The Imperial Cobra-class Destroyer is a quick and versatile torpedo boat that makes up a significant portion of the Imperial Navy's Battlefleet Obscurus. The Cobra is a valuable addition to any combat fleet, as armed with massive anti-warship torpedoes, squadrons of Cobras are agile enough to dart into fleet engagements, launch spreads of ordnance, then flee -- hopefully before their larger adversaries can hit them with a massed broadside.
However, the Cobra 's greatest asset is its speed and maneuverability, enabling it to catch the small, fast vessels favoured by pirates, as was most famously illustrated by Captain Walker's Skargul Patrol which destroyed 17 pirate vessels in the twelve solar months prior to the outbreak of the Gothic War.
Indeed, the Cobra-class Destroyer is one of the smallest Warp-capable starships in the Imperial fleet, and also one of the fastest. It fills multiple roles in the Imperial Navy, as its demonstrated combination of speed and firepower makes the Cobra a popular choice for scouting, patrolling, raiding, and escort duties.
Although no starship could be said to be mass-produced in the Imperium of the 41st Millennium, the Cobra is one of the simplest to build, with a well-equipped orbital shipyard able to construct one in only several Terran years. This makes them popular with Rogue Traders who are relatively destitute. Many Rogue Traders who do so retrofit a Cobra to remove their massive torpedo bays, however, to create space for cargo or other weapons.
Notable Cobra-class Destroyer Squadrons
- The Widowmakers - Officially known as the 24th Destroyer Squadron, the Widowmakers fought in the Gothic War. The squadron is notable for its ships' weapons batteries having been replaced with experimental long-range scanners.
- The Skargul Patrol - The Skargul Patrol fought in the Gothic War. It is best known for destroying no less than seventeen pirate vessels in the twelve months leading up to the Gothic War and for chasing down and destroying the notorious Eldar Eclipse-class Cruiser Stardeath in the Graildark Nebula during the conflict.
- Omna Squadron - Omna Squadron fought in the Taros Campaign. It was assigned to convoy-protection duty after the Tau Lar'shi'vre-class Cruiser Io'Tar destroyed a troop convoy carrying an entire Imperial Guard Regiment, the 8th Brimlock Dragoons.
- Vanguard Squadron - Vanguard Squadron fought during the Gothic War. At the Battle of Helia IV, Vanguard Squadron performed a daring flanking manoeuvre, using the damaged Murder-class Cruiser Pagan Voyager as cover to bypass the Chaos battle line, and strike at the vulnerable troop transports sheltering behind. Alas for the Imperium, Vanguard Squadron was mercilessly pounced upon by Doomfire bomber squadrons and destroyed as they tried to disengage from their successful attack run on the transports.
- Emperor's Hand - The Emperor's Hand was an Escort squadron that comprised a portion of Battlefleet Corribra.
- Exalted in Belief - The Exalted in Belief Squadron was comprised of Cobra-class Destroyers that served in the Battlefleet Corribra.
- Hull - 1.5 kilometres long, 0.3 kilometres abeam at fins.
- Class - Cobra-class Destroyer.
- Mass - 5.7 megatons.
- Crew - 15,000 crew, approximate.
- Acceleration - 7.6 gravities max. sustainable acceleration.
- Battlefleet Gothic Magazine 1, "Corribra Sector," by Matt Sprange, pp. 34-39
- Battlefleet Gothic Magazine 2, pg. 40
- Battlefleet Gothic Resources, Necron and Tyranid Fleets, pg. 72
- Battlefleet Gothic Rulebook, pg. 114
- Codex: Space Marines (5th Edition), pg. 30
- Imperial Armour Volume Three - The Taros Campaign, pg. 39
- Rogue Trader: Into the Storm (RPG), pg. 151
- The Ultramarines Omnibus (Novel) by Graham McNeill, pg. 333
- Execution Hour (Novel) by Gordon Rennie