The Leman Russ Executioner is a variant of the Imperial Guard's primary main battle tank, the Leman Russ. The Leman Russ is named after the Primarch of the Space Wolves Space Marines Chapter, Leman Russ, and is one of the most common armoured vehicles used by the Imperium of Man. The Leman Russ Executioner variant differs from the standard pattern Leman Russ in that its main weapon is the powerful Plasma Destroyer, as opposed to the Battle Cannon. The Executioner is a powerful anti-armour tank, but its temperamental main weapon makes it unsuited for engagements of long duration.
The Executioner variant of the standard Leman Russ main battle tank is one of the oldest still in use by the Imperium. Ancient records from the Adeptus Mechanicus archives on Mars show that during the Great Crusade there were entire Imperial Army armoured regiments equipped with nothing but Leman Russ Executioners. Over the thousands of years since end of the Horus Heresy the Adeptus Mechanicus has slowly lost the ability to produce high-quality Plasma Weapons. In the 41st Millennium the only Forge World in the entire Imperium still capable of building the Plasma Destroyer weapon used by the Executioner is Ryza. Ryza is renowned throughout the Adeptus Mechanicus for its devout worship of the ancient and mystical arts of the plasma reactor and magnetic containment field construction. The Skitarii regiments of Ryza are equipped almost entirely with Executioners, yet the Skitarii of other Forge Worlds and the massed regiments of the Imperial Guard are left with only a few Executioners of their own. As a result, Leman Russ Executioners are a rare sight in other Imperial armoured regiments, and are usually deployed with great care by their commanders; frequently behind the main battlelines which often consist of more common Leman Russ tank variants.
The Leman Russ Executioner's main weapon, the Plasma Destroyer, is a larger and much more powerful version of the Plasma Gun used by the Space Marines and the heavy weapon squads of the Imperial Guard. The Plasma Destroyer is a temperamental and poorly understood weapon and technical difficulties containing the vast amount of heat and energy put out by the weapon during its operation can lead to catastrophic explosions. The Executioner also lacks the room to store large quantities of the photonic fuel cells that are used to power the weapon. As a result of this the Executioner cannot operate during prolonged combat operations. Unlike other Leman Russ variants, the Executioner is equipped with heat vents on its turret and heat shielding for the crew. The shielding is useful during a non-catastrophic magnetic containment breach, allowing the crew to escape. The rear of the turret is equipped with a chemical coolant flask that is to be used during emergencies, but due to the coolant lines being exposed to the exterior of the vehicle they can be damaged by enemy fire. Due to the tank's temperamental main weapon and its less than reliable emergency cooling system rookie tank crews will often abandon the vehicle at the first sign of trouble brewing. Many Imperial Guard tank crews do not favour the Executioner and they undertake many superstitious rituals before a battle. Those few Executioner crews that enjoy this vehicle are often considered insanely brave or simply insane by their fellows. Like all Leman Russ variants the Executioner is equipped with a hull-mounted weapon, either a Heavy Bolter or a Lascannon, and can also be equipped with two sponson mounts, one on each side. The most common configuration for the sponson-mount is 2 Heavy Bolters or 2 Heavy Flamers. Leman Russ Executioners that are a part of an unusually well-equipped armoured regiment sometimes have 2 Multi-Meltas or 2 Plasma Cannons as their sponson weapons. The tank can also be equipped with Camouflage Netting, Extra Armour Plating, a Hunter-Killer Missile Launcher, improved communications equipment, a mine sweeper, a Searchlight, a pintle-mounted Heavy Stubber or Storm Bolter, track guards, rough terrain modifications, a Dozer Blade, and Smoke Launchers.
Notable Users of the Leman Russ Executioners
- Imperial Guard - The Leman Russ Executioner is used as a "breakthrough" tank by the Imperial Guard, and is also used by many Imperial armoured regiments and companies that receive their vehicles from Ryza.
- Planetary Defence Forces - The Leman Russ Executioner is used by several Planetary Defence Forces stationed on Imperial worlds near Ryza.
- The Lost and the Damned - The Lost and the Damned is the name collectively given to the multitude of beings that have turned to Chaos over the millennia, the vast majority of whom are the ordinary mortals who fight for Chaos. They are not a single coherent force, but rather a diverse and infinite collection of warbands and hosts under the leadership of Chaos Champions. These forces take their weapons and vehicles with them, and as many of them were former members of the Imperial Guard or Planetary Defence Forces, they make use of an unknown number of Leman Russ Executioner tanks.
- 71st Saviar Chem-Dogs Regiment - Part of the ill-fated Goru Campaign
- 28th Death Korps of Krieg Armoured Regiment - Part of the Galan Expeditionary Force
- Armageddon Steel Legion - Used during the Third War for Armageddon
- 122nd Cadian Regiment - Fought in Vogen City during the Zai-Khann Uprising
- 31st Cadian Armoured Regiment - Fought during the Levilnor IV Campaign
- 8th Valhallan Armoured Regiment - Fought during the Sallan's World Offensive
- 11th Death Korps of Krieg Tank Regiment - Fought against Traitor Forces during the Siege of Vraks
- 61st Death Korps of Krieg Tank Regiment - Fought against Traitor Forces during the Siege of Vraks
- 6th Cadian Armoured Regiment - Fought in the defence of Betalis III against the Eldar of Craftworld Mymeara
- 46th Palladius Armoured Regiment
- 42nd Phyressian Armoured Regiment
- 8th Pardus Armoured Regiment
Adeptus Mechanicus Technical Specifications
|Vehicle Name:||Leman Russ Executioner||Main Armament:||Plasma Destroyer|
|Forge World of Origin:||Ryza||Secondary Armament:||Hull-mounted Lascannon or Heavy Bolter|
|Known Patterns:||III - VI||Traverse:||360 degrees|
|Crew:||1 Commander, 1 Driver, 1 Main Gunner, 1 Loader, 2 Sponson Gunners (if sponsons are attached)||Elevation:||-8 to 20 degrees|
|Powerplant:||HL230 v12 Multi-Fuel||Main Ammunition:||12 Shots from photonic fuel cell|
|Weight:||53 Tonnes||Secondary Ammunition:||Unlimited or 600 Rounds|
|Height:||4.42 metres||Superstructure:||180 millimetres|
|Ground Clearance:||0.45 metres||Hull:||150 millimetres|
|Max Speed On-Road:||30 kilometres per hour||Gun Mantlet:||100 millimetres|
|Max Speed Off-Road:||18 kilometres per hour||Vehicle Designation:||0427-941-2010-LR0103|
|Transport Capacity:||N/A||Firing Ports:||N/A|
|Access Points:||Top Hatch||Turret:||200 millimetres|
- Imperial Armour Volume One - Imperial Guard and Imperial Navy, pp. 61-66
- Imperial Armour Volume One - Imperial Guard (Second Edition), pp. 9, 20-21, 36-39, 255, 267
- Imperial Armour Volume Five - The Siege of Vraks - Part One, pp. 81, 120-124
- Imperial Armour Volume Six - The Siege of Vraks - Part Two, pg. 54
- Imperial Armour Volume Eleven - The Doom of Mymeara, pg. 34
- Imperial Armour Volume Twelve - The Fall of Orpheus, pp. 25, 46, 175, 203
- Imperial Armour, pp. 16-17, 40
- Codex: Imperial Guard (5th Edition), pp. 48-49
- Gaunt's Ghosts Omnibus: The Saint (Novel) by Dan Abnett, pg.148