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"We dubbed ourselves the "Hitak Harriers" and prepared for the obvious attack on our Uratai Basin Base. Defended by two thousand and two hundred troops and further reinforced by over three hundred armored assault vehicles including Kelliak Arms & Armor Company Freerunners, Rothana Heavy Engineering TX-130S and TX-130T fighter tanks, and a variety of modified grouncars, landspeeders, combat tramp shuttles and armored repulsorcraft, we knew Maltaz would be unprepared for our numbers."
―Commander Torv Keist[src]

The Freerunner was a repulsorcraft manufactured by Kelliak Arms and Armor Company. It was primarily used by the Alliance to Restore the Republic and was considered to be one of the most powerful assets in their Combat Assault Vehicle arsenal. The Freerunner acquired its name from the unique free floating weapons platform mounted on the vehicle's main chassis. This design allowed the Freerunner to be outfitted with different weapon profiles depending on the mission requirements.

Kelliak advertised the Freerunner as being a fast and flexible military ground craft, able to take on advanced scout, supply escort, or even front combat duties. Developed just after the Clone Wars, the Freerunner was a case of bad timing. Kelliak marketed the Freerunner to the Galactic Empire, hoping for a lucrative military contract. However, the Empire had decided to focus on using walkers and tracked vehicles and did not purchase the craft. With no forthcoming contract, Kelliak was forced to sell off the advanced stock to private arms dealers and the company went bankrupt.

The Alliance acquired a large number of Freerunners, modifying them to serve the Alliance Army and Alliance SpecForces. Freerunners were part of the Alliance force that engaged Imperial units during the Battle of Turak IV, and defended the Bhir'khi Pass during the Thrawn campaign.

Description[edit | edit source]

The Freerunner was a combat repulsorcraft developed and manufactured by Kelliak Arms and Armor Company.[1] The vehicle was 14.6 meters long[2] and consisted of a long main chassis and open-air cockpit.[1] The Freerunner was capable of reaching speeds of up to 300 kilometers an hour with a flight ceiling of two meters, and a cargo capacity of 250 kilograms.[2]

The Freerunner's free-rotating gun platform, mounted on the vehicle's main chassis, gives the craft its name. The platform was designed for versatility and to be able to mount different weapon configurations depending on the need of the owner.[1]

The price of the Freerunner on the open market varied, with prices for new vehicles ranging from 27,000 credits[2] up to 140,000 credits.[3] A price of 60,000 credits was a common cost for the craft.[4] Used vehicles sold for less, with prices as low as 14,000 credits[2] and as high as 110,000 credits.[3]

Alliance modifications[edit | edit source]

Freerunner profile view

Rebel Freerunners were armed with stripped down anti-vehicle and anti-personnel weapons. Depending on the needs of the battlefield and assignment, any given vehicle could mounted between two to four batteries. Each weapon was operated by a dedicated gunner although they could be linked to save manpower.[1] A standard configuration for an Alliance modified Freerunner was two anti-vehicle laser cannons and two anti-personnel blaster cannons.[2] Some models mounted a double anti-vehicle laser cannon and two anti-infantry blaster cannons.[5] Alliance Freerunners usually mounted Mk 2/S heavy blaster cannons and Mk 3e/S laser cannons.[8] The vehicles were also equipped with a deflector shield generator.[2]

The Freerunner's open cockpit was not popular with the Alliance CAV drivers or military leaders. In addition to not providing complete protection for the driver, it limited the vehicle's usefulness is hazardous atmospheric environments. It was not uncommon for Rebel technicians to fully enclose the cockpit.[1] Freerunners used by the Alliance were generally operated by a crew of five; a pilot and co-pilot, along with three gunners.[2] They could also accommodate up to six passengers.[3]

Alliance SpecForces also made use of the Freerunner. The SpecForce variation was deployed from landing craft and used to ferry a squad into battle. These Freerunners were modified to be less crew-intensive, relying on a pilot, co-pilot, and single gunner. They could carry up to eight passengers and had an increased cargo of 500 kilograms. For armament, SpecForce Freerunners only mounted two anti-infantry blaster cannons.[6]

History[edit | edit source]

Shortly after the Clone Wars, Kelliak Arms and Armor Company developed the Freerunner. The craft was a heavily armed military speeder intended to serve as a scout, escort, or frontline combat vehicle.[3] Kelliak intended to market the Freerunner to the Imperial Military, advertizing the craft as fast, flexible, and able to counter any combat situation.[1] However, the Empire had already decided to move away from speeders and focus on walkers and tracked combat vehicles.[3] The Freerunner did not appeal to the Empire and they passed on buying it.[1]

Forced to take a massive loss on the Freeunner, Kelliak sold its entire stock to arms merchants and undercover Alliance agents.[1] Numerous private armies deployed Freerunners, including Garm Bel Iblis's rebel force. Without the Imperial contract it needed, Kelliak went bankrupt.[4] Freerunners became popular with planetary defense forces, gangs, criminal cartels[3] such as Black Sun,[7]and pirates.[5] Although stock models were provided with a basic weapons package, many Freerunners sold at auctions were stripped of their armaments. This allowed arms dealers to make extra credits by selling the weapons separately. Freerunners served in a variety of uses, including as VIP transports, corporate ground shuttles, police assault vehicles, and medium tanks for mercenary companies.[3]

A large number of Freerunners ended up in the hands of the Alliance, becoming part of the Rebels' Combat Assault Vehicle arsenal during the Galactic Civil War. The Freerunner was one of the heavier craft used by the Alliance, being larger and slower than the Ultra-Light Assault Vehicle but capable of mounting a greater amount of firepower.[1] Rebel SpecForces also made use of the Freerunner.[6]

Freerunners in an Alliance Army Regiment.

Freerunners were deployed as part of Alliance Army regiments,[9] mostly notably as part of the Hitak Harriers' force that fought the Empire on Turak IV.[10] Freerunners were also part of the Alliance's SpecForce arsenal, and were used by the Nishr Taskforce during the campaign on Nishr.[6]

Raithal Academy utilized simulations of attacking Freerunners to hone their All Terrain Armored Transport pilots.[11] Freerunners were deployed as part of the Alliance force stationed on the moon Yavin 4.[12] During the war, the Alliance made use of a heavily modified Freerunner outfitted with heavy armor plating and deflector shields. It served as the personal transport for Mon Mothma when she had to travel in hostile territory.[1]

During the Thrawn campaign, New Republic Freerunners helped to defend the Bhir'khi Pass against an Imperial armored force.[13] Garm Bel Iblis' forces employed Freerunners, deploying them to protect Peregrine's Nest during the Thrawn campaign.[14]

Appearances[edit | edit source]

Sources[edit | edit source]

Notes and references[edit | edit source]

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