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Drop Pod

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Ultramarines Deathstorm pattern Drop Pods with Assault Cannons.
Space Wolf Drop Pods entering the atmosphere.

Drop Pods are transports used primarily by Space Marines and Chaos Marines for orbital insertion and one-way rides.

Space Marines

Adeptus Astartes use Drop pod since the time of Great Crusade.[1] The Drop Pods of the Adeptus Astartes look and work similarly to a ship's Life Pod and can carry either twelve normal Marines, a single Dreadnought or a single Thunderfire Cannon.[4] They are launched from a Strike Cruiser or Battle Barge[1] in low orbit towards the drop zone, usually amidst or near a battlefield.[3] Once launched, they plummet through the atmosphere until retro jets fire to slow their descent.[4] A machine spirit guides the Pod to its destination and can receive further commands from the mother ship. Although the Pods become immobile after having landed they can be recovered by the Chapter's Techmarines and reused.[1][2a][6a] For the Drop Pods extraction usually used far larger vessels that not intended to operating in the war zones. After that they are transported to the ships that deployed them, repaired if needed and used in the next battle, so many Drop Pods have been in service for centuries. Some Space Marines Chapters inscribe records of each drops onto the interior bulkheads of their Drop Pods, so other brothers can read them and take heart in the insuing battles.[12]

Standard Drop-Pods are most frequently armed with an array of either Storm Bolters or Deathwind Missile Launchers.[4]

There are also cargo-carrying pods that deliver a much needed ammunition to fighting troops even in the heat of battle.[12]

Deathstorm Drop Pod

Deathstorm Drop Pod with missiles launchers[10]

Deathstorm Drop Pods[7] (another name - Deathwind Drop Pods)[1] are a variant pattern that don't carry troops but have weapon systems installed to strafe the enemy with high levels of fire once they have landed and opened. They can be armed with either Whirlwind Launchers or Assault Cannons.[7]

Lucius Pattern Dreadnought Drop Pod

Lucius Pattern Drop Pods are heavier and larger than the standard drop pods used by the Adeptus Astartes and possess a more powerful engine. While lacking many of the internal support systems and armament, it nonetheless allows a single Dreadnought to be deployed into the battle with minimal delay. The stresses involved in the drop however are such that only the heavily armored shell of a Dreadnought could hope to survive the impact without being pulverized. Lucius-Pattern Dreadnought Drop Pods are tithed directly to various Space Marine Chapters which have treaties with the Forge World of Lucius. These vehicles are prized due to the high attrition rate they suffer in battle.[8]

Kharybdis Assault Claw

The Kharybdis Assault Claw was a monstrous Drop Pod and transport craft used by the Legiones Astartes during the Great Crusade and Horus Heresy.[9]

Chaos Space Marines


Main article: Dreadclaw

The Dreadclaw is an ancient Drop Pod variant that can also be used as an assault boat for ship-to-ship combat. Unlike other Drop Pods it is able to take off after landing. Dreadclaws are exclusively used by Chaos Space Marines.[2b] [6b]

Other Forces

The assassins of the Eversor Temple are deployed in special Drop Pods that prepare them for their missions. These Pods are equipped with neuro-links that feed the details of the mission to the assassin while remote links activate and begin to prepare his body for the task at hand.[5]

The Battle Sisters of the Adepta Sororitas occasionally deploy via Dominica-pattern Drop Pods when undertaking missions behind enemy lines.[11] This includes a variant of the Deathwind drop-pod, which may be armed with either Heavy Bolters or Multi-Meltas.

Technical Information

Technical Specifications
Type Orbital Drop Pod, personnel[1] Operational Ceiling N/A
Vehicle Name Drop Pod Max Speed 12,000kph descent
Forge World of Origin Lucius Range Unlimited
Known Patterns IV-XXXVI Main Armament None, Automated Whirlwind Launchers/Assault Cannon (Deathstorm)
Crew None Secondary Armament None
Powerplant 31 x FV-50-75 retro-rocket Main Ammunition N/A
Weight 14 tonnes Secondary Ammunition N/A
Length 5.2 m Armour
Wingspan N/A Superstructure 60 mm
Height 7.7 m Hull 70 mm


Drop Pod model

See Also


With the release of [7], the Deathwind Drop Pod (discontinued) from previous Forge World publications has officially been replaced with the Deathstorm pattern.