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Though they proved instrumental in the defeat of Zaarin's rogue faction and in executing Emperor Palpatine's plan to lead the Rebel Alliance to Endor, they were removed from Imperial Navy operations by the Emperor's own orders and were not seen in use after 4 ABY.
The Missile Boat loosely resembled the general body style of its predecessor, the Alpha-class Xg-1 Star Wing. The Missile Boat had a bulky profile in comparison to the Star Wing, yet both models shared a pronounced fuselage with dorsal stabilizer, flanked by the craft's primary warhead launchers. The Missile Boat's second set of warhead launchers extended from pylons attached to the dorsal surface of the primary launchers. This secondary set rested at an angle reflexive to the lateral wings.
Extremely uncommon among Imperial starfighters, portions of the pilot's flight data displays were located on the cockpit exterior. The deflector shield configuration and beam weapon displays were attached to the port and starboard nose surfaces, outside the cockpit, just forward of the viewports.
The Missile Boat was armed with two high-capacity twin warhead launchers and a single nose-mounted laser cannon. The secondary pair of warhead launchers was exclusively assigned to carry a payload of concussion missiles, while the primary could be outfitted with an array of space-borne projectiles. Each individual launcher had a concussion missile capacity of twenty missiles, affording the Missile Boat a maximum load of eighty concussion missiles; the primary launchers could alternatively hold fifteen proton torpedoes, ten heavy rockets, or five heavy space bombs. This immense warhead capacity greatly overshadowed the TIE Bomber and Assault Gunboat magazines by more than sixty missiles. By the time of its deployment, the Missile Boat was afforded the use of advanced concussion missiles and advanced proton torpedoes. These projectiles fielded larger payloads and increased agility than their predecessors. Advanced concussion missiles offered Missile Boat pilots the ability to suppress more advanced starfighters such as Rebel A-Wings and rogue TIE Defenders.
The abundance of missiles led to the development of unorthodox tactics. Missile Boat pilots, armed exclusively for anti-starfighter work, often used advanced missiles as dumb-fire rockets against capital ships and space stations, supplementing their accompanying Assault Gunboats or TIE Bombers. Unlike their TIE pilot brethren, Missile Boat pilots could easily afford the use of missiles to overwhelm space station anti-warhead defensive systems, or defend targets from pursuing warheads.
The most noteworthy weakness of the Missile Boat was its single laser cannon. Should the craft's warhead stores run empty, pilots were forced to dogfight with a single cannon. Dogfighting in general could be problematic due to the fact the that Missile Boat pilots had only a single cannon reserve from which energy could be transferred to deflector shields. However, this single laser cannon did fire faster and could charge to full capacity in just ninety seconds, a major improvement over other laser cannons found in Imperial fighters.
Missile Boats were frequently equipped with a beam weapon system. The tractor beam was another tool the Missile Boat employed against TIE Defenders, robbing the Defender of its superior maneuverability and holding them on course while Missile Boat pilots attained missile locks. Alternatively, Missile Boats could be fitted with a jamming beam, a weapon that disrupted the fire-control systems of spacecraft, which allowed Missile Boats safer transit on bombing runs against capital ships.
The Missile Boat was equipped with dual ion engines and a hyperdrive. Hyperdrive capability permitted the Missile Boat to compete with other advanced fighters of the era and assume multiple mission roles by operating independently of bases and carriers. The class 6 motivator, however, was slower than that of hyperdrive-equipped members of the competing TIE series, like the TIE Advanced x1 and TIE Defender. The Missile Boat was faster and more maneuverable than the Assault Gunboat, and its engines were also equipped with the new SubLight Acceleration Motor(s). The SLAM was an overdrive system that drained laser cannon energy reserve to boost the craft's engines to 200 percent output. Comparable to the Alliance's A-wing, the Missile Boat boasted a respectable maximum cruising speed of 125 MGLT. A pilot competent in energy management could push the craft's speed beyond 250 MGLT using the SLAM system.
Shields and armorEdit
While the defensive armor plating, rated at 20 RU, was less than that of many non-Imperial starfighters—comparable to that of all types of TIE fighters—the Missile Boat's deflector shields were heavily reinforced, rated at 120 SBD, comparable to those of the Alliance's B-wing starfighter.
The Missile Boat was specifically designed to counter the menacing TIE Defender. As byproducts of the space superiority role, shield and hyperdrive systems permitted the Missile Boat to assume various other starfighter roles. Missile Boats were used on several occasions as reconnaissance scouts to inspect enemy craft in distant systems. Considering the immense payload and deflector shield systems, the Missile Boat was also well suited as a heavy bomber, frequently inserted into enemy territory to destroy enemy capital ships. While these heavy bomber roles typically came with the assistance of fighter escorts, Missile Boats could operate autonomously in light of their dedicated concussion missile launchers, most appropriate for destroying enemy fighters. The Missile Boat was also frequently deployed on heavy assault missions. A major drawback to this role was the Missile Boat's lack of ion cannons. Missile Boats would be reliant on Assault Gunboats or TIE Defenders to disable mission critical craft for capture, thus making the Missile Boats responsible for the livelihood of the disabling craft.