ID4 Attacker
General Information
Locomotion Unknown
Armaments Dual Underside Wing-Mounted Plasma Cannons
Speed Exceed Speeds Over Mach 2
Crew 3
Species Origin ID4 Aliens

An Attacker is a Harvester interceptor-type air/spacecraft. Attackers can be deployed by City destroyers, as well as Colony ships and Harvester Motherships, even though the latter doesn't seem to be equipped for rapid dispatch.

Performance Characteristics Edit

Attackers, also officially known as "Agile Fighters", are extraordinarily technologically advanced feats of alien engineering when compared to humanity's technological achievements. Though their method of propulsion was never elaborated on, it is strongly evident that these attack aircraft have transcended the need for traditional liquid or solid-fuel combustion engines at least while hovering in place, given their lack of the incredible heat and exhaust output necessary to support something its apparent size and mass, such as from a jet engine.

Despite not having wings or maneuvering flaps for stability, Agile Fighters are capable of stable atmospheric flight even at speeds reaching or exceeding the sound barrier while still maintaining an incredible degree of maneuverability and have been demonstrated to have fantastic acceleration power, going from a completely stationary hover to presumably several hundred miles per hour in just a few seconds. It should be noted that all of these handling characteristics have been observed from a badly damaged crash specimen recovered and then repaired, that is presumably the craft from the Roswell New Mexico Incident of 1947; it is probable that a mechanically undamaged and fully stocked Agile Fighter may exhibit even better handling characteristics.

Alien Attack craft are capable of trans-atmospheric flight, allowing a single autonomous unit to leave planets like Earth's atmosphere without needing to be transported aboard a large carrier craft; accordingly, they are equipped with cabin-pressurization, inertial dampening, and life-support systems installed that are sophisticated enough to allow two pilots to sit comfortably inside the craft (and to a lesser extent, survive crash/impact forces) without requiring the need of sealed and pressurized space or G-suits, despite the Agile Fighter's ability to pull incredible-G turns that stress normal air-frames and pilots often to the breaking point. It is probable that a single autonomous Agile Fighter has capability to successfully complete re-entry into a planet's atmosphere at least as dense as Earth's, but as the two known incidents in which an Agile Fighter re-entered the atmosphere unassisted both resulted in crashes that either heavily damaged or completely destroyed the ships in question, this has not been definitively confirmed.[2]

In addition to their surreal handling, maneuverability, and their ability to travel into space unassisted, each Agile Fighter possesses the infinitely more valuable ability to produce and envelope itself in a working particle shield that deflects all incoming physical projectiles from space debris, to small-arms fire, all the way up to one or more successive direct hits from highly explosive air-to-air missiles or 20mm auto-cannon fire. This crucial edge gives the Agile Fighter survivability, thereby turning it into the perfect air-interceptor, allowing it to return to base only lightly or perhaps even entirely undamaged.

It is highly evident that the method that allows each Attack craft to produce enough energy to power both the propulsion, internal avionics, life-support, and weapons systems in addition to maintaining a working constant-use or even multi-use shielding system, requires an energy source or conversion process several orders more powerful than combustion engines or perhaps even nuclear fusion could match. Despite the best efforts of Area 51's scientists over nearly 50 years of dedicated study and reverse-engineering, no similar power plant could be replicated to power a salvaged Attacker craft. Ironically, during the arrival of the aliens during the War of 1996, the crashed craft spontaneously re-activated, thus leading to speculation that Agile Fighters may actually receive some or all of their energy remotely from a power plant aboard the City destroyers or Colony ships.

Deployment and Combat Capabilities Edit

Owing to their tremendous technological advancement, stock Attackers make exceedingly lethal fighter-interceptors alone, and are nearly unstoppable when deployed in groups from inside City Destroyer craft, which also serve as aircraft carriers. In combat, the preferred tactic used by the aliens is to deploy massive swarms of Attackers directly from the interior of a Destroyer, and secure absolute air dominance by crushing opponents with sheer numbers. Faced with 3 or even 4-to-1 odds or more, engagements are often brutally short and very one-sided; against an unshielded foe, Attacker craft can quickly destroy enough enemy units that the remaining few are exponentially overwhelmed, eventually facing odds of an entire squadron of Agile Fighters per single enemy unit.

In the Expanded Universe novel Independence Day: War in the Desert, a City Destroyer in the Middle East deploys five hundred Attackers to destroy the Earth fighters, and a large (unspecified) number of additional Fighters are found inside the ship after it crashes. The hangar of a City Destroyer therefore has a capacity of at least five hundred attacker craft, and given its massive size relative to one fighter, the theoretical hangar space to host many more.

