"Make the Predator's virtues your own. Let your resolve become as impervious as the Predator's armoured hull, and let your rage strike with the righteous fury of its guns. As it crushes the foe beneath its remorseless advance, so shall you smite the traitor and alien without hesitation or regret. Know that to take the field alongside a Predator is to fight as the side of one of Mankind's most honoured guardians. To strive with less than your all beneath its iron gaze is to dishonour yourself and your battle-brothers before one of Mankind's greatest heroes."
- —From the teachings of Roboute Guilliman, as laid down in the Apocrypha of Skaros
The Predator Destructor, usually referred to simply as the Predator, is the most common main battle tank employed by the Space Marines of the Imperium of Man and the Traitor Legions of the Chaos Space Marines. It is a more heavily armed and armoured version of the Rhino armoured personnel carrier. The Predator Destructor is the most common variant of the Predator used by the Space Marines, and its long-barreled Syrtis Pattern Autocannon main armament, also known as a Predator Cannon, makes it most effective in an anti-infantry role.
All Rhino and Predator variants are based off of designs originally created during the Dark Age of Technology, using Standard Template Construct (STC) database designs. The tanks can be constructed on Forge Worlds of the Adeptus Mechanicus or in a Space Marine Chapter's own forges, and afterwards they are sent to the Chapter's Armoury until they are needed. A Space Marine Chapter will usually maintain around 20 to 30 Predators of all types at a time. The Master of the Forge is responsible for all the vehicles of a Chapter, and upon request will issue these vehicles where and to whom they are needed.
Space Marine battle tanks are not permanently attached to any one company. Instead they form a vehicle pool, and individual tanks are available for deployment to Space Marine commanders as required. Upon its creation, a Space Marine battle tank is assigned a name that reflects its role as a protector of the Chapter's brethren. From that point onwards, the vehicle is as much a part of the Chapter as the Space Marines themselves, and over the years its many deeds and victories will be celebrated as greatly as the Chapter's flesh and blood heroes.
The Predator Destructor, and the other Predator variants, first saw service during the Dark Age of Technology where they served as the main battle tank of all of Mankind's forces. The Predator variant of the Rhino was first developed when humanity encountered a violent and warlike breed of xenos, who would later be identified as the Orks.
The forces of Mankind were having great difficulty combatting the Ork's reckless attacks and headlong charges, and thus the Predator tank was developed with thick armour and powerful weapons that allowed it to resist the attacks of most Ork weapons.
The original Predator designs were constructed with a small amount of troop-carrying capacity, but during the years of the Emperor's Great Crusade in the late 30th and early 31st Millennium this transport capacity was gradually replaced with more storage space for ammunition, especially if the Predator was equipped with sponson-mounted weapons. This practise eventually became the standard and all Predators are equipped with sponson-mounted weapons at present.
The Predator tank features a special armoured chassis consisting of three different layers of protection. The inner layer provides the main defence for the vehicle and is constructed of bonded ceramite and adamantium alloys which provides protection that is over five times greater than conventional steel, yet is much lighter.
The second, centre layer is made of reinforcing Thermoplas containing a sub-dermal energy dissipation fibre mesh which protects against extremes of heat, cold, and radioactivity.
The third, outer layer consists of a non-magnetic acrylic identification sheath that helps the vehicle keep hidden from enemy scanners. Like all variants of the Rhino armoured personnel carrier, the Predator is capable of crossing deep water, but is not truly amphibious.
The Mars Pattern Mark IVb Predator Destructor is the most common of all the Predator types in use by the Adeptus Astartes today. The Destructor Pattern is armed with a turret-mounted Syrtis Pattern Autocannon, featuring an automated ammunition feeder, muzzle flash suppressor, and discharge extractor. The weapon is slave-linked to a multi-spectral remote targeting surveyor and accuracy talisman that is controlled by the vehicle's commander, who is also the vehicle's gunner.
During the Great Crusade, the Predator sacrificed its small troop-carrying capacity in exchange for more ammunition storage, as many Predators were being equipped with sponson-mounted weapons. This practise became standard and now all Predators are equipped with sponson-mounted weapons, which are usually Heavy Bolters or Lascannons.
The sponson-mounted weapons are controlled remotely by the tank commander from the turret using a multi-spectral targeting surveyor that is protected from enemy fire by an armoured cowling. The sponson-mounts are able to be equipped with a variety of weapons, with Heavy Bolters and Lascannons being the most common. All variants of the Predator can also be outfitted with a Dozer Blade, Extra Armour Plating, a Hunter-Killer Missile Launcher, improved communications equipment, a Pintle-mounted Storm Bolter, a Searchlight, and Smoke Launchers.
