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For other uses, see A-wing.

The R-22 Spearhead was a fast starfighter design that served as the basis for the RZ-1 A-wing interceptor.

CharacteristicsEdit

The prototype R-22 Spearhead was broadly similar in design and function to the earlier Republic Delta-7 Aethersprite-class starfighter and Eta-2 Actis-class interceptor. A two-seat version was also produced, following the lineage of the Delta-12 Skysprite-class two-seater; some of this variant were used by the forces of Tammuz-an.

HistoryEdit

The Spearhead was in use by private owners and several defense forces around the galaxy, like the Tammuz-an defense forces, where they escorted ships in the shipping fleet,[1] and on Abridon at the Abridon Shipyard in Sayan.

The R-22 Spearhead became an experimental testbed for the Rebel Alliance, nicknamed the "A-wing," shortly before the Battle of Yavin.[2] During one early operational test, the Rebels sent a lone R-22 to attack an unguarded Imperial repair dock. The fighter performed admirably, destroying the facility before the Nebulon-B frigate Virulence could respond. The mission was later recreated as a simulation used in training new pilots.[3]

The Alliance Fleet started deploying a number of R-22s at that time. Captain Juno Eclipse and PROXY used a two-seater R-22 to travel to Dac to help Admiral Gial Ackbar and Senator Bail Organa liberate the Mon Calamari and recruit them to the Alliance cause.[4] The fleet used them in the Assault on Kamino against the Imperial TIE/sa bombers.[5] Keyan Farlander flew Spearheads in several missions during Operation Skyhook,[3] and at least two R-22s participated in the Battle of Yavin, one piloted by Jake Farrell.[6]

YavinHotRodGarage-ITW

Two R-22 Spearheads in the Massassi Temple hangar, between two disassembled H-60 Tempest bombers

The Spearhead was nicknamed "A-wing" among Rebel pilots. The name "A-wing" persisted when the model was modified by General Jan Dodonna and Walex Blissex after the Battle of Yavin into the Rebel Alliance's fast RZ-1 A-wing interceptor.

Dodonna's decision to create the RZ-1 was largely driven by the Alliance's lack of a starfighter that could match the TIE/LN starfighter's raw speed. Additionally, the RZ-1 was noted for its improved maneuverability over the Spearhead, so the engine design was the most likely difference between the craft.

The weapons complement might have undergone a similar change, as early Spearheads used green laser ammunition rather than the red/orange seen with most Alliance fighters.

Behind the scenesEdit

R22tandem

A two-seat version of the R-22 Spearhead

Though most sources established that the A-wing was introduced by the Rebel Alliance after the Battle of Yavin, some Expanded Universe sources deviate from this and show A-wings in use before Yavin, notably Star Wars: Droids, Star Wars: X-Wing, Star Wars: Rebel Assault, Star Wars: Force Commander, and Star Wars: Empire at War. This inconsistency was eventually reconciled in The New Essential Guide to Characters, which explained that the pre-Yavin appearances of A-wings were R-22 Spearheads instead.[7] The name is similar to that of the R-41 Starchaser and R-60 "T-wing" Interceptor, and the Spearhead may, like the Starchaser and T-wing, be a design of Hoersch-Kessel Drive, Inc.

AppearancesEdit

SourcesEdit

Notes and referencesEdit

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