The Kappa-class had an angled cockpit area with wide viewport, a ventral debarkation hatch, and three stubby stabilization fins. It was designed to transport troops directly into a hot landing zone. Its blaster cannons protected the shuttle during flight, while its repeating blaster cannons cleared its destined landing area of any enemy forces, thus allowing the shuttle to establish a safe zone for its carried platoon to disembark.
The Kappa-class shuttle featured an aft vehicle bay containing either two AT-RT or AT-PT walkers. Port and starboard exit hatches from the vehicle bay allowed the walkers to disembark via two aft ramps. The walkers provided heavy firepower and armor support to ground troops landing in a combat zone. This concept saw limited employment on the battlefield since the Kappa-class shuttle was replaced with newer dropships.
Eventually, Kappa-class shuttles were replaced by more modern shuttles and dropships, which featured greater troop capacity and the capability to transport ground vehicles like the AT-AT and AT-ST walkers. As a result, many Kappa-class shuttles were transferred to secondary ships within the Imperial Navy.
Regardless of its status in the Imperial Starfleet, the interior troop cabin was open to modifications, including altering the seat arrangement or removing a seat altogether. Unfortunately, most of the Kappa-class shuttles' AT-PT complement were scrapped in favor of its more intimidating and larger cousins. By the time of the Galactic Civil War, these vehicle bays were often used to contain cargo or other more conventional ground-vehicles.
In the Rebellion Era the Kappa was still in use by The Empire, and still in limited production for system militias and mercenaries; it was also a ship used by Alliance Special Forces. In any case these shuttles were highly illegal in civilian hands.
Behind the scenesEdit
When the Kappa-class shuttle was first introduced in "Mist Encounter" in the Star Wars Adventure Journal 7, it was described as capable of carrying 40 passengers and 4 crew, but the deck plan showed 96 seats and room for a crew of six. However, both Rules of Engagement: The Rebel SpecForce Handbook and The Clone Wars Campaign Guide hav reaffirmed the number of passengers and crew as 40 and 4.