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Rhino

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Dark Angels MkIIc Mars-Pattern Rhino APC in action

The Rhino is a common armoured troop transport produced by the Imperium. Its use is entrusted to only the most loyal of soldiers: the Space Marines, Sisters of Battle, Adeptus Arbites and the Inquisition.[2b]

The Rhino is also used by the Chaos Space Marines, who either took their Rhinos with them after the Horus Heresy, or have stolen them in the millennia since then.[3]

The Rhino's versatile design has allowed the development (mostly through the rediscovery of STC designs) of several variants, each fulfilling a different tactical role. Popular variants are the Razorback, Predator, Whirlwind and Immolator.[2b]

History

Origins

The Rhino has been in service throughout the history of the Imperium. As a Standard Template Construct vehicle, the Rhino dates back to the distant time of Mankind's initial colonisation of the galaxy.[1] Originally named "RH-1-N-0 Tracked Exploration and Multi-Purpose Defense Vehicle," it was used to explore newly colonised worlds. First field-tested on Mars, the "Rhino," as it came to be known, was a success, thanks to its extreme dependability, ability to run on any semi-combustible fuel source, and the fact that it can be produced from any locally available material, thus it is a simple and extremely adaptable vehicle.[2b]

Military employment

Ultramarines Rhino MkIIc

The military value of such a vehicle was soon recognised, and soon each planet in the burgeoning human empire had its own customised versions of the Rhino, fitted with tons of varying weapons.[2b]

According to the ancient Liber Armorum the earliest evidence of the Rhino in combat was at Torben's World in battle against the indigenous alien population.[2b] During the attack, three hundred Rhinos were deployed to the largest alien city. The speed of the assault meant the xenos had no idea of the coming of the humans and had not prepared any defences. The Rhinos poured their firepower into the flimsy structures and then deployed nearly three thousand warriors. The city was destroyed and, with the alien presence removed, the colonisation proceeded easily. The news of this victory spread and the use of the Rhino was adopted more and more by other planets and local colonies.[Needs Citation]

As the empire expanded, more aliens were encountered, and the STC system gave a forward army access to advanced vehicles such as the Predator, Immolator and Whirlwind.[2b] Unfortunately, during the Age of Strife, the STC systems were lost, and all the planets of the empire were affected.[Needs Citation]

The Rhino in the 41st Millennium

With the loss of the STC systems, the ability to construct Rhinos was also temporarily lost, leading to many Rhinos becoming holy relics, thousands of years old. Eventually the rediscovery of STC printouts (hard copy blueprints and information on their construction) by the Adeptus Mechanicus allowing the construction of Rhinos to resume. [2b]

In the early Imperium, the Rhino was a far more ubiquitous vehicle, employed by most Imperial military forces. Since then, knowledge has faded, and the employment of the Rhino has become limited to the Space Marines and a few other Imperial organisations. Not to mention all the advanced weapons humanity was once able to construct.[1]

It is known that when manufacturing the Rhino APC, Tech-Priests carry out a wide variety of rituals, peculiar blessing as it is tend to vehicles of any kind. This process is followed by predictions and omens, during which they investigate the properties of Machine Spirits of each individual machine. As a result Rhino can be earmarked as the primary Rhino, or become the Predator Annihilator, Razorback or Vindicator. Then the vehicle is returned to the forges to be completed.[2a]

Now, only the Adeptus Mechanicus possess the knowledge to build a Rhino (although a Rhino could easily be built on virtually any world in the Imperium if it possessed a copy of the Rhino design schemes). Each Rhino is purified and blessed, each piece appeased before being put in place. Should a Rhino be lost in battle, it will be salvaged and repaired if possible, being sent back out into the field to give the Machine Spirit a chance for retribution against its enemies.[2b]

Design

Legio Custodes Rhino MkIIc, interior detail

At its most basic level the Mars-Pattern Rhino MkIIC is an armoured personnel carrier with large tracks designed to cope with any terrain and protect its passengers from harm. It is such a basic design, able to be constructed from almost any material and be powered by any semi-combustible material, that little has changed throughout its 10,000 year history.[2b] Such is its resiliency that damage sustained in battle can often be repaired in the field by the crew themselves.[1]

