Cygnus Spaceworks Missile Boat -- was an advanced fighter developed at the request of Grand Admiral Thrawn by Cygnus Spaceworks as a countermeasure to proliferation of TIE Defender starfighter technology. The Missile Boat is an modification to the Cygnus Spaceworks Assault Gunboat and is one of the most advanced and expensive starfighters ever produced by the Galactic Empire
During the attempted coup against Emperor Palpatine by Grand Admiral Demetrius Zaarin, Zaarin unleashed an assault against the industrial manufacturing facilities of the Empire in 3 ABY, specifically targeting those which manufactured advanced starfighters like the Tie Advanced and the Tie Defender. Zaarin's goal was to strip the Empire of its technological advantage, thus giving his fleet a technological edge over the Imperial Navy.
Shortly after the destruction of the Tie Advanced manufacturing plants in the Omar star system, several scientists and materials that were part of the Tie Defender project were captured by pirates for the purpose of duplicating the technology in the Tie Defender and producing a variant for sale on the black market. A manufacturing plant was set up for this purpose and an initial run of Tie Defenders was produced with the goal of selling this technology to the Rebel Alliance.
Grand Admiral Thrawn, who had been in charge of the pursuit of the traitor Zaarin and realizing that the Tie Defender technology proliferation could give the upper hand to the Rebels and other fringe groups instituted a crash program to develop a starfighter that could deal with this new threat. For this project he enlisted the aid of Cygnus Spaceworks to modify their existing Assault Gunboat design into a new starfighter that would surpass even the Tie Defender. The program succeeded and the Missile Boat was produced.
Although the Missile Boat was by all accounts a success from a design standpoint, several problems developed before it could enter mass production. The first run of Missile Boats was rushed to the front lines to combat Zaarin and the third party Tie Defender's that were produced and saw considerable losses in combat for what was already a handful of available fighters. By the time of Zaarin's defeat in 4 ABY there were less than a dozen Missile Boats left in the Imperial Navy and the Emperor personally ordered them into protective storage shortly before the Battle of Endor in order to ensure they would not be destroyed or captured. All of the original research on the Missile Boat was locked down, the copies were destroyed, and the craft themselves were taken to an unknown location.
After the Imperial defeat at Endor, the fate of the remaining Missile Boats and research materials is unknown. The lack of manufacturing by the Imperial Remnant would suggest that the Missile Boat technology may have been lost.
The Missile Boat, as the name suggests, was a starfighter that primarily relied on its four racks of concussion missile launchers for offensive action. These launchers were extremely flexible and could be mounted with concussion missiles for anti-starfighter duty, proton torpedoes, or even heavier warheads for attacking larger ships. A single laser canon was also installed as a backup, although its effectiveness was questionable.
In addition to its heavy warhead loads, the Missile Boat was also extremely fast and agile, even compared to other starfighters. With its SLAM boosters it easily matched or exceeded the acceleration of any other starfighters and could control any engagement it participated in.
TIE Fighter (Game): Appeared in the Defender of the Empire expansion pack and the Collector's CD-ROM.