- "The first, last, and only line of defense your planet will ever need!"
- ―Kuat Drive Yards catalogue listing
The w-165 planetary turbolaser was a heavy turbolaser manufactured by Kuat Drive Yards. At the time of its introduction it was the most powerful planetary turbolaser ever built, and was four times as powerful as the V-150 anti-orbital ion cannon.
The w-165 was powerful enough to blast an Imperial-class Star Destroyer into pieces with a sustained volley, especially if it could pierce the main reactor after punching through the heavy armor plating. Indeed, the energy needed for each shot was enough to power a large city for an entire day. The w-165's barrel was 25 meters in diameter and used 3 kilometers of layered galven circuitry woven throughout it to produce a concentrated laser beam.
The turbolaser rested on a stabilizing platform 150 meters in diameter, including 8 stabilizer legs when situated on ice or other unstable terrain; flotation platforms and durasteel anchor cables allowed the w-165 to be placed on lakes or oceans. This platform housed the 50 meter-diameter reactor core as well as gunnery stations along the platform's outer ring for the 50 soldiers, technicians, computer operators, engineers and gunners needed to operate the weapon. The platform was heavily armored with 4 meters of permacite armor-plating and dozens of deflector shield projectors, sufficient to defend against turbolaser blasts, proton bombs and similar enemy ordnance, though engineers often buried the lower portion of the platform beneath rock or earth for additional protection.
This turbolaser could effectively target enemies through the use of its long-range sensors that were located on the platform. Additional targeting information was provided by sensor arrays on orbiting satellites. This sensor information could then be fed into the global processing network, which could in turn provide firing vectors for additional turbolasers, and allowed a quick and efficient planetary defense. Rotation gears were used to aim the turbolaser, continuously adjusting to ensure pinpoint accuracy, and allowed the barrel to rotate 360-degrees and swing the turret in a complete 180-degree arc.
The w-165 combated overheating dangers by employing over 48 overload dispersal tubes, which allowed excess heat to be absorbed or redirected and prevent an explosion in the event of a critical malfunction. The turbolaser actuator was also surrounded in a cooling sleeve to keep it within safe operating temperatures and featured armor plating to reduce the effects of blast damage should an accidental explosion overload occur.
However, the w-165 did have a few disadvantages. It was not a rapid fire weapon, as the reactor core could only provide enough energy for one shot every ten seconds, while the rotation gears used to aim the turbolaser were slow and limited its firing vectors. This meant a planet needed to install a hundred or more w-165s to provide complete coverage, which, at a cost of 10 million credits each, was an expensive proposition. Still, it was a cost many planets were more than willing to pay to ensure the safety of their population, and many worlds had an extensive network of planetary turbolasers, ion cannons and planetary shields to defend themselves from bombardment.
The original KDY design for a surface-to-space weapon, the m-68 planetary magnapulse cannon, turned out to be more effective at surface-to-surface combat, so the w-165 turbolaser was created to fulfill its original role. The New Republic would later install w-165 planetary turbolasers on over three hundred of their worlds to protect them from pirate raids and the Imperial Remnant.
- Hideouts & Strongholds
- The Essential Guide to Weapons and Technology
- The New Essential Guide to Weapons and Technology
- The Official Star Wars Fact File 39 (MAN4, Weapons Manufacturers)
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia
- The Essential Guide to Warfare