The DP20 frigate or Corellian Gunship was one of the few dedicated warship designs produced by Corellian Engineering Corporation, and was the most common member of the Corellian gunship product line. Though small and compact, it was fast and carried heavy firepower for a ship of its size and class.
Unlike its cousin, the CR90 corvette, the gunship had minimal cargo space and almost no space for passengers or troops. These small ships were designed to be only two things: fast and deadly. Engines consumed nearly half of the gunship's interior space. What little room was left was used for deflector shield generators and weapons.
Armed with eight double turbolaser cannons, four concussion missile tubes, and six quad laser cannons, the Corellian gunship was effective against both larger capital ships as well as starfighters, though it was primarily used against the latter. These ships were 120 meters long. Each one carried a crew of 45, along with 46 gunners. They were equipped with Class 2 hyperdrives.
The DP20 was originally designed for the fleet of the Galactic Republic. These vessels saw extensive use among the Corellian and Rebel Alliance/New Republic fleets, although some were also seen in the hands of independent operators, such as pirate factions and other fringe groups. Local Imperial forces also utilized the class. The Rebel Alliance, in need of a small, fast attack vessel, decided to purchase a few of these starships after witnessing a group of pirates use them to successfully hijack an Imperial shipment guarded by several Imperial fighters and bombers. At least one of these vessels was wrecked in the Korteen asteroid belt by Quarg's father and his space wreckers.
Behind the scenes
The design of the gunship is based on early concept art from the pre-production of Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope, depicting a lean, small warship that was originally conceived as an Imperial starship in the rough draft, evolving into a "pirate ship" as the script developed. This role in the movie was, of course, eventually taken by Millennium Falcon, while the linear design served as the basis for the hammerhead-bowed blockade runner: both are depicted as Corellian ships, from the same manufacturer as the non-movie gunship.
The gunship was first described in detail in the The Rebel Alliance Sourcebook in 1990, but Rebel gunships based on the same concept-art designs first appeared in issue #12 of the Marvel Star Wars comics in 1978: these were confirmed to be Corellian gunships in The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia.
In issue 25 of the Marvel Comics Star Wars, Luke and Leia trade a space yacht for a Corellian gunship of this design. Luke uses it as his primary ship for much of the next year, until the Empire Strikes Back was serialized, after which Luke pretty much flew his X-Wing everywhere.
The common fan designation of this vessel was the "Corellian Gunship", before the designation tag "DP-20" or "DP20" was canonized in the revised version of Starships of the Galaxy. The term "Corellian Gunship" became a classification, one which is still widely used by fans, even today, to refer to this gunship specifically.