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Cyclonic torpedo

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Exterminatus being performed on a planet using Cyclonic Torpedoes

Cyclonic Torpedoes are a category of Torpedo utilized by the Imperium for orbital bombardment of a planet once Exterminatus has been invoked. A wide variety of weapons fit the definition of cyclonic torpedoes, and employ varying means of scouring the world's surface, from nucleonic fire to raw plasma.[1] Whatever their method of destruction, the effect of cyclonic torpedoes is the same: the complete destruction of all life on the planet, its atmosphere burned away in a storm of fire and its oceans boiled to vapour, leaving it a barren rock.[2]

The only factions within the Imperium known to have these weapons are the Inquisition and the Adeptus Astartes, though the Inquisition is the only power with the authority to order an Exterimatus.[Needs Citation] Edit note: This last point is debatable. For example, Gabriel Angelos of the Blood Ravens declared Exterminatus on his homeworld of Cyrene, and Chapter Masters of the Space Marines are said to also be able to do so. What this should probably say is that the Inquisition is the only power with the authority to order Exterminatus with no restrictions, as their authority is absolute.

Two-stage torpedoes are a more exotic version of the cyclonic torpedo. Though the warhead is still the same, the delivery system is radically different. Instead of exploding on impact, this device will burrow though a planet's surface with a Melta charge, and detonate at the core. This will destabilize a planet, and will shatter that world in many cases. They are used against worlds that are devoid of atmosphere or biological life, such as Necron Tomb worlds.[Needs Citation]