|This article is about the Vehicle, for the Space Marine Chapter see Vindicators|
The Vindicator is a short range siege tank used by Space Marine Chapters. Based upon the Rhino chassis, it shares many of the same design features, though with equipment and armament optimized to deliver heavy ordnance at short range.
The origin of the Vindicator is fragmentary, although the earliest records show it was developed along with the other Rhino STC variants during the Dark Age of Technology. Other records show that the Vindicator was first fielded during the early years of the Horus Heresy on Rostern I, when massive Thunderer Cannons were mounted onto remodeled Rhinos and used to blast heavily dug-in Traitor positions among the urban rubble.[2a]
Since the Heresy, the bulky Thunderer Cannon has been replaced with the more compact, but no less potent, Demolisher Cannon, along with other minor modifications to armouring, fire control and driving systems.[2a] The Vindicator has become a vital part of a Chapter's siege and urban combat capabilities, with most retaining a dozen or so vehicles within their Armoury.[2a]
As laid down by the Codex Astartes, the Vindicator's chief role is in urban combat, to provide assault and tactical squads with destructive firepower against enemy strongpoints and snipers. Standard combat doctrine has the Vindicator advance down a street towards the target structure, supported by Space Marine squads advancing from building to building on either side of it, blasting holes in the walls if necessary. Once in position, the Vindicator opens fire on the target building, reducing much of it to rubble and opening the way for subsequent assault by Space Marines with close-combat weaponry.
Outside of urban combat, the Vindicator also sees a limited role in tank warfare, with many armoured thrusts containing at least one Vindicator for close-quarter engagements.[2a] For particularly hardened targets, Vindicators will form into Line Breaker Squadrons, combining their firepower for impressive effects.
The Demolisher Cannon gives the Vindicator immense destructive capabilities. Firing rocket-assisted siege shells, the Demolisher Cannon can reduce a building to rubble in a matter of moments, crushing the enemies taking shelter in it under tonnes of rubble.[2a] The cannon's two exhaust vents for vacating rocket back-blast are located behind its multi-spectral targeting array. The Rhino chassis's transport capacity is given over completely to ammunition storage, of which it can carry 16 shells in its racks. That number is normally increased by two, with one shell preloaded and a second stored on the collapsible loading ramp. The Vindicator is also armed with a Storm Bolter for anti-infantry firepower.[2a]
In order to survive the brutal close-combat fighting typical of urban warfare, Vindicators have much thicker armour compared to the standard Rhino, especially along its front and top facings. This armour is further supported by extra bracing, which adds additional weight to the frame.
Dozer Blades in combination with a Siege Shield are typical on most Vindicators, allowing them to easily clear a path through rubble-strewn streets.[2a][2b] Other standard equipment includes a Searchlight and Smoke Launchers. It can be further upgraded with a Hunter-killer Missile, Extra Armour, and a pintle-mounted Storm Bolter.[2b]
Vindicators were used extensively by the Traitor Legions during the Horus Heresy, specifically in the Siege of the Imperial Palace, and have remained in service with Chaos Space Marine forces since then. The Iron Warriors in particular, field many squadrons of Vindicators and deface them with defaced statuary of fallen cities they have conquered.
|Vehicle Name:||Vindicator||Main Armament:||Demolisher Cannon|
|Forge World of Origin:||Lucius||Secondary Armament:||N/A|
|Crew:||Driver, Gunner||Elevation:||From -0° to +45°|
|Powerplant:||Quad MkII Adaptable Thermic Combustor Reactor||Main Ammunition:||18 rounds|
|Weight:||42.0 tonnes||Secondary Ammunition:||N/A|
|Max Speed - on road||64kph||Gun Mantlet||55mm|
|Max Speed - off road:||48kph||Vehicle Designation:||0120-766-0833-VI054|
|Transport Capacity:||N/A||Firing Ports:||N/A|
- 1:Imperial Armour Volume Two - Space Marines and Forces of the Inquisition, pgs. 67-68
- 2:Codex: Space Marines (5th Edition)
- 3:Codex: Chaos Space Marines (4th Edition), pg. 43
- 4:Chaos Vindicator
- 5: Codex: Chaos Space Marines (6th Edition) pg.55