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- "That's an air defense tower. The whole city's filled with them."
- ―Captain Riiken, to the Jedi Exile
An Air Defense Tower was a fixed defensive weapons emplacement that was often found throughout the Galactic Republic and on many worlds beyond. Mounting two Gatling-style rapid-fire laser cannons, these potent emplacements were usually erected in areas with a good line of sight. AD Towers were capable of targeting many different kinds of airborne threats, ranging from marauding swoop bikes to low-flying starfighters with relative ease.
A few of these towers were to be found within the Telosian Restoration Zones operated by Czerka Corporation, particularly in RZ-0031. After coming off the worst in an encounter with such an installation, Atton Rand recalled seeing pirate bases that sported similar types of defensive weaponry. Air defense towers were found on other worlds as well, utilizing different types of blaster and laser cannons depending on the emplacement's projected use and the availability of component technology. The Great Walled City of Iziz, which was the only center of civilization on the jungle world of Onderon, also boasted a large network of air defense towers that had been built up over the city's first millennium of existence. Their primary role was to defend the city and its inhabitants from the Beast Riders, criminals who had been cast out of the city and forced to live in the wilds, and their great winged Drexls.
The operation of air defense towers and their construction differed greatly across the galaxy. Many of these types of defenses used computer-aided targeting systems, yet still depended on sentient beings to act as gunners to select and prosecute targets. Several types were outfitted for complete autonomous operation, freeing personnel for other duties or to protect an abandoned location against unauthorized access, as in the case of the towers located in RZ-0031. Many thousands of years later, air defense towers would see further use during the decline of the Republic. Factions such as the Trade Federation, the Confederacy of Independent Systems, the Galactic Empire and the Rebel Alliance all used varying models of these devices. By this time, however, laser-armed towers had largely given way to projectile weapons-based emplacements, the more advanced of which fired ordnance that could home in on their targets, despite their use of evasive action.
Czerka air-defense turrets were turrets planted by Czerka Corporation to protect Czerka bases from trespassing starships. When the Jedi Exile and her companions ventured onto the surface of the planet Telos IV in search of her missing ship, Ebon Hawk, a multi-barreled Czerka air-defense turret shot their shuttle down. Luckily, the Exile's former technician from the Mandalorian Wars, Bao-Dur, was able to pull the Exile and her companions to safety.