- “Lock S-foils in attack position.”
- ―Deployment of wings before attack.
The X-Wing starfighter (officially known as the T-65 X-Wing starfighter) was the primary all-purpose Starfighter of the Rebel Alliance.
Known for its versatility and exceptional combat performance, it was a favorite to the Rebel Pilots. Possessing deflector shields, a hyperdrive, an R2 Astromech Droid for repairs and navigation, and a complement of Proton torpedoes.
The Rebel Alliance's X-Wing starfighter was one of the most advanced fighters of its day when Luke Skywalker flew one into battle against the Death Star. Many fighters had come along which were faster and more heavily armed, but the X-Wing had been assured its place in history because of its role in that stunning Alliance victory.
Yet it's a miracle that the Alliance had the fighter at all. The T-65 X-Wing was the last starfighter design produced by Incom Corporation before its seizure by the Empire. When the X-Wing was in its final design stages, ISB (Imperial Security Bureau) agents began to suspect that members of Incom's design staff might have sympathies for the Rebel Alliance. A Rebel commando team helped Incom's senior design staff defect to the Alliance; the designers revealed that four prototypes were being held on Fresia, thus launching the Fresia Campaign. The first part of the plan involved Captain Raymus Antilles taking a group of CR90 Corellian Corvettes to Kuat to create a distraction and lure the Star Destroyer Tyranny away from Fresia. This not only succeeded in luring the destroyer, but also slightly damaged the Imperials' ability to produce Star Destroyers due to the destruction of multiple orbital drydocks. Next, a strike team took C-3PO and R2-D2 to Wayland to acquire the codes necessary for bypassing the sentries that the Tyranny had deployed. After acquiring the codes, a taskforce landed on Fresia and successfully stole the four prototypes.
The X-Wings first saw service in the Battle of Turkhana, in which the Imperials were unprepared for the so-called "Rebel secret weapon". Not even prototypes of the TIE Interceptor were a match for the X-Wings.
The X-Wing got its name from its pair of double-layered wings, deployed into the familiar X formation for combat. During normal sublight space flight, the double-layered wings are closed, giving the fighter the appearance of having only two wings. Each wingtip had a high-powered Taim & Bak KX9 laser cannon. The four cannons could be fire simultaneously, in sequence, or in pairs.
A pair of Krupx MG7 proton-torpedo launchers were located midway up the main spaceframe. Each carried a magazine of three torpedoes; those specialized weapons allowed the Alliance to destroy the Death Star. The battle station had thermal exhaust vents, unshielded against particle weapons such as proton torpedoes, meaning that a well-placed shot could cause a chain reaction to destroy the Death Star.
The X-Wing was a small single pilot fighter. An Industrial Automaton R2 astromech droid, housed in a snug droid socket behind the pilot, handled many in-flight operations, such as damage control, astrogation jumps and flight performance adjustment.
The X-Wing was known for its durability, with a reinforced titanium-alloy hull and high-powered Chempat shield generators. It was a forgiving fighter and normally could take minor hits without a serious loss of performance. It had a full ejection system, and Alliance pilots had fully sealing suits and helmets.
Like the older Alliance Y-Wing, X-Wings had a hyperdrive for travel to other systems. The R2 astromech unit could store up to ten sets of jump coordinates and handle all astrogation dutires, because the X-Wing lacked a navigation computer.
Into the years of the New Republic, even after the introduction of more advanced fighters such as the E-Wing and K-Wing, the X-Wing remained a favorite among pilots, as attested to by multiple upgrades. Rogue Squadron, in particular, exclusively uses the X-Wing unless the mission calls for another fighter.