These starfighters were not considered particularly agile or powerful when first introduced, but the reinforced hull made the vessel quite durable and overall they were generally considered adequate for their class. They had comparatively small powerplants which made them less than ideal for combat in deep space, but they performed competently in planetary atmospheres and were thus considered best suited to a defensive role.
The CloakShape's simple design, modular compartments, and universal adapters encouraged modification, allowing them to be fitted with a variety of aftermarket systems. A skilled mechanic could remove and replace entire systems with ease, and by the time of the Battle of Yavin it was widely considered impossible to find an "original CloakShape."
Upgrades were commonly available to provide a stronger power generator, greater fuel storage, stronger weapons, more advanced sensors and targeting computers, and more powerful engines. Upgrades could even add completely new systems such as deflector shields, or convert the cockpit into an escape pod. In stock form, these fighters did not include a hyperdrive, which is why a self-powered hyperdrive sled was a popular upgrade.
The most popular addition was the Curich Engineering rear wing and stabilizer conversion kit; it was so common that many assumed that the fighter originally came with the stabilizer. Even with the improved handling and turning radius provided by this modification, however, the CloakShape still had its flaws; like the Z-95 Headhunter, its relatively slow sublight speed allowed heavy weapons, normally useless against a starfighter, to target the sluggish craft.
They were adopted by the Judicial Forces of the Galactic Republic, the Jedi Order (as Whitecloak fighters, a modified version), several corporations and local governments, as well as criminal organizations like the Nebula Front.
Despite its drawbacks, the CloakShape remained in service for decades after it was first regarded as outdated. CloakShapes could often be found in service as system patrol craft, smuggler blockade vessels, and support vessels for anti-piracy actions.
Han Solo encountered a CloakShape flown by a bounty hunter on Nar Shaddaa. The hunter pursued Solo and the Millennium Falcon, following the Corellian through heavy traffic, right into Shug Ninx's garage, where the targeting cannons behind the garage's secret door made short work of both the bounty hunter and his ship.
- Dark Empire Sourcebook
- The Essential Guide to Vehicles and Vessels
- Star Wars: X-Wing Alliance: Prima's Official Strategy Guide
- Starships of the Galaxy
- Power of the Jedi Sourcebook
- The New Essential Guide to Vehicles and Vessels
- Starships of the Galaxy (Saga Edition)
- Scum and Villainy
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia
- Galaxy at War
- Star Wars: The Card Game – Assault on Echo Base (Card: Outer Rim Space Pirates) (Picture only)
- The Essential Guide to Warfare
- Star Wars: Edge of the Empire Core Rulebook
- Suns of Fortune
- Star Wars: The Card Game – Knowledge and Defense (Card: Along the Gamor Run) (Picture only)
- Lords of Nal Hutta