SW Forums
Bases & Stations
Alien Species
Cut Scenes
Video Games
Video Arcade
Star Wars Cards

Coruscant Courier
Fan Fiction



Vulture Droid Starfighter

Craft: Haor Chall Engineering's Variable Geometry
Self-Propelled Battle Droid, Mark I
Type: Vulture Droid Starfighter
Length: 3.6 Meters
4 Blaster Cannons
2 Energy Torpedo Launchers
4 Buzz Droid Discord Missile Launchers
Crew: None
Top Speed: 140 MGLT
Troop Capacity: None
Cargo Capacity: None
Passengers: None

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.

Designed by the fanatical Xi Char engineers, the droid starfighter was produced in massive numbers shortly before that battle. The starfighter represents classic Xi Char design: a compact body that offers only a small target, sports multiple weapons emplacements, and has an odd, insectlike appearance. The vehicle excels in both atmospheric and space combat.

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.

The droid starfighter's primary weapons system consists of four blaster cannons arranged two to a wing. The laser cannons have great range, although they are relatively weak even when compared to the weapons on the Naboo starfighter. In standard flight configuration, the starfighter's wings are collapsed, concealing the laser cannons. When combat is imminent, the wings separate to reveal the weapons. The laser cannons are complemented by two energy torpedo launchers that soften targets before the starfighter closes to deliver a laser cannon barrage. When transformed into walking mode, the launchers are angled for antipersonnel use. During the Clone Wars, many droid starfighters were modified with buzz droid missile launchers.

The Xi Char viewed the droid starfighter as a short-range combat craft that would attack in giant flocks to quickly eliminate opponents. The starfighter's fuel system relies on unconventional, solid fuel-concentrate slugs that provide thrust when ignited. Because the fuel slugs deplete rapidly, droid starfighters must frequently return to hangars or space stations for refueling. When not deployed, these starfighters hang from overhead recharging racks.

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. 

Like the AAT and other Trade Federation military vehicles, the droid starfighter endured rigorous testing before its deployment during the invasion of Naboo. The starfighters saw combat during raids against Degan pirates in the Elrood sector and were instrumental in defeating Nym's army on Lok. The Naboo first encountered the droid starfighters when Echo Flight pilots led by Essara Till ran afoul of the machines during an assault on Station TFP-9, only a few weeks before the Trade Federation's full-scale attack on Naboo. After the Battle of Naboo, droid starfighters remained in operation as part of the Trade Federation "defense fleet," participating in the invasion of Zonama Sekot and the occupation of the Karthakk system.

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

Back to Starfighters