The UT-60D U-wing starfighter/support craft, also known as the UT-60D, U-wing, or UT-60D U-wing Troop Transport, was a transport/gunship model manufactured by Incom Corporation and used by the Alliance to Restore the Republic during the Galactic Civil War. Used to drop troops into battle, and provide cover fire for them, U-wings were pivotal in transport and protection of the Rebel Alliance's ground forces during the Battle of Scarif.
U-wings were manufactured by Incom Corporation. Their two wing-like strike foils, or S-foils, were retractable and could be positioned forward-facing or backward-facing depending on the situation. The movement of the S-foils was controlled by the S-foil articulation servomotor assembly. The backward-facing, or flight configuration was used in combat situations as it increased the coverage envelope of the ship's deflector shields and helped radiate excess heat from the engine's core. The increased wingspan, however, often became a liability in rough atmospheric conditions, resulting in the flight configuration primarily being reserved for high-altitude and interstellar operations.
U-wings were armed with a pair of fixed-position Taim & Bak KX7 laser cannons, which were powerful enough to penetrate the shielding and hull armor of an Arquitens-class light cruiser. Since its primary weapons required the use of the ship's orientation for targeting, one or both of the loading doors were transformed into gun ports with the mounting of improvised weapons. Therefore, any infantry-based heavy weapon could be mounted to become part of the craft's load-out. The Rebel Alliance opted to not equip permanent side-firing modifications so as to not lose this versatility. One such example of these heavy weapons was the "Roba" M-45 repeating ion blaster.
Atmospheric speeds of up to 950 kph were made possible by four 4j.4 fusial thrust engines attached next to the fuselage. Hyperspace was achieved by four Incom GBk-585 hyperdrive motivators with one mounted in each engine housing. Travel through hyperspace was often limited due to fuel requirements as crew life support requirements would greatly increase the fuel demands beyond efficiency.
The two-seater cockpit was located in the center of the fuselage with viewports above and below. U-wings were unusual in the fact that they were equipped with tandem controls. This allowed the craft to be operated by a single pilot or by a flight team of two. The standardized controls featured across many Incom Corporation designs were present on U-wings.
The U-wing's shielding, armor, and hold full of passengers led the craft to handle more like a heavy repulsorcraft than a swift space superiority vessel. In addition, its wide turning radius and subpar acceleration meant it would not function well in a starfighter combat role.
The older model U-wings lacked S-foils, and had two engines instead of the four that the newer models would go on to possess. A civilian version existed in the BT-45D U-wing but was of no use in combat situations as it was stripped of all its military offensive and defensive applications, as well as its hyperdrive.
The U-wing could also be modified with electronic warfare equipment, allowing it to broadcast a power jamming signal across ten thousand frequencies. While an opponent would be aware of the jamming, they would be incapable of deducing who or what was causing it except through visual identification. The drawback to this jamming was that it also affected friendly starfighters flying nearby, preventing datalinks or communication signals between them until the jamming turned off.
Acquisition by the Rebellion
The UT-60D was one of the last ships to be produced by Incom Corporation before it was nationalized by the Galactic Empire. Due to this, the U-wing never enjoyed a full production run. A "lost" shipment of U-wings ended up in the hands of the Rebel Alliance after the careful manipulation of Senate records by Bail Organa. The rarity of the craft made them all the more valuable to the Rebel cause. Following the diversion of the shipment, Senator Organa was interviewed by Imperial Security Bureau Chief Investigator Axvering.
By the time the Rebel Alliance adopted Base One as their military HQ around 2 BBY, the U-wing was under investigation for full inclusion into Rebel Alliance Starfighter Command and Rebel Alliance Special Forces. General Antoc Merrick along with Colonel Bandwin Cor and U-wing pilots wrote the recommendation.
In 1 BBY, Saw Gerrera's Partisans had a U-wing, painted in their specific markings. Saw and Edrio "Two Tubes" took it to destroy a relay station on Jalindi, and ended up rescuing members of the Spectres after their own mission went awry. They later went to Faos Station to infiltrate Freighter 2716. Edrio trailed after the freighter and recovered Gerrera before the freighter's kyber crystal cargo exploded.
