An MV52 Shield Drone (Kor’vesa in the Tau Lexicon) is a type of Tau Drone (small, sleek, disc-shaped, semi-sentient machines) employed exclusively by Commander Shadowsun, and possibly other Tau Commanders deemed worthy of using this experimental Drone. A prototype MV52 Shield Drone is a variant of a standard Shield Drone, and is equipped with an experimental MV52 Shield Generator. The force shields projected by this powerful device are the most potent of their kind, and offer a level of protection that is far superior to that offered by normal Shield Generators. During Commander Shadowsun’s deployment during the fighting on Mu’gulath Bay, an MV52 Shield Drone harmlessly blocked a Battle Cannon shot that would have otherwise found its deadly mark.
MV52 Shield Drones consist of an advanced processor unit, which individually has only a basic intelligence (approximately equal to that of a small animal such as a pterasquirrel), and moves about by way of a small anti-gravitic generator and a much modified version of a Tau Jetpack. This allows the MV52 Drone to hover over the ground and skim over most obstacles. As they hover over landscapes, rotating back and forth, their sensor vane constantly transmits vital information about their surroundings.
The pair of MV52 Shield Drones that often accompany Commander Shadowsun always stays within close proximity to her, and can act as a form of robotic bodyguard if necessary, by getting in the way of incoming enemy fire or close-combat opponents during the course of a battle. They are usually controlled by a Drone Controller, whether it is in the form of a support system for a Tau Battlesuit, or a hard-wired piece of wargear for Tau infantry. A Drone Controller is an electronic device that can be used by the Tau to further enhance their control over their robotic companions. A Drone Controller acts as a hub of digital communications between the Drone's operator and any Drones that are nearby the user. It serves as an advanced interface between the operator and the artificial intelligence (AI) combat programs of the Drones, and is often used to direct the Drones’ firepower far more efficiently and with a level of accuracy far greater than would otherwise be possible on the battlefield.
So deeply do the Tau believe in the Greater Good, that even their Drones are programmed with self-preservation protocols. In the face of what the AI deems to be hopeless odds, a Drone will attempt to escape rather than stand and fight. While in certain extreme circumstances Drones might be deployed on high-risk missions likely to lead to their destruction or purposefully moved to block enemy advances on units of Fire Warriors, the Tau do not consider Drones to be disposable units and the Drone artificial intelligence will analyse every possibility in order to ensure its own survival.
Ordo Xenos Departmento Analyticus Technical Specifications
- Codex: Tau Empire (4th Edition), pp. 25, 31, 35, 46-47
- Codex: Tau Empire (6th Edition), pp. 32-33, 55, 59
- Imperial Armour Volume Three - The Taros Campaign, pg. 282
- Deathwatch: Mark of the Xenos (RPG), pg. 12