- 1-3 Predator Destructor Battle Tanks
A standard Predator Destructor is armed and equipped with:
A Predator Destructor may take the following pintle-mounted weapons:
A Predator Destructor may also be armed with the following sets of sponson weapons, two weapons per set:
Predator Destructor Battle Tanks may also have a variety of vehicle equipment such as:
The following is a list of all known Adeptus Astartes formations that include the Predator tank:
- Predator Assassin Squadron - A Predator Assassin Squadron is a formation that consists of between three and five Predator Destructor or Predator Annihilator tanks. These squadrons are tasked and outfitted with the optimum weapons configuration for the destruction of a preordained target. These formations are usually tasked with the destruction of a single enemy target above all others, and the crew of these vehicles would rather die than see their quarry escape their tank's wrath.
- The Hammer of Caliban - The Hammer of Caliban formation is a formation used by the Dark Angels Chapter and consists of one Techmarine, one Land Raider Phobos, Land Raider Crusader or Land Raider Redeemer and one Predator, Whirlwind or Vindicator tank squadron. Only the mightiest of foes are worthy of the death dealt by the Hammer of Caliban formation. Named for the beast-slaying weapons once wielded by the knights of The Order, this formation concentrates the fury of The Rock's Armoury into a single, mighty hammerblow. Comprising multiple squadrons of heavily armoured battle tanks under the auspices of the Chapter's finest Techmarines, the Hammer of Caliban is most often deployed when the enemy have multiple monstrous beasts or war engines in the field. Like the knights of their ancient homeworld, the tank-crews of the Hammer of Caliban ride their armoured steeds to war, charging down their massive prey and blasting them apart with the fire of their heavy weapons.
- Skarath Pattern, Mark IId - An older variant based on the Mark I Rhino chassis. It possesses a distinctive square turret mounted on the forward hull as opposed to the centre.
- Phaeton Pattern, Mark IIIb/c - An older variant which is very similar to the Mark IId, which is also based on a Mark I Rhino chassis with a distinctive square turret mounted on the forward hull as opposed to the center.
- Mars Pattern Mark IVb - Most common pattern of Predator Destructor. This type of Predator mounts twin-linked "Stormbringer" Lascannons, with flash dampeners and focussing rings, powered by diaquartzoid crystal batteries for maximum efficiency. Additional features include self-sealing hatches to protect against hostile environments, narrow-band long range communications array, spinal implant interfaces and umbilical pick-ups which allow the Space Marine crew to plug into the vehicle's systems through their Power Armour.
- Mark IVc Pattern
- Baal Pattern Predator - The Baal Predator is a specialised variant of the standard Space Marine Predator Destructor main battle tank, used exclusively by the Blood Angels Space Marine Chapter and their Successor Chapters. It is so named after the Blood Angels' Chapter homeworld of Baal. This variant of the standard Predator replaces the vehicle's Autocannon with twin-linked Assault Cannons. The Baal Predator is also faster and more maneuverable than the standard Predator variant. The Baal Predator's Standard Template Construct design was not approved by the Adeptus Mechanicus, and thus its use by Space Marine Chapters that are not the Blood Angels or their Successor Chapters is limited.
- Deimos Pattern Predator - The Deimos Predator is one of the oldest variants of the standard Predator Destructor main battle tank used by the Adeptus Astartes of the late 41st Millennium. The Deimos Predator is an ancient and revered design that dates back to the time of the Great Crusade. The Deimos Predator differs from other Predator variants in that its turret and sponson-mounts are elegantly curved to the point that they are almost circular and the tank makes use of more advanced internal systems and support for technologies now lost to the Imperium. Each and every Deimos Predator was Artificer-crafted by the finest machine-wrights of the great forge-complexes of Mars.
There is one basic Predator Destructor variant design in use by the Space Marines, the Predator Annihilator.
- Predator Annihilator - The Predator Annihilator is a variant of the basic Predator Destructor that replaces the tank's turret-mounted Autocannon with a set of twin-linked Lascannons. The Lascannons allow the Predator Annihilator to effectively engage enemy armoured vehicles. This variant of the Predator was developed during the 36th Millennium by the Space Wolves Space Marine Chapter to use against overwhelming enemy armoured forces during the Skarath Crusade. After nearly 200 standard years of testing, the Adeptus Mechanicus gave the Machine God's blessing for the variant, and now most Space Marine Chapters field this powerful anti-armour vehicle.
Notable Users of the Predator Destructor
- Adeptus Astartes - The Predator Destructor is the main battle tank of the Space Marines, and is also one of the most common vehicles in use with their Chapters.
