Dreadclaws are used to quickly deploy Traitor Marines onto a planet from orbit. The Dreadclaws themselves are deployed from cruisers or battleships. It is armed with the Deathwind weapon system, which upon landing, fires upon any nearby enemies supporting the Space Marines deployment. The Dreadclaws were designed for ship-to-ship combat as they are equipped with a spiked "maws" used to drill through hulls. Its design has been heavily corrupted from thousands of years exposed to Chaos and they are now used for a variety of roles from boarding ships to planetary assault. The Dreadclaw is an all-purpose drop pod: it can either drop troops or a dreadnought. Unlike other types of drop pod, it can take off again after landing.
Ultimately the Dreadclaws were dropped from service by the majority of the Imperial of the time, except for the traitor legions. The Dreadclaw's advanced machine spirit began to develop dangerous tendencies, on occasion causing the deaths of its passengers, though in the dark times of the Heresy their use continued due to the desperation of their commander; or their wanton lack of care for their troops. Despite the Adeptus Mechanicus revising the vehicle's machine spirit, a streak of accidents (one of them - tha famous incident aboard the Legate Peracles) led to the majority of the Dreadclaws being jettisoned into space, and now only the Traitor Legions are known to use these dangerous, albeit advanced, vessels.
Anvillus Pattern Dreadclaw
The Anvillus Pattern Dreadclaw was initially designed to insert Space Marine boarding forces onto enemy spaceships. As such they have minimal profile and a heavily armoured hull. The craft is mounted with a series of Melta cutters, originally to slice through the outer hull of a ship. Unlike some earlier boarding craft, the Dreadclaw is also a fully independent dropship capable of returning their cargo to friendly ships.
- 1: Dreadclaw (last accessed 20 February 2016)
- 2: The Horus Heresy Book Three pg. 235
- 3: Imperial Armour Update 2002, pgs. 42–43
- Specialist Games (site is no longer active, accessed 2007.11.15)
- Imperial Armour Update 2006, pg. 33
- Imperial Armour - Apocalypse: Dreadclaw, pg. 100; Dreadclaw Talon, pg. 105
- Imperial Armour Volume Six - The Siege of Vraks - Part Two, [Needs Citation]