Imperial Navy (Warhammer 40,000)

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Warships of the Imperial Navy

The Imperial Navy, or Holy Fleet, is the spacefaring arm of the Imperium of Man's armed forces. Tasked with transporting troops, engaging in ship-to-ship and ship-to-planet combat, and the general protection of Imperial space, it is perhaps the most vital arm of the Imperium's war effort.


The technology of the Imperial Navy is, in general, inferior to that of the other races in the 40K universe. To compensate the Navy relies on astounding numbers, allowing it to remain competitive on an interstellar scale.

Imperial designs favour heavy weaponry and excessive armour over sophistication. Aesthetically their designs employ the same neo-gothic style used throughout the Empire, leading many vessels to resemble space-going cathedrals. Almost all Imperial ships follow the same design, compromised of a large, heavily armored prow, in some cases mounting primary ship-to-ship torpedoes; an armored center section, mounting weapons batteries and hangers in a broadside configuration; and a large drive section, mounting both primary plasma drives and the warp drive. Due to heavy restrictions on artificial intelligence, few of an Imperial vessel's functions are automated, so they must be crewed by thousands of minimally-trained levies.


The Navy as a whole is divided into five segmenta, each of these subdivided into sectors, each of these containing a varying number of battlefleets. Battlefleets contain up to 75 capital ships, along with various escorts and support craft. These battlefleets themselves can be subdivided according to the needs of a particular sector.

The maintenance of the Navy's vessels falls to the Adeptus Mechanicus, who take a religious approach to technology that favours ritualized rote learning of procedures over actual understanding of a given technology's operating principles. While this ensures that vessels can be maintained across countless generations, as their operating procedures are immutably engrained into Adeptus rituals, it perpetuates technological stagnation within the fleet.

Beyond capital ships, the Navy employs various fighters and atmospheric craft carried by the larger vessels. No separate Air Force equivalent exists within the Imperium.

Threat Assessment

The Imperial Navy has ships which are in their own right quite formidable and at roughly comparable levels tonne for tonne in terms of durability and firepower to star wars ships, but when compared to the Galactic Empire's Imperial Navy it is outclassed. The main reason for this is industrial output. The ships of the Imperial Navy can take decades to centuries to build, while the Imperial Navy in its entirety was brought into existence in a few short years.


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