A Jetpack is a man-portable powered flight device that enables the user to hover and rapidly move through the air. Jetpacks grant great mobility and manoeuvrability to their bearers, and are most commonly utilised by the military forces of the T'au Empire and Craftworld Aeldari.
Whilst similar in function to Adeptus Astartes Jump Packs, Jetpacks offer a more controlled flight and are designed to provide stable firing platforms rather than a rapid means of entering close combat.
Most T'au Battlesuits make use of powerful and sophisticated Jetpacks, which combine anti-gravitic and jet thruster technology to make the Battlesuit extremely agile for its size. A Jetpack allows a Battlesuit to pounce on the enemy from above and strafe enemies before retreating out of range of any survivors' retribution.
This makes Jetpack-equipped troops hard to counter and very difficult to engage, and also extremely fast-moving. A Jetpack allows its user to bound over long distances and rapidly soar across vast swathes of territory. T'au Battlesuit pilots control their Jetpacks through their Battlesuit's neural interface.
Tau Drones are also equipped with a form of Jetpack that keeps them aloft, propelling them so that they can hover and skim over battlefields. Adjusting the power of the Jetpack's motive system also allows Drones to adjust their altitude, with some Drones such as Aerial Drone Mines able to keep themselves aloft high in the stratosphere of a world.
Shadow Spectre Aspect Armour
Integral to a Shadow Spectre's Aspect Warrior's armour is his Jetpack. As the Craftworld Aeldari are the masters of anti-gravitic technology, a Shadow Spectre's personal flight pack incorporates sophisticated stabilisation and self-correcting controls, allowing the bearer to adjust altitude and velocity with his subconscious thoughts via a mind-link.
Such delicacy of control allows for a great degree of reactivity and a level of manoeuvrability in flight unknown to many other technologically-advanced races that use similar technology. Operating almost silently, an Aeldari Jetpack allows the user to move with great stealth, and effect repeated surprise ambushes. An Aeldari Jetpack's top speed and maximum altitude is unknown to the Adeptus Mechanicus.
Aeldari Corsair Jetpacks
Unlike the crude rockets and solid fuel boosters favoured by more technologically primitive species, the Aeldari utilise sophisticated gravitic vanes and miniaturised pulse impellers to enable them to manoeuvre with graceful ease in the null-gravity environments of space.
Eldar Corsairs often use these compact devices when carrying out surface raids and boarding assaults; relying on their consummate skill and their mind-links to instinctively operate them without conscious thought.
These systems do not provide the same ability to cover large distances as the wings of Swooping Hawk Aspect Warriors, but they do allow the user to traverse terrain and more rapidly redeploy in combat, sowing confusion and outmanoeuvring the enemy.
- Codex: Tau (3rd Edition), pg. 16
- Warhammer 40,000 Rulebook (6th Edition), pg. 47
- Imperial Armour Volume Three - The Taros Campaign, pp. 171-174, 283
- Imperial Armour Volume Eleven - The Doom of Mymeara, pp. 141, 158