Manufactured by Golan Arms, the DF.9 was a fixed emplacement anti-infantry weapon. It incorporated a single DF.9 laser cannon mounted atop a four-meter tall cylindrical housing. The tower was composed of heavily-armored durasteel, with proton-shielding that was resistant to close-quarters blaster fire but useless against the firepower of an All Terrain Armored Transport. The tower featured a front access panel for access, and an upper observation hatch.
The turreted laser cannon employed precision targeting computers, and had a one-hundred and eighty degree rotation. The optimal range for the DF.9 was three kilometers, although the laser cannon was capable of hitting targets at a distance of sixteen kilometers at the cost of decreased accuracy. The DF.9 was capable of firing a shot every three seconds, although the beam diverged and degraded over its maximum range. The impact of the energy beam scattered explosive energy and produced a secondary blast of radiation. The collateral effect produced an eight-meter radius impact point that could effectively destroy entire squads of soldiers. The weapon produced more destructive firepower than heavy repeating blasters such as the E-Web heavy repeating blaster.
The DF.9 required a crew of three to operate; a gunner who sat in the upper turret, a targeting computer technician and a technician to monitor the energy flow from the power generator, who were both housed in the armored tower. The weapon could be crewed by a single gunner, but the efficiency of the weapon was diminished. Skilled gunners could use the DF.9's accuracy to effectively disable army support systems and light vehicles, and it was devastating to foot soldiers and a threat to vehicles such as the All Terrain Scout Transport.
The DF.9 was best used in conjunction with other similar units and anti-vehicle lasers to defend military bases, spaceports and other strategic installations. It could be installed on multiple terrain types. The nature of the DF.9's fixed emplacement meant that the unit was not able to be moved easily.
The DF.9 was a popular unit in service during the Galactic Civil War, and it was found in the militaries of both the Galactic Empire, and the Alliance to Restore the Republic, where it was the standard anti-infantry battery in use by the latter. The use of the DF.9 by the Imperial Military raised Golan Arms' stature with the Empire more than any sales brochures. However, the supply contracts were slowly taken from Golan Arms and given to companies that were run by either friends or relatives of those Imperial officers in charge. Subsequently, Golan Arms approached the Alliance about supplying them with the DF.9. Initially happy with the deal, the Alliance became less than enthused when they realized that the limited fire arc of the weapon meant that several had to be purchased and deployed to defend an installation which was a problem for the cash-short Rebellion.
The units were deployed to several important Alliance bases, including Echo Base on Hoth, Tierfon Rebel Outpost, Arbra Base, and Oracle Base on Tel III. They were modified by the Alliance to be more effective and efficient against enemy combat vehicles by upgrading the laser actuator and first-stage barrel to channel more energy through the weapon to deliver a more potent laser bolt that was effective against vehicles such as the AT-ST and the Compact Assault Vehicle/Wheeled PX-10.
By the time of the New Republic, the DF.9 was twenty years old, and was still in use by the New Republic, Imperial factions, and independent entities such as planetary defense forces, militias, and mercenaries. The units were easily purchased on the black market. During the Yuuzhan Vong War, the DF.9 was forty years old, and was generally only used by pirates and outlaws.
Behind the scenes
The November 2003 The Empire Strikes Back expansion set of the Star Wars Trading Card Game features an image of the Atgar SpaceDefense Corporation's 1.4 FD P-Tower laser cannon on the set's "Anti-Infantry Laser Battery" card, which actually describes the DF.9 anti-infantry battery. An image of the DF.9 appears on the "Antivehicle Laser Cannon", which describes the 1.4 FD P-Tower.
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Notes and references
- The Rebel Alliance Sourcebook
- Rebellion Era Campaign Guide
- Hideouts & Strongholds
- The Rebel Alliance Sourcebook, Second Edition
- The Official Star Wars Fact File 83 (ANT1-2, Golan Arms DF.9 Anti Infantry Battery)
- The Essential Guide to Weapons and Technology
- The Official Star Wars Fact File 89 (ANT3-4, Golan Arms DF.9 Anti Infantry Battery)
- The New Essential Guide to Weapons and Technology
- Galaxy Guide 3: The Empire Strikes Back
- Star Wars: Empire at War: Prima Official Game Guide
- Imperial Sourcebook