The AAL-1971/9.1 Troop Transport, also known as an Atmospheric Assault Lander (AAL) or First Order Transporter, was an armored troop carrier operated by the First Order, designed to ferry up to twenty stormtroopers from orbital vessels to planetary surfaces.
The Sienar-Jaemus Army Systems's Atmospheric Assault Lander was a combat-zone rapid-deployment transport designed to ferry twenty stormtroopers into combat in less than thirty seconds. Measuring 17.83 meters in length, it carried an additional gunner and veteran TIE pilot. It featured a disembarkation ramp at the front of the vessel, where two squads of stormtroopers in a low-light troop compartment (to preserve trooper's night vision) would disembark as a bright spotlight above the ramp brightened the landing zone, dazzling the enemy in the process. Located directly behind the searchlight was a forward deflector augmenter and sensor array. On top of the front section of the craft, there was a troop compartment emergency hatch. The cockpit was located near the stern, and was so narrow that the pilot was required to stand when operating the lander. The transport was maneuvered by a single veteran TIE pilot in a small, rectangular space above the vessel to provide maximum visibility, but could be controlled via consoles in the crew compartment below—albeit with less precision. Assault lander pilots were not generally concerned by the exposed vantage point, but complained of the ship's lack of maneuverability compared to that of a starfighter. The lander had two pairs of robust landing gear underneath for hard landings, and had one ramp actuator on either side of the front to stabilize the craft when the ramp was lowered. The lower sides of the craft included atmospheric ducting, heat exchanger fins, atmospheric processing and life support systems, as well as the forward repulsor array used during landing. On the outside were two pairs of terrain sensors near the stern.
Armament and defensesEdit
A single stormtrooper gunner protected the lander during its final approach to the drop zone, scanning the terrain from an elevated dorsal turret mounting a F-Z0 antipersonnel blaster cannon. The turret provided a 240-degree field of fire and could also be maneuvered from the crew compartment, while an elevating footplate raised the gunner into position. The blaster turret power cells were located in front of and beneath the gunner. A deflector shield generator was located on top of the craft, with a main forward deflector projector located slightly in front of it. Inside the prow was a forward deflector augmenter and sensor array for extra protection further up the front of the vessel, located behind the spotlight. Each lander had a smooth, armored hull that used voids of inert gas to dampen blaster bolt impacts, with additional external armor used to protect the engines from incoming fire.
Stormtroopers were deployed the moment the boarding ramp was lowered, with a first group of troopers rushing out to establish a perimeter. To do this, the soldiers often used FWMB-10 repeating blasters, which offered a good cover fire. Two squads, consisting of 20 soldiers, would disembark in standard two-abreast formation, and could begin combat operations in as little as 30 seconds, allowing the lander to evacuate the drop zone. The gunner would maintain his or her position until the drop zone was secured by the deployed troops, while the pilot acted as spotter to identify any threats.
Each craft was powered by a reactor located in a sturdy reactor compartment in the rear, and featured four SJAS-210 sublight ion engines that were kept powered up during landings in the event rapid extraction was required. These engines required numerous reactant ducts and pumps and an acceleration compensator to function fully. Furthermore, to give the pilot greater control of the craft, electromagnetic thrust vectoring fins were stationed over the engines exhaust, and ion drive thrusters, an ion collision bar and ion acceleration chambers further improved the assault landers maneuverability. Additionally, several power cells were located underneath the engines, sheltered under the frame of the vessel.
The Atmospheric Assault Lander was used by the First Order 30 years after the Battle of Endor. They were used to deploy stormtroopers to restore order to the Pressy's Tumble refinery complex in the Pressylla system.
Commander Poe Dameron of the Resistance had access to one, labeled 226, and he used it on the mission to discover Admiral Gial Ackbar's location after the admiral had been captured by the First Order. Dameron diverted to a planet to rescue the protocol droid C-3PO.
Just after the mission to Pressey's Tumble, four Assault Landers and Kylo Ren's command shuttle departed from the Resurgent-class Star Destroyer Finalizer and arrived at Tuanul, a village on Jakku, to discover information about Jedi Master Luke Skywalker's exile. The landers deployed multiple squads of stormtroopers, who proceeded to engage in combat with the villagers. The landers were also used to deploy strormtroopers to Maz Kanata's castle on Takodana in an attempt to secure BB-8, an astromech droid which had been given the information leading to Skywalker.
Behind the scenesEdit
The First Order Transporters appear in the 2015 Star Wars saga film Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens. The shuttles appear in the LEGO short series Poe to the Rescue. After picking up C-3PO, Poe Dameron uses it to travel to the Finalizer and rescue Admiral Ackbar.
- Star Wars Battlefront II
- Star Wars: Force Arena
- Before the Awakening
- Star Wars Special: C-3PO 1: The Phantom Limb
- Poe Dameron 1: Black Squadron, Part I
- Poe Dameron 2: Black Squadron, Part II
- Poe Dameron 13: The Gathering Storm, Part VI
- Poe Dameron 15: Legend Lost, Part II
- Poe Dameron 24: Legend Found, Part V
- "Pest Control"—Star Wars Adventures 3
- Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens (First appearance)
- Star Wars: The Force Awakens novelization
- Star Wars: The Force Awakens Graphic Novel Adaptation
- The Force Awakens, Part I
- The Force Awakens, Part IV
- Poe Dameron: Flight Log
- The Last Jedi: Cobalt Squadron
- Poe Dameron 27: The Awakening, Part II (Appears in flashback(s))
- LEGO Star Wars: The Resistance Rises – "Poe to the Rescue"
- LEGO Star Wars: The Resistance Rises – "Attack of the Conscience"
- LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens
- (First mentioned)
- LEGO Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens (Set: 75103 First Order Transporter) (First identified as First Order Transporter)
- Star Wars: The Force Awakens: The Visual Dictionary (First identified as Atmospheric Assault Lander, simultaneous with Star Wars: The Force Awakens: Incredible Cross-Sections)
- Star Wars: The Force Awakens: Incredible Cross-Sections (First identified as Atmospheric Assault Lander, simultaneous with Star Wars: The Force Awakens: The Visual Dictionary)
- The Art of Star Wars: The Force Awakens
- Star Wars: Complete Locations
- Star Wars Encyclopedia of Starfighters and Other Vehicles (First identified as AAL-1971/9.1 Troop Transport)
Notes and referencesEdit
- ↑ 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 Star Wars: The Force Awakens: Incredible Cross-Sections
- ↑ Star Wars Encyclopedia of Starfighters and Other Vehicles
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 Poe Dameron: Flight Log
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens
- ↑ Before the Awakening takes place shortly before Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens, which the Star Wars: The Force Awakens: The Visual Dictionary notes that as taking place 30 years after the Battle of Endor.
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 Before the Awakening
- ↑ Poe Dameron 1: Black Squadron, Part I
- ↑ Star Wars Special: C-3PO 1: The Phantom Limb