- ―Vilmarh Grahrk upon seeing an HMP
The HMP (Heavy Missile Platform) droid gunship, also simply known as the droid gunship, Separatist gunship, or HMP Predator, was deployed by the Confederacy of Independent Systems (CIS) relatively late in the Clone Wars and was based on the design of the older Mechanized Assault Flyer. A shielded missile platform, the gunship was designed for air strikes in planetary atmospheres. Though the ship was slower and less maneuverable than smaller fighters, it made up in its heavy and powerful arsenal. HMPs were armed with two laser cannon turrets, one medium laser cannon, two light laser cannons, and 14 missiles. The gunship was able to carry a large variety of ordnance ranging from concussion bombs to torpedoes and electromagnetic pulse missiles.
Heavy Missile Platforms were developed by Baktoid Fleet Ordnance and Haor Chall Engineering for the Separatist Droid Army in response to the success of the Grand Army of the Republic's Low Altitude Assault Transport/infantry gunship. The gunships saw their first major Clone Wars action around 20 BBY when four of them were deployed on the planet Onderon to fight off an army of rebels. The HMPs would later be used to escort General Grievous and a boarding party to the Republic Navy's Negotiator. The gunships would again be used during the Battle of Kashyyyk in 19 BBY. After the Republic transformed into the Galactic Empire that same year, the armies of the CIS were deactivated. However, a Geonosian named Gizor Dellso used one of these gunships to board an Imperial I-class Star Destroyer during the Battle of Mustafar. It was destroyed by the stormtroopers of the 501st Legion.
- "By your command."
- ―A gunship to General Kalani
The HMP (Heavy Missile Platform) droid gunship, often referred to as "droid gunship," "Separatist gunship," or "HMP Predator," was a heavily-shielded aerial missile platform. Units ranged in length from 12.3 meters to 18.2 meters and were eleven meters wide and 3.1 meters tall. Droid gunships sold for 60,000 new and 30,000 used. On either side of the gunship's nose were large spherical gun turrets, mounting twin medium laser cannons along with their respective capacitors, as well as the targeting scanners and targeting sensor ports used to aim them. Between the two turrets were moving mandibles, a rotating mount for a medium cannon mounted on the gunship's chin, and inductors that supplied power to the gun turrets through a gap in the back of each turret, where they were hidden from external attack by the turret's armored socket. On top of the nose were two photoreceptor eyes, long-range sensor ports, the processor for the sensors and antennae, the portside targeting processor, and the starboard deflector shield generator. On the side of the nose were the fuel tanks that were exposed in order to keep radioactive fuel particles from damaging systems located under the ship's shell.
The rear of the ship was composed of a large disc. Inside the disc were the power cells, the inner support frame, repulsorlift generator, fuel pumps, and the repulsor projector grid that applied the ship's anti-gravitational lift. On the outside of the disc were the ion drive thrusters, located in grooves on the disc surface, the cooling radiator, the waste gas vent, the shield projector, and a sponsorship emblem of Phlac-Arphocc Automata Industries. In the center of the disc was the ship's reactor core, and on the front of the disc were the ship's binocular range finders used to aid in long-range spacial sense and missile guidance. On the right and left sides of the disc were modular wings that could be removed or equipped with an explosive payload.
The HMP's repulsorlift would steadily drive the gunship in flight, allowing for stable shooting in battle. The gunship ran off an especially superdense radioactive fuel supplied by Phlac-Arphocc Automata Industries. The gunships were also equipped with ray shields and vocabulators. BX-series droid commandos were capable of riding on and using the gunships as firing platforms. Late in the war, the gunships were also modified to carry twelve B2 super battle droids in ventral deployment racks located under the disc. The gunship also had a variant capable of short space travel. The HMP had a maximum acceleration of 100G and could reach atmospheric speeds of up to 14,200 kilometers per hour or fifty megalights per hour (MGLT). The ship was not equipped with a hyperdrive.
Designed for air strikes in planetary atmospheres, the droid gunship compensated for its sluggish airspeed with a powerful arsenal of weaponry. An HMP gunship's standard weapons configuration consisted of two laser cannon turrets, one medium laser cannon, two light laser cannons, and 14 missiles. The gunship's modular wings allowed the HMP to carry a wide variety of ordnance, from concussion bombs and torpedoes to electromagnetic pulse missiles. Seven missile launchers were located on either side of the gunship's main body, below the large aft-mounted disc housing the reactor core. The ships could also be fitted with droid deployment racks for insertion and extraction into heavy combat area.
- "Your gunships have failed!"
- ―Sanjay Rash to General Kalani after the Separatist defeat on Onderon
Heavy Missile Platform gunships were developed late during the Clone Wars by Haor Chall Engineering and Baktoid Fleet Ordnance for the Separatist Droid Army in response to the enormous success of the Grand Army of the Republic's Low Altitude Assault Transport/infantry (LAAT/i). Local dictators like Ado Eemon were often contracted to add to the production of the HMP and were usually supplied with a small percent of the production run, which was used to supplement their personal forces and help enforce their own rule.
