The Aggressive ReConnaissance-170 starfighter, also known simply as the ARC-170 starfighter, was a heavy-duty model of starfighter used by the Galactic Republic during the Clone Wars and was considered the latest in fighter technology. Jointly manufactured by Incom Corporation and Subpro, it continued to see usage into the reign of the Galactic Empire, but was eventually phased out by the newer TIE line, though some found their way into the hands of the Alliance to Restore the Republic.
The Aggressive ReConnaissance-170 starfighter was a multipurpose starship designed for both intense battle and longer deep-space missions. It measured 12.71 meters in length, contained a hyperdrive, and propelled itself in realspace utilizing two powerful engine systems. It was piloted by a crew of three—a pilot, co-pilot, and tail gunner, along with an astromech droid. Long-range scanners and sensors were contained in the vessel's nose. During battle, the craft's S-foils opened to expose heat sinks and radiators to help cool the ship, and the two main forward medium laser cannons located on the underside of its outer wings were uncommonly large and powerful.
Its laser cannons could punch through a capital ship's armor, and its twin blaster cannons provided a rear firing arc manned by its tail gunner. Furthermore, proton torpedo launchers increased the craft's usefulness in ship-to-ship combat, and added to its already extensive repertoire in its ability to serve as a bomber. The ARC-170's deflector shields dispersed the heat generated by air resistance in atmospheric flight, enabling the craft to reach hypersonic speeds.
Frontlines of the Clone Wars
The ARC-170 starfighter was initially created by Incom/Subpro for the Galactic Republic as a multipurpose starship, and was a successor to the Clone Z-95 Headhunter. It participated in numerous battles during the latter half of the Clone Wars, such as during the Battle of Malastare, in which it guarded BTL-B Y-wing starfighter/bombers armed with the experimental electro-proton bomb while some of them strafed the Separatist ground forces. They also participated in the Battle of Kamino and the Battle of Sullust. ARC-170 Starfighters also took part in the Battle of Lola Sayu, led by Jedi Masters Saesee Tiin, Adi Gallia, and Kit Fisto, where they engaged vulture droids and droid tri-fighters in space, in order to break the blockade to allow Plo Koon and the Wolfpack to rescue Anakin, Obi-Wan, Ahsoka Tano, and Wilhuff Tarkin, who were under attack by Osi Sobeck and his droid escorts.
Later, several Wolfpack ARC-170 Starfighters were parked in Wolffe's Acclamator-class assault ship prior to Wolfpack going on their mission to deliver supplies to the people of Aleen, just after a series of groundquakes rocked the world, though the fighters never took part on the mission. ARC-170 Starfighters and BTL-B Y-wing bombers also participated in a mission to rescue Adi Gallia, who was being held captive by Grievous. The fighters assaulted the dreadnoughts defenses so Plo Koon and his rescue team can board the ship to rescue Adi Gallia, along with C-3PO and R2-D2, who were about to be incinerated to scrap metal by the Separatists. Several ARC-170's also participated in the Battle of Umbara where they were involved in breaking through the Separatist blockade to clear way for Generals Kenobi, Skywalker, and their clone forces to retake the planet. It also played a major part in the Outer Rim Sieges. During the Battle of Coruscant, Clone Commander "Odd Ball" led Clone Flight Squad Seven to protect Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi on their mission to rescue the Supreme Chancellor. Several participated in the capture of Cato Neimoidia and, following the battle, shot down Jedi General Plo Koon when Sheev Palpatine issued Order 66.
ARC-170s continued to see use in the Imperial Navy at least five years after the proclamation of the New Order as the newer TIE line came into production. Squadrons of ARC-170s were deployed from an older-generation Venator-class Star Destroyer to assist Governor Wilhuff Tarkin and the Executrix during the Campaign at Salient. Several later ambushed Kanan Jarrus when he tried to return to the Jedi Temple on Coruscant despite Master Kenobi's warning not to. It also served as a predecessor of the T-65B X-wing starfighter.
The Alliance to Restore the Republic also acquired a number of ARC-170s during the Galactic Civil War, retrofitting them to Alliance standards. Shara Bey, Thane Kyrell, Braylen Stramm, and Norra Wexley all flew the ARC-170 at some point in the war.
Behind the scenes
The ARC-170 was named after "ART-170," the title of the artwork form by concept artist Ryan Church that inspired the finalized design. Originally, it was referred to simply as a "clone fighter" in the script for Revenge of the Sith.
Notes and references
- Ultimate Star Wars
- Star Wars: Build the Millennium Falcon 36 (Starship Fact File: ARC-170 Starfighter)
- Collapse of the Republic
- Star Wars Super Graphic: A Visual Guide to a Galaxy Far, Far Away
- Star Wars: Ships of the Galaxy
- Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith
- Star Wars Encyclopedia of Starfighters and Other Vehicles
- ARC-170 Expansion Pack
- Star Wars Battlefront II
- Poe Dameron Annual 2
- Star Wars Complete Vehicles, New Edition
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "The Zillo Beast"
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "ARC Troopers"
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Nightsisters"
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Citadel Rescue"
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Mercy Mission"
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Nomad Droids"
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Darkness on Umbara"
- Catalyst: A Rogue One Novel