The droid tri-fighter, was a deadly Confederacy droid starfighter designed as a fast and agile space-superiority starfighter, built to excel in
dogfighting. It would be used most towards the end of the Clone Wars.
The Colicoid Creation Nest, the same amoral cannibalistic insectoid designers responsible for the deadly droidekas, designed the tri-fighter. It was manufactured by Colla Designs and Phlac-Arphocc Automata Industries. Also contributing to its name is the array of triple independent thrusters that afford it its agility.
The tri-fighter brain is more sophisticated than that of the vulture droid starfighter. Its robust power plant and advanced communication transceiver give a tri-fighter impressive operating range for a non-hyperdrive equipped automated starfighter.
It was armed with one medium laser cannon protruding from the central ball, and a light laser cannon for each of the three arms. Two to six missiles of variable payloads were housed within each arm. The droid tri-fighter was capable of deploying buzz droids, and quickly became rival to the ARC-170 starfighter and the V-wing starfighter.
The fully automated tri-fighter is bigger and less maneuverable than the slim vulture fighters, but nonetheless posed a threat, particularly to the slower ARC-170 fighters. Although it could not outrun the Eta-2 interceptors favored by the Jedi, it was bulkier and more heavily armed, making it a challenge for even the best living starpilots to overcome.
When the Separatists attacked Coruscant in the twilight of the Clone Wars, they employed as many different and cutting edge combat starship designs as they could to better the chances of victory in their most bold and daring strike. Swarming from the hangar bays of Confederacy battleships were tri-fighters. Although many tri-fighters fought during the battle, most were decimated by the ARC-170 squadrons.
One of the tri-fighters first recorded uses was on Praesitlyn, where they were matched against the T-19 starfighters of the Praesitlyn Defense Force. Tri-fighters were also deployed at Boz Pity, Saleucami, and Belderone.