Variable Geometry Self-Propelled Battle Droid
|Vulture droid starfighter Specifications|
Haor Chall Engineering
|Model||Variable Geometry Self-Propelled Battle Droid Mk. I|
|Max Speed (in standard atmosphere)||1200 km/h|
|Max Acceleration||3900 G|
|Armament||4 blaster cannons
2 proton torpedo launchers
|Crew||Integrated droid brain|
Confederacy of Independent Systems
The Variable Geometry Self-Propelled Battle Droid, or Vulture droid starfighter, was a droid starfighter used by the Trade Federation, and later the Confederacy of Independent Systems. Like most of the Trade Federation's armed forces it carried no living pilot but rather a droid brain that was linked to a Droid Control Ship. Each Trade Federation battleship carried 1,500 droid starfighters. It was designed by Haor Chall Engineering, which was founded by the fanatical Xi-Char, a religious order dedicated to high-precision manufacturing. As a result, it represented classic Xi-Char design—a compact body that offered only a small target for enemy fighters, multiple weapons emplacements, and an insectoid appearance.
The starfighter carried four blaster cannons and two proton torpedo launchers and could reach 1200 km/h in an planet's atmosphere. When not in flight, the ship could transform into a walking weapons platform, used for ground patrol and troop support. A droid starfighter was capable of maneuvers that would kill an organic pilot, but they lacked the resourcefulness and cunning of living pilots. Additionally, they could only function for 35 minutes before having to be refueled; Vulture droids used a unique solid-fuel engine system.
Droid starfighters were launched in overwhelming numbers and excelled in both atmospheric and space combat. The droid starfighter's weapon systems consisted of 4 blaster cannons with two per wing. These laser cannons have a wide range, although they were inferior even when compared to the weapons of the Naboo N-1 starfighters. In standard flight format, the drone's wings were collapsed to conceal its laser cannons. In combat, these wings split up to reveal these deadly laser cannons. The laser cannons were followed by 2 energy torpedo launchers that would weaken enemy targets before the starfighter delivered a laser cannon barrage.
Like the AAT and other Trade Federation vehicles, the droid starfighter endured rigorous testing before its deployment at Naboo. Droid starfighters saw action during skirmishes with Degan pirates in the Elrood Sector and were responsible for defeating the pirate Nym's forces on Lok. The Naboo first encountered these drones when Echo Flight pilots led by Essara Till battled them during an assault on Station TFP-9, not long before the assault on Naboo. The Droid starfighter saw action in the Battle of Naboo.
After the battle, droid starfighters as part of the Trade Federation Defense Fleet participated alongside Republic forces during the attack on the living world Zonama Sekot. They also saw action during the Trade Federation's occupation of the Karthakk system. During the Clone Wars, many Vulture droids were painted with the blue and white hexagonal insignia of the Confederacy of Independent Systems. They were deployed by the Confederacy forces against the Republic in numerous battles and conflicts including the Battle of Geonosis, Battle of Muunilinst, and the Battle of Coruscant.
After the Clone Wars, many of the surviving droid starfighters found their way into criminal and corporate groups.