Armament

The Rhino is primarily armed with a Storm Bolter for close defense, which is remotely operated by the driver. It can also be equipped with a second pintle-mounted Storm Bolter, which can be fired by a passenger from the top hatch.[2b]

Armour

The most common form of armouring is a bonded ceramite layer over a cast plasteel hull. However, other materials have been known to be used instead, from composite carbon compounds to conventional hardened steel, adamantium or even special riveted plates.[2b]

Rhino MkIIc

Engine

The Rhino is powered by four MkII Mars-pattern adaptable thermic combustor reactor engines. The engines are fed by a fan-assisted air intake and each one is hooked into a dynamo, which in turn is connected via power coupling to two electric motors, which power the vehicle's batteries. Each engine also has its own fuel tank and air supply to use if necessary (i.e. fighting in toxic atmospheres or vacuum). This level of redundancy means that, should one engine be disabled, power reduction is minimal; if both engines on one side are lost, the remaining two can still power the drive wheels through an auxiliary drive shaft and locking differential, though the Rhino's speed will be cut in half. Should all four engines be destroyed, electrical energy stored in the vehicle's batteries, recharged by the electric motors, can be used to continue operation for a short period of time.[2b] In addition, most Rhinos include rudimentary self-repair systems able to restore motive and drive functions. This basic design feature lends towards the Rhino's reputation as a rugged carrier, able to keep moving after suffering damage that would cripple lesser vehicles.[1]

Equipment

Each Rhino comes equipped with a Searchlight and Smoke Launchers, and can be further upgraded with Dozer Blades, a Hunter-killer Missile and Extra Armour.[1]

Transport capacity

The capacity of a Rhino is ten Power Armoured warriors, although it is not equipped to handle Terminator Armour or Jump Pack-equipped Space Marines. Two side hatches and a rear ramp allow for quick exits, while a fourth top hatch allows two passengers to fire from the Rhino, in addition to serving as an emergency escape hatch.[2b]

Technical Information

Technical Specifications vde
Vehicle Name: Rhino Armoured Personnel Carrier[2b] Main Armament: Storm Bolter
Forge World of Origin: Mars Secondary Armament: N/A
Known Patterns: I-XXXV Traverse: 360°
Crew: Driver Elevation: From -65° to +45°
Powerplant: Quad MkII Adaptable Thermic Combustor Reactor Main Ammunition: 800 rounds
Weight: 30.0 tonnes Secondary Ammunition: N/A
Length: 6.6m Armour
Width: 4.5m
Height: 3.6m Superstructure: 60mm
Ground Clearance: 0.44m Hull: 60mm
Max Speed - on road 70kph Gun Mantlet N/A
Max Speed - off road: 55kph Vehicle Designation: 0120-766-0724-PR113
Transport Capacity: 10 Firing Ports: 1
Access Points: 3 Turret: N/A


Chaos Rhinos

Chaos Rhinos are Rhino vehicles in the service of Chaos Space Marines. Serving as their most common vehicle, over the ten thousand years since the Long War began, Chaos Marines have continued to use the robust Rhino as their favored main transport. Chaos forces are known to loot and confiscate Rhinos from Imperial armies, though they quickly burn them clean of Imperial insignia and replace them with spikes, blades, and gory trophies. In some cases these rhinos may even be outright possessed by a bound daemon, nullifying the need for a crew.[6]

Older Designs

The oldest surviving Rhino pattern is the MkIb, which was produced in such numbers that many surviving examples still exist. However, these machines are considered past their prime and no longer constructed, though they are still used with honour and respect. Compared to the current MkIIc pattern, the MkI's drive and engine system is less robust, lacking the same redundancy system. However it has a slightly higher top speed, load-bearing capacity, and requires less maintenance time.[2b] The MkIC Deimos Pattern Rhino was the mainstay of the Legiones Astartes during the Great Crusade and Horus Heresy.[5]

The modern Mars Pattern Rhino also saw use during the Great Crusade, thought not at the levels seen with the Deimos pattern. The Mars Pattern Rhino was more easily reproduced, but had inferior environmental and secondary systems.[7]

Rhino MkI Pattern
Ultramarines MkI Pattern Rhino
MkIC Deimos-Pattern Rhino[5]

Known Variants

Space Marines

Adepta Sororitas

Other

Named vehicles

Related Articles

All Miniatures

Sources

Uncited