The Dark Fortress

The Dark Angels Fleet

15 March 2020 | 8th Edition

Below are a few notes on the organisation and strategy of the Dark Angels Fleet and its command structure.

The Swordwing is the name sometimes given to the Dark Angels Fleet. The fleet comprises battle barges, strike cruisers, rapid strike cruisers and escort vessels of various classes, as well as boarding torpedos, drop pods Thunderhawk gunships and other lesser vessels, and all the personnel required to fully man and keep the vessels maintained.

Largely a strategic organisation, the fleet is tasked with the transportation of the Dark Angels' Space Marines, vehicles and equipment to battle zones throughout the galaxy and in the defence of the Caliban homeworld. As such it is small and built for speed and stealth and the rapid deployment of Astartes warriors. The fleet has just four vessels with the might to take on Chaos or xeno battleships in a straight battle, but, it is a maxim of all fleet commanders that protracted actions of this nature are to be undertaken only in extreme circumstances. A Space Marine Chapter that cannot deploy its Marines is no good to the Imperium. Keeping the fleet in being is a key strategic aim.

It should be noted that the Dark Angels possess a large number of auxiliary escort vessels. These are the ears and eyes of the Chapter and roam far in their quest for rumours and information on the Fallen.

The fleet is critically important to the function of the Chapter and as such the upper echelons of the fleet are deeply imbedded into the Inner Circle's higher levels. The vast majority of the fleet is manned by Chapter Serfs of various strata, operating most of a ship's systems and weapons, under the direct command of the on-board fleet Gunnery, Navigation and Propulsion Officers. Further levels of Servitors, engineered and controlled by the fleet's Techmarines Navalis, are hard-wired to control stations and system nodes throughout each vessel, mono-tasked to provide semi-automatic functions not requiring the free-thought of the Chapter Serfs.

Rank structure of the Swordwing

Grand Master of the Swordwing

Rank: Grand Master
Overall Fleet command, takes decisions on strategy, fleet/squadron dispositions and strengths and is part of the higher strategic framework within the Inner Circle. Commands battle barges and attack fleets, although the GM is often accompanied by a Master who has tactical control of both the command-ship and attached fleet.

Master of the Swordwing

Rank: Master
Commanders of individual battle barges, individual attack fleets, and squadrons, under strict orders from the Grand Master. Tactical and warzone-based strategic decisions can be undertaken by the Master with complete authority provided overall strict strategic considerations are observed.

Commodore of the Swordwing

Rank: Master
Commanders of individual strike cruisers and escort flotillas. Under the guidance of the Grand Master and Masters, Commodores have a fair degree of autonomy as they are usually assigned commands in isolated stations often for long periods of sustained cruising. It should be noted that Librarians and Chaplains may also command vessels in this category, retaining their own titles of office.

Captain of the Swordwing

Rank: Veteran Sergent
Commanders of smaller vessels and individuals temporarily assigned command of vessels during certain situations — particularly in the command prize ships taken from the enemy. It should be noted that Librarians, Chaplains and Techmarines may also command vessels in this category, retaining their own titles of office.

Fleet status

Below is an extract showing the current disposition of known units of the Dark Angels fleet.

Current readiness of the Swordwing's capital ships
Battle Barges Common name Readiness
Tower Of Angels [Flagship]   Battleworthy
Tower Of Caliban   Battleworthy
Tower Of The Lion   Refitting
Tower Of The Emperor   In Reserve
Strike Cruisers Common name Readiness
Sword Of The Deathwing The Emperor's First Battleworthy
Sword Of The Ravenwing The Winged Sword Refitting
Sword Of Repentance The Confessioner [unknown]
Sword Of Vengeance The Avenger Battleworthy
Sword Of Atonement The Fury of Caliban Battleworthy
Sword Of Redemption The Light of Darkness Refitting
Sword Of Devastation The Fallen Hunter In Reserve
Sword Of Retribution The Heaven Blade Refitting
Sword Of Purgation The Punisher In Reserve
Sword Of Absolution The Exemplis Battleworthy
Current readiness of the Swordwing's escort ships
Class Strength Readiness
Rapid Strike Cruisers 4 flotillas [classified]
Hunter Class Destroyers 4 flotillas [classified]
Nova Class Frigates 2 flotillas [classified]
There are additional flotillas of unknown composition currently on patrol and not shown here.


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