A missile is a one-shot, solid fuel rocket munition usually tipped by an explosive warhead that often serves as a powerful anti-armour and anti-aircraft weapon and is used by a wide variety of the intelligent space-faring species of the Milky Way Galaxy.
The most common missiles used by the Imperium of Man come in several variants which include some of the following: Krak (anti-vehicle), Frag (anti-infantry), Flakk (anti-air) and Hunter-Killer (which is a Krak Missile outfitted with a special set of sensors and a guidance package that allows it to home in on targets more accurately).
Some T'au missiles have advanced artificial intelligences built into them, providing them with a limited form of Drone intelligence that allows them to more accurately acquire their targets and steer themselves.
Imperial Missile Types
- Astartes Anti-Plant Missiles - Astartes Anti-Plant Missiles are a stronger variant of the standard Imperial Anti-Plant Missiles. They release a vicious cocktail of toxins, viral agents, defoliants, and anti-fungal agents on detonation that reduce even the heartiest flora to a foul-smelling muck in minutes. Typically used to deny cover and to clear landing zones and fortification sites.
- Blacksword Missiles - Utilised exclusively by the Dark Angels Chapter's elite 2nd Company, the Ravenwing, the Blacksword Missile is designed to fit under the wings of the Nephilim Jetfighters. These missiles take their name from the ominous black contrails they leave in their wake, and are used primarily to bring down enemy flyers and destroy lightly armoured ground vehicles.
- Bloodstrike Missiles - Bloodstrike Missiles are specialised missiles used by the Blood Angels and their Successor Chapters' Stormraven gunships. These missiles have a two-stage solid fuel rocket booster designed to deliver a punishing blow to an enemy tank.
- Concussion Missiles - Concussion Missiles are outfitted with powerful high explosives and are very effective at breaking up entrenched enemy fortifications. Concussion Missiles are much beloved by the Battle-Brothers of the Imperial Fists garrisoned at Watch Fortress Erioch in the Jericho Reach while serving a term with the Deathwatch.
- Flakk Missiles - Flakk Missiles are designed to serve as anti-aircraft munitions so that when they explode they release a specially-shaped charge containing shrapnel intended to pierce the often lightly-armoured airframes of enemy aircraft. A Flakk Missile can be outfitted with heat-seeking or radar-based targetting packages.
- Frag Missiles - Frag Missiles, also called "Fragstorm Missiles," are designed to explode on impact with any surface, raking the immediate area with lethal shrapnel composed of aerodynamic metallic shards. Though Frag Missiles are primarily intended to be used as anti-infantry weapons, they can also be deployed effectively against light vehicles. Frag Missiles are often ineffective against heavily armoured infantry.
- Incendiary Missiles - Incendiary Missiles are commonly employed to flush out enemies in entrenched cover. Incendiary Missiles contain a slow-burning Promethium distillate that ignites when the missile explodes. The Promethium will also continue to burn in the area for a significant time after the missile has detonated.
- Helios Defence Missile - Helios Defence Missiles are used to protect ground-based Imperial vehicles and installations against enemy aircraft. The Helios Defence Missile is known to have been used in the Ironstorm Missile Pod, particularly the larger variant carried by the Acastus Knight Porphyrion. These missiles are equipped if the Knight is heading into battle-zones where the danger from airborne assault is apparent.
- Hellstrike Missile - A Hellstrike Missile is an Imperial solid-fuel air-to-surface anti-armour missile outfitted with a high-explosive warhead intended for use during ground support airstrikes. It is essentially identical in function to a Hunter-Killer Missile in that it is a guided weapon equipped with an on-board Cogitator or artificial intelligence known as a "Logis-Engine." Sensors in the missile's nose transmit information on the location and movement of the target and the surrounding environment to the Logis-Engine, which alters the trajectory of the missile in flight by manipulating its stabilising fins, allowing it to match the target's movements and avoid any obstacles. A Hellstrike Missile is larger than its Hunter-Killer counterpart and is often fired at high velocity while the aircraft deploying it is in flight. Hellstrike Missiles are a common armament on many forms of Imperial military aircraft.
- Hellfury Missile - The Hellfury Missile is an anti-personnel, air to-surface missile deployed on Aeronautica Imperialis aircraft like the Vendetta heavy gunship and the Valkyrie gunship. Each Hellfury warhead is packed with dozens of incendiary sub-munitions which are designed to be released in an airburst across a wide area. The Hellfury Missile was designed to serve an anti-personnel function and is particularly useful in assaulting enemy troops dug-in behind cover or large hordes of basic infantry moving across open ground, such as Ork Boyz and Tyranid ground swarms.
- Hunter-Killer Missile - The missile itself is technically a large Krak Missile with added range but the main difference is that a Hunter-Killer Missile has an onboard Cogitator known as a Logis-Engine. It uses sensors located in its nose cap to guide itself towards the target, first following the target while avoiding obstacles, and then exploding on impact. There are several different variants of the Hunter-Killer Missile Launcher in existence; including the Mark X Deliverance, the Mark VIII Avenger, and the Mark IX Voss Patterns.
- Krak Missiles - Krak Missiles, also called "Krakstorm Missiles," are primarily intended to serve as anti-vehicle weapons, and contain a high-strength shaped charge with a relatively small blast radius that causes massive damage to anything it hits with minimal collateral damage. Krak Missiles are also very effective against heavily armoured infantry, bunkers and other armoured or fortified static targets where their concentrated explosives will often punch holes straight through armour. However, a Krak Missile's small blast radius makes them impractical for use against most infantry and moving targets.
