The Barracuda air superiority fighter is the Tau's most common atmospheric aircraft.
Faster than the Imperial Navy's Marauder bomber, but lacking the top speed of the Thunderbolt or Lightning fighter, it makes up for its shortcomings with its sophisticated electronics and pilots' natural talents.
In a dogfight, Thunderbolts and Barracudas are very closely matched, with the Thunderbolt having the edge in speed but the Barracuda having the manoeuvrability. Despite this, the Imperium's pilots often have the hard edge of combat experience which the Tau's Air Caste pilots find difficult to match.
Armament and Equipment
A Barracuda is armed with a nose-mounted, pilot aimed Ion Cannon. This is the aircraft's primary weapon of use in dogfights, backed up by two drone controlled Burst Cannons in the wings. For ground attacks, it is primarily armed with wing mounted missile pods. When used in an ground attack role a Barracuda can carry additional armament of up to four Seeker missiles. These are not controlled by the pilot but by a Markerlight operator on the ground.[Needs Citation]
All Barracudas are equipped with escape pods. In the event that the aircraft sustains serious damage the pilot can eject. Some versions of Barracuda might include Blacksun Filters (night-fighting sensors), Disruption Pod and Decoy Launchers for additional protection.
Taros CampaignOn Taros, the Tau Coalition included a large Air Caste contingent, which formed an integral part of their strategy. Barracudas and Imperial Thunderbolts fought daily for the planet's air superiority. Flying from well-concealed desert airbases the Barracudas eventually won the battle.[Needs Citation]
Not only engaging in dogfights, the Barracudas also targeted the Imperial Guard's supply columns, operating in unison with Pathfinder teams in order to destroy Trojans and vital equipment. The Barracudas played a vital role in the Tau's strategy, eventually defeating the Imperial Guard and forcing it to retreat.
To combat the ever-increasing diversity of enemies faced by the expanding Tau Empire, the AX-5-2 Barracuda was developed as a multi-role fighter by the Earth Caste of the Vash’ya Sept. This new pattern maintained the unmatched agility and maneuverability of its forebears, but benefited from an improved power grid and enhanced combat avionics systems, as well as a variable weapons fit so that it could be rearmed swiftly between missions.
|Ordo Xenos Departmento Analyticus Record|
|Serial Number||N/A||Main Armament||Nose mounted Ion Cannon, wing mounted missile pods|
|Designation||Air Superiority Fighter|
|Vehicle Codename||Barracuda||Secondary Armament||2x Drone controlled Burst Cannons|
|Length||14.1m||Ammunition||8 Missiles. 8000 rounds|
|Width||N/A||Armour Type||35mm, Nano-Crystalline alloy (composition unknown)|
|Max Recorded Speed||2,100kph|
|Summary||Air superiority fighter|
- 1: Imperial Armour Volume Three - The Taros Campaign, [Needs Citation]
- 2: Imperial Armour Update, pg. 30
- 3: Forge World
- 4: Forge World
|Leadership||Ethereal • Tau Commander • Fireblade|
|Troops||Fire Warrior Team (Strike Team • Breacher Team) • Pathfinder Team • Stealthsuit Team • Drone Squadron|
|Battlesuits||XV8 Crisis (XV8 • XV8-02 • XV81 • XV84 • XV85 • XV86 • XV89) • XV15 Stealth • XV22 Stealth • XV25 Stealth • XV95 Ghostkeel • XV88 Broadside • XV9 Hazard|
XV46 Vanguard • XV104 Riptide • XV107 R'varna • XV109 Y'vahra • KV128 Stormsurge • KX139 Ta'unar
|Combat Vehicles||Devilfish • Drone Harbinger • Hammerhead • Piranha • Sky Ray • Tetra • Swordfish|
|Aircraft||Barracuda • Manta • Orca • Sun Shark • Razorshark • Tiger Shark • Remora|
|Auxiliaries||Kroot Carnivore Squad • Kroot Hound • Krootox • Knarloc • Great Knarloc • Vespid Stingwing • Gue'vesa|
|Special Characters||Aun'va • Aun'shi • Shadowsun • Farsight • Darkstrider • Longstrike|