||2 Laser Cannons
The Incom Corporation I-7 "Howlrunner" is an Imperial fighter that was introduced during the chaotic days of the return of the Emperor. The short-range I-7's Howlrunners were first used by one of the major Imperial factions during the Imperial Civil War, and the
Millennium Falcon had a brief run-in with a squadron of Howlrunners while on a mission to Coruscant to rescue Lando Calrissian and Luke Skywalker.
The short-range fighter has a streamlined, fixed-wing design and is at home in deep space and planetary
atmospheres; it is fast compared with the older X-wing and Y-wings, but both the new E-wings and TIE interceptors can easily outrace this ship. Its weapons and targeting systems are nothing to brag about, either, with only a pair of forward-firing laser cannons that match the TIE interceptor for accuracy but aren't as powerful.
Unlike most Imperial fighters, the I-7 has dedicated shield generators, giving the ship the ability to take as much punishment as the X-wing can. The ship's low mass gives it excellent maneuverability, meaning that an I-7 could probably decimate a heavy
assault ship such as the B-wing in a head-to-head battle. However, like TIE
fighters, the I-7s must rely on numerical superiority when going up against most New Alliance fighters.
The I-7 was the first design from Incom Corporation since that company was nationalized by the Empire nearly a decade before the Civil War. Incom's proud legacy of ships like the Z-95 Headhunter had been overshadowed when their rouge design team delivered the T-65 X-wing to the Rebel Alliance, and the I-7 was an attempt to prove to the Empire's military procurers that Incom could still produce a fighter that could compete with both Sienar's TIE series and Kuat Drive Yards new A-9 Vigilance Interceptor.
I-7 Howlrunners were welcome additions to many Imperial planetary bases, which tended to get last pick on new ships and equipment. While the I-7's aren't fantastic fighters, they represented a marked improvement over the aging TIE/In fighters that these bases had been using for over a decade.
With the return of the Emperor and the reuniting of the Imperial factions, the I-7's were slowly deployed throughout the Imperial Navy, but no one showed great love for the new ships. I-7's have been routinely carried aboard smaller capital ships such as the Dreadnaughts, Nebulon-B escort frigates, and old Victory Star Destroyers. Only a few have been stationed aboard Imperial Star Destroyers
because of Naval Command's reluctance to shift away from the TIE series of fighters.
It is thought that some of those who acted as the Emperor's closest advisers have a particular liking for the ships and ordered several squadrons for "personal business."
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