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"Hoop-wheeled tanks roared past the droids, stirring up clouds of red dust."
Bultar Swan[src]

The IG-227 Hailfire-class droid tank, also known as the IG-227 Hailfire Tank, hailfire droid, wheel droid, or simply Hailfires, was a model of droid tank manufactured by Haor Chall Engineering Corporation that was used by the InterGalactic Banking Clan and Confederacy of Independent Systems during the Clone Wars as well as the Alliance to Restore the Republic during the Galactic Civil War.

Description[]

"Twin laser blasters mounted under the IG-227's chin gave it a fighting chance to get back to its base and reload for another barrage."
―The B1-series battle droid R0-GR[src]

Hailfire droids advance on the Grand Army of the Republic during the Battle of Geonosis

Able to roll rapidly into action,[1] the IG-227 Hailfire-class droid tank was an armored missile platform easily identified by its treaded, hoop-like drive wheels[7] 8.5 meters in diameter[2] capable of moving it at intimidating speeds[1] across flat ground or shallow lakes. Capable of flattening anything in its path,[8] the hailfire droid was best used to destroy enemy vehicles. Also known as wheel droids due to their maneuverability and speedy drive systems,[7] their light armor plating, brown and silver in color, made them fast at the cost of making them vulnerable to infantry attacks.[4] Their red photoreceptor "eye" could lock on to both land and air targets at impressive distances, greatly improving the range of their missiles.[1]

Hailfire droids were equipped with two racks of long-range "Hailfire"[3] missile launcher pods on either side of their heads, each carrying 15 guided missile warheads[1] that left behind a trail of black exhaust when fired.[7] These projectiles were effective against stationary or slow-moving targets on terrain where blaster weapons were unusable due to a lack of clear lines of sight,[5] with a single warhead being capable of destroying a Low Altitude Assault Transport/infantry or an All Terrain Tactical Enforcer.[1] The missiles were most effective at ranges less than a kilometer and followed deliberately swerving, evasive trajectories, and when they were depleted,[5] a hailfire droid was forced to rely upon its forward-mounted twin auto-blaster.[3]

History[]

Manufactured by Haor Chall Engineering Corporation,[1] the hailfire droid was originally commissioned for construction by the InterGalactic Banking Clan prior to the Clone Wars[7] for the intended purpose of debt collection[2] in the IG-series battle droid army.[3] Senator Danry Ledwellow of Er'Kit had a personal army of hailfires.[4] The Z-Gomot Ternbuell Guppat Corporation's TSMEU-6 personal wheel bike was an offshoot of the hailfire droid.[9]

A Hailfire-class droid tank at the Battle of Geonosis

During the Separatist Crisis,[1] the Muunilinst Banking Clan[5] donated its hailfire droids to the Confederacy of Independent Systems,[1] which fought as part of the Separatist Droid Army during the First Battle of Geonosis, the opening battle of the Clone Wars[6] in the year 22 BBY.[10] 4,100 units were deployed[5] by Techno Union Hardcell-class interstellar transports,[11] and continued to see use as one of the most common CIS vehicles[3] until at least nine months into the conflict.[12]

During the war, hailfire droids were given blue coloring, the color commonly used on Separatist equipment,[13] and hailfires were used in a battle on Murkhana.[12] However, despite its powerful prescience on the battlefield, the hailfire droid's use was short-lived because it carried a limited amount of missiles,[5] and it was soon replaced by the NR-N99 Persuader-class droid enforcer.[14] Despite this, hailfire droids were among the four hundred forty vehicles stowed aboard General Grievous' flagship, the Invisible Hand, during the Battle of Coruscant[9] in 19 BBY.[10] A major corridor on the ship was wide enough for a hailfire droid.[9]

During the Galactic Civil War fought decades later, hailfire droids were adapted by Alliance to Restore the Republic to feature weaponry capable of destroying turrets as well as vehicles. The Rebellion also retrofitted some for increased effectiveness in sub-zero temperatures.[4]

Behind the scenes[]

The IG-227 Hailfire-class droid tank was originally created for the 2002 film Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones.[6] To help differentiate the "good guys" and the "bad guys" in the Battle of Geonosis, Industrial Light & Magic visual effects artists specifically keyed the color of missile contrails to denote its firer's allegiance, with LAAT/i rockets leaving a clean, wispy white vapor trail while the hailfire droids paint the skies with thick, noxious black exhaust.[15]

Appearances[]

A Rebel-modified hailfire droid

Sources[]

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