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Predator

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2drones.gif This article is about the Space Marine Tank, for the Space Marine Chapter see Predator Legion
Predator Tank[2b]

The Predator is a battle tank employed by the Space Marines. It is a more heavily armed and armoured version of the Rhino personnel carrier. There are two major patterns of Predator, the Destructor and the Annihilator, primarily distinguished by their specific weaponry. The Blood Angels and their Successor Chapters employ the assault-oriented Baal Predator.

Construction of Predators remains restricted to a Chapter's Armoury or allied Forge World, with most Chapters fielding between twenty to thirty of all types.[1a] However, some Chapters are known to contain several hundred battle tanks, though that number includes Land Raiders as well.[4]

History

Schematic of a Predator Destructor

The Predator was first fielded during the Dark Age of Technology. During this age the Predator was instrumental in establishing Mankind’s dominance upon an untold number of worlds. It is theorised by those with access to the sealed archives that the Predator template was developed in response to Mankind’s earliest contacts with the Ork race. Where the Rhino had served Mankind well in previous conflicts with lesser races, the brutal, close quarters method of warfare favoured by the newly discovered Orks required different tactics altogether. The Predator was an ideal weapon against the Orks, who had few weapons that could penetrate its upgraded armour, and whose own armour offered no protection whatsoever against the tank’s reliable autocannon and heavy bolter armament.[5]

The Predators originally employed by the Emperor’s forces were only slightly different to those employed today, and it is a testimony to functionality of the original design that it has changed so little over the course of ten thousand years. The first Predators were equipped with a small passenger-carrying capacity, but during the prolonged campaigns of the Great Crusade it became obvious that this meager facility was of less importance than the ability to carry greater amounts of ammunition, especially if the vehicle in question was to be fitted with side sponsons. By the time of the Great Crusade, a great number of Standard Template Constructs had been lost, and it was another five millennia before the template for the Razorback, a vehicle dedicated to the role of infantry fighting vehicle, was discovered. In the meantime, Imperial tactics sacrificed transport capacity for firepower, fielding Predators as light support vehicles alongside the Rhino APC.[5]

Some Tech-Priests claim that one of the more exotic and unusual weapons of the Predator was a Graviton Cannon, though there are no examples of it existing in the M41 and the ability to re-create it remains unknown to this day.[8]

Predator Destructor

Predator Destructor

The Predator Destructor is the original model of Predator battle tanks, with its origins dating back to the Dark Age of Technology. The Predator was built in direct response to the threat of Orks, which were proving difficult for humanity to handle. Its combination of heavier armour and weaponry allowed the Predator to withstand Orkish attacks and easily destroy their vehicles. Soon the Predator became the standard fighting vehicle for all of humanity's armies, and would remain in that position throughout the Great Crusade, where its small troop carrying capacity would be replaced with space for more ammunition.[1a] Eventually, similar to the Rhino it was based off of, the Predator Destructor would be restricted to use by the Space Marines only.[Needs Citation]

Armament

The main turret armament on the common Mars-pattern MarkIV-b Predator Destructor is the Syrtis pattern Autocannon, which is constructed with an automatic ammunition feed, muzzle flash suppressor and discharge extractor. The weapon is aimed by the vehicle commander/gunner through a multi-spectral remote targeting surveyor and accuracy talisman.[1a] It fires explosive ammunition, each round larger than a Space Marine's fist, which easily chew through heavily-armoured infantry and light vehicles.[2a]

The side sponsons can mount a variety of weapon though the most common - either Heavy Bolters for close defense or Lascannons for additional anti-tank firepower. The sponson weapons are remotely controlled from the turret and aimed through similar surveyors.[1a]

Some Tech-Priests speculate that once the main auto-loading ammunition feeds were more efficient and able to cycle rounds at a faster rate than the Predator's systems of M41. Even if it is likely true, the older pattern of autoloader is thought to be long lost, though extant examples are still hidden somewhere and waited for the technology hunters to find them.[8]

Armour

Protection for the Predator Destructor comes from three layers of armouring. The first, a bonded ceramite/adamantine alloy, gives the Predator protection equivalent to five times its width in conventional steel whilst being lighter. This is followed by a reinforcing thermoplas with a mesh of sub-dermal energy dissipation fibre for protection against radiation. The outer layer is a non-metallic acrylic identification sheath. In all, this armour corresponds over the 200mm of 'standard' steel on the front of Predator.[1a]

The defence of the Predator can be additionally reinforced with layers of Extra Armour.[7]