- Mindstrike Missiles - Mindstrike Missiles contain clusters of psi-reactive munitions. They are effective against hordes of light troops, and particularly deadly against psykers. For this reason they are often employed by the Grey Knights and the forces of the Inquisition.
- Melta Missiles - Melta Missiles are fired from a Salvo Launcher. Their warhead contains a massive Melta charge similar to a Melta Bomb in effect that emits a furious, high-intensity melta beam when detonated. This beam is a searing blast of heat that can rip through heavy armour and fortified positions alike.
- Plasma Missiles - Plasma Missiles are the larger incarnations of Imperial Plasma Grenades and are highly effective against most foes. A single salvo of Plasma Missiles can easily turn enemy troops into a smoking crater. It is for this reason, however, that the user of Plasma Missile weaponry must take care when firing one of these dangerous weapons to make sure that he and his comrades are sufficiently out of harm's way. Plasma Missiles utilise a deliberate plasma containment failure that erupts into a blast of white-hot energy upon impact. The dense plasma core of the missile is rarely entirely consumed in the initial explosion and will leave behind a glowing, energised orb that acts like a miniature sun that leaves the immediate area of the impact unapproachable for some time. Plasma Missiles are especially effective against vehicles as the plasma core can quickly penetrate most vehicles' armour.
- Psyk-Out Missile - A Psyk-Out Missile's warhead contains a special additive that is laced within its explosive charge. The Adeptus Custodes reverently gather the dust that forms from the body of the Emperor of Mankind where He is entombed in the Golden Throne. This byproduct of the Golden Throne's arcane workings possesses a strong anti-psychic charge and can produce an effect on psykers and Warp entities similar to those produced by a psychic Null, a being afflicted with the Pariah Gene.
- Shieldbreaker Missiles - A Shieldbreaker Missile is a munition fired by a carapace-mounted Missile Launcher on the Dominus-class Knight Castellan. Shieldbreaker Missiles are an ancient variant of the redoubtable Hunter-Killer Missile. These warheads incorporate Raptoris Machine Spirits (artificial intelligences) and empyric cascade micro-generators that allow them to disrupt and pass through enemy shields by skipping like hurled stones across the skin of reality, dipping minutely in and out of the Warp in micro-second flickers. Shieldbreaker Missiles are employed to punish those dishonourable enemies who cower behind veils of arcane energy or the massed ranks of lesser warriors.
- Stormfury Missiles - Stormfury Missiles are heavy missiles deployed on the sponsons of the Primaris Space Marines' Storm Speeder Thunderstrike. It carries a powerful explosive punch and is intended to be used as an anti-armour weapon.
- Stormstrike Missiles - Stormstrike Missiles detonate with a thunderous boom that leaves those caught in the blast radius reeling and disoriented.
- Tempest Rocket - A Tempest Rocket is an Imperial ballistic rocket munition used by some Imperial military aircraft in both anti-aircraft and anti-armour roles, including the Adeptus Astartes Storm Eagle assault gunship. The Tempest Rocket was an antiquated design that was actually being phased out in favour of more powerful munitions at the time of the Horus Heresy in the early 31st Millennium, though it is still in use in the late 41st Millennium. Tempest Rockets are nevertheless simple and reliable ballistic weapons able to deal with moderately armoured targets and shoot down enemy aircraft.
- Other Types: Missiles are extremely versatile and can potentially carry any conceivable type of warhead, including: Virus, Vortex, Smoke, Gas, Tanglefoot, Haywire, Stasis and Photon Flash warheads.
- Assassinorum Executioner Force: Rulebook (7th Edition), pg. 31
- Codex: Adeptus Custodes (8th Edition), pp. 41, 67
- Codex: Dark Angels (6th Edition), pg. 60
- Codex: Grey Knights (5th Edition), pp. 57, 61
- Codex: Imperial Guard (5th Edition), pp. 56, 70
- Codex: Imperial Knights (8th Edition), pg. 68
- Codex: Sisters of Battle (5th Edition), pp. 89, 91
- Codex: Space Marines (5th Edition), pg. 103
- Codex: Space Marines (6th Edition), pg. 121
- Codex: Space Marines (9th Edition), pg. 170
- Death from the Skies (6th Edition), pg. 64
- Deathwatch: Core Rulebook (RPG), pp. 151-152
- Deathwatch: Rites of Battle (RPG), pp. 136-137
- The Horus Heresy - Book One: Betrayal (Forge World Series) by Alan Bligh, pg. 215
- The Horus Heresy - Book Seven: Inferno (Forge World Series) by Alan Bligh, pp. 196-197
- Imperial Armour - Apocalypse II, pg. 25
- Imperial Armour Volume One - Imperial Guard and Imperial Navy, pg. 225
- Imperial Armour Volume Two - Space Marines and Forces of the Inquisition, pg. 251
- Imperial Armour Volume Three - The Taros Campaign, pg. 312
- Warhammer 40,000: Stronghold Assault (6th Edition), "Fortress of Redemption"
- Warhammer 40,000 Rulebook (6th Edition), pg. 55
- Warhammer 40,000 Wargear (4th Edition)
- Warhammer 40,000 Wargear (2nd Edition)
- White Dwarf 379 (US), pp. 90-103
- White Dwarf 380 (US), pp. 84-93
- Warhammer Community - Adeptus Custodes Preview Part 3