The Swordfish gunship is a Tau vehicle that is a relatively new addition to the Fire Caste’s armed forces. Its design is based on the familiar chassis of the Hammerhead and Devilfish. The Swordfish's defining feature is the huge, twin-linked Railgun mounted on its turret, which makes it extremely effective at eliminating enemy armour at great range. It was for this explicit role that the vehicle was originally developed by the Tau, after the sometimes painful encounters by the Fire Caste with Imperial armour and heavy armour during the Damocles Gulf Crusade.

The Swordfish was not designed as a replacement for the Hammerhead gunship, but instead as an addition to the Tau vehicle arsenal that could take on exceptionally well-armoured, super-heavy targets. However, the Swordfish design is not yet fully developed and the vehicle does suffer from several minor deficiencies, especially during extended campaigns. This is because the Swordfish requires an extensive amount of maintenance and repair or refit after each engagement. However, its impressive fighting capabilities make up for this drawback.


As standard, a Swordfish is armed with:

  • Turret-mounted Twin-linked Railguns - Railguns are linear accelerators that use superconductive electrodes to fire projectiles at hyper-velocity speeds. The vast kinetic energy generated by the weapon's round on impact often has devastating effects, and is effective against heavily armoured vehicles even at long range. A Swordfish’s Railguns can also fire submunition rounds that consist of a sophisticated bundle of smaller projectiles that provide suppressive fire against soft targets such as enemy infantry.
  • Twin-linked Missile Pods – A Missile Pod is a simple and effective delivery system for multiple high strength missiles at long range.
  • Chin-mounted Burst Cannon - Burst Cannons provide rapid-firing suppressive anti-infantry fire, acting as a self-defence weapon that can also be used to complement the fire of supporting infantry squads.

Optional Weapons

  • Seeker Missile – Swordfish gunships can optionally add up to two Seeker Missiles to their primary and secondary armaments. Each Seeker Missile is most effective when fired and guided by Marker Lights.

Ordo Xenos Departmento Analyticus Technical Specifications

Technical specifications for this Tau vehicle are not yet available from the Ordo Xenos.


  • Chapter Approved 2004, pp. 76-77
  • Epic Armageddon – Tau Army List Version 4.4, pg. 11
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