At the same time, the Lothal resistance group under Ryder Azadi had possession of an older model U-wing, which had two fewer engines than its newer counterpart, and did not have a working hyperdrive. When the Spectres returned to Lothal, Azadi transported them to discover information on the TIE/D Defender Elite. Later, Hera Syndulla used Azadi's U-wing, now equipped with a functional hyperdrive salvaged from the TIE Defender Elite, to escape Lothal and give the TIE Defender Elite flight data recorder to Alliance High Command. Based on the information, the Alliance decided to attack the Imperial Armory Complex which was producing the TIE Defenders.
Early in the rebellion, their U-wings were deployed in several roles, including as troop transport, gunship, and medevac lifter. Several of the ships also acted as cargo transports between the Telaris system and other locations. A group of agents working with a Fulcrum used a U-wing as their operational vehicle. They were captured at Scarif but managed to escape.
Around 0 BBY, the U-wing Bravo One took part in the extraction of Jyn Erso from a labor camp on the planet of Wobani. Bravo One, piloted by the former Imperial security droid K-2SO, experienced technical difficulties and was unable to jump to hyperspace after the successful liberation of Erso by Extraction Team Bravo. The U-wing then sought refuge in an asteroid belt in the Wobani system to conduct repairs and request assistance from the Alliance Fleet. The X-wing squadron Red Flight came to Bravo One's assistance and attempted to escort it to the CR90 corvette Vigilant. The rendezvous was interrupted by the arrival of an Imperial I-class Star Destroyer and the destruction of the Vigilant. Bravo One was then caught in the Star Destroyer's tractor beam and subsequently freed by Red Flight's assault on the Imperial starship. With repairs complete, Bravo One and Red Flight leapt to hyperspace to rejoin the Alliance Fleet. Bravo One returned to Base One on Yavin 4 to deliver Erso to Mon Mothma and General Davits Draven.
Shortly after, Jyn, Captain Cassian Andor, and K-2SO set off from Yavin 4 aboard the U-wing LMTR-20 bound for the moon Jedha. After a fight with Imperial stormtroopers and capture by Gerrera's Partisans, the U-wing—piloted by K-2SO—extracted Erso and Andor as well as the pilot Bodhi Rook and former Guardians of the Whills Baze Malbus and Chirrut Îmwe from Gerrera's hidden base. Simultaneously, the Death Star conducted a test firing of the battle station's superlaser against Jedha City, creating a wall of rubble that the U-wing was forced to outrun. The U-wing was able to leap to hyperspace from atmosphere after near destruction by falling debris.
The group then headed aboard the U-wing to Eadu in an attempt to rescue—or, in Andor's case, kill—the Imperial scientist Galen Erso. The U-wing quickly encountered huge rock pillars and heavy rain on its approach to the Flight Station where Galen was stationed. The U-wing's course remained steady until one of the right engines hit a rock pillar, resulting in the ship's plummet to the planet's surface. The U-wing was eventually abandoned as Andor, then the rest of the passengers, left the damaged craft to continue their mission.
Galactic Civil War
The U-wings of Blue Squadron as well as the rest of Base One's starfighters were scrambled soon after the Rebel Alliance learned of the "Rogue One" squad's infiltration of the Citadel Tower on Scarif. Blue Squadron emerged from hyperspace along with the Alliance Fleet led by Admiral Raddus and headed toward the Shield Gate. At least one U-wing made it through with an escort of X-wings past the shield. A U-wing piloted by Laren Joma and Taslet Colb provided air cover for Rebel forces already on the ground. The U-wing's door gunner, Bistan, unleashed a volley of ion fire upon AT-ACTs, disabling them. The U-wing then descended to the surface delivering ground reinforcements to the battered Rebel units. Eventually, the Imperial air defenses proved too much and the U-wing was shot down resulting in the death of all who remained aboard, along with a number of stormtroopers who were caught in the crash zone. The Rebel's overall mission was a success as the Death Star's plans were captured by the Rebellion.
One U-wing delivered the captured Inferno Squad member Iden Versio to the security cruiser Invincible Faith, although it was a ruse to delete critical intel. The gunships also saw action during the pivotal Battle of Endor. They were deployed to the moon of Endor to secure Imperial assets right after the destruction of the DS-2 Death Star II Mobile Battle Station. Shortly afterward, three of them attempted to board the Dauntless at Fondor, although they were shot down by Inferno Squad. At least one U-wing was also used to land reinforcements at Naboo during the ground stages of the battle during Operation: Cinder.
