Republic Starfighter Corps

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The Republic Starfighter Corps[1] was the aerial warfare branch of the Republic Military. Alongside the Republic Navy and the Republic Army, it served the Galactic Republic for nearly fifteen thousand years until after the New Sith Wars, when the Starfighter Corps was scaled down by the Ruusan Reformation and made part of the Judicial Forces. The Republic Starfighter Corps was restored in 22 BBY with the outbreak of the Clone Wars. However, after the Declaration of a New Order in 19 BBY, the Starfighter Corps lost its status as an independent arm and was subordinated to the requirements of the Imperial Navy.[2]


The Sith WarsEdit

Part of the Republic Military, throughout its history the Republic Starfighter Corps fulfilled both planetary-based orbital defense and fleet-based deep-space combat. Traditionally it was far more involved in the former role than the latter, it being far more difficult to attach starfighters to fleets than it was to operate them from the surface of a planet. Consequently, the Republic Navy tended to disdain dedicated carriers while the Republic Starfighter Corps operated long-range, hyperspace-capable, heavily-armed snubfighters from planetary bases.[3]

For much of galactic history, however, snubfighters were absent from deep-space engagements: many of the advantages of snubfighters disappeared in the great distances between opposing squadrons of battleships. Starfighters that were designed for fleet engagements were traditionally short-ranged superiority fighters like the S-100 Stinger-class starfighter, intended for scouting ahead of assault fleets and countering attacking snubfighters with superior speed and mobility. During the Great Hyperspace War, Stinger-class starfighters duelled with the Blade-class starfighters of the Sith Empire.[4]

From the Mandalorian Wars for nearly four thousand years, the Aurek-class tactical strikefighter was the Republic's standard planet-based "hyperspace snub", with the S-250 Chela-class starfighter fulfilling a similar role. For many centuries, however, commanders were sceptical of the ability of snubfighters to decisively impact on a space battle. When anti-ship missile capability was needed, naval commanders preferred specialist bomber starfighters, large, complex and heavy craft built around powerful sensor arrays and days-long mission profiles, designed to track down enemy fleets and launch surprise attacks. Naval wisdom held for centuries that this was the only scenario in which torpedo runs could penetrate defensive fighter screens and flak defenses.[5]

In the aftermath of the Ruusan campaign, the final actions of the New Sith Wars, the Republic Starfighter Corps and the rest of the Republic Military were downsized and merged into the Judicial Forces.[6]

Clone WarsEdit

The Republic Starfighter Corps was restored in 22 BBY with the outbreak of the Clone Wars. Tactically speaking, the Corps was fully integrated into the Grand Army of the Republic and the Republic Navy.[7] Its ranks filled with clone pilots and operating alongside the Jedi Starfighter Corps, it was equipped with a new collection of advanced starfighters, including the V-19 Torrent, the BTL-B Y-wing and the Z-95 Headhunter. Late-war additions to the Starfighter Corps' arsenal included the V-wing starfighter, the ARC-170 snubfighter and the NTB-630 and PTB-625 bombers.[8]

The Republic Navy's main starfighter carriers of the war, the Venator- and Victory-class Star Destroyers, were originally designed with traditional doctrine in mind and to operate NTB-630 torpedo bombers alongside short-range A-6 Interceptors. However, developments in snubfighter technology had outraced doctrine: the performance of N-1 starfighters at the Battle of Naboo had shown that hyperspace-capable snubfighters could indeed destroy battleships. The experience was confirmed with the destruction of the Separatist superweapon Malevolence at the Battle of the Kaliida Nebula, helped in no small part by it being crippled by Y-wing starfighters. Consequently, carrier capacity was largely given over to snubfighters like the ARC-170 by the end of the Clone Wars, and designers like Vors Voorhorian and Walex Blissex spent the war years designing a new generation of starfighters that could dogfight on equal terms with any starfighter in space.[9]

As the Clone Wars progressed, heavy losses among clone pilots and the growing significance of space combat meant that clone troopers otherwise trained for ground warfare found themselves pressed into pilot roles. Among these units was the 501st Legion, which deployed a detachment of pilots to the Battle of Coruscant in 19 BBY who, alongside Squad Seven, proved instrumental in breaking through Confederate Navy pickets to allow Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker to board the Invisible Hand to rescue the kidnapped Supreme Chancellor Palpatine.[10]


The Starfighter Corps was entirely merged and integrated into the new Imperial Navy after the Declaration of a New Order. Unlike the Republic Navy, the Imperial Navy's doctrine focused on capital ship firepower rather than starfighter superiority and it subordinated the Imperial Starfighter Corps to this role. Consequently the Imperial Army was often starved of starfighter support, and had to organize fighters loaned from the Navy into understrength ground support wings. The Empire turned away from snubfighter development and instead focused on the creation of a new generation of space superiority fighters, culminating in Sienar Fleet Systems' TIE Series of starfighter. The Alliance Starfighter Corps of the Rebel Alliance, meanwhile, continued development of snubfighters, and was notable in that it remained an entirely independent branch of the Alliance Military.[11]


Mandalorian Wars and Jedi Civil WarEdit

Squadrons were the highest organizational unit of the Corps during this period, with each squadron commanded by a Commander. Because of the lack of any larger units, there was a higher turnover rate of this position than in other fields, with many commanders choosing to take assignments on larger ships in order to receive promotions.[12]

Clone WarsEdit

During the Clone Wars the Corps was divided into Groups, with each group assigned to specific units such as capital ships or starfighter bases:

  • Group: A Group was composed of two wings, 72 to 640 starfighters plus support crews, and commanded by a clone commander and a Senior Jedi General.
  • Wing: A Wing was of 3 to 10 squadrons, 36 to 320 starfighters plus support crews, and command by a clone commander or Jedi General.
  • Squadron: A Squadron was composed of 3 to 4 flights, 12 to 32 starfighters plus support crews, and commanded by a Major or Jedi Commander.
  • Flight: A Flight was composed of 2 sections, 4 to 8 starfighters plus support crews, and command by a Captain.
  • Section: A Section was commanded by a Lieutenant and composed of 2 to 4 starfighters.


Great Sith WarEdit

Mandalorian WarsEdit


Aurek fighters were common in the Starfighter Corps during the Old and New Sith Wars.

Galactic WarsEdit

Clone WarsEdit

Known unitsEdit



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Notes and referencesEdit

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