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Chiss clawcraft: Misc



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Nssis-class Clawcraft
Production information

Unknown (probably shipyards in the territory of the Empire of the Hand and later the Chiss Ascendancy)

Product line

TIE series relative


Nssis-class Clawcraft



Technical specifications

7.65 meters

Maximum acceleration

3,800 G

Maximum speed (atmosphere)

1,000 km/h

Engine unit(s)

SFS ion engines

Hyperdrive rating

Class 1.5



Navigation system

Chiss hyperspace beacon system (navigation computer could be installed as an upgrade)


SFS L-s7.2 laser cannons (4)


Pilot (1)



Cargo capacity

25 kilograms


1 week


Space superiority fighter


New Jedi Order era

"You have to admire the Chiss. They don't just steal your technology—they make it better."
―Anonymous Imperial engineer

The Nssis-class Clawcraft was a starfighter normally associated with the Chiss, but in fact was a hybrid development of standard Imperial technology.



Chiss Clawcraft schematics.

The fuselage was based on the ubiquitous "ball cockpit" of the TIE series of Imperial starfighters, with a Sienar ion drive pod mounted on the rear, but stemming from the junction of cockpit and drive pod were two pairs of curving wings which thrust out like an X-wing's strike-foils, and then extended forward in a claw-like grip around the cockpit. At the tip of each wing was a Sienar L-s7.2 laser cannon.

With modest deflector shields and thicker hull armor, Clawcraft were slower at sublight speeds than their TIE/ln starfighter progenitors, although the ion engines allowed the ship to achieve an atmospheric speed of