Allowing Space Marines to deploy quickly and land in the middle of enemies to ensure maximum confusion and destruction, drop pods are essential kit.
Via our good friends at Lexicanum
Drop Pods are transports used primarily by Space Marines and Chaos Marines for orbital insertion and one-way rides. Adeptus Astartes use Drop pod since the time of Great Crusade. The Drop Pods of the Adeptus Astartes look and work similarly to a ship’s Life Pod and can carry either twelve normal Marines, a single Dreadnought or a single Thunderfire Cannon. They are launched from a Strike Cruiser or Battle Barge in low orbit towards the drop zone, usually amidst or near a battlefield. Once launched, they plummet through the atmosphere until retro jets fire to slow their descent. A machine spirit guides the Pod to its destination and can receive further commands from the mother ship.
Although the Pods become immobile after having landed they can be recovered by the Chapter’s Techmarines and reused. For the Drop Pods extraction usually used far larger vessels that not intended to operating in the war zones. After that they are transported to the ships that deployed them, repaired if needed and used in the next battle, so many Drop Pods have been in service for centuries. Some Space Marines Chapters inscribe records of each drops onto the interior bulkheads of their Drop Pods, so other brothers can read them and take heart in the ensuing battles.
Standard Drop-Pods are most frequently armed with an array of either Storm Bolters or Deathwind Missile Launchers. There are also cargo-carrying pods that deliver a much needed ammunition to fighting troops even in the heat of battle. Deathstorm Drop Pods (another name – Deathwind Drop Pods) are a variant pattern that don’t carry troops but have weapon systems installed to strafe the enemy with high levels of fire once they have landed and opened. They can be armed with either Whirlwind Launchers or Assault Cannons. The Kharybdis Assault Claw was a monstrous Drop Pod and transport craft used by the Legiones Astartes during the Great Crusade and Horus Heresy. The Dreadclaw is an ancient Drop Pod variant that can also be used as an assault boat for ship-to-ship combat. Unlike other Drop Pods it is able to take off after landing. Dreadclaws are exclusively used by Chaos Space Marines.
The assassins of the Eversor Temple are deployed in special Drop Pods that prepare them for their missions. These Pods are equipped with neuro-links that feed the details of the mission to the assassin while remote links activate and begin to prepare his body for the task at hand.
The Battle Sisters of the Adepta Sororitas occasionally deploy via Dominica-pattern Drop Pods when undertaking missions behind enemy lines. This includes a variant of the Deathwind drop-pod, which may be armed with either Heavy Bolters or Multi-Meltas.