- "Gunship come in. Hawk, we need an evac in the south tower."
"Roger that, sir. We're coming."
- ―Anakin Skywalker and clone pilot Hawk
The Low Altitude Assault Transport/infantry (LAAT/i), also known as the Low Altitude Assault Transport, Republic attack gunship or Assault Gunship, was one of the two models in the Low Altitude Assault Transport line of gunship that served mainly as a gunship and troop transport for the Grand Army of the Republic during the Clone Wars. Its role was to transport troopers as well as offering air-to-ground and air-to-air support for the Republic against the Separatists. The LAAT/i gunship saw extensive use in numerous battles and campaigns of the Clone Wars. During the Imperial Era, LAAT/is were used by both the Galactic Empire and Alliance to Restore the Republic.
The Low Altitude Assault Transport/infantry gunship was a military repulsorcraft. Besides serving as an infantry transport, the LAAT/i gunship was also used to provide air-to-ground and air-to-air support for Republic forces. The front of the gunship had two double cockpit bubbles where the pilot and co-pilot/gunner sat in single file. The LAAT/i gunship had a pair of chin-mounted laser cannon turrets and a pair of dorsal rocket launchers fed by rear-mounted missile belts. Some LAAT gunships were also equipped with a pair of laser-beam turrets. When faced with overwhelming enemy fire, the gunship could close its blast shields.
LAAT/i gunships were capable of traveling at a speed of 620 kph. They were 28.8 meters in length and 6.94 meters in height. Besides the pilot and co-pilot/gunner, an LAAT/i could carry between two to four gunners and a maximum of thirty passengers.
LAAT/infantry gunships were first deployed during the Battle of Geonosis in 22 BBY as part of the Grand Army of the Republic. LAAT/i gunships attacked the Petranaki arena and rescued Senator Padmé Amidala and members of the Jedi Order from Count Dooku. LAAT/i gunships then saw action against the Separatist Droid Army alongside Low Altitude Assault Transport carriers and AT-TE walkers and proved instrumental in inflicting heavy damage on the Separatist droid forces. The Battle of Geonosis marked the beginning of the Clone Wars, the first large-scale galactic wide conflict in a millennium.
During the last days of the Clone Wars in 19 BBY, LAAT/i gunships saw service on numerous worlds including Kashyyyk and Utapau. Jedi Masters Mace Windu, Kit Fisto, Agen Kolar, and Saesee Tiin traveled on an LAAT/i gunship to confront Supreme Chancellor Palpatine, who was the Sith Lord Darth Sidious. Their failed attempt to arrest Palpatine led to the initiation of Order 66 and the transformation of the Galactic Republic into the Galactic Empire.
Following the formation of the Galactic Empire, the remaining LAAT/is were absorbed into the Imperial Navy. During the Galactic Civil War, LAAT/is were used by the Alliance to Restore the Republic against Imperial garrisons. By 5 ABY, another model of the low-altitude transport, the low-altitude Imperial transport, was used by the remnant of the Galactic Empire led by Grand Moff Lozen Tolruck on the planet Kashyyyk.
Behind the scenesEdit
The ship first appeared in the 2002 film Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones, where it was referred to as the "Jedi attack helicopter" in pre-production. Star Wars creator George Lucas used news footage of helicopter-based infantry deployment as an inspiration for the design. The cockpit configuration in particular was inspired by the Russian Mil Mi-24 "Hind" attack helicopter.
Notes and referencesEdit
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 Ultimate Star Wars
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 Star Wars Encyclopedia of Starfighters and Other Vehicles
- ↑ 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 3.11
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 Star Wars: Commander
- ↑ Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Blue Shadow Virus"
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 6.2 Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones
- ↑ Knights of Fate
- ↑ Kanan 8: First Blood, Part II: The Towers of the Temple
- ↑ 9.0 9.1 9.2 Tarkin
- ↑ Star Wars: The Clone Wars
- ↑ Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Citadel Rescue"
- ↑ Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith
- ↑ Aftermath: Life Debt