- Chaos Space Marines and Renegades - Space Marine Chapters that have fallen to Chaos or have otherwise left the Imperium make use of Predator Destructors in much the same way as their Loyalist counterparts.
- Storm Warriors - The Storm Warriors Space Marine Chapter used Predator Destructors during the defence of Cadia during the 13th Black Crusade.
- Raven Guard - The Raven Guard Space Marine Chapter used Predator Destructors during the Imperial raid on the Ork held world of Kastorel-Novem.
- Space Wolves - The Space Wolves Space Marine Chapter used Predator Destructors during the defence of the Imperial Mining World of Betalis III against the Eldar of Craftworld Mymeara.
- Blood Ravens - The Blood Ravens Space Marine Chapter used Predator Destructors during the Dark Crusade, the Kaurava Campaign, and the First, Second, and Third Aurelian Crusades.
- Black Templars
- Omega Marines
- Deathstrike Chapter
Notable Deployments of the Predator Destructor
- The Taros Campaign - The Raptors and Avenging Sons Space Marines Chapters used Predator Destructors during the Taros Campaign against the Tau.
- The Siege of Vraks - During the 17-year-long Siege of Vraks, the Predator Destructor was deployed by the Red Scorpions, Steel Brethren, Dark Angels, and Red Hunters Space Marine Chapters. The tank was also used by several Chaos Space Marine warbands.
- The Badab War - During the Badab War, the Fire Angels, Novamarines, Salamanders, Minotaurs, and Sons of Medusa Space Marine Chapters used Predator Destructors. The Lamenters, Executioners, and Astral Claws Renegade Space Marine Chapters also made use of the Predator Destructor.
The Predator Destructor tank has been the iron fist of the Traitor Legions since the days of the Horus Heresy, and it is the most common Predator variant used by the Chaos Space Marines. The Forces of Chaos have used Predator tanks in every conceivable theatre of war, from the civil wars that broke out between the Traitor Legions following the attempted cloning of Horus to the Black Crusades of Abaddon the Despoiler. The Predator is used by all of the Traitor Legions, and all Renegade Space Marine Chapters that have turned against the Imperium. There are rumours of Predator Tanks within the arsenals of the Forces of Chaos that are controlled by the daemonic entities of the Warp itself, and thus lack a crew. These tanks are marked with the fell iconography of the Chaos Gods, and feature special weapons such as toxic sprayers and Sonic Weapons.
The Predator Destructor is more common amongst the ancient Traitor Legions than it is in the newer Renegade Chaos Space Marine forces that have defected from the Imperium in later times. There are many Predators being produced every day within the Eye of Terror on Chaos War Worlds and corrupted Dark Mechanicus Forge Worlds. Many smaller Chaos Space Marine warbands will scour battlefields in order to find and recover battlefield wreckage, and thus are able to add to the number of Predators and other vehicles they have at their service.
The Forces of Chaos deeply enjoy looting and corrupting Imperial vehicles, and since Predators are easy to repair, they are favoured prizes. The Predators under the control of Chaos Space Marine warbands are usually armed with either the standard Predator Autocannon or a set of twin-linked Lascannons. They can also be armed with pintle-mounted twin-linked Bolters (including Combi-Bolters) or other Combi-Weapons, and sponson-mounted Heavy Bolters or Lascannons.
Predators in use by Chaos and Renegade Astartes warbands that have recently betrayed the Imperium, or recently captured Imperial Predators, may be armed instead with a Storm Bolter or even a Hunter-Killer Missile Launcher. They can also be armed with a Havoc Missile Launcher, an ancient weapon system that has long fallen out of use in the Imperium. Chaos Predators can also be equipped with destroyer blades, Dirge Casters, dozer blades, extra armour plating, Chaos Icons or Marks, or Warpflame Gargoyles.
The main battle tank of the ancient Legiones Astartes, the Predator is such a versatile war machine that it can thrive in almost any theatre of war. It can be fitted with different weapon loadouts, allowing for anti-armour operations, anti-infantry firepower, or a mixed role depending on the enemy force's disposition. By sacrificing all troop-carrying capacity, the frontal chassis of the Predator can be reinforced, giving it far greater resilience than its personnel-carrier counterpart.
In a typical assault, Chaos Predators are used to provide fast-moving fire support. Capable of laying down punishingly accurate salvoes of firepower, the main battle tank is used to eliminate enemy armour, pave the way for an infantry assault, or throw back enemy squads that attempt to counterattack. When organised into squadrons, these tanks can change the course of a battle with a coordinated bombardment.
