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The Leman Russ is easily the most widely deployed battle tank currently in the service of the Emperor. It is the mainstay of Imperial Guard armoured regiments, produced in its millions on Forge Worlds and Hive Factories across the galaxy, to provide the Imperial Guard and Planetary Defence Regiments with a powerful backbone of armoured support.
The Leman Russ is not a sophisticated vehicle and contains little in the way of advanced targeting or control devices, What it lacks in technology, it makes up for in ruggedness and reliability. A Leman Russ can survive the most extreme of climates and keep operating. From the freezing chill of methane swamps and ice worlds to the blistering heat of sulphur deserts. Through snow, sand or jungles the Leman Russ never fails. It can withstand all but the very worst nature can throw at it and keep fighting.
Although the Leman Russ is a slow, lumbering vehicle in comparison to many vehicles in the Imperium's armoury, its efficient engine will run on any available fuel. Secondary weapons, electrics and life support systems run from the tank's internal generators.
The tank is robustly constructed with a reinforced cast plasteel hull and turret, strong enough to withstand the impact of most enemy shells and weapons. Most of the tank's armour is on the forward facings, thinner on the sides and thinner again on the rear. This allows the engine to move the chassis' weight without overheating or overstraining the transmission. The tank can be constructed of different materials as local availability dictates. The Mars Alpha pattern hull is constructed by rivetting armour plates together. There are many different patterns of the basic Leman Russ design, stretching back thousands of years. The basic design is also easily adaptable to other roles and the proven hull design is also used in many other vehicles.
It requires a minimum of four crew to operate a Leman Russ, with another two gunners added to this number if the tank has sponsons fitted for close defence. Due to the tanks simple and functional design, it requires minimal training for new crews to become familiar with the tank's operations. This is no substitute for hard-earned battlefield experience though. Inside the Leman Russ, there are few crew comforts. It is cramped, hot and very noisy. Due to the din, communication is only possible through the tank's intercom system.