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"We have three Sheathipede-class shuttles, but they have no weapons."
―General Kalani[src]

The Sheathipede-class transport shuttle,[1] also known as the Sheathipede-class shuttles[7] and as the Neimoidian escort shuttle,[3] was a short-range transport[1] used by the Trade Federation and the Confederacy of Independent Systems.[3] A larger version of the shuttle also existed.[8]

Characteristics[]

A product of Haor Chall Engineering Corporation, the Sheathipede-class was a transport shuttle with a curved hull and pincer-like landing gears, which lowered from the ship's rounded belly,[1] and the shuttle's shape roughly resembled the Neimoidian soldier beetle.[2] At a length of 14.4 meters,[3] the shuttle was powered by two engines and featured an egress hatchway at the rear.[9] Some models replaced the cockpit with an expanded passenger cabin, and were flown by automatic pilots.[1]

A Sheathipede model armed with laser weaponry.

Stock Sheathipede shuttles were unarmed and only possessed a basic shield generator, meaning that, rather than relying on strength, the ships relied on speed and a small sensor cross-section to get to a destination. Many of the shuttles used by the Confederacy of Independent Systems were upgraded with improved shielding, better armor, and larger engines.[2] While uncommon, a decent number had light weapons added, typically in the form a trio of laser cannons.[10] These armed Sheathipedes were used to move very valuable materiel through hostile locations and transport high-ranking officers and officials.[2]

History[]

Early history[]

The Sheathipede-class shuttle was a short-range transport[1] and escort shuttle[3] primarily utilized to ferry passengers across a planet's surface, or between an orbiting starship and a world below.[1] Neimoidian officials in the Trade Federation used these shuttles for transit from battleships to the surface of conquered planets,[3] and often preferred models with automatic pilots as the absence of a cockpit allowed for increased passenger space.[1]

Viceroy Nute Gunray arrived in Theed during the Federation occupation of Naboo aboard the Sheathipede-class shuttle Lapiz Cutter. He and his retinue emerged from the vessel's rear hatchway to survey their victory over the Naboo people.[9]

The Clone Wars[]

"Ahsoka, Dooku manged to escape. We're in pursuit but we could use reinforcements."
―Obi-Wan Kenobi, pursuing Dooku in a stolen Sheathipede-class shuttle[src]

Anakin Skywalker confronts Nuvo Vindi outside his Sheathipede-class shuttle.

Viceroy Gunray continued to make use of these shuttles, and fled Geonosis following the outbreak of war ten years after the Naboo affair.[11] He even used a transport ship to land in the planet of Rodia so he could meet with Senator Onaconda Farr. However, his transport ship was destroyed by a Kwazel Maw. Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi later stole one from Dooku's Munificent-class star frigate using it to chase down the Sith Lord. Although they successfully shot him down over Vanqor, the shuttle was destroyed by a Vulture droid, and Count Dooku escaped only to be captured by a pirate gang led by Hondo Ohnaka afterward. Doctor Nuvo Vindi maintained a Sheathipede-class shuttle which was captured by the Galactic Republic during a raid on his laboratory during the Blue Shadow Virus affair.[12][5]Following the Battle of Coruscant in the final days of the Clone Wars, General Grievous traveled to Pau City on Utapau to meet with the Separatist Council.[13]

Age of the Empire[]

The Spectres named their modified shuttle the Phantom II.

Sometime following the Clone Wars, Baron Tarko purchased his own Sheathipede-class transport shuttle.[14] Three Sheathipede-class transport shuttles were present on Agamar in the wreckage of a Separatist supply ship, where the Spectres and former Separatist General Kalani's garrison used them to escape a battle against the Galactic Empire. One shuttle piloted by droids was shot down in the escape, while the remaining two made it to safety. One contained Kalani and several of his B1-series battle droids, and the other one shuttle belonging to the Spectres christened the new Phantom II.[7]

The Phantom II was extensively modified and upgraded by the Spectres. The shuttle was given a new paint job courtesy of Sabine Wren. The ship was armed with port and starboard forward-facing cannons and ventral-mounted turrets located adjacent to the boarding ramp.[15] The hull was upgraded with reinforced plating and an astromech socket located on the shuttle's shortened dorsal fin. It was also modified to dock with the Ghost like the original Phantom.[16]

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Appearances[]

Sources[]

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