The gunships made their first appearance in battle around 20 BBY when a quartet of gunships were deployed under the command of super tactical droid General Kalani on the planet Onderon to defeat an army of rebels that had gathered in the highlands. Although they were able to kill many rebels, they were all shot down after the rebels received a shipment of missile launchers delivered by the pirate Hondo Ohnaka and paid for by Anakin Skywalker. A crashed gunship, though, used its last energy to kill the rebel leader Steela Gerrera by shooting at Ahsoka Tano who was attempting to use the Force to save Steela from a cliff's edge. General Kalani evacuated the remaining Separatist forces from the planet after the defeat. During an attack on the starfleet of Jedi Obi-Wan Kenobi, droid gunships were used to deploy battle droids in an effort by General Grievous to board the Negotiator, Kenobi's flagship. The ship self-destructed, however, as Kenobi and the surviving clones evacuated via escape pods. One gunship during the Battle of Ringo Vinda was used to ambush a Nu-class shuttle carrying an aberrant clone, Tup. At one point, gunships were also used during the Separatist invasion of Scipio to deploy a garrison of battle droids. The gunships were also used by the Separatists during the Battle of Kashyyyk in 19 BBY. One gunship shot down the starship Inferno owned by the Devaronian smuggler Vilmarh Grahrk. The Inferno crashed into water, but the gunship was destroyed as it was moving in to finish the ship off. The battle resulted in a defeat for the droid army. Directly after the end of the Clone Wars, a HMP was used by the Geonosian Gizor Dellso's forces to board an Imperial I-class Star Destroyer during the Battle of Mustafar. It was destroyed, along with the droids, by the stormtroopers of the 501st Legion.
Behind the scenesEdit
The Heavy Missile Platform resembles an early concept of the Republic gunship unused for Attack of the Clones. The head of the HMP also closely resembles that of the early concept design of the AT-AT.[source?]
In the 2005 video game Star Wars: Battlefront II, HMPs serve as the Separatist space transport unit, and for gameplay purposes are piloted by droid characters although other sources such as Star Wars: Complete Locations say the gunships have an integrated droid brain.
For Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith, the concept art was created by T.J. Frame and based off the design of Trade Federation vessels from Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace. At one point, these droids were to be seen during the Battle of Coruscant before they were ultimately deemed to be atmospheric craft seen during the Battle of Kashyyyk.
LEGO created 3 sets of the Droid Gunship. One was designed for Star Wars: The Clone Wars, and the other two were designed for Revenge of the Sith. All three LEGO sets have a cockpit for a battle droid pilot, despite the fact the gunships have an integrated droid brain.
- Star Wars Battlefront: Renegade Squadron
- Star Wars Battlefront: Elite Squadron
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "The Deserter" (Mentioned only) (Referred to as Separatist gunship)
- Air Strike
- Clone Trooper Blaster Game
- Plug it in and Play: Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Tipping Points"
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Bound for Rescue"
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "The Unknown"
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Crisis at the Heart"
- Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith (First appearance)
- Star Wars: Battlefront II
- Dark Lord: The Rise of Darth Vader
- Republic 82: Hidden Enemy, Part 2
- LEGO Star Wars: The Video Game (As a mini-kit model only)
- LEGO Star Wars: The Complete Saga (As a mini-kit model only)
- Kowakian Monkey-Lizard
- LEGO Star Wars III: The Clone Wars
- Kinect Star Wars
- Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith Incredible Cross-Sections (First mentioned, simultaneous with The Visual Dictionary and movie novels)
- Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith: The Visual Dictionary (First mentioned, simultaneous with Incredible Cross-Sections and movie novels)
- "Ground Assault"—Star Wars Insider 83
- Star Wars Battlefront II: Prima Official Game Guide
- Star Wars: The Complete Visual Dictionary
- Star Wars: Complete Cross-Sections
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars Comic UK 6.46
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars: Episode Guide
- Star Wars: Complete Vehicles
- Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith (Set: 75042 Droid Gunship)
- The Official Star Wars Fact File Part 10 (HMP1–2, HMP Droid Gunship)
Notes and referencesEdit
- ↑ 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 1.16 1.17 1.18 1.19 Star Wars: Complete Cross-Sections
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 Star Wars Battlefront II: Prima Official Game Guide
- ↑ 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10
- ↑ 4.0 4.1
- ↑ The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia, Vol. II, p. 47 ("HMP droid gunship")
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 Star Wars Battlefront: Renegade Squadron
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Crisis at the Heart"
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3
- ↑ 9.0 9.1 Star Wars: Darth Maul—Death Sentence places the Darth Maul revival arc in 20 BBY, which takes place around the episode "Tipping Points."
- ↑ 10.0 10.1 10.2 Star Wars: Battlefront II
- ↑ Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "The Deserter"
- ↑ 12.0 12.1
- ↑ 13.0 13.1 Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Tipping Points"
- ↑ 14.0 14.1 Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "The Unknown"
- ↑ Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Bound for Rescue"
- ↑ 16.0 16.1 Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith
- ↑ Republic 82: Hidden Enemy, Part 2
- ↑ *