The MC40A Light Cruiser, also referred to simply as the MC40a cruiser or MC40a, was a class of light cruiser that was manufactured by Mon Calamari Shipyards and cost 15,500,000 credits to produce. The MC40a was similar to the MC80A Star Cruiser in both design and function, and the MC40a's clamshell-like keel was the same as the MC30C Frigate but was instead built to be a well-rounded and versatile vessel. The MC40a was equipped with a class 1 primary and a class 15 backup hyperdrive, as well as long-range sensors, a navigation computer, and had room for consumables for two years.
Despite its size, the MC40a was outfitted with exceptionally strong deflector shield generators but its speed was considered below-average for its class and it was outpaced by other vessels. To compensate, the MC40a was equipped with a robust series of redundant systems for protection against system failures during combat and stressful maneuvers and was able to sustain a large amount of damage. It was armed with fourteen turret-mounted medium turbolasers that were evenly distributed to the port and starboard sides of the hull, two forward-mounted concussion missile launchers, and eighteen medium ion cannons. Four of these ion cannons were on the aft, another four on the bow, and the five were each placed on the port and starboard.
The MC40a also boasted six heavy tractor beam projectors, with one in the aft section, another in the forward section, and two each on the port and starboard. These armaments allowed the MC40a to engage similar vessels and outfight smaller Star Destroyers, during which a common tactic was using tractor beams to pin a Star Destroyer in place and move to the aft of the vessel where it was vulnerable.
When in combat, the MC40a commonly used standoff tactics, which called for the firing of its turbolasers at long distance to pummel hostile craft. MC40as often fought bow-to-target so that its weapon systems had a clear line of fire. When MC40as were used in engagements where it was outgunned, a standard strategy was to move closer to the enemy ship in order for the MC40a to use its missiles, ion cannons, and tractor beams to pin ships and move to their exposed arcs. In this tactic, the MC40a relied on its starfighter squadron for anti-starfighter defense as the MC40a often had to redirect its shields against the main target.
The MC40a acted in the capacity of a command ship for a small attack fleet, and represented the might, ingenuity, and creativity of Alliance Fleet shipyards as it enabled a small fleet to attack large enemy formations. The MC40a also supported special forces operations, served as a diplomatic escort, and as the base of operations for a starfighter squadron. It also served as a well-suited all-around fleet support ship. Since it was heavily shielded and could carry an entire starfighter squadron, the MC40A could successfully launch vital missions with little to no reinforcements.
After the beginning of the invasion of Mon Cala by the Galactic Empire and the escape of the Mon Calamari Exodus Fleet, the Mon Calamari and their ships served as a core component of the Rebel Alliance's naval forces. Eventually, the MC40a cruiser joined active service in the Alliance Fleet and participated throughout the Galactic Civil War against the Empire. At least one MC40A Light Cruiser participated in a battle above several celestial bodies alongside rebel starfighters.
Behind the scenes
The MC40A Light Cruiser was first mentioned in the 2020 Fantasy Flight Games supplement Starships and Speeders. It was previously part of Star Wars Legends, where it first appeared in Star Wars: TIE Fighter.
- Star Wars: The Card Game – Galactic Ambitions (Card: MC40a Light Cruiser) (backup link) (First mentioned)
- Starships and Speeders
- "Ships of the First Order and the Resistance" – Star Wars Encyclopedia