|Ranged: Projectile - Missile - Ordnance - Laser - Plasma - Melta - Auto - Bolt - Flame - Gauss - Sonic||Close Combat: Chain - Power - Force - Miscellaneous|
This article covers both missile and rocket launchers.
A Missile Launcher fires self-propelled guided projectiles that usually contain explosive, chemical, or destructive energy warheads. Missiles may use a chemical rocket, jet engine, or something more esoteric such as an anti-gravity drive, for propulsion.
A Rocket Launcher fires unguided, self-propelled projectiles. They contain the same types of warheads as a missile. Usually rockets are propelled by an exothermic chemical reaction, but this does not preclude other forms of propulsion.
Portable Missile Launchers
Imperial Missile Launchers
The standard Locke-pattern Imperial missile launcher has a built in targeting device and is fired from the shoulder. It is a single round weapon and cannot be fired on the move. Standard Imperial Guard doctrine is for one man to carry aim and fire the missile launcher, whilst a second man carries the ammunition and re-loads the weapons. A well-drilled fire team can maintain a formidable rate of fire, enough to daunt the bravest of tank commanders. Amongst the Imperial Guard, missile launchers are crew-served weapons, while Space Marines are strong enough to use and reload missile launchers alone.
The ancient Retobi-pattern missile launcher loads from a five-round clip. While it has a faster rate of fire, Retobi-pattern launchers are less precise and much more awkward to handle and fire.
Soundstrike Missile Launcher
The Soundstrike-pattern missile launcher is an alternative to the standard single-tube missile launcher used by Space Marines. The Soundstrike attaches a special missile rack and auto-loader to a backpack power unit. As the Space Marine fires his missiles, the auto-loader's gripping claw works rapidly to refill the launcher from the back-mounted missile rack. In effect, the Space Marine can fire his choice of missile without interruption until the missile rack is empty.
Cyclone Missile Launcher
The Cyclone Missile Launcher (also known as Terminator Support Missile-Launcher) is a variant specially designed to be fitted to Terminator Armour. Loaded with krak and frag missiles, the Cyclone consists of two cube shaped missile boxes twin-linked by a targeter and sensor array, with the missile and sensor unit fixed on the shoulders of Terminator armour. This allows the Space Marine to use a Storm Bolter and Power Fist with the missile launcher simultaneously. Older designs of the Cyclone missile launcher had the sensor array hand-carried by the Terminator, thus taking away the option of a power fist but making it more accurate.
Armourbane Missile Launcher
The armourbane missile launcher is a launcher unique to the Deathwatch in the Jericho Reach. A squat, wide-barrelled launcher half as tall as a Space Marine, specializing in dealing with heavily-armoured ground units, this launcher is typically loaded with hunter-killer krak missiles and fitted with an array of augurs and special cogitators to guide its missiles to their targets, and is more efficient than a Soundstrike missile launcher. The mounted special augur array combines the benefits of a preysense sight and a red-dot laser sight.
Imperial Munitions Types
- Frag Missiles are designed to explode on impact with any surface, raking the immediate area with lethal shrapnel. Primarily an anti-infantry weapon, it can be used against light vehicles with some success. Frag missiles are often ineffective against heavy infantry.
- Krak Missiles are primarily designed as anti-vehicle weapons, but are also very effective against heavy infantry, bunkers and other armored targets. Krak missiles contain a high strength, low blast shaped charge, causing massive damage to anything it hits with minimal collateral damage.
- Astartes Anti-Plant Missiles are a stronger variant of anti-plant missiles. They release a vicious cocktail of toxins, viral agents, defoliants, and anti-fungal agents on detonation that reduce even the heartiest flora to a foul-smelling muck in minutes. They are typically used to deny cover and to clear landing zones and fortification sites.
- Concussion Missiles are very effective at breaking up fortifications and are much beloved by the Battle-Brothers of the Imperial Fists garrisoned at Watch Station Erioch.
- Flakk Missiles are surface-to-air warheads designed to engage enemy air support.
- Other Types: missiles are extremely versatile and can potentially carry any conceivable type of payload. Examples include Anti-Plant, Virus, Vortex, Smoke, Gas, Tanglefoot, Haywire, Stasis, Plasma and Photon Flash.
- See also: Ork Rokkits
Eldar Missile Launcher
The Eldar Missile Launcher is the standard missile weapon for Eldar ground forces. Instead of the primitive launching-tubes favoured by the Imperium, they use complex chambered pods designed to contain several types of ammo such as krak and plasma warheads, greatly decreasing the need to reload. While portable, they are most commonly mounted on Grav Platforms and Eldar vehicles.
Chaos Space Marines Missile Launchers
Chaos Space Marines carry a mix of issued pre-Heresy and modern Imperial missile launchers taken from defeated foes. All Chaos missile launchers operate the same as the Imperial launchers.
