The Land Raider Helios is a variant of the standard Land Raider heavy tank used by the Adeptus Astartes. The Land Raider Helios differs from the standard Land Raider in that it is equipped with a dorsal-mounted Whirlwind Missile Launcher, a weapon usually found on the Whirlwind artillery tank, that allows the vehicle to fire upon enemy targets at range. The mounting of the Whirlwind Missile Launcher upon the Land Raider chassis provides a much larger amount of room to store extra ammunition and greater armour to protect the tank from enemy fire. The Land Raider Helios can also be equipped with a Hyperios Missile Launcher, which is an anti-air variant of the Whirlwind Missile Launcher. Due to the sophisticated targeting technology used by the weapon, the Land Raider's hull-mounted twin-linked Heavy Bolters are replaced with targeting sensors to assist in aiming and target acquisition.
The Land Raider Helios was first developed and fielded by the Red Scorpions Space Marine Chapter in 857.M38 during the now legendary Siege of Helios. During the siege the Red Scorpions found themselves unable to breach the walls of the enemy's fortress. Due to their independent mindset, they created an entirely new variant of the Land Raider rather than ask the Imperial Guard for assistance. The Red Scorpions' Lord High Commander (Chapter Master) had turned to his Master of the Forge and Techmarines to provide a solution. As a response they developed the first Helios Pattern Land Raider by converting all of the Chapter's available Land Raiders, over a dozen in all, to carry the Whirlwind Missile Launcher. When they were ready, the Land Raiders Helios took their places next to the Chapter's Whirlwinds and delivered volley after volley into the enemy fortress. As soon as the barrage was over the Chapter's assault demi-squads mounted up in the Land Raiders and assaulted the walls, leading the Red Scorpions to victory. The success of the Siege of Helios saw the Helios Pattern became a standard part of the Red Scorpion's Armoury, and many other Chapters soon followed suit and adopted the design. The Helios Pattern was eventually accepted by the Adeptus Mechanicus as an officially recognised variant of the Land Raider.
The Land Raider Helios remains an uncommon variant of the Land Raider, and is usually only deployed when a Chapter is in need of extra artillery support that their Whirlwinds cannot provide. However, the Land Raider Helios is one of the most useful vehicles in the Armouries of the Adeptus Astartes, as it is able to provide long-range fire support, act as an anti-air platform, an assault transport, and engaging enemy armour with its Lascannons. The Land Raider Helios' main armament and weapon is its sponson-mounted, twin-linked Lascannons. These weapons are able to provide the vehicle with extensive protection while it fires its missiles. The Helios is also capable of transporting Astartes infantry, although its capacity is only half that of a standard Land Raider with room enough for six Space Marines in standard Power Armour or three Terminators. The Land Raider Helios is capable of equipping a Hyperios Missile Launcher to engage enemy aircraft. The vehicle can also be equipped with a dozer blade, extra armour plating, a pintle-mounted Storm Bolter, an improved Vox communications systems, a Hunter-Killer Missile Launcher, a searchlight, and smoke launchers.
Known Users and Deployments of the Land Raider Helios
- Red Scorpions - The Red Scorpions Space Marine Chapter designed the Land Raider Helios and were the first to use it during battle. The Red Scorpions have used the Helios extensively during the original Siege of Helios that gave the vehicle its name, the Siege of Vraks, and the Badab War.
- Space Wolves - The Space Wolves Space Marine Chapter have used the Land Raider Helios during the Centius Prime Invasion against the Orks, and during the defence of the Imperial Mining World of Betalis III against the Eldar of Craftworld Mymeara.
- Blood Angels - The Blood Angels Space Marine Chapter used the Land Raider Helios during the Anchernar Invasion.
- Dark Angels - The Dark Angels Space Marine Chapter has used the Land Raider Helios during the Piscina Campaign.
- Fire Hawks - The Fire Hawks Space Marine Chapter has used the Land Raider Helios during the Badab War against the followers of the Tyrant of Badab.
- Salamanders - The Salamanders used the Land Raider Helios during the Badab War against the Secessionist forces.
- Novamarines - The Novamarines Space Marine Chapter used the Land Raider Helios during the Badab War.
- Emperor's Warbringers - The Emperor's Warbringers Space Marine Chapter has made extensive use of the Land Raider Helios in many of its campaigns.
Known Land Raider Helios
- Death Cry - Death Cry is a Land Raider Helios of the Fire Hawks Space Marine Chapter.
- Might of Skaros - Might of Skaros is a Land Raider Helios of the Novamarines Space Marine Chapter.
- Widowmaker - Widomaker is a Land Raider Helios of the Space Wolves Space Marine Chapter.
Adeptus Mechanicus Technical Specifications
|Vehicle Name:||Land Raider Helios||Main Armament:||2 sponson-mounted Twin-linked Lascannons|
|Forge World of Origin:||Helios||Secondary Armament:||1 dorsal-mounted Whirlwind Missile Launcher|
|Known Patterns:||III - IX||Traverse:||180 degrees|
|Crew:||1 Commander, 1 Driver||Elevation:||-37 to 42 degrees|
|Powerplant:||Adaptable Thermic Combustion with Auxilliary Reactor||Main Ammunition:||Unlimited|
|Weight:||73.0 tonnes||Secondary Ammunition:||24 Missiles|
|Height:||6.7 metres||Superstructure:||95 millimetres|
|Ground Clearance:||0.45 metres||Hull:||95 millimetres|
|Max Speed On-Road:||55 kilometres per hour||Gun Mantlet:||N/A|
|Max Speed Off-Road:||48 kilometres per hour||Vehicle Designation:||0120-766-0724-PR 137|
|Transport Capacity:||6 Space Marines, or 3 Terminator Marines||Firing Ports:||N/A|
|Access Points:||2 Side Doors, 1 Front ramp||Turret:||N/A|
- Imperial Armour Volume Two - Space Marines and Forces of the Inquisition, pp. 105-110
- Imperial Armour Volume Seven - The Siege of Vraks - Part Three, p. 73
- Imperial Armour Volume Nine - The Badab War - Part One, pp. 73, 123
- Imperial Armour Volume Ten - The Badab War - Part Two, pp. 14, 26, 154, 195,
- Imperial Armour Volume Eleven - The Doom of Mymeara, pg. 58
- Imperial Armour Aeronautica, pg. 32
- Imperial Armour Update 2003, p. 10
- Imperial Armour Apocalypse II, p. 32