Simple cockpit controls made the A-9 an easy fighter to learn. While faster than the TIE Interceptor, it had a weaker hull due to deliberate design choices made to reduce mass. Thanks to independent power generators, however, the weapons system was quite powerful for a ship of its size.
The A-9 was armed with two laser cannons, mounted in a structure on the ventral side of the fuselage. One was slightly more powerful than the other. They were fire-linked and aimed forward in their standard configuration, but several modifications existed which allowed the gun to pivot 90 degrees down to perform strafing runs, as well as allowing the cannons to be independently targeted. These cannons were more powerful than those of a T-65 X-wing starfighter.
Designed by Kuat Drive Yards, famous for its Imperial-class Star Destroyers, the A-9 was an attempt to enter the very profitable Imperial starfighter market. Though KDY was a major manufacturer of fighters for the Galactic Republic during the Clone Wars, the Imperial market was largely dominated by Sienar Fleet Systems, makers of the TIE Series.
The A-9 was intended to fulfill the Imperial Starfighter Corps' desperate need for a faster, more maneuverable fighter to deal with the New Republic A-wing interceptor. Released almost six years after the Battle of Endor, shortly after the defeat of Grand Admiral Thrawn, the vessel the Empire received did not fully meet these requirements.
In true Imperial fashion, the craft had no shields or hyperdrive, requiring the craft to operate from a fixed base or starship. Like TIE series craft, A-9s were generally deployed in large numbers to compensate for their shortcomings and replaced as required.
After Norval II rebelled against its governor Abam Tev and successfully removed its government, the New Republic gained access to the new A-9 interceptors. This proved to be a boon to the beleaguered New Republic military after the fall of Coruscant, as the A-9, along with the new E-wing fighter, helped to even the odds when Emperor Palpatine's forces attacked the ocean world of Dac.
While it was never widely adopted because of its technical shortfalls, the A-9 continued to show up in Imperial Remnant fleets, as well as in New Republic/Galactic Alliance squadrons years after its introduction. It was often rumored that KDY was in the process of developing the A-10 interceptor, which would address the problems with the A-9. In the Second Galactic Civil War, a number of them were in the Corellian Defense Force.
Behind the scenesEdit
Starfighters very similar to the A-9 were seen in a captured Imperial hangar on Brentaal IV in X-wing Rogue Squadron Issue 22, but their class was not stated. They may be early prototypes of the A-9 or a similar-looking predecessor.
A-6 Interceptors were mentioned in Jedi Quest: The School of Fear, but very little information was provided aside from the fact that they had turbolaser cannons and used astromech droids. It was the predecessor of the A-9 interceptor.
- Dark Empire (First appearance)
- Empire's End
- The New Jedi Order: Recovery
- The New Jedi Order: Star by Star
- The New Jedi Order: Enemy Lines I: Rebel Dream
- The New Jedi Order: Enemy Lines II: Rebel Stand
- The New Jedi Order: The Unifying Force
- Legacy of the Force: Betrayal
- Dark Empire Sourcebook
- A Guide to the Star Wars Universe, Second Edition, Revised and Expanded
- The Essential Guide to Vehicles and Vessels
- The Jedi Academy Sourcebook
- Star Wars Encyclopedia
- Star Wars: Behind the Magic
- Starships of the Galaxy
- The Official Star Wars Fact File 13 (KUA1, Kuat Drive Yards)
- The Official Star Wars Fact File 93 (VIG1-2, A-9 Vigilance Interceptor)
- The New Essential Guide to Vehicles and Vessels
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia
- The Unknown Regions