The DC-15A blaster rifle, known simply as the DC-15 blaster rifle, was a heavy blaster rifle manufactured by BlasTech Industries. It was one of the standard-issue weapons of the Galactic Republic's clone troopers, an army of cloned soldiers in the Grand Army of the Republic, during the Clone Wars against the Confederacy of Independent Systems. The blaster was a larger, heavier and more powerful long-range alternative to the DC-15A blaster carbine. It was used throughout the Clone Wars by the Republic and its allies, and saw limited use during the early-stages of the Galactic Civil War between the Galactic Empire and the Alliance to Restore the Republic.
The DC-15A blaster rifle was a long heavy blaster rifle that was capable of firing blue-colored blaster bolts. It weighed 4.15 kilograms and was almost fully black in color. It had a magnatomic adhesion grip and a nonconducting stock, which was weighted to improve the weapon's overall balance and to help reduce recoil. An indicator for the blaster's gas pressure was located above the trigger, right next to its blaster power pack. Circuitry for the power amplifier was located behind the rifle's protruding iron sights, which were located towards the center of the blaster. A power setting adjustor was located on the right side of the iron sights, which could be turned to change the weapon's power setting. A sniper scope was stowed underneath the rifle, which could be detached and re-attached to the weapon's iron sights, located directly above it. In addition, a flip-up optical sight was located at the end of the weapon's barrel, which itself was surrounded by heat-radiator fins.
The DC-15A blaster rifle utilized tibanna gas cartridges and blaster power packs to fire. When its user pulled the weapon's trigger, a gas release valve released a small amount of tibanna into the rifle's ignition chamber, where it was transformed into plasma by the ignitor, with energy from the blaster's power pack. The plasma was then transferred to the expansion chamber, where it became a particle beam. The beam was then intensified through a prismatic crystal and pushed through a galven circuit. Electromagnets accelerated the blaster bolt out of the weapon's barrel, where it was stabilized by magnetic pulse stabilizers and a collimating tube. The firing process generated a lot of heat, which was evacuated through the blaster's radiator fins and a heat-exchange element located in the blaster's muzzle.
To reload the blaster's power pack, the user would have to press a button to extract the pack, and insert a new one. Replacing the tibanna cartridge required the user to open the weapon, which left them vulnerable during combat situations. Due to this, most soldiers used high capacity cartridges to counter-act their vulnerability while reloading.
Characteristics and variants
The DC-15A blaster rifle was heavy, poorly balanced, difficult to use in non-wide open environments, and also suffered from beam cohesion issues after sustained fire, which affected its short-to medium-range accuracy. It was capable of automatic fire, but slower, long-range fire was preferable, as it made the weapon effective at any range. Its power output could be controlled by its user, and included a stun, low, and maximum power setting. The rifle's replaceable tibanna gas cartridges could yield 500 shots of charged plasma bolts when set on low power, and its blaster power pack could yield 50 shots when fully charged, which gave the rifle a total magazine capacity of 550 shots. If set on its maximum power, the DC-15A could hit a target ten kilometers away when equipped with a tripod, fire 300 shots, and leave a 0.5 meter-wide hole in ferrocrete. It could also punch a hole through laminate armor from one thousand meters away, and destroy lightly armored vehicles at closer ranges. The weapon's built-in targeting systems could be connected to the heads-up display of a clone trooper's helmet, making the blaster even more deadly. In addition, many clone marksmans adopted the DC-15A blaster rifle as their primary weapon, equipping it with a tripod, gyroscopic stabilizers, and long-range optical systems, which worked in conjunction with the holographic data readouts inside of their helmets. The blaster could also be equipped with an ascension cable.
A special version of the DC-15A blaster rifle with a wooden stock was created for the elite Coruscant Senate Commandos. The blaster rifle also had other variants, including the DC-15LE used by heavy weapons clone troopers, and the DC-15x sniper rifle used by Advanced Recon Commandos. The Galactic Empire's Purge Troopers and Elite Squad Troopers used modified DC-15A blaster rifles that fired red-colored blaster bolts.
Prior to the Invasion of Naboo, Jedi Master Sifo-Dyas, a member of the Jedi High Council, came to believe that the galaxy would be plunged into war. Fearing the worst for the Galactic Republic, he advocated for the creation of an army to defend it. Dismissed and cast out of the council, Sifo-Dyas secretly contacted the extragalactic Kaminoans and commissioned them to create an army of clone soldiers, which he led them to believe was for the Republic. Using the DNA of the Mandalorian bounty hunter Jango Fett as a template, the Kaminoans began work on the creation of the Grand Army of the Republic.
Physically identical to each other, clone troopers didn't need their weapons and armor to be varied in height or form to fit individual troopers. Every piece of equipment manufactured for the Grand Army of the Republic was precisely constructed to fit every clone trooper perfectly, and to maximize their combat effectiveness. Manufactured by BlasTech Industries exclusively for the clone army, the DC-15A blaster rifle was one of the standard-issue weapons of the Grand Army, and every clone cadet had to go through extensive training with it to fully qualify as Republic clone troopers.
The DC-15A blaster rifle was favored by many clones over the smaller DC-15A blaster carbine, including members of the elite 501st Legion, who considered the blaster easier to wield. Advanced Recon Force Scout Troopers also preferred the weapon, as it provided them with excellent long range capabilities. Furthermore, certain Clone Commanders also had a preference for the DC-15A blaster rifle. The commander of the Galactic Marines, CC-1138 nicknamed "Bacara," fully trusted the DC-15A's reliability in combat. CC-2224 "Cody," and CT-411 "Ponds," also preferred the weapon.
The Clone Wars
In 22 BBY, the Galactic Republic engaged Separatist forces on the planet Geonosis, beginning the galaxy-wide conflict known as the Clone Wars. During the battle, Republic clone troopers used the DC-15A blaster rifle for the first time against the Separatist Droid Army, charging towards the enemy under the command of their Jedi Generals. Using the rifle, the Galactic Republic successfully defeated the Separatist forces on the planet, and claimed their first victory of the war. Throughout the rest of the Clone Wars, the DC-15A blaster rifle continued to be used by Republic forces on many worlds, including during the Battle of Teth, where its ascension cable attachment was first used.
Following the rise of the Galactic Empire, and the execution of the Jedi Order, the DC-15A blaster rifle continued to see limited use within the new Imperial regime. The Empire's new stormtroopers continued to use the rifle until it was phased out by the introduction of the E-11 blaster rifle. Many Imperial clone troopers objected to the introduction of the E-11, claiming that it was less accurate than the DC-15A blaster rifle.
Prior to 3 BBY, Purge Troopers of the Inquisitorius used a modified version of the DC-15A blaster rifle, equipped with a scope and other attachments, that fired red-colored blaster bolts. The Elite Squad Troopers created by the War-Mantle project also used similar modified DC-15A blaster rifles.
Behind the scenes
The DC-15A blaster rifle first appeared in the new Star Wars Canon in Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones, which was released on May 16, 2002. The blaster rifle was later identified in the Ultimate Factivity Collection: Star Wars, a young-readers activity book from Dorling Kindersley, released on June 30, 2014. The DC-15A blaster rifle's name originated in the Star Wars Legends continuity, where it was first identified in the Star Wars: Attack of the Clones: The Visual Dictionary, the third book in the Star Wars Visual Dictionaries series, published by Doring Kindersley on April 23, 2002 The DC-15A blaster rifle's design was based on the real-world German MG 34 machine gun.