The A-wing, a lightweight
-shaped military starfighter
, made its first appearance late in the galactic civil war
on the side of the Rebel Alliance
. Designed for high speed and maneuverability, the A-wing carries two wing-mounted, pivoting blaster cannons, a sophisticated targting computer and sensor array, and light combat shields. Built for ship-to-ship combat and to serve as escort craft for larger starships, it was the Alliance's answer to the Empire
's newer TIE fighter
models. Two extra-large real-space power plants and low total mass make this the faster combat starfighter in either arsenal, beating out the TIE interceptor
for pure speed in normal space.
The A-wing was developed secretly during the early days of the Rebellion. It has excellent sensor and communications countermeasures, including a power-jamming package to blind targets before it strikes. Since this starfighter was first introduced, its mission profile has undergone some significant modifications. It has been determined through trial and error that the high-speed craft is better suited to hit-and-fade operations than to escort duty.