The Avenger is a strike aircraft of the Imperial Navy that is dedicated to ground attack missions on behalf of the regiments of the Imperial Guard. The Avenger is a dedicated strike fighter, intended to conduct high-speed, low-level attacks on ground targets, with armoured vehicle formations and high-value strategic assets such as munitions dumps forming its principal prey. The Avenger Strike Fighter boasts firepower that exceeds most other Imperial aircraft of its size, and its particular reputation as a tank-killer is due to the potent Avenger Bolt Cannon it carries. A rapid-firing Gatling Bolter weapon, the Avenger Bolt Cannon is known to be a highly effective tank-killer.
Its effectiveness is such that it is now a staple of any Imperial Navy air support mission. The Avenger's use is often specifically requested by the Adepta Sororitas should they require close support during their purgations and the aircraft is also used by the armed forces of the Adeptus Mechanicus, who made use of the aircraft in its own conflicts before the Imperium was even founded.
The Avenger is an ancient pattern of aircraft that predates the Imperium of Man, and was designed on Mars by the Mechanicum during the Age of Strife. The Avenger was produced by the Mechanicum for use by the Imperial Army during the Great Crusade, and was also used by the armed forces of the Mechanicum. The Imperial records show that Avenger either fell out of use by the Imperium after the Horus Heresy and Great Scouring or its Standard Template Construct (STC) designs were lost until its reemergence in the 36th Millennium. The Avenger was adopted by forces loyal to the Imperial Saint and reforming Ecclesiarch Sebastian Thor during the bloody wars of faith and schism of the 36th Millennium now called the Age of Apostasy by Imperial savants. In the 41st Millennium the Avenger is widely used by the Imperial Navy to support Imperial Guard units on the ground.
The Avenger Strike Fighter is heavily armed, and is most commonly used to destroy enemy armoured vehicles and fortified structures. The basic loadout of the Avenger is a hull-mounted Avenger Bolt Cannon, a set of twin-linked wing-mounted Lascannons, one on each wing, and a rear-facing Heavy Stubber for defensive actions in case enemy aircraft are on its tail. The craft can be further outfitted with additional weapons on its wings which can include either 6 tactical bombs or 2 Hellstrike Missiles or 2 Hellfury Missiles or 2 Missile Launchers, a set of twin-linked Autocannons or a set of twin-linked Multi-Lasers. The Avenger can also be outfitted with the following enhancements: a chaff launcher, an armoured cockpit, infra-red targeting equipment, and illumination flares. During the Great Crusade and Horus Heresy eras in the late 30th and early 31st Millennia, the Avenger was capable of having its entire human crew replaced with hard-wired Servitor control and dedicated Cogitator arrays designed to identify and target weak spots on enemy vehicles. This autiomated control transformed the Avenger into an extremely deadly tank hunter. It is unknown if this capability is still possible in the Avengers deployed by the Imperial Navy in the late 41st Millennium.
Adeptus Mechanicus Technical Specifications
The technical specifications of the Avenger have not yet been made publicly available by the Adeptus Mechanicus.
- Imperial Armour Aeronautica, pg. 20
- Imperial Armour - The Horus Heresy - Book One: Betrayal, pg. 272
- Imperial Armour Volume One - Imperial Guard (Second Edition), pg. 266
- Imperial Armour Volume Twelve - The Fall of Orpheus, pp. 19, 206-207