The Low Altitude Assault Transport (LAAT), also known as the LAAT-series gunship nicknamed "Laaties" by some clones, was a gunship series used by the Grand Army of the Republic during the Clone Wars. The series was produced by Rothana Heavy Engineering.
Development[edit | edit source]
The LAAT was an engineering masterpiece that took years to produce. The Kaminoans had to overcome many tasks that faced them from new weapon designs to stability. They used repulsorlift turbines located in the wings and base of the transport to provide stability against the anti-aircraft weapons deployed by the CIS. They also created a new weapon that would bring mass damage to the battle field, an ion repeater that created a beam to slice through buildings and people. The problem with this was that it constantly overheated. However, the Kaminoans developed a solution consisting of side mounted and wing mounted turrets that were controlled manually with their own mass drive engine. This meant that the weapon wouldn't overheat the main engine.
Characteristics[edit | edit source]
Uses[edit | edit source]
The LAAT series of gunships was designed to transport and support up to 30 clone troopers in combat. It also had a rear hangar that could hold up to four speeder bikes for reconnaissance operations or search-and-rescue missions. Early LAAT were in-atmosphere-only vehicles, requiring their transporting cruisers to land somewhere on the planet or at least enter its atmosphere in order to launch. Later versions allowed the gunship to fly through space and actually be used for boarding in ship-to-ship battles. Some versions of the gunship included bacta tanks for medical transportation. Sometime after the First Battle of Geonosis, an Alpha-Class Arc Trooper/Special Ops gunship was introduced with a new paint style, increased maneuverability and more flight time.
Weapons[edit | edit source]
The gunship's many weapon systems were designed for both air-to-air combat and air-to-surface support. Against long-range or slow/fixed targets the LAAT used two mass-driver missile launchers (atop the craft) which held a variable payload depending on the mission. Four light air-to-air missiles hung below each wing (eight in total) for any in-flight targets. Four composite-beam pinpoint laser turrets - two manned by clone troopers, two remotely controlled by the co-pilot/gunner (one on each wing) - had a wide field of rotation and could serve in both air-to-air and air-to-ground operations. Three anti-personnel turrets (two at the front, one in the rear) supported further ground operations by ensuring a clear path for the deployment of troops or vehicles.
Performance[edit | edit source]
The LAAT proved excellent in its performance. It was so maneuverable, in fact, that only the most mobile of enemy craft could keep one in its sights. Even experienced pilots found it impossible to avoid its numerous weapons. These gunship made their debut at the First Battle of Geonosis, where they proved critical in gaining air superiority and securing victory for the vastly outnumbered Republic Forces. Throughout the Clone Wars, the LAAT was used in countless battles for transportation and air support.
Variants[edit | edit source]
The most common LAAT-series model was the LAAT/i, an infantry transport and mobile gun platform used throughout the Clone Wars. The LAAT/i could carry up to 30 clone troopers into combat, although they were also used to deploy recon scouts in advance of a battle. Variants were modified to carry additional military speeders or deploy larger war machines, such as walkers, onto the battlefield. Later versions of the LAAT/i replaced the door-side gunnery balls in favor of larger doors to maintain pressurization of the interior. This allowed the gunships to be dropped from an orbital cruiser and fly in space, rather than needing the cruiser to enter the atmosphere. This allowed for much faster and stealthier troop deployment.
In addition to the LAAT variants, there were several other gunship models that both pre- and post-dated them and were designated with similar acronyms. Most notable were the AIAT/i gunship, the VAAT/e transport, and the HAET-221 gunboat.
LAATs continued to be used well into the era of the Galactic Civil War; for example, during the Kamino uprising, where clone anti-Imperial troopers and Kaminoans attempted to escape the planet in these transports. It was also used in small numbers by the Alliance to Restore the Republic as a troop transport.
Notable models[edit | edit source]
- Low Altitude Assault Transport/infantry
- Low Altitude Assault Transport/carrier
- Low Altitude Assault Transport/stealth
- Low Altitude Assault Transport/vehicle
- Multi-Altitude Assault Transport
- Space gunship
Behind the scenes[edit | edit source]
In Star Wars: Galactic Battlegrounds: Clone Campaigns the LAAT/i Gunships were misidentified as "Gunship Fighters."
In Star Wars: Battlefront II, the LAAT was classified as a space drop ship, probably modified.
The fighting style of these gunships appears similar to that of another real-life helicopter, the UH-1 Iroquois in the Vietnam War.
Appearances[edit | edit source]
Non-canon appearances[edit | edit source]
- LEGO Star Wars: The Video Game
- LEGO Star Wars: The Complete Saga
- Kowakian Monkey-Lizard
- Giant spiders are awesome....
- Always count your clones before take-off
- Republic Commando: Order 66
- Old Wounds
- LEGO Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy
- LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens (DLC)
Sources[edit | edit source]
- Star Wars: Attack of the Clones: The Visual Dictionary
- Star Wars: Attack of the Clones Incredible Cross-Sections
- Star Wars: The Complete Visual Dictionary (Picture only)
- The New Essential Guide to Vehicles and Vessels
- The New Essential Chronology
- Galaxy at War
- Threat of the Conqueror
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars The Complete Season Three
- "Mini Magic!"—Star Wars Insider 130 (Picture only)
- Star Wars: The Ultimate Visual Guide: Updated and Expanded (Picture only)
- Star Wars: Force Collection (Card: Kit Fisto) (Picture only)
- (Indirect mention only)
Notes and references[edit | edit source]
- The Clone Wars Campaign Guide
- Inside the Worlds of Star Wars: Attack of the Clones
- Galaxy at War
- The New Essential Guide to Vehicles and Vessels
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars: Incredible Vehicles
- Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones
- Star Wars: The Force Unleashed
- Star Wars: Battlefront II
- Crimson Empire III: Empire Lost 2
- Knight Errant: Escape 2