Technical Readout Edit

The Attacker is a small 3 crewed fighter capable of both air and space travel. Designed to exceed mach 2, the fighter is capable of also out flying a human fighter. The technology aboard give the vessel an extreme edge against other enemy fighters. The underside of the vessel is outfitted with a port and starboard plasma cannon which is mounted on the wings. It's shield generator is designed to protect it from a variety of different weapons including bullets, missiles and possibly their own weapons. The armor of the vessel itself however is not able to withstand hits from the M61A Vulcan mounted on the F/A-18 Hornet, nor can it withstand a direct hit from an AIM-120 AMRAAM Missile.

The vessel is designed with a uniquely designed thruster system which shows no visible thrust. It is however been shown to have been designed with the use of a hovering device that enables it to stay in place. The signal used by the aliens is what causes this thing to activate and the humans couldn't duplicate the power source. The vessel can however be outfitted with the use of human technology as well such as the use of nuclear missiles and some parts of the captured vessel have been replaced with Earth-bound metals. The ship also comes complete with the use of windshield blinds that can be overridden by the aliens, even if they are controlled by human made technology. Shown, it would appear that the pilots of these craft have no use of targeting system, which is what makes them miss their targets.


War of 1996 Edit

The fighter wasn't seen until after the attack on every major city in the world and the Black Knight Squadron was to attack the vessel over Los Angeles. It was discovered that the larger vessel had a deflector shield generator which kept them from damaging it with their AIM-120 AMRAAM Missiles. The Attackers began to swarm the Black Knights and it was then realized that the Attackers were outfitted with the same shields. Capt. Hiller and Wilder then made a run for it, however were followed by some unwanted company. One fighter managed to kill Wilder and the other pursued Hiller into a nearby canyon where Hiller managed to outwit the pilot. Upon arriving at Area 51, Dr. Okun and his team were responsible for the rebuilding of an Attacker since the 1960s. It helped them learn more about them, however the power source used was something they couldn't duplicate and therefore giving them no ability to experiment. It was when the aliens came back that the ship became active and that's when they started to look more into the systems of the vessel. Later on, David Levinson assisted Okun and his researchers in their work on the ship, discovering their signal.

After dropping the bomb on an unscathed city destroyer over Houston, David who was drunk at the time was speaking with his father. His father then told him to get off the floor before he caught a cold, leading him to realize how to beat the aliens. He created a computer virus and disabled the captured attacker's shield, giving them a window of only a few minutes before the shields are operational again. The only way to infect all of the vessels was the use of the signal source, which in turn came from the mothership. It's then that Capt. Hiller volunteers for the mission to deliver the virus alongside David.

The Americans then contact other countries, telling them that they have a way to take down the shields of the city destroyers and other craft. This leads to them launching the biggest aerial battle in the history of mankind on Independence Day. President Thomas Whitmore takes flight in an F/A-18 Hornet and leads Eagle Squadron while David and Steve head up to the mothership. Once the virus is uploaded, the vessels lose their shields and therefore leading to the vessels getting damaged. Attackers swarm the others and many are destroyed. Once almost every missile has been fired, the pilots of the Hornets and F-14 Tomcats open up with their machine guns, causing many Attackers to go up in flames.

Later on, the attacker used by David and Steve launches a nuclear payload which will detonate in 30 seconds. Steve pilots the vessel at high speeds and are chased by other attackers. He manages to escape before the doors of the mothership completely close and the nuclear missile goes off. The vessel enters the atmosphere with a nuclear explosion behind them and end up crash landing.

Other Media Edit

Video game Edit

In the video game, the alien attackers are officially called "Agile Fighters", and come in three forms, BAC-A, BAC-B, and BAC-R, the latter two being exclusive to the game.

  • BAC-A
  • BAC-B
  • BAC-R: The BAC-R has two visible cockpits, suggesting it is piloted by two aliens.

Toy line Edit

The Attackers were featured in the official ID4 toy line:  The Los Angeles Invasion playset, and an electronic Alien Attacker, as well as in the Micro Battle playsets.

Behind the Scenes Edit

  • In The Art and Making of Independence Day: Resurgence, production designer Oliver Scholl remembers working on the attacker aesthetic: "For the destroyers, Roland just likes the simple, classic saucer look, which is also what's in the attacker shape... it has the single Mohawk on top, but it's basically a saucer that's a bit twisted." Patrick Tatopoulos explains how a moment of serendipity brought them the final design that was used: "I sketched the alien first then the craft. Then I realized the top of the craft is the same as the head of the creature. This was an accident, but it was instinct - a through-line in the design."

References Edit

  1. ↑
  2. ↑ Independence Day: Silent Zone