"Sure, we're slow. Sure, we make big targets. Somehow though, 6,000lbs of high-ex payload encourages the enemy not to laugh too hard about it."
- —Vox Operator/Bombardier Morn Lachan, 92nd Imperial Navy Bomber Wing
The Marauder Bomber is the primary atmospheric bomber aircraft used by the Imperial Navy. The Marauder was previously used by the Imperial Navy as their primary bomber for operations in vacuum, but has since been replaced by the more powerful Starhawk Bomber. The aircraft is usually based on an orbiting starship, and can operate in the vacuum of space as well as in a planet's atmosphere.
During a prolonged Imperial campaign, Imperial Navy Aeronautica Imperialis airbases can be established on the ground, but due to the Marauder's extreme range they are located safely behind the front, sometimes even on another continent from the frontlines. During ground assault missions, the Imperial Guard forces on the ground will mark the enemy's positions with coloured flares. Sometimes experienced Imperial Navy pilots will accompany the ground forces to better coordinate air strikes.
The Marauder Bomber is the workhorse of the Imperial Navy, mostly due to its extreme range, high speed and large payload for an aircraft of its modest size. The Marauder is used in several common tactical roles such as:
- Strategic Bombings - The Marauder will fly long-range missions to attack enemy cities, spaceports, industrial centers, and supply routes. The Marauder can operate at extremely high altitudes that are usually out of the range of enemy anti-air defence weapons. During these missions the bomber is usually accompanied by Thunderbolt Fighters to provide anti-fighter support.
- Free Range Interdiction - Marauder Bomber squadrons will fly deep into enemy territory without ground support and seek targets of opportunity. The bombers will attack targets that may have already been identified by aerial or orbital reconnaissance. These targets can include enemy supply convoys, fuel dumps, troops and vehicles in the open, airfields, and others as they present themselves. The Marauder is most effective in this role.
- Heavy Air Support for Ground Forces - Marauder Bomber squadrons will fly in direct support of ground forces, striking targets along the front line and engaging enemy armour. These are generally the most dangerous, as the bombers have to fly at lower altitudes, allowing enemy anti-air weapons to target them and can sometimes cause friendly causalities.
There are several known variants of the standard Marauder Bomber in use by the Imperial Navy. These variants allow the Marauder to engage in different roles, or to be more effective in a single role. Known variants of the Marauder Bomber include the following:
- Marauder Destroyer - By far the most widespread variant, the Destroyer variant replaces a portion of the standard Marauder's bomb capacity with missiles to engage enemy armoured units. It also replaces the nose-mounted turret Lascannons with 3 Twin-linked Autocannons to better engage enemy infantry. This variant was first developed during the Second War for Armageddon, to fight the Orks who had air superiority.
- Marauder Colossus - The Colossus variant of the Marauder bomber replaces both the internal bomb storage and top-mounted turret of the original with room for a single warhead. The warhead carried by the Colossus is a single 10,000 kg Guided Bomb. This weapon allows the Marauder to destroy heavily fortified structures and positions. This variant also replaces the nose weapons with a single set of Twin-linked Heavy Bolters.
- Marauder Vigilant - The Vigilant variant of the Marauder replaces the internal bomb storage and top-mounted turret of the original with sophisticated surveillance equipment. This variant is used to gather intelligence on enemy positions and bases, flying at a high altitude allows the craft to remain relatively safe. This variant also replaces the nose weapons with a single set of Twin-linked Heavy Bolters.
The Marauder is armed with a large amount of weapon systems, including nose-mounted, movable turret with Twin-linked Lascannons, rear turret-mounted Twin-linked Heavy Bolters, dorsal-mounted Twin-linked Heavy Bolters, 12 200 kilogram High Explosive Bombs in an internal bomb bay, and up to 6 400 kilogram Heavy Bombs on an external bomb rack. The Destroyer variant replaces the Lascannons with 3 Twin-linked Autocannons and the rear-mounted Twin-linked Heavy Bolters with Twin-linked Assault Cannons. The Colossus and Vigilant replace the bomb storage with a single heavy bomb and surveillance equipment, respectively. They also replace the nose weapons with Twin-linked Heavy Bolters. All variants of the Marauder can be outfitted with ejector seats, flare or chaff launchers, extra armour for the cockpit, infra-red targeting equipment, illumination flares, and distinctive paint schemes and decals.
Known Users of the Marauder Bomber
- The Imperial Navy - The Marauder is the primary atmospheric bomber of the Imperial Navy and it can be found on nearly all warships that support ground operations and on airfields throughout the Imperium.
