- "Your foe is well equipped, well trained, and battle-hardened. He believes his gods are on his side. Let him believe what he will. We have the Imperial Navy on ours."
- —Squadron Leader Oleric Navar, The Malumvast Reclamation
The Marauder Destroyer is a variant of the standard Marauder Bomber that is used by the Imperial Navy as its primary atmospheric bomber aircraft. The Marauder Destroyer is the most widespread variant of the Marauder Bomber and is specialised to perform low-level ground attacks instead of performing high altitude strategic bombing. The Marauder Destroyer features a reduced bomb payload in favour of overwhelming direct firepower.
The Destroyer variant was first developed during the Second War for Armageddon, where it was outfitted for night operations and armed to carry out precision strikes on key targets. The Marauder Destroyer was accepted by the Adeptus Mechanicus after that conflict as an officially recognised variant of the Marauder Bomber and it has become common within the Imperial Navy's bomber wings.
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 airbases can be established on the ground, yet due to the Marauder's extreme range they are normally based safely behind the front, sometimes even on another continent from the frontlines.
During ground assault missions, Astra Militarum forces on the ground will mark the enemy's positions with coloured flares, allowing the Imperial Navy's bomber wings to strike with even greater accuracy. Sometimes experienced Imperial Navy pilots will accompany the ground forces to better coordinate these air strikes for their fellow flyers.
The Marauder Destroyer is more heavily armed than the standard Marauder Bomber, featuring three sets of nose-mounted twin-linked Autocannons instead of a single set of twin-linked Lascannons and up to eight Hellstrike Missiles located on external wing-mounted hardpoints. The Marauder Destroyer has a smaller bomb-bay capacity, and is capable of carrying only six heavy bombs, as opposed to the standard design's twelve.
The Destroyer variant of the Marauder also replaces the standard rear-mounted set of twin-linked Heavy Bolters with a set of twin-linked Assault Cannons, giving the aircraft greater protection against enemy aircraft while in flight. The Marauder Destroyer can be outfitted with ejection seats or an armoured cockpit, if these are not already installed, and either flare or chaff launchers which are used to confuse incoming fire, making it more difficult for enemy aircraft to damage the Imperial flyer.
The aircraft can also be equipped with infra-red targeting equipment for better accuracy in certain unfavourable environmental conditions such as nighttime where the visual sighting of a target may prove difficult or impossible. A Marauder Destroyer equipped with the ability to drop illumination flares allows for increased ground and air co-ordination as aircraft fly through the lighted area, which is useful for both locating the foe on the ground and keeping track of other friendly Imperial aircraft in the sky.
These aircraft can also feature distinctive environmental camouflage schemes and decals such as flames, teeth, or lightning flashes that can give nearby friendly troops a morale boost as they recognise an allied aircraft flying overhead.
Known Users of the Marauder Destroyer
- 2424th Imperial Navy Bomber Wing - The 2424th Imperial Navy Bomber Wing made use of Marauder Destroyers during the Third War for Armageddon, while fighting against the massive Ork WAAAGH! of Ghazghkull Mag Uruk Thraka.
- 4521st Imperial Navy Bomber Wing - The 4521st Imperial Navy Bomber Wing made use of Marauder Destroyers during the Third War for Armageddon.
- 23rd Imperial Navy Bomber Wing - The 23rd Imperial Navy Bomber Wing made use of Marauder Destroyers during an Imperial campaign on the jungle Death World of Denkari-Prime.
- 501st Imperial Navy Bomber Wing - The 501st Imperial Navy Bomber Wing has been known to make use of Marauder Destroyers.
Adeptus Mechanicus Technical Specifications
|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||6 twin-linked, nose-mounted Autocannons, 2 rear-mounted twin-linked Assault Cannons, 2 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 kilogram internal bomb payload, 8 wing-mounted Hellstrike Missiles|
|Powerplant||4 J79-CS Afterburning Ramjets||Main Ammunition||300 rounds of primary ammunition|
|Weight||43 Tonnes Empty||Secondary Ammunition||2000 rounds of secondary ammunition, 6 200 kilogram High Explosive Bombs|
|Wingspan||24.6 metres||Superstructure||45 millimetres|
|Height||4.8 metres w/ Landing Gear Down||Hull||30 millimetres|
- Imperial Armour Volume One - Imperial Guard and Imperial Navy, pp. 235- 240, 276
- Imperial Armour Volume One - Imperial Guard (Second Edition), pg. 285
- Imperial Armour Apocalypse (2nd Edition), pg. 38
- Imperial Armour Aeronautica, pg. 18
- Aeronautica Imperialis (Rulebook), pg. 23
- Tactica Aeronautica, pg. 28