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An Imperial gunship firing during the Battle of Astarte (796 UC (487 IC / 3596 CE))
|Purpose:||Anti-ship strike role|
|Armament:||4 ventral anti-ship missiles |
24 forward firing railguns
4 frontally mounted dropped bombs
The gunship (Japanese: 雷撃艇) was a type of small craft unique to the Galactic Empire. They were carried aboard and launched from dedicated carriers, as they did not have warp capability of their own.
The overall shape was that of a rectangular block, with 4 rear engines. The pilot walked in and out through a frontal pod opening that looked similar those on Imperial Walküre fighters and Imperial shuttles. Recessed ventral mounts carried 4 short ranged anti-ship missiles. The main frontal weapon mounts consisted of 4 modules, of which the most common configuration was 4 modules of 6 railguns each. However variable weapon mounts were possible, including what appeared to be a beam weapon armed variant. During the Ninth Battle of Iserlohn, Imperial gunships had 4 bombs mounted for bombardment of Iserlohn Fortress, in place of their normal gun modules. (My Conquest Is the Sea of Stars,Overture to a New War, 'Admiral Yang's Ark Fleet')
Gunships with bombs (799 UC (1 NIC / 490 IC / 3599 CE))
Gunship firing beams (795 UC (486 IC / 3595 CE))
Gunship firing missile (795 UC (486 IC / 3595 CE))
Stern (796 UC (487 IC / 3596 CE))
The most common weapon mounting was 24 rapid fire rail guns in 4 modules of 6 guns each.
High mobility was achieved with 4 high performance engines.
The gunship lacked warp capability and therefore had to be carried to battle aboard carriers.
The weaknesses of the gunship included its lack of shields and its relatively thin armour.
A common tactic was for Walküre fighters attack an enemy ship from multiple directions to draw and distract their defensive fire, and to create openings for gunships to fly to close range for a decisive attack followed by a quick escape. This tactic accounted for the destruction of many Alliance ships, and afterwards the number of defensive laser cannons on Alliance ships was increased. (Data Book: Mechanic & Seiyū Encyclopaedia, p. 173)
Sketches of the Imperial gunship appears in the extra features of the DVD box set.