The Vulture is a gunship of the Imperial Navy's Aeronautica Imperialis that is capable of vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL). It is used to provide heavy air support for Astra Militarum ground units and the Valkyrie transport. The Vulture is very similar in appearance to the Valkyrie, but with a drastically different role on the battlefield. The Vulture is capable of carrying a large variety of weapons and is able to engage both infantry and armoured units, and is also able to effectively attack fortified enemy structures and bunkers.
The Vulture is an attack gunship, and its main role is the support of Valkyrie assault carriers while in flight and while their Imperial Guard troops are disembarking. The Vulture will often stay at the drop zone after the Valkyries have left in order to provide heavy air support to the infantry on the ground. Regiments of the Imperial Guard like the Elysian Drop Troops make heavy use of Vultures as they are often deployed into hostile territory without heavy armour or artillery support. Like all Imperial aircraft, the Vulture is crewed and operated by members of the Imperial Navy's Aeronautica Imperialis, though it is always used in support of Imperial Guard forces. The Vulture is not used as an air superiority fighter due to its slow air speed. That is a role better left to the Aeronautica Imperialis' Lightning and Thunderbolt aerospace fighters. The Vulture, like the Valkyrie, is also unable to operate in the vacuum of space and thus cannot be used in space superiority or orbital assault actions.
The Vulture can be armed with a vast amount of weaponry and various upgrades and modifications. The default armament of a Vulture consists of a nose-mounted Heavy Bolter, Twin-linked Multi-Lasers, and 2 Hellstrike Missiles. The aircraft has two weapon hard-points on each of its wings, and can equip two different weapon systems which are linked to their counterpart on the opposite side of the aircraft.
The inner hard-point, closest to the center of the aircraft, is capable of exchanging the Twin-linked Multi-Laser for external fuel tanks that will extend the aircraft's operational time and range. Twin-linked Lascannons can be attached for increased anti-armour firepower as well as Twin-linked Missile Launchers with either Frag or Krak warheads, Twin-linked Autocannons, or Twin-linked Rocket Pods.
The outer weapon hard-point is capable of exchanging the Hellstrike Missiles for external fuel tanks, 2 Bomb Racks with up to 3 bombs each, 2 Heavy Smart Bomb Racks, with up to 3 Heavy Smart Bombs on each, 2 Missile Racks with 3 Hunter-Killer Missiles per rack, 2 Hellfury Missiles, or 2 Multiple Rocket Pods. Both wing hard-points can be used for a single Twin-linked Punisher Gatling Cannon on each wing. The Vulture can also be equipped with ejector seats, flare or chaff launchers, a more heavily armoured cockpit, a Searchlight, Extra Armour Plating, an infra-red targeting system, and illumination flares.
Notable Users of the VultureEdit
- 81st Imperial Navy Tactical Wing - The 81st Tactical Wing fought against Tau forces on Dolumar IV.
- 15th Elysian Drop Troop Regiment - The 15th Elysian used Vulture gunships during the Yarant II Campaign.
- 64th Elysian Drop Troops Regiment - The 64th Elysian used Vulture gunships during the fifth ill-fated Ymgarl Insertion.
- 2nd Imperial Navy Tactical Wing - The 2nd Tactical Wing made extensive use of Vultures during the Defence of Cadia in the midst of the 13th Black Crusade in 999.M41.
- 9th Elysian Drop Troop Regiment - The 9th Elysian used Vulture gunships against the bio-forms of Hive Fleet Kraken on Veridian Prime.
- 33rd Imperial Navy Tactical Wing - The 33rd Tactical Wing which uses Vultures was a part of the Planetary Defence Forces that defended Betalis IV.
- 23rd Elysian Drop Troop Regiment - The 23rd Elysian used Vultures against the Tau during the Taros Campaign.
- 226th Elysian Drop Troop Regiment - The 226th Elysian used their Vultures to great effect against the Eldar of Craftworld Mymeara on Betalis III.
Adeptus Mechanicus Technical SpecificationsEdit
|Type||Attack Gunship||Operational Ceiling||11,000 Metres|
|Vehicle Name||Vulture||Max Speed||1100 kilometres per hour|
|Forge World of Origin||Mars, Voss, Artemia, Estaban VII, Agripinaa, Phaeton, Lucius||Range||2000 kilometres in atmosphere|
|I - X||Main Armament||Nose-Mounted Heavy Bolter|
1 Pilot, 1 Weapon Operator
|Secondary Armament||4 Wing Hard-points|
|Powerplant||1 x F200-KW4 Afterburing Vector Turbojet||Main Ammunition||200 Rounds|
|Weight||9.0 Tonnes||Secondary Ammunition||Varies by weapons equipped|
|Wingspan||14.2 Metres||Superstructure||75 millimetres|
- Imperial Armour: Apocalypse, pg. 40
- Imperial Armour: Apocalypse II, pg. 24
- Imperial Armour Volume One - Imperial Guard & Imperial Navy, pg. 249-254
- Imperial Armour Volume One - Imperial Guard (Second Edition), pg. 260
- Imperial Armour Volume Three - The Taros Campaign, pg. 279
- Imperial Armour Volume Eight - Raid On Kastorel-Novem
- Imperial Armour Volume Eleven - The Doom of Mymeara
- Imperial Armour Volume Twelve - The Fall of Orpheus, pg. 207
- Imperial Armour Aeronautica, pg. 14-15
- Aeronautica Imperialis (Rulebook), pg. 22