The Deimos Pattern Damocles Command Rhino was one of many variants of the Deimos Rhino armoured personnel carrier chassis Standard Template Construct (STC) and was used by the Space Marine Legions during the Great Crusade and Horus Heresy eras of the late 30th and early 31st Millennia. The Damocles Command Rhino was designed principally as a command and control vehicle and was equipped with sophisticated communication, Cognis-analysis and tracking equipment, including a powerful orbital-interface secure Vox-transceiver. The vehicle served as a direct and all but unbreakable link between Space Marine Legion ground formations in the field, their brethren elsewhere within the war zone, and those in high orbit above the planet during large military operations. Using the various on-board systems, a skilled crew of Techmarines was able to read the ebb and flow of a battle. They could send in reinforcements and direct supporting fire from distant artillery units, ward off enemy forces through signal interference and interdiction targeting, and even call for deadly accurate orbital strikes if the need arose.
The Damocles Command Rhino, both the Deimos Pattern first used by the Space Marine Legions during the Great Crusade and the later Mars Pattern Damocles that would become more common, were first designed and prototyped by the Ultramarines Legion sometime during the Great Crusade. The Damocles Command Rhino would eventually become a principal command and control vehicle and its use would spread to all of the Legiones Astartes by the latter days of the Great Crusade. The Damocles was designed to fulfill a void in the Ultramarines' armoury for a command and control vehicle that was less resource intensive to manufacture and easier to deploy than the Proteus-Explorator Land Raider variants, which were commonly used to fulfill this role during the early period of the Great Crusade. The Damocles was also less marked than the powerful Spartan Hermetika siege command vehicles which were starting to enter service during the last days of the Great Crusade, before the horror of interstellar civil war encroached upon the Imperium. The Damocles was very successful in its task. Unfortunately, as it was built upon the ubiquitous Rhino chassis the Damocles was far less durable than either of its counterparts.
While the Mars Pattern of the Damocles Command Rhino is still widely used by the various Space Marine Chapters in the late 41st Millennium, it is unknown if any of the Deimos Pattern vehicles are still in active duty or if any survive at all, locked deep in stasis vaults or armoured reliquaries awaiting the day they are needed again by the Imperium.
The Deimos Damocles is not a front-line combat vehicle and is usually either completely unarmed or only lightly armed. It is almost always found near the rear of any advancing force. Each and every Damocles is crewed permanently by a driver and a two-man command team, which are part of the Chapter Master's headquarters staff. One of the crew members is a communications controller and the other is an operations controller who monitors all squads, tracks their positions, and the enemy's movements. Each of these Battle-Brothers, including the driver, is a full Space Marine in his own right, but they all receive additional training by the Chapter's Techmarines to use the sophisticated equipment. There is also a seat inside the vehicle for the Space Marine Force Commander, alongside the driver, and while many commanders prefer to lead from the front, they are able to make use of the Damocles between battles in order to keep up-to-date with the developing strategic situation. The Deimos Damocles is armed with a pintle-mounted Storm Bolter in the late 41st Millennium.
During the Great Crusade and Horus Heresy eras, a Damocles could act as a dedicated transport for a Legion's Master of Signal Consul, and in addition the vehicle's crew was made up of full Legion Techmarines. The vehicle was usually armed with a pintle-mounted twin-linked Bolter, and came standard with a Command Vox Relay, Geo-locator Beacon, a Searchlight and Smoke Launchers. The Damocles could also be outfitted with Extra Armour Plating, a pintle-mounted Heavy Bolter, a Dozer Blade, and a Hunter-Killer Missile Launcher.
- 1 Deimos Pattern Damocles Command Rhino (31st Millennium Only)
A standard Deimos Pattern Damocles Command Rhino is armed and equipped with:
- A set of remote-operated pintle-mounted twin-linked Bolters
- A Searchlight
- A set of Smoke Launchers
- A Geo-locator Beacon
- A Command Vox Relay
- A pintle-mounted Heavy Bolter
Deimos Damocles Command Rhinos may also have a variety of vehicle equipment such as:
Adeptus Mechanicus Technical Specifications
The technical specifications of the Deimos Pattern Damocles Command Rhino are not currently available in Imperial records.
- Imperial Armour Volume Two - Space Marines and Forces of the Inquisition, pp. 77-78, 80, 82
- The Horus Heresy - Book Five: Tempest (Forge World Series) by Alan Bligh, pg. 237
- The Horus Heresy - Book Six: Retribution (Forge World Series) by Alan Bligh, pg. 51
- The Horus Heresy: Legiones Astartes - Age of Darkness Army List (Forge World Series), pg. 25
- Forge World Webstore - Deimos Pattern Damocles Command Rhino