After the Battle of Endor, one U-wing was used by a battle-racer. When General Lando Calrissian joined the race to uncover an informant, they were attacked by an Imperial Star Destroyer. Calrissian formed an impromptu Gold Squadron, including the U-wing pilot, to drive off the warship.
U-wings also saw action during the Battle of Jakku as a part of the New Republic Starfleet with at least one deploying New Republic Special Forces during the battle. It was nearly shot down by a homing rocket, but Jom Barell intercepted the missile with his own body by flying out of the ship with a jetpack, saving the U-wing and its occupants at the cost of his own life.
Yrica Quell took a New Republic Intelligence U-wing piloted by Kairos to the Entropian Hive during her mission to recruit Nath Tensent. Kairos continued to fly it as Alphabet Squadron was formed. During the Troithe operation weeks later, she flew close air support for Twilight Company. As they advanced to capture the governor, Kairos launched into the thickest part of the fighting, crashing her vessel and requring medical evacuation off-planet.
First Order/Resistance War
Behind the scenes
The U-wing was created and developed for the 2016 Star Wars film Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. Concept art for the ship was first revealed at the Rogue One panel at Celebration Anaheim. The U-wing was detailed on May 17, 2016, in a preview of the 2017 reference book Rogue One: A Star Wars Story: The Official Visual Story Guide. Its formal designation was revealed on The Star Wars Show on August 3, 2016. As the protagonists' ship, the craft went through hundreds of design iterations. It was originally intended to be a helicopter-sized craft attached to the heroes' main ship, but they moved away from the larger ship and focused on the smaller craft.
According to the non-canon tv series LEGO Star Wars: The Freemaker Adventures, the repairs done to Lieutenant Valeria's U-wing by Freemaker Salvage and Repair by finding a type A vector coil is what led them to be hired by the Rebel Alliance.
- LEGO Star Wars Movie Short: Star Wars: Rogue One As Told By LEGO
- LEGO Star Wars: The Freemaker Adventures – "A New Home"
- LEGO Star Wars: The Freemaker Adventures – "Home One"
- LEGO Star Wars: The Freemaker Adventures – "Trouble on Tibalt" (Wreckage only)
Notes and references
- Star Wars: Rogue One: The Ultimate Visual Guide
- Rebel Starfighters Owners' Workshop Manual
- Dawn of Rebellion
- Star Wars Encyclopedia of Starfighters and Other Vehicles
- Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
- Star Wars Rebels – "In the Name of the Rebellion"
- Poe Dameron 8
- Star Wars: Episode IX The Rise of Skywalker
- Star Wars: The Rebel Files
- Star Wars Rebels – "Kindred"
- Star Wars Rebels – "The Occupation"
- Alphabet Squadron
- Star Wars: Rogue One: The Ultimate Visual Guide establishes that the mission to investigate Geonosis, seen in Ghosts of Geonosis, occurred 2 years before the events of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. Star Wars: Galactic Atlas places the events of Rogue One in 0 BBY, the same year it places the Battle of Yavin. Therefore the mission to Geonosis occurred two years before Yavin, so it took place in 2 BBY. Star Wars: On the Front Lines states that the Declaration of the Rebel Alliance, seen in Secret Cargo, took place two years before the Battle of Yavin. Since the Battle of Yavin occurred in 0 BBY according to Galactic Atlas, it can be deduced that the Declaration of the Rebel Alliance took place in 2 BBY. As Operation Handoff occurred between these two events, it must also have been in 2 BBY.
- The trivia guide for Star Wars Rebels: Heroes of Mandalore states that Bo-Katan Kryze was redesigned to advance the character's age by "18 years or so". As she was last seen was in The Lawless, which was dated to 19 BBY by Star Wars: Galactic Atlas, it can be assumed that the events of Heroes of Mandalore take place in approximately 1 BBY. As In the Name of the Rebellion takes place shortly after Heroes of Mandalore, it can be assumed it is also around the year 1 BBY.
- Star Wars Rebels – "Flight of the Defender"
- Star Wars Rebels – "Crawler Commandeers"
- Unwelcome Arrival
- Star Wars: Galactic Atlas
- Star Wars Battlefront: Rogue One: X-wing VR Mission
- "Grounded"—From a Certain Point of View
- Star Wars Battlefront II
- "A Race for Answers"—Star Wars Adventures (2017) 23
- Star Wars: Squadrons
- Aftermath: Empire's End
- Shadow Fall
- The Art of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
- LEGO Star Wars: The Freemaker Adventures – "Home One"