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ArcusLauncher00

The Arcus Launcher as seen from above

The Arcus Launcher is a rotary-style missile launching system that was once use by the Space Marine Legions on their Sicaran Arcus Strike Tanks during Great Crusade and the Horus Heresy in the late 30th and early 31st Millennia. The Sicaran Battle Tank was an Imperial main battle tank and one of the most advanced armoured vehicles ever used by the Imperium, and the Arcus Launcher was no different. The Arcus Strike Tank was originally part of a program once initiated by the Primarch of the Ultramarines Legion, Roboute Guilliman, seeking to grant a Legion strike force access to highly specialised weapon systems without the need to employ numerous vehicles for each role. The Sicaran hull was chosen to mount the newly developed Arcus Launcher, which was Capable of deploying with a wide range of warheads, each crafted to fulfil a distinct tactical niche during combat. The Arcus was intended to become the cornerstone of a new tactical doctrine the Master of Ultramar had begun to formulate, allowing small Legiones Astartes forces to operate without extensive support and in smaller numbers than during the Great Crusade.

Despite production of the Arcus being limited to a few prototype vehicles at the onset of the Horus Heresy, and the doctrinal issues that kept it out of production on most major Forge Worlds, a number of Legion home worlds produced small numbers of this variant. Of particular note is the inclusion of the Neutron-flux Warheads, a Terran development dating back to the years prior to the alliance with Mars. This weapon saturates the silica stratum of the Cybernetica Cortex employed by Mechanicum Automata with xenon, causing terminal cascade failures in these systems. The continued production of these weapons is believed to be the cause of the Mechanicum’s refusal to sanction the Arcus pattern, and its inevitable downfall.

Warhead Types

The Arcus Launcher was capable of being outfitted with a variety of warheads for its missiles, each crafted to fulfil a distinct tactical niche during combat. The following are all known warhead types usable by the Arcus Launcher:

  • Arcus Warhead - The standard warhead type for the Arcus Launcher, Arcus Warheads were a cluster-type munition that upon detonation would send many smaller explosive devices over a large area. These warheads were particularly effective against enemy infantry and light vehicles.
  • Skyspear Warhead - The Skyspear Warhead is an anti-air warhead that includes sophisticated tracking instruments that allow the warhead to steer the missile towards its target, effectively turning the Arcus into a surface-to-air platform. These warheads are effective against enemy aircraft.
  • Pyrax Warhead - Pyrax Warheads are heavy explosive-type munitions that are used in the removal of cover and heavy terrain. These warheads are effective at eliminating cover used by the enemy, along with the destruction of fortifications and terrain obstacles.
  • Neutron-flux Warhead - A Terran made warhead dating back to the years prior to the alliance with Mars, the Neutron-flux Warhead saturates the silica stratum of the Cybernetica Cortex employed by Mechanicum Automata with xenon, causing terminal cascade failures in these systems. The continued production of these weapons is believed to be the cause of the Mechanicum’s refusal to sanction the Arcus pattern vehicle, and its inevitable downfall.

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