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Whirlwind

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Ultramarines Whirlwinds open fire[2]

The Whirlwind Artillery Tank is a Rhino-based multiple rocket launcher. One of the few indirect-fire vehicles fielded by the Space Marines besides the Land Raider Helios, the Whirlwind provides accurate fire support for the suppression of numerous or highly-mobile enemies.[2] It can also be used as an air defense system in situations where air support is not available.[3a]

Whirlwind Helios

Based upon the Rhino chassis, the Whirlwind is both fast and mobile, able to keep up with a Space Marine battlegroup. Because the number of Whirlwinds available to a Chapter is limited (typically between twenty and thirty for most), the ability to engage the enemy and rapidly change positions to avoid counter-battery is prized more than masses of long-ranged, slower artillery commonly used by the Imperial Guard.[3a] Its target acquisition and telemetry gear also allows the Whirlwind to engage the enemy from behind cover with far better accuracy than conventional artillery.[2] The Whirlwind can also be converted into an anti-aircraft vehicle when issued with short-ranged AA missiles, although this task is better suited to specialised variants such as the Hyperios.[3a]

The most common type of Whirlwind is the 'Helios' pattern, though differences between most Whirlwinds is simply a matter of how many missiles can be fired. When fully loaded, the Helios' missile launcher commonly carries six missiles. However, because these missiles can only be manually reloaded, the Whirlwind must withdraw after firing in order to rearm. In spite of this, the transport capacity inherited from the Rhino allows for a large ammunition stockpile, and some Chapters equip each vehicle with a Servitor dedicated to speeding up the reload process.[3a]

The main missile types includes the Vengeance pattern high explosive warheads, that balances size, weight, range and payload providing the Space Marines with the most effective form of artillery support at their disposal. Another main type - is the Castellan incendary warheads that sacrifices explosive power for the ability to engulf the target in a rain of searing flame. For some period of time the Astartes utilized a special form of missile that provided a scuttering fire of sub-munitions across the broad target zone - the result of some newly discovered STC imprint. But this variant saw only limited use because it was outright unsuitable to the Marine's aggressive style of combat.[7a]

It is considered that other exotic missile types exists or have existed in the past and passed out from common employment. Other types mentioned in the archives includes melta and plasma warheads, missiles with powerful gases and chemicals of various types, anti-plant, tanglefoot, haywire and even the feared vortex warheads as well as countless others. But in the 41th Millenium such types if they even still exist is believed to reside only in Deathwatch quantium-sealed stasis batteries and/or they may simply be reserved only for special situations which the standard missiles of the Whirlwind is not able to counter.[7a]

When required to provide indirect fire support against massed targets over long ranges, Whirlwinds will also form into Suppression Forces, with a Land Speeder modified to function as an artillery spotter.[7a]

Equipment

In addition to its primary weapon, the Whirlwind also comes with a Searchlight and Smoke Launchers as standard. It can be upgraded with Dozer Blades, Extra Armour, a Hunter-killer Missile, and a Storm Bolter.[2]

Technical Information

A Black Templars Whirlwind.
Technical Specifications vde
Vehicle Name: Whirlwind Helios[3a] Main Armament: Whirlwind multiple missile launcher
Forge World of Origin: Helios Secondary Armament: N/A
Known Patterns: I-V Traverse: 360°
Crew: Driver, Gunner Elevation: From -0° to +55°
Powerplant: Quad MkII Adaptable Thermic Combustor Reactor Main Ammunition: 60 missiles
Weight: 33.0 tonnes Secondary Ammunition: N/A
Length: 6.6m Armour
Width: 4.5m
Height: 5.0m Superstructure: 60mm
Ground Clearance: 0.44m Hull: 60mm
Max Speed - on road 68kph Gun Mantlet N/A
Max Speed - off road: 50kph Vehicle Designation: 0120-766-0810-WW033
Transport Capacity: N/A Firing Ports: N/A
Access Points: N/A Turret: 30mm


Whirlwind Hyperios

A Dark Angels Whirlwind Hyperios.

The Whirlwind Hyperios is a specialized version of the standard Whirlwind used by many Chapters as an anti-aircraft vehicle. Instead of the typical armament of other Whirlwinds, the Hyperios mounts a specialized missile launcher, along with automated tracking and targeting equipment, dedicated to shooting down enemy aircraft and jetbikes. While it does not have the same reach as a Manticore AA missile it is highly efficient against low-flying craft making strafing runs. In a pinch the Hyperios can be used to target ground units, in which case its missiles act similar to Hunter-killer missiles, though this is mostly a method of last resort.[3a]

During the Moirae Schism all of the Whirlwing Hyperios' produced on the Moirae Forge World were desecrated by fellow Tech-Priests, which insinated into the vehicles hidden cipher that blocked the Whirlwind's systems upon receiving the relevant code. Due to this even after the ending of the Schism some of the Space Marines Chapters refuse to deploy even a single Whirlwind Hyperios' in battle, fearing that these "blessed" battle machines can betray them in the heat of a conflict.[7b]

Technical Specifications

Technical Specifications vde
Vehicle Name: Whirlwind Hyperios[3a] Main Armament: Hyperios missile launcher
Forge World of Origin: Phaeton Secondary Armament: N/A
Known Patterns: I-IV Traverse: 360°
Crew: Driver, Gunner Elevation: From -0° to +65°
Powerplant: Quad MkII Adaptable Thermic Combustor Reactor Main Ammunition: 40 missiles
Weight: 33.0 tonnes Secondary Ammunition: N/A
Length: 6.6m Armour
Width: 4.5m
Height: 5.2m Superstructure: 60mm
Ground Clearance: 0.44m Hull: 60mm
Max Speed - on road 68kph Gun Mantlet N/A
Max Speed - off road: 50kph Vehicle Designation: 0120-766-0810-WW161
Transport Capacity: N/A Firing Ports: N/A
Access Points: N/A Turret: 30mm


Named Whirlwind Hyperios

Whirlwind Scorpius

Whirlwind Scorpius of the Night Lords Legion[5]

An ancient variant of the more common Whirlwind, the Scorpius was built on a Deimos Pattern Rhino chassis. The Whirlwind Scorpius' origins go back to the opening days of the Great Crusade, where it was created at the behest of the Space Wolves to aid them in the campaign against the fortified cities of the Xenos Ghassulian.[6] Today it has become an all but forgotten relic. The ability to manufacture its complex munitions seems to have become a forgotten art, but for the Chapters it still remains as a potent weapon of war whenever it's deployed.[5]

The Scorpius replaces the Whirlwind Multiple Missile Launcher with drum-fed Scorpius Launchers, whose warheads cause implosions devastating to both infantry and light vehicles.[5]

Named Whirlwind Scorpius

Other Known Patterns

  • Thalia pattern - ancient pattern with 12 smaller missiles[7a]
  • MkII Mars Pattern - holds ten missiles in twin clusters of five[7a]

Images

Ultramarines Whirlwind[4]

Related Articles

Sources