The Tetra is a lightweight, fast, anti-gravitic scout speeder used by the Tau Empire, and excels in its roles of reconnaissance and long range infiltration. Crewed by two Tau Pathfinders, it is lightly armed and not designed for direct engagements. As a support unit however, it is extremely effective, using its High Intensity Marker Light to guide Tau firepower.
The Tetra is a small and lightweight vehicle, as befits its role. It utilises the same anti-gravity jet propulsion systems as other Tau vehicles, and has its engines integrated into the main body of the vehicle. Its chassis is also composed of the same as-yet-unknown nano-crystalline alloy that is used in other Tau vehicles, although the armour on this speeder is not as thick. Two Pathfinders crew a Tetra in tandem, with the forwards Pathfinder piloting the vehicle while his companion who sits in the seat behind operates the speeder's Marker Light.
First encountered by the Imperium during the Taros Campaign, the Tetra is designed for long range infiltration and reconnaissance, often operating with little or no support and relying on speed and stealth for protection. Pathfinders most often use Tetras as a light and fast transport, which allows them to get into position far ahead of a Hunter Cadre before dismounting and continuing to their targets on foot so as to remain undetected. Missions range from simple surveillance to ambush, spotting for artillery, and sabotage and can last for weeks in enemy territory. Once the mission is completed, the Pathfinders will return to their Tetras and race back to the main Tau force. However, the Tetras themselves can also be used to locate and identify enemy forces. To aid them in this forward role, each Tetra is equipped with powerful surveillance and tracking equipment, as well as secure long-range communications to transmit data back to the main forces. During an armed battle with the main forces, a Tetra would acquire targets and spot for other Tau gunships such as the Hammerhead and Fire Warrior infantry. Tetras will often operate in pairs to form four-warrior Pathfinder Teams on the ground, and during the Taros Campaign, these teams would conduct surveillance, ambush and sabotage behind enemy lines. They are often found in squadrons of up to four. The Tetra is a recent innovation of the Tau military and is thus rarely deployed with most Tau frontline forces to date.
- Pathfinder Search and Destroy Cadre – Specialised detachments of rapid-moving, highly manoeuvrable units operating forwards of mainline Hunter Cadres to reconnoitre and disrupt enemy movements and destroy targets of opportunity have proved their worth to the Fire Caste time and time again. Such Pathfinder Search and Destroy Cadres are formed around the most skilled Tau Pathfinder Teams, who serve to direct and control their Cadre's actions; providing Marker Light guidance and selecting which targets should be concentrated on by the Cadre's sudden attacks. The formation's main fighting force is comprised of DX-6 Remora Drone Stealth Fighters that excel in conducting high speed hit and run attacks and rapid flanking manoeuvres. The Remoras work to disrupt and scatter enemy troops whilst singling out and destroying targets of strategic importance, such as command vehicles and support units with their heavier armaments. The Cadre's eyes and ears on the move will often be Tetra scout speeder teams who range ahead of the Remoras and Devilfish to relay battlefield data. In battle, Pathfinder Search and Destroy Cadres are continually on the move, hunting down their prey and attacking targets before moving swiftly on. A Pathfinder Search and Destroy Cadre will always consist of at least one Pathfinder Team mounted in a Devilfish, at least one Remora Drone Fighter team, and at least one Tetra scout speeder team. A single Devilfish in the Cadre will usually be designated as the command tank.
All Tetras are equipped with the following equipment and weapons as standard:
- Twin-linked Pulse Rifles - All Tetras are armed with under-slung twin-linked Pulse Rifles for basic self-defence.
- High Intensity Marker Light - A High Intensity Marker Light emits a far more powerful beam than normal Marker Lights. Drone-controlled gyros keep it steady as a Tetra moves, providing greater accuracy and also allowing multiple strikes to be performed on a single target.
- Marker Beacon - A Marker Beacon consists of the advanced optical processors and long-range communicators built into the Tetra. This feeds data back to the main Tau force, and can also allow for the more accurate deployment of other Tau Empire units.
- Disruption Pod - Disruption Pods display distorting holographic images in the visual and electromagnetic spectra to make the vehicle harder to target.
Tetras can also be upgraded with any of the following:
- Blacksun Filter - Blacksun Filters allow the vehicle's gunners to accurately see and target enemies in low-light conditions.
- Decoy Launchers - Decoy Launchers are a form of defensive measure that is mounted near the skimmer's engines. They are capable of firing clouds of reflective strips and sophisticated electronic decoys, which are combined with flare and chaff launchers to protect the vehicle's thruster arrays from enemy missiles.
- Sensor Spines - Sensor Spines feed data to an advanced ground-following flight control system. This allows the vehicle to avoid hazardous terrain that could otherwise damage the vehicle's drive systems.
- Target Lock - A Target Lock computer automatically identifies potential targets and plots fire plans accordingly. This grants the gunners more choice and accuracy in engaging various targets.
- Targeting Array - Computer-aided Targeting Arrays are sophisticated targeting systems that aid the gunners' aim in firing upon enemy targets.
Ordo Xenos Departmento Analyticus Technical Specifications
|Serial Number||85673-908325||Main Armament||Twin-linked Pulse Rifles|
|Vehicle Codename||Tetra||Secondary Armament||None|
|Vehicle Type||Light Grav-Vehicle|
|Crew||2 (Pilot, Co-Pilot)||Traverse||0°|
|Length||4.8 metres||Ammunition||1000 rounds|
|Width||2.75 metres||Armour Type||Nano-Crystalline Alloy; Composition Unknown to Adeptus Mechanicus|
|Max Recorded Speed||350 kilometres per hour|
|Summary:||Long Range Reconnaissance Vehicle|
- Imperial Armour Volume Three - The Taros Campaign, pp. 178, 285
- Deathwatch: Rites of Battle, (RPG), pg. 196