Predator with Extra Armour (Reinforced)

Equipment

Smoke Launchers and a Searchlight are standard options on a Predator Destructor. It may be further upgraded with Dozer Blades, Extra Armour, a Hunter-killer Missile, and a Pintle-mounted Stormbolter.[1f]

Technical Information

Technical Specifications vde
Vehicle Name: Predator Destructor[1a] Main Armament: Autocannon
Forge World of Origin: Mars Secondary Armament: Sponson-mounted Heavy Bolters
Known Patterns: I-XII Traverse: 360°
Crew: Driver, Gunner Elevation: From -15° to 28°
Powerplant: Quad MkII Adaptable Thermic Combustor Reactor Main Ammunition: 120 rounds
Weight: 66 tonnes Secondary Ammunition: 1100 rounds
Length: 6.6m Armour
Width: 6.0m (with sponsons)
Height: 6.6m Superstructure: 65mm
Ground Clearance: 0.44m Hull: 55mm
Max Speed - on road 68kph Gun Mantlet 65mm
Max Speed - off road: 50kph Vehicle Designation: 0120-766-0723-RH812/819
Transport Capacity: None Firing Ports: n/a
Access Points: n/a Turret: 65mm


Named Predator Destructor

Patterns

Dark Angels Mk.IIIc Pattern Predator[1e]

Predator Annihilator

Ultramarines Predator Annihilator

The Predator Annihilator is the second and latter of the two major patterns, though its introduction was not without controversy. According to the Liber Armorum the model did not appear until M36 - when it first appeared during the Skarath Crusade.[1a]

The Adeptus Mechanicus was suitably infuriated at the Space Wolves' blasphemous alteration to a holy STC design, however their success could not be denied. While the Space Wolves continued to field Predator Annihilators, the Tech-priests examined the design, debated its sanctity in councils and ran extensive trials. Two hundred years later, it was found that the modified tank was not only acceptable to the Machine God, but that the Predator was intentionally designed to accept such a retrofit.[1b] The Predator Annihilator has since found its way into the Armouries of many other Space Marine Chapters and therefore seeing increasing use close to it's cousin.[1h]

Armament

In place of the Syrtis pattern Autocannon, the Predator Annihilator mounts twin-linked 'Stormbringer' Lascannons equipped with flash dampeners and focusing rings. Powered by diaquartzoid crystal batteries, each lascannon has a barrel life of 1000 shots before it warps and must be replaced.[1b]

The weapon sponsons can be easily changed by Techmarines even during an active campaign, so the Predator Annihilator can be equipped with either heavy bolter or lascannon sponsons as the battlefield situation dictates, as long as there are alternative weapons available.[1h]

Equipment

Smoke Launchers and a Searchlight are standard options on a Predator Annihilator. It may be further upgraded with Dozer Blades, Extra Armour, a Hunter-killer Missile, and a Pintle-mounted Stormbolter.[1g]

Technical Information

Technical Specifications vde
Vehicle Name: Predator Annihilator[1b] Main Armament: Twin-linked Lascannons
Forge World of Origin: Mars Secondary Armament: Sponson-mounted Heavy Bolters
Known Patterns: II-XIV Traverse: 360°
Crew: Driver, Gunner Elevation: From -15° to 28°
Powerplant: Quad MkII Adaptable Thermic Combustor Reactor Main Ammunition: Unlimited from battery
Weight: 66 tonnes Secondary Ammunition: 1100 rounds
Length: 6.6m Armour
Width: 6.6m (with sponsons)
Height: 6.6m Superstructure: 65mm
Ground Clearance: 0.44m Hull: 55mm
Max Speed - on road 68kph Gun Mantlet 65mm
Max Speed - off road: 50kph Vehicle Designation: 0120-766-0724-PR116
Transport Capacity: None Firing Ports: n/a
Access Points: n/a Turret: 65mm


Named Vehicles

Patterns

Mk.IVc Pattern Predator[6]

Chaos Space Marine Predators

Chaos Predator with twin-linked Lascannons

When they first rebelled against the Emperor, the Traitor Legions took with them their Predator Destructors, many of which still remain operational over 10,000 years later.[3] Though they share some similarities to their Loyalist cousins, many of these once-noble machines have been twisted and warped by the power of Chaos, including outright possession by Daemons.[3] Older patterns of Chaos Predators dating back to the Great Crusade and Horus Heresy are known as Infernal Relic Predators.[Needs Citation]

Related Articles

Sources

Uncited