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"Back in the Clone War, Saw's sister was killed by a Separatist gunship."
"The Geonosians were Separatists, right?"
"Yeah, and they created those gunships."
Rex and Ezra Bridger, during their investigation on Geonosis[src]

The HMP (Heavy Missile Platform) droid gunship,[1] also known as the HMP Predator gunship, Droid Heavy Missile Platform[2] or droid gunship, was a model of repulsorlift airspeeder[1] created by Geonosians[3] and manufactured by Baktoid Fleet Ordnance and Haor Chall Engineering Corporation. Operated by an advanced droid brain,[1] they were used by the Confederacy of Independent Systems during the Clone Wars. They were heavily armed with missile pods, and seven laser cannons.[5] Droid gunships were also used to transport B1-series battle droids, B2-series super battle droids, and BX-series droid commandos by use of racks and could deploy them into battle.[4]

Characteristics[]

A Multi-Missile Pod on an HMP droid gunship

The HMP droid gunship, otherwise known as the HMP Predator gunship, was one of the deadlier autonomous vehicles[2] designed by the Geonosians[3] and produced by Baktoid Fleet Ordnance and Haor Chall Engineering Corporation to be fielded by the Droid Army of the Confederacy of Independent Systems in response to the Galactic Republic naval forces' Low Altitude Assault Transport line of heavy combat airspeeders. 12.46 meters long, 9.75 meters wide, and 2.78 meters in depth, the HMP was envisioned as a tough, heavily ray shielded, aggressive 60,000-credit gunship that could carry heavy ordnance, perform close air support in combat zones, and go toe-to-toe with the Low Altitude Assault Transport/infantry gunship.[2]

It was similar in both shape and size to the older, crewed mechanized assault flyer, consisting of a large, heavily armored, saucer-shaped body with a centrally mounted reactor and drive system. A drooping, glowering, vulture-like head faced forward and mounted much of the ship's energy-based weaponry: a forward-mounted heavy laser cannon and two-forward mounted twin light laser cannons turrets. Small S-foils were mounted at the port and starboard sides of the vessel and carried a pair of medium lasers to round out the gunship's array of laser weaponry. The ventral surface of the saucer carried modular ordnance racks that could carry and launch any missile, rocket, torpedo, or bomb in the Confederacy navy's inventory, as well as optional deployment racks for battle droids.[2]

The HMP Predator also had a maximum speed of 100 kilometers per hour and short-range sensors with an integrated droid brain.[2] It was also equipped with a ray shield generator that was strong enough to repel fire from blaster rifles.[7]

History[]

First reports on Onderon[]

"Leave no survivors. Go."
"By your command.
"
―General Kalani and a droid gunship — (audio) Listen (file info)[src]

A HMP droid gunship prototype being developed on Geonosis

Debuting late in the Clone Wars,[5] HMP droid gunships were created by the Geonosians[3] and mass-produced in Baktoid Fleet Ordnance's factories on many Separatist planets.[10] The first reports of HMP droid gunships on the battlefield came when they were deployed during the Onderonian Civil War[4] by super tactical droid General Kalani to defeat the Onderon rebels who had established themselves in the Onderon highlands. Some of the gunships transported BX-series droid commandos to the rebels' stronghold. Although the gunships performed admirably, they were ultimately destroyed by rebels armed with Sienar shoulder-launched missiles that were supplied by the Weequay pirate Hondo Ohnaka. However, a gunship that crashed upside-down on a cliff was able to kill rebel leader Steela Gerrera—sister and rebel comrade of Saw Gerrera—before being disabled by Lux Bonteri.[7]

Gunship of the Separatist Military[]

A droid gunship carries two commando droids while firing its ordnance.

At some point, HMP droid gunships and B2-series super battle droids were used in a Separatist attack on Aq Vetina.[11] Droid gunships were deployed again on an attack led by General Grievous on Obi-Wan Kenobi's fleet, several being used to deploy droid boarding parties on Kenobi's flagship. Grievous and his forces took over Kenobi's ship, but it self-destructed as Obi-Wan and his remaining clone troopers escaped via escape pods.[8]

A droid gunship was used during the Battle of Ringo Vinda to attack a group of ARC-170 starfighters and a Nu-class attack/transport shuttle carrying the renegade clone trooper Tup. The gunship and four B2 super rocket troopers ambushed the convoy before it could it could make the jump to hyperspace. While the rocket troopers took out the escorts, the gunship fired a discord missile at the shuttle. The projectile exploded mid-flight, deploying buzz droids which then cut open the shuttle's cockpit, killing its two pilots. The droids were able to then break into the ship and capture Tup, executing all the other clones.[12]

A droid gunship attacks the Coruscant Guard on Scipio.

During the invasion of Scipio, three gunships were dispatched to deploy the Confederate garrison. Gunships deployed super battle droids to attack Clone Commander Thorn and his Coruscant Guard forces who were stationed on Scipio to protect Senator Padmé Amidala. The droids, with the addition of BX-series droid commandos, were able to defeat all of the clones, which lead to a Separatist takeover of Scipio and the capture of Senator Amidala. The Confederacy's control over the planet was short, however, as Republic reinforcements lead by Anakin Skywalker arrived and retook Scipio from the Separatists as well as free the senator.[13]

End of the war[]

Droid gunships were deployed as part of the Battle of Kashyyyk.

By the time of the Battle of Coruscant, power-hungry despots on some of the worlds that produced HMPs kept a number of the gunships for personal use. The ruler of Caramm V, Ado Eemon, sent out his personal force of HMPs to ruthlessly take out threats to his authority, which laid waste the once-beautiful planet. During the Battle of Coruscant, many of the HMPs deployed had Eemon's triple-spiral sponsorship emblem.[10] At the end of the Clone Wars, a battle between the Separatists and the Republic took place on Kashyyyk. HMP droid gunships were among the droid forces implemented during the battle. The Wookiees assisted the Republic in taking down the gunships and NR-N99 Persuader-class droids.[9]

Appearances[]

Sources[]

Notes and references[]

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