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UT-60D U-wing starfighter/support craft

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The UT-60D U-wing starfighter/support craft[2] also known as the UT-60D, or U-wing, was a transport/gunship model manufactured by Incom Corporation[1] and used by the Alliance to Restore the Republic during the Galactic Civil War. Used to drop troops into battle, and provide cover fire for them,[1] U-wings were pivotal in transport and protection of the Rebel Alliance's ground forces during the Battle of Scarif.[3]

CharacteristicsEdit

Uwing-SWB

U-wing in flight configuration

U-wings were manufactured by Incom Corporation. Their two wing-like strike foils, or S-foils,[2] were retractable and could be positioned forward-facing or backward-facing depending on the situation.[4] The movement of the S-foils was controlled by the S-foil articulation servomotor assembly. The backward facing, or flight, configuration was used in combat situations as it increased the coverage envelope of the ship's deflector shields and helped radiate excess heat from the engine's core. The increased wingspan however, was often turned into an obstacle by rough atmospheric conditions resulting in the flight configuration primarily being reserved for high altitude and interstellar operations.[2]

U-wings were armed with a pair of fixed-position Taim & Bak KX7 laser cannons. Since its primary weapons required the use of the ship's orientation for targeting, one or both of the loading doors were transformed into gunports with the mounting of improvised weapons. Therefore, any infantry-based heavy weapon could be mounted to become part of the craft's loadout. The Rebel Alliance opted to not equip permanent side-firing modifications so to not lose this versatility. One such example of these heavy weapons was the M-45 repeating ion blaster.[2]

Atmospheric speeds of up to 950kph were made possible by four 4j.4 fusial thrust engines attached next to the fuselage. Hyperspace was achieved by four Incom GBk-585 hyperdrive motivators with one mounted in each engine housing. Travel through hyperspace was often limited due to fuel requirements as crew life support requirements would greatly increase the fuel demands beyond efficiency.[2]

The two-seater cockpit was located in the center of the fuselage with viewports above and below. U-wings were unusual in the fact that they were equipped with tandem controls. This allowed the craft to be operated by a single pilot or by a flight team of two. The standardized controls featured across many Incom Corporation designs are present on U-wings.[2]

The U-wing's shielding, armor, and hold full of passengers led the craft to handle more like a heavy repulsorcraft than a swift space superiority vessel.[2]

A civilian version existed in the BT-45D but was not of use in combat situations as it was stripped of all its military offensive and defensive applications, as well as its hyperdrive.[2]

HistoryEdit

Acquisition by the RebellionEdit

The UT-60D was one of the last to be produced by Incom Corporation before it was nationalized by the Galactic Empire. Due to this, the U-wing never enjoyed a full production run. A "lost" shipment of U-wings ended up in the hand of the Rebel Alliance after the careful manipulation of Senate records by Bail Organa. The rarity of the craft made them all the more valuable to the Rebel cause.[2]

Dogfight in the Wobani system-X-wing VR Mission

Bravo One and Red Flight engage the Empire above Wobani

Around 0 BBY,[8] the U-wing Bravo One took part in the extraction of Jyn Erso from a labor camp on the planet of Wobani. Bravo One, piloted by the former Imperial security droid K-2SO, experienced technical difficulties and was unable to jump to hyperspace after the successful liberation of Erso by Extraction Team Bravo. The U-wing then sought refuge in an asteroid belt in the Wobani system to conduct repairs and request assistance from the Alliance Fleet. The X- wing squadron Red Flight came to Bravo One's assistance and attempted to escort it to the CR90 corvette Vigilant. The rendezvous was interrupted by the arrival of an Imperial I-class Star Destroyer and the destruction of the Vigilant. Bravo One was then caught in the Star Destroyer's tractor beam and subsequently freed by Red Flight's assault on the Imperial starship. With repairs complete, Bravo One and Red Flight leapt to hyperspace to rejoin the Alliance Fleet. Bravo One returned to Base One on Yavin 4 to deliver Erso to Mon Mothma and General Davits Draven. [9]

Shortly after, Jyn Erso, Captain Cassian Andor, and K-2SO set off from Yavin 4 aboard the U-wing LMTR-20 bound for the moon Jedha. After a fight with Imperial stormtroopers and capture by Saw Gerrera's Partisans, the U-wing-piloted by K-2SO-extracted Erso and Andor as well as the pilot Bodhi Rook and former Guardians of the Whills Baze Malbus and Chirrut Îmwe from Gerrera's hidden base. Simultaneously, the Death Star conducted a test firing of the battlestation's superlaser against Jedha City creating a wall of rubble that the U-wing was forced to outrun. The U-wing was able to leap to hyperspace from atmosphere after almost near destruction by falling debris.[3]

The group then headed aboard the U-wing to the planet Eadu in an attempt to rescue-or in Andor's case kill-the Imperial scientist Galen Erso. The U-wing quickly encountered huge rock pillars and heavy rain on its' approach to the Flight Station where Galen Erso was stationed. The U-wing's course remained steady until one of the right engines hit a rock pillar resulting the the ship's plummet to the planet's surface. The U-wing was eventually abandoned as Andor then the rest of the passengers left the damaged craft to continue their mission.[3]

Galactic Civil WarEdit

U wing fires at ATACT

A U-wing's door gunner fires at an AT-ACT

The U-wings of Blue Squadron as well as the rest of Base One's starfighters were scrambled soon after the Rebel Alliance learned of the "Rogue One" squad's infiltration of the Citadel Tower on Scarif. Blue Squadron emerged from hyperspace along with the Alliance Fleet led by Admiral Raddus and headed toward the Shield Gate. At least one U-wing made it through with an escort of X-wings made it past the shield. A U-wing piloted by Laren Joma and Taslet Colb provided air cover for Rebel forces already on the ground. The U-wing's door gunner, Bistan, unleashed a volley of laser fire upon an AT-ACT disabling it. The U-wing then descend to the surface delivering ground reinforcements to the battered Rebel units. Eventually, the Imperial air defenses proved too much and the U-wing was shot down resulting in the death of all who remained aboard. The Rebel's overall mission was a success however as the Death Star's plans were captured by the Rebellion.

U-wings also saw action during the Battle of Jakku as a part of the New Republic Starfleet.[7]

Behind the scenesEdit

Rogue One Concept Art Celebration

Concept art

The U-wing was created and developed for the 2016 Star Wars film Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. Concept art for the ship was first revealed at the Rogue One panel at Celebration Anaheim.[10] The U-wing was detailed on May 17, 2016, in a preview of the 2017 reference book Rogue One: A Star Wars Story: The Official Visual Story Guide.[11] Its formal designation was revealed on The Star Wars Show on August 3, 2016.[1] As the "hero ship", the craft went through hundreds of design iterations before the final was decided on. It was originally intended to be a helicopter-sized craft attached to the hero's main ship, but they moved away from the larger ship and focused on the smaller craft.[12]

AppearancesEdit

SourcesEdit

Notes and referencesEdit

External linksEdit

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