Frequently, the Predators used by the Chaos Space Marines have been in active service for longer than those who march alongside them. They have become embellished with horrific decorations, ragged pennants, leering gargoyles, beast-headed gun muzzles and icons of Chaos, making them as much a statement of their owners' hatred of the Imperium as weapons of war.
Adeptus Mechanicus Technical Specifications
|Vehicle Name:||Predator Destructor||Main Armament:||Turret-mounted Autocannon|
|Forge World of Origin:||Mars||Secondary Armament:||Sponson-mounted Heavy Bolters|
|Known Patterns:||I - XII||Traverse:||360 degrees|
|Crew:||1 Driver, 1 Gunner||Elevation:||-15 to 28 degrees|
|Powerplant:||Quad Mark II Adaptable Thermic Combustor Reactor||Main Ammunition:||120 Rounds|
|Weight:||44 Tonnes||Secondary Ammunition:||1100 Rounds|
|Width:||6.0 metres with sponsons|
|Height:||4.4 metres||Superstructure:||65 millimetres|
|Ground Clearance:||0.44 metres||Hull:||55 millimetres|
|Max Speed On-Road:||68 kilometres per hour||Gun Mantlet:||65 millimetres|
|Max Speed Off-Road:||50 kilometres per hour||Vehicle Designation:||0120-766-0723-RH 812/819|
|Transport Capacity:||N/A||Firing Ports:||N/A|
- Codex: Blood Angels (3rd Edition), pg. 9
- Codex: Blood Angels (4th Edition), pg. 11
- Codex: Blood Angels (5th Edition), pp. 35-36
- Codex: Black Templars (4th Edition), pp. 40-41
- Codex: Dark Angels (4th Edition), pg. 86
- Codex: Dark Angels (6th Edition), pp. 39, 78, 103
- Codex Adeptus Astartes - Dark Angels (7th Edition) (Digital Edition), "Battle Tanks", "Battle and Reserve Companies", "Predators (Datasheet)", "The Hammer of Caliban (Formation)"
- Codex Adeptus Astartes - Dark Angels (8th Edition), pp. 58-59, 116
- Codex: Space Wolves (5th Edition), pg. 41
- Codex: Space Marines (3rd Edition), pg. 14
- Codex: Space Marines (4th Edition), pp. 38-39
- Codex: Space Marines (5th Edition), pg. 78
- Codex: Space Marines (6th Edition), pp. 100-101, 176
- Codex Adeptus Astartes - Space Marines (7th Edition) (Digital Edition), "Battle Tanks", "Predators"
- Codex Adeptus Astartes - Space Marines (8th Edition), pp. 88-89, 176
- Codex: Chaos Space Marines (3rd Edition, 1st Codex), pg. 18
- Codex: Chaos Space Marines (3rd Edition, 2nd Codex), pg. 34
- Codex: Chaos Space Marines (4th Edition), pp. 42, 96
- Codex: Chaos Space Marines (6th Edition), pp. 54, 99
- Codex Heretic Astartes - Chaos Space Marines (8th Edition), pp. 70, 146
- Codex: Ultramarines (2nd Edition), pg. 69
- Warhammer 40,000: Apocalypse (6th Edition) (Digital Edition), pp. 161, 166
- Warhammer 40,000: Index Astartes - Predators (Digital Edition)
- Imperial Armour Volume Two - Space Marines and Forces of the Inquisition, pp. 26-38, 42-44
- Imperial Armour Volume Two, Second Edition - Warmachines of the Adeptus Astartes, pp. 61-67
- Imperial Armour Volume Three - The Taros Campaign, pp. 23, 54, 122, 131
- Imperial Armour Volume Five - The Siege of Vraks - Part One, pg. 64,
- Imperial Armour Volume Six - The Siege of Vraks - Part Two, pp. 57, 86, 128, 173-175
- Imperial Armour Volume Seven - The Siege of Vraks - Part Three, pp. 33, 38, 58
- Imperial Armour Volume Eight - The Raid on Kastorel-Novem, pp. 59, 66, 201
- Imperial Armour Volume Nine - The Badab War - Part One, pp. 96, 114, 122
- Imperial Armour Volume Ten - The Badab War - Part Two, pp. 26-27, 93, 103, 158-163
- Imperial Armour Volume Eleven - The Doom of Mymeara, pg. 54
- Imperial Armour Volume Thirteen - War Machines of the Lost & The Damned by Andy Hoare with additional material by Alan Bligh & Neil Wylie, pp. 28-29
- Insignium Astartes, pg. 48
- Angel Exterminatus (Novel) by Graham McNeill, pp. 382, 389