Tau ranged weapon technology is more advanced than that of the Imperium. This includes Missile Launcher technology, however the Tau army is organized such that standard troopers do not carry Missile Launchers like other races. Instead the two varieties of missile launchers available to the Tau are carried on Battlesuits.
Missile Pods are mounted on the XV8 Crisis Battlesuits and come as standard on the XV-81 and the XV-84. Missile pods are medium range, rapid-fire missiles slightly less powerful than Imperial krak missiles. A combination of their size and the Battlesuits they are mounted on, a missile pod can be fired on the move.
Smart Missile System
Smart Missile Systems are the pinnacle of battlesuit missile technology. Medium strength and capable of very rapid fire (twice as fast as missile pods), the Smart Missile System is so high tech it does not require a line of sight to its target. Instead each missile fired contains a sophisticated guidance system allowing it to maneuver around obstacles and terrain and hit and impact upon a target without risk to the firer. Due to its size, the Smart Missile System can only be mounted on the bulky Broadside Battlesuit and cannot be fired on the move (without an additional stabilizing upgrade).
Vehicle Mounted Missile Launchers
Imperial Vehicle Mounted Missile Launchers
Exorcist Multiple Missile Launcher
The Exorcist Multiple Missile Launcher is a large device used primarily for destroying enemy emplacements and armored vehicles, used solely by the Ordo Hereticus.
Hunter Killer Missiles
A Hunter-Killer Missile is a single shot, self-guided missile with a krak warhead. Designed to bolt on to any Imperial vehicle, it provides extra anti-armour firepower for a variety of situations. As a “fire and forget” weapon, once a target is selected, the Hunter Killer missile will aim, fire, and guide itself to the target.
Whirlwind Multiple Missile Launcher
The Space Marine Whirlwind artillery tank and Land Raider Helios both mount a Whirlwind Multiple Missile Launcher. It consists of a large bank of either Vengeance or Castellan missiles.
- Vengeance Missiles are the standard round, with a moderately high strength and large blast radius; they are deadly to infantry.
- Castellan Missiles each contain dozens of mines scattered upon impact. This gives the Space Marines the ability to rapidly seed minefields in strategic locations without risking troops.
Hyperios Missile Launchers
Manticore Missile Launcher
The Manticore Missile Launcher, mounted on the Chimera-based Manticore, is a mobile multiple rocket launcher capable of firing a variety of rockets including standard high explosive fragmentation warheads, oxyphosphur incendiary warheads, and surface-to-air interceptor missiles.
Support Sentinels are armed with either a multiple rocket pod or a missile launcher.
- Multiple Rocket Pods are rapid-fire launchers loaded with standard frag missiles.
- Missile Launchers mounted on Sentinels are designed to fire standard frag and krak missiles indirectly.
Apocalypse Missile Launcher
Phoenix Missile Launcher
Revenant Missile Launcher
Tau Vehicle Mounted Missile Launchers
Smart Missile System
Various Tau battle tanks mount a Smart Missile System identical to the ones carried by the XV-88 Broadside Battlesuit.
Seeker missiles are self guided high strength anti-armour missiles similar to Imperial Hunter-killer missiles. However the targeting approach is radically different: seeker missiles are guided to their target by energy beams emitted from markerlights normally carried by forward units of Tau Pathfinders and Stealthsuit Teams, although normal Fire Warriors also carry them as a means of providing fire support. A markerlight records and transmits targeting information to a Seeker Missile, which automatically launches from its mount and guides itself around any intervening terrain or obstacles to impact with the target. This technology makes infiltrating Tau troops much feared by tank commanders.
Seeker missiles operate independently of the vehicle they are mounted on unless it too is equipped with markerlight technology.
Chaos Space Marine Vehicle-Mounted Missile Launchers
Due to their exile in the Eye of Terror for millennia, the Traitor Legions have not been privy to much Imperial advancement of technology. For this reason, they still solely use the Havoc Missile Launchers on their vehicles in an anti-personnel capacity, rather than Hunter-Killer Missiles.
- Projectile Weapons
- Grenade Launcher
- Energy Weapons
- 1: Warhammer 40,000: Wargear, [Needs Citation]
- 2: Imperial Armour Volume Six - The Siege of Vraks - Part Two, pgs. 118-119, 122
- 3: Codex: Eldar (4th Edition), pg. 22
- 4: Codex: Orks (4th Edition), pg. 89
- 5: Imperial Armour Volume Eight - Raid on Kastorel-Novem, pg. 117
- 6: Deathwatch: Rites of Battle, pg. 137
- 7: Deathwatch: Rites of Battle, pg. 136
- 8: Warhammer 40,000 6th Edition Rulebook, pg. 55
- 9: Imperial Armour Volume Ten pg. 120
- 10: Only War Core Rulebook pg. 182
- 11: Warhammer 40,000: Compilation pg. 9
- Codex: Space Marines (4th Edition)
- Codex: Tau (3rd Edition)
- Codex: Eldar (3rd Edition)
- Inquisitor Rulebook
- Forgeworld website