed on Terra, but as the Great Crusade pushed further and further out into the galaxy, the principal sites of Storm Eagle manufacturing shifted to the Mechanicum Forge Worlds of Tigrus, Galatea, and Anvilus IX, all of which are primary-grade Forge Worlds whose vast industrial output was sufficient to supply all of the Space Marine Legions and the Custodian Guard with large numbers of these dependable aircraft. Unfortunately for the Imperium, all of the aforementioned Forge Worlds suffered catastrophic damage during the Horus Heresy and the Standard Template Construct (STC) pattern for the Storm Eagle was thought to be lost during this tragic period of history, making further manufacture of this gunship impossible for the Imperium after the end of the Heresy in the early 31st Millennium.
Although several Space Marine Chapters have managed to keep a sizable core of Storm Eagles operational down through the centuries, during the later years of the 41st Millennium the number of Storm Eagles in active service has actually begun to increase, especially amongst those Chapters known to have favourable relations with the Adeptus Mechanicus. This has lead some observers to believe that production has been restored at an as yet unknown location.
The Storm Eagle is an assault gunship and is thus heavily armed for its task. In fact, the Storm Eagle is one of the most heavily armed aircraft of its size. The Storm Eagle is equipped with forward hull-mounted twin-linked Heavy Bolters, and a hull-mounted Vengeance Launcher. The forward hull-mounted twin-linked Heavy Bolters can be replaced with twin-linked Multi-Meltas or a single Typhoon Missile Launcher. The Storm Eagle can also carry up to 4 Hellstrike Missiles or Tempest Rockets under its wings. Alternatively, the Storm Eagle can equip two twin-linked Lascannons under its wings. The aircraft can be upgraded with a searchlight that is used to illuminate enemy ground forces and extra armour plating for additional protection from enemy fire. During the Great Crusade and Horus Heresy eras it was also common practice to equip Storm Eagles with an additional layer of ceramite plating, for added protection against enemy fire.
Known Users of the Storm Eagle GunshipEdit
- Adeptus Astartes - The Storm Eagle Gunship is used by several Space Marine Chapters that have favourable relations with the Adeptus Mechanicus.
- Chaos Space Marines - Owing to the ancient provenance of the Storm Eagle’s pattern, a few examples of the gunship, albeit heavily modified to keep them in service, are found in the hands of Chaos Space Marines. The Storm Eagle has been in service to the Traitor Legions since the early days of the Great Crusade, though those examples still in working order have often been corrupted by the Warp, are covered in blasphemous Chaotic iconography and may have had their Machine Spirits (Artificial Intelligence) replaced by a possessing daemon.
- Salamanders Space Marine Chapter - The Salamanders Chapter has very favourable relations with the Adeptus Mechanicus and has been known to make extensive use of the Storm Eagle.
- Iron Hands Space Marine Chapter - The Iron Hands Chapter has very favourable relations with the Adeptus Mechanicus and has been known to make extensive use of the Storm Eagle.
- Charnel Guard - The Charnel Guard Chapter deployed six Storm Eagle Gunships during the campaign on Kaziah's Moon in the Bittershard System.
- Revilers - The Revilers Chapter deployed a single Storm Eagle Gunship during the campaign on Kaziah's Moon in the Bittershard System.
- Space Marine Legions - The Storm Eagle was widely used by all of the Astartes Legions during both the Great Crusade and the Horus Heresy.
- Legio Custodes - The Legio Custodes made use of the Storm Eagle during the Great Crusade and Horus Heresy eras. It is unknown if the Adeptus Custodes still make use of the aircraft in the late 41st Millennium.
Adeptus Mechanicus Technical SpecificationsEdit
|Type||Assault Gunship||Operational Ceiling||N/A|
|Vehicle Name||Storm Eagle||Max Speed||Unknown|
|Forge World of Origin||Tigrus, Anvilus IX||Range||Unknown|
|Known Patterns||Unknown||Main Armament||Nose-Mounted Twin-linked Heavy Bolters|
|Crew||Unknown||Secondary Armament||Hull-mounted Vengeance Launcher|
|Wingspan||Unknown||Superstructure||55 millimetres (approx.)|
|Height||Unknown||Hull||65 millimetres (approx.)|
|Transport Capacity||20 Space Marines or 10 Terminator Marines or Assault Marines||Access Points||2 Side Doors, 1 Front Ramp, 1 Rear Ramp|
- Imperial Armour - The Horus Heresy - Book One: Betrayal, pp. 45, 97, 149, 165, 214-215
- Imperial Armour Aeronatica, p. 28