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 would continue to see usage into the reign of the Galactic Empire, but would eventually be phased out by the newer TIE line.
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 starfighter was initially created by Incom/Subpro for the Galactic Republic as a multipurpose starship, and was a successor to the Clone Z-95 starfighter. 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-wings armed with the experimental electro-proton bomb. It also played a major part in the Outer Rim Sieges. During the Battle of Coruscant, Clone Commander Odd Ball led a squad 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 ordered them to execute 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. 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.
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