Corellian Star Thunder Heavy Bomber
During the chaos of the Clone Wars, the confusion of the conflicts, the darkness of an empire rising, the mighty war machine of the Republic began making remarkable advances in stagnated technology. Unfortunately, much of the Republic's late military innovations would be pressed further by Palpatine's own war machine, turning weapons of defense into mass produced weapons of terror.
Corellian Engineering Corporation won a contract from the Republic over competing corporations such as Kuat and Sienar to design and manufacture a dedicated long-range heavy strike bomber. While CEC had prior experience in dealing with military designs, the contract came as a surprise to many CEC executives who assumed Sienar would win the bid.
The Star Thunder was based on a number of innovations which the Corellians had been developing and perfecting over the years in a number of light transport designs. The design began as a light transport and the first prototype versions of the craft were constructed in the same facilities that mass produced YT-1300s.
Corellian Engineering Corporation went above and beyond the requirements which the Republic laid out, designing a state-of-the-art assault craft capable of reducing ground facilities to rubble or turning starships into debris fields. The Republic was pleased with the prototypes which CEC turned over for testing, but was less than happy with the final price tag - two million credits per unit.
Due to the high price tag, only a handful of Star Thunders were produced. However, each and every one of them was put to constant use. Declassified Republic files detailed that a total of fifteen Star Thunders were purchased from CEC and only one was ever lost due to enemy fire. The remaining fourteen were put to use in the Imperial Navy. Heavy fighting with the Alliance resulted in the loss of another six by the time of the Battle of Endor. By chance, a New Republic task force later captured an Imperial escort carrier which was transporting the remaining eight Star Thunders to Grand Admiral Thrawn's armada. Those eight Star Thunders served all the way through the Black Fleet Crisis before they were retired.
Operation and Combat Role
The interior of the Star Thunder was very cramped, the five man crew had only the cockpit and their bunks to live in for up to two weeks on very long-range missions. The rest of the space was dedicated to weapons systems, payload and cargo space and fuel.
The Star Thunder could operate for two weeks without refueling or resupply, giving it the ability to hit targets located two sectors away and still return home. When fitted with extended range power and fuel supplies in the ventral ordnance bay, this range could be extended up to an entire month of continuous flight.
The Star Thunder was intended to be used specifically for three roles, which Corellian Engineering Corporation listed as "Long Range Bombing," "Eliminating Capital Ships" and "Convoy Destruction."
Long range bombing was usually a simple affair. The Star Thunder would launch from a carrier or base (usually several lightyears from the target) and travel via hyperspace deep into enemy territory, dropping out of hyperspace just above the target world and proceeding directly to the target to deliver its ordnance. Such strikes were quite effective, especially when diversionary tactics were used to draw off garrisoned starfighters which might have proven a threat to the Star Thunder.
The elimination of capital ships was not a missile profile ever used by the Republic with their Star Thunders. The Republic considered the Star Thunder too vulnerable to defensive turbolaser fire to rish sending against cruisers. However, the Empire would utilize their Star Thunders in this role on more than one occassion against light to medium sized Alliance warships.
Commerce raiding is a vital part of any war effort. If you eliminate the flow of food, weapons and medicines to an enemy starship or outpost, then you essentially eliminate the threat of that starship or outpost. The Star Thunder, with its extensive armaments, was a very lethal anti-convoy weapon. In this role, Star Thunders were often supplemented with long range starfighters such as late model Z-95s in the days of the Republic or assault gunboats in the days of the Empire to deal with escorting starfighters.
The Star Thunder's main combat advantage was its ventral ordnance bay, which could be fitted with a vast array of specialized or conventional weaponry. Everything from guided proton bombs to capital-scale concussion missiles to EMP wave generators to additional power and fuel containers to light automated starfighters.
The proton torpedo launchers are mounted on either side of the main fuselage along the dorsal side of the wings. These were incorporated into the design mainly as a ship-to-ship weapon. However, advanced targeting computers and clever piloting often made these torpedo launchers quite effective against stationary surface targets such as landing pads or bunkers. Each launcher was equipped with a twenty missile magazine, giving the Star Thunder an astonishing payload of forty proton torpedoes.
To further supplement the craft's already impressive arsenal, CEC built in six forward-firing fire-linked laser cannons. These were not intended to be used during dogfights, as even many outdated starfighters could outfly a Star Thunder. The laser cannons were installed as a final option once all other conventional ordance had been depleted. The power of the six linked cannons could deal out extensive damage and were quite useful against smaller capital ships and moving surface targets.
Introduced: Rise of the Empire
Model: Corellian Star Thunder
Type: Long-range heavy bomber
Length: 45 meters
Skill: Space transports: Star Thunder
Crew: 5, skeleton: 2/+15
Crew Skill: Varies widely
Cargo Capacity: 1,000 metric tons (950 ventral ordnance bay, 50 cargo hold)
Consumbables: 2 weeks (4 weeks if ventral ordnance bay is utilized for extended range fuel and power supplies)
Cost: 2,000,000 credits
Hyperdrive Multiplier: x2
Hyperdrive Backup: x24
Nav Computer: Yes
Atmosphere: 255; 750 kmh
6 Laser Cannons (fire-linked):
Fire Arc: Front
Skill: Starship Gunnery
Fire Control: 1D
Space Range: 1-5/12/25
Atmosphere Range: 100-500/1.2/2.5 km
2 Proton Torpedo Launchers (20 torpedoes each):
Fire Arc: Front
Skill: Starship Gunnery
Fire Control: 2D
Space Range: 1/3/7
Atmosphere Range: 100/300/700
Ventral Ordnance Bay:
The ventral payload bay can host a number of special systems and ordnances. The maximum capacity is 950 metric tons, which can consist of several dozen guided bombs, capital-scale missiles, satellites, mines, EMP pulse generators or whatever can be fitted in. Stats vary by payload type.