The Tau Navy’s Orca Dropship is a dedicated armoured orbital transport shuttle for ferrying Tau troops, equipment and supplies from Tau starships in orbit to a planet’s surface. Unlike the Space Marine Thunderhawk gunship, or the Tau’s own far larger Manta, the Orca is not a frontline combat vehicle and is only equipped for self-defence. This is because its primary function is transporting Tau troops, which usually takes place well away from any fighting. Orcas are well-armoured for their role and utilise the same unknown nano-crystalline alloy that is also used in many other Tau vehicles and aircraft. Using the Tau’s anti-gravity technology and powered by quad ramjets, the Orca is also fast and highly manoeuvrable despite its size and bulky appearance, allowing for the more rapid deployment of Tau troops.