The Y-wing starfighter is an older design still used by the Rebel Alliance, predating the X-wing and TIE/ln by several years. These fighters have a reputation for durability, and are in use at countless Rebel bases. Their limitations were made abundantly clear at the Battle of Yavin: only one fighter from Gold Squadron survived the battle. The -wing is easily recognized by its distinctive narrow central hull section and the two large engines set far away from the body.
Y-wing starfighters hold the dubious record of being the most-destroyed military vessel in the Alliance arsenal. This is not due to any design flaw in the Koensayr starfighter. Rather, it is the result of it being the most common starfighter the Alliance had at its disposal during the Galactic Civil War.
Before the superior X-wing was introduced, Y-wings were the flagship fighters of the Rebel Alliance. They played a prominent role in the Battle Vnas at Duro and the First Battle of Ord Biniir. Rebel Alliance Y-wings were used at the Battle of Yavin, where the first Death Star was destroyed. As the Alliance gets more X-wings, Y-wing fighters are increasingly being shifted to outlying Rebel locations, and are more often being used for raids on Imperial convoys, rather than engagements with TIE fighters.
The Y-wing is a multipurpose vessel with a secondary mission profile as a light bomber. Y-wings are devastating in close-quarters combat, where their durability allows them to withstand several blasts. It has combat-rated deflector shields, and its rugged construction allows it to take a considerable amount of damage before its systems fail.
It isn't uncommon for a Y-wing to be stripped down for assault runs against Imperial convoys, only to be refitted for a heavy bombing attack on an Imperial base just days later. Y-wings also are used on diplomatic escort missions, while the BTL-A4 Y-wing (LP), or Longprobe, has extra provisions and more powerful sensors for long-range patrol duty.
The Y-wing has three main components. The forward cockpit module is armored and houses the pilot's station and the weapons systems. A reinforced central spar stretches back from the cockpit module; the Y-wing's Novaldex power generator and Koensayr R300-H hyperdrive unit are crammed into this narrow frame. A cross-wing houses the Thiodyne 03-R cryogenic power cells, with two powerful Koensayr R200 ion jet sublight drives on either end of the cross-wing. Twin Fabritech ANx-y long-range sensor arrays placed ahead of the engines feed data into the primary sensor array and targeting computer located between the laser cannons in the nose of the ship.
The pilot controls a pair of Taim & Bak IX4 laser cannons and twin Arakyd Flex Tube proton-torpedo launchers; a magazine of eight torpedoes can be fired from either launcher. In the BTL-S3, the most common Y-wing configuration, an ArMek SW-4 ion cannon turret sits directly behind the pilot and is normally handled by a weapons officer. The BTL-A4, an alternative Y-wing configuration, has only the pilot, with the ion cannon fixed directly fore or aft, to discourage close pursuit.
As in the X-wing, an R2 or R4 astromech droid fits snugly into the droid socket behind the cockpit and monitors all flight, navigation, and power systems. The droid also can handle fire control, perform in-flight maintenance, reroute power as needed, and stores hyperspace jump coordinates.
In the later years of the Galactic Civil War, Y-wings began to be replaced by B-wing starfighters. This newer fighter boasted similarly strong shields and hull, and devastatingly powerful projectile, laser and ion weaponry. The B-wing took years to replace the Y-wing, however, since there were so many of the older craft in service.