The tri-fighter, known colloquially by both its users and targets as the "Clutch", was an "Ugly" starfighter used by several parties. Moff Leonia Tavira and her gang of pirates, the Invids used them. The Rebel privateer Urias Xhaxin had several of these fighters among other Uglies on board of his ship, the Free Lance. Clutches were also used as escort fighters when the population of Dubrillon was evacuated to Dantooine.
Characteristics[edit | edit source]
The Clutch consisted of a TIE/LN starfighter ball cockpit and ion engines and three triangular fins set 120° apart with one fin above the cockpit and two below. Windows were cut into the side of the ball cockpit to give the pilot a better field of vision. Clutches were slightly slower than X-wing fighters but more maneuverable, and also had an unusual, but convenient, layout of controls, featuring a couple of pedals used for cutting quick turns, and the thrust and repulsor throttles could be turned off by pulling their respective knobs out--which the starfighter was wired to read as compensating to halt the movement in question, rather than merely ceasing thrust. This allowed a pilot to kill his ship's movement with a quick yank and re-engage it just as quickly, possibly with a quick turn added in there to further shake attackers.
Unlike Imperial TIE Series starfighters, the Clutch had basic shields, granting it better survivability. Weaponry consisted of two laser cannons mounted below the cockpit, similar to the TIE fighter. The Clutch also had an ion cannon mounted on the tip of the top fin. The lower two fins served as landing gear.
Though Clutches were sometimes referred to as "tri-fighters", they were not to be confused with the earlier droid tri-fighters used by the Confederacy of Independent Systems during the later years of the Clone Wars.