Vulture Droid Starfighter
The Variable Geometry Self-Propelled Battle Droid, Mark I, or Vulture droid starfighter, was a droid starfighter used by the Trade Federation and later the Confederacy of Independent Systems.
The effectiveness of droid starfighters has been debated in strategic circles for generations. While droid starfighters are capable of maneuvers that would pulp even the sturdiest organic pilot, they lack the resourcefulness and cunning that living pilots bring into combat.
During the Battle of Naboo, the Trade Federation Droid Control Ship was tightly protected by what seemed to be an endless swarm of fast, merciless droid starfighters. The agile starfighters, equipped with droid brains to ensure that they acted in concert and would sacrifice themselves without thought, overwhelmed the Naboo pilots and nearly secured victory for the Trade Federation.
Like the ground-based battle droid infantry, droid starfighters are controlled by the Trade Federation's Droid Control Ship. When not in flight, the droid starfighter can transform into a walking mode allowing them to be used in surface patrols.
Each Trade Federation battleship carried 1,500 droid starfighters.
The droid starfighter's most unusual feature is its ability to transform into a walking configuration. The vehicle's wings become four legs, allowing the starfighter to patrol captured sites during planetary occupations.
While in this walking mode, a droid starfighter could also latch onto surfaces in zero gravity, allowing the fighters to patrol from the outside hulls of capital ships instead of wasting energy in flight or using valuable hangar space.
Droid starfighter squadrons consist of hundreds of individual fighters, all programmed to attack in unison, with frightening efficiency. The starfighters lack deflector shields and are easily destroyed, but reserve units are continually launched to bolster thinning squadrons.
As the Clone Wars erupted, and the Trade Federation became one of the founding members of the Confederacy of Independent Systems, they supplied their vulture droids to the growing Separatist fleet. Painted with the blue and white hexagonal sigils of the Confederacy, vulture droids would plague Jedi and clone pilots on many battlefronts, including the decisive Battle of Coruscant.
Vulture droid starfighters were usually named by a six-digit designation number, consisting of DFS- and a three-digit alpha-numeric combination, as illustrated by the fighters DFS-1VR and DFS-4CT.
The Trade Federation jealously guards its new innovations, and the droid starfighter is equipped in that regard. Should it lose contact with the Droid Control Ship due to malfunction or other unexpected catastrophe, the starfighter's self destruct mechanism prevents the droid from falling into enemy hands.
After the Clone Wars, many of the surviving droid starfighters found their way into criminal and corporate groups.
"Droids don't talk back, they don't questions your orders, and they never complain when you send them on suicide missions." —Trade Federation tactician Rune Haako