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The Z-95 Headhunter was a starfighter designed jointly by Incom and Subpro Corporations years before the Invasion of Naboo. Its resilience and longevity meant it remained a staple of private and low-priority government starfighter forces long after its introduction.
Considered one of the most capable fighters of its day, it boasted a distinctive bubble canopy and a set of triple blasters mounted at the ends of each of its two variable geometry wings; later versions dispensed with the swing wings and bubble canopy in favor of more precise maneuvering thrusters and canopy instrumentation. Its sleek yet rugged design was attributed to Seti Ashgad, a scientist in Incom's Hyperdrive Design Division.
It was named after the Coromon headhunter, a predator native to the Coromon Islands on Fresia, the planet where Incom was headquartered.
The Z-95 was smaller in size than its successors: the Incom/Subpro ARC-170, designed during the Clone Wars, the clone Z-95 starfighter, also made in the Clone Wars, and the Incom T-65 X-wing, designed shortly before the outbreak of the Galactic Civil War.
Though the Z-95 still enjoyed considerable use in the years following the establishment of the New Republic, it was clearly outclassed by fighters developed in the decades since its original release. When compared to the T-65, it was slower, less maneuverable, had lighter armor and shielding, and was not as heavily armed.
Booster Terrik's heavily modified Z-95 Headhunter equipped with X-wing-style S-foils
It was fairly inexpensive and reliable, making it a favorite amongst smugglers, Outer Rim organizations, local system defense forces, and bright-eyed youngsters with dreams of becoming fighter jockeys. Pirate groups such as the Nebula Front also used the Z-95. Also, despite the later T-65 being more maneuverable, the Z-95 was known to be able to perform a tighter turn.
Owing to its longevity, it was not surprising that many variants of the Z-95 came into existence due to the efforts of starship mechanics and hotrod pilots throughout the galaxy; these included a split-wing version, a courier version that could accommodate a single passenger, variants with various alternative weapons loadouts, and a trainer version, the Z-95XT Trainer, that was commonly used by the Rebel Alliance until replaced by the T-65X, the trainer variant of the X-wing.
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