A turbolaser was a powerful variant of the laser cannon turret usually installed aboard capital ships as well as space stations. While their firepower made them very capable against other capital ships, turbolasers were less effective against smaller and nimble starfighters.
- "The items include TRL-44 cylinders, Klymtra spark collimators, Boorian synchronization grids, thorilide shock absorbers—"
"Wait a minute. Thorilide shock absorbers are—no. You're wrong."
"Do you recognize those elements, Assistant Director?"
"They're components for point-defense turbolaser batteries."
- ―Lieutenant Eli Vanto, Grand Admiral Thrawn, and Assistant Director Ronan
Turbolasers operated on the same principles as other blaster weaponry, converting high-energy gas into plasma bolts, but made use of much larger power generators and multi-person crews. Turbolasers could also vary their power intensity depending on the needs of the mission, from simply crippling a target to outright vaporizing it. True warships were able to feed nearly their entire reactor output into their heavy turbolasers.
Turbolasers were used by capital ships to penetrate the defenses of other capital ships or to conduct orbital bombardments, including "Base Delta Zero" operations. An Imperial-class Star Destroyer could use its turbolasers to denude an entire continent of vegetation, rendering the atmosphere hazy with particulates. During the latter days of the Clone Wars, some turbolaser batteries, such as those installed aboard the Providence-class Dreadnought Invisible Hand, had a maximum power output that was the equivalent of a Magnitude 10 earthquake. Likewise, the primary turbolaser cannons on a Munificent-class star frigate had sufficient firepower to melt an ice moon 1,000 kilometers in diameter, or pierce through the shields of a 10-kilometer-wide battle station.
Turbolaser bolts dissipated their energy at a fast rate the further they traveled, and therefore Turbolasers only have limited range of effectiveness, even in the vacuum of space. The turbolaser armaments of the Imperial I-class Star Destroyer Chimaera had a combat range of less than 1,200 kilometers, and after said distance, they would be unable to penetrate any type of sufficient armoring. Likewise, the Star Dreadnought Supremacy's heavy turbolasers were unable to cause notable damage to the shields of the Star Cruiser Raddus from a significant distance, despite their continuous barrage.
A turbolaser's effectiveness was further weakened drastically as the bolt moved through layers of a planet's atmosphere, making them largely ineffective even against unshielded targets. However, this could be ameliorated by moving the ship deeper into the planet's stratosphere.
Turbolasers were the primary armament on various capital ships, most notably Star Destroyers such as the Venator-class Star Destroyer, the Imperial I-class Star Destroyer, and the Resurgent-class Star Destroyer.
Other types of ships that were equipped with turbolasers included cruisers such as the MC80 Liberty Type Heavy Star Cruisers and the Arquitens-class light cruiser, frigates such as the EF76 Nebulon-B escort frigate and the MC30C Frigate, as well as corvettes such as the CR90 corvette and the Raider I-class corvette.
Turbolasers could also be found on space stations such as the DS-1 Death Star Mobile Battle Station and the Golan I Space Defense Platform, as well as on planetside structures such as Grand Republic Medical Facility and the Weyland facility.
- DBY-827 heavy turbolaser turret
- H9 turbolaser
- KDD2055 short-range turbolaser rapid-fire defense battery
- MegaCaliber Six turbolaser cannon
- XI7 Turbolaser
- XX-9 heavy turbolaser battery
Notes and references
- Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope
- Star Wars Complete Vehicles, New Edition
- Catalyst: A Rogue One Novel
- Victory's Price
- Thrawn: Treason
- Star Wars: Episode VIII The Last Jedi
- A New Dawn
- Star Wars: The Force Awakens: Incredible Cross-Sections
- Star Wars: Complete Vehicles
- Ultimate Star Wars
- Star Wars: The Last Jedi: Incredible Cross-Sections
- Star Wars: The Force Awakens: Head-to-Head
- Rise of the Separatists
- Ultimate Star Wars
- Starships and Speeders
- Friends Like These
- Star Wars: Complete Locations
- Star Wars: The Bad Batch – "Kamino Lost"