- Imperial Navy 23rd Bomber Wing - The 23rd Bomber Wing made use of the Marauder Bomber during the battles fought on the Death World of Denkari-Prime.
- Imperial Navy 133rd Bomber Wing - The 133rd Bomber Wing made extensive use of the Marauder Bomber during the Betalis III Campaign.
- Imperial Navy 501st Bomber Wing - Marauder Bombers were used to great effect during the Taros Campaign against the Tau by the 501st Bomber Wing.
- Imperial Navy 1099th Bomber Wing - The seven squadrons of the 1099th Bomber Wing were deployed in support of the 88th Siege Army during the second stage of the Siege of Vraks. The long range of the Marauder was the sole means the Loyalists had to bombard Vraks' Citadel at that point in the conflict.
- Imperial Navy 1167th Bomber Wing
- Imperial Navy 2424th Bomber Wing - The 2424th Bomber Wing used the Marauder Bomber during the Taros Campaign against the Tau and later in the Third War for Armageddon against the Orks.
- Imperial Navy 4521st Bomber Wing - The 4521st Bomber Wing deployed the Marauder Bomber exclusively during the Third War for Armageddon against the Orks. It was during this conflict that the Marauder Destroyer variant of the aircraft was first conceived.
- XXI Phantine Air Corps, "Halo" Flight - The Phantine Air Corps, one of the many affiliates of the Imperial Navy, also use the Marauder Bomber. As part of the Sabbat Worlds Crusade, the Phantine XXI "Halo" Flight fought both in the Phantine Liberation campaign and the Enothian War. It was led by one of the most esteemed officers of the entire Phantine Air Corps, Wing Commander Oskar Viltry.
Adeptus Mechanicus Technical Specifications
|Type||Tactical Bomber||Operational Ceiling||41,000 metres w/ Jet Engines|
|Vehicle Name||Marauder||Max Speed||1,800 kilometres per hour|
|Forge World of Origin||Cypra Mundi||Range||15,000 kilometres in atmosphere|
|Known Patterns||I - XVI||Main Armament||Nose-mounted Twin-linked Lascannons, Rear turret-mounted Twin-linked Heavy Bolters, Dorsal-mounted Twin-linked Heavy Bolters|
|Crew||1 Pilot/Commander, 1 Navigator, 1 Bombardier, 1 Nose Gunner, 1 Tail Gunner, and 1 Turret Gunner||Secondary Armament||6,000 lbs Internal Payload, 6,000 lbs External Payload|
|Powerplant||4 x J79-CS Afterburning Ramjet||Main Ammunition||40 Shots From Battery Packs and 4000 Rounds|
|Weight||41 Tonnes Empty||Secondary Ammunition||12 x 200 kg High Explosive Bombs Internal and 6 x 400 kg Heavy Bombs External|
|Wingspan||24.6 metres||Superstructure||45 millimetres|
|Height||4.8 metres w/ Landing Gear Down||Hull||30 millimetres|
|Type||Ground Attack Bomber||Operational Ceiling||41,000 Metres w/ Jet Engines|
|Vehicle Name||Marauder Destroyer||Max Speed||1,800 kilometres per hour|
|Forge World of Origin||Cypra Mundi||Range||15,000 kilometres in atmosphere|
|Known Patterns||I - VII||Main Armament||3 Twin-linked Nose-mounted Autocannons, Rear-mounted Twin-linked Assault Cannons, Dorsal-mounted Twin-linked Heavy Bolters|
|Crew||1 Pilot/Commander, 1 Navigator, 1 Bombardier, 1 Nose Gunner, 1 Tail Gunner, and 1 Turret Gunner||Secondary Armament||3,000 Internal Payload, Hellstrike Missiles|
|Powerplant||4 x J79-CS Afterburning Ramjet||Main Ammunition||300 Rounds and 2000|
|Weight||43 Tonnes Empty||Secondary Ammunition||6 x 200 kg High Explosive Bombs and 8 Hellstrike Missiles|
|Wingspan||24.6 Meters||Superstructure||45 millimetres|
|Height||4.8 Meters w/ Landing Gear Down||Hull||30 millimetres|
- Apocalypse (4th Edition), pg. 127
- Imperial Armour Volume One - Imperial Guard and Imperial Navy, pp. 229-40
- Imperial Armour Volume Three - The Taros Campaign, pp. 93
- Imperial Armour Aeronautica, pp. 17-18
- Aeronautica Imperialis (Rulebook), pg. 23
- Tactica Aeronautica, pg. 31
- Imperial Armour Apocalypse, pg. 38
- Imperial Armour Apocalypse (2nd Edition), pg. 38
- Imperial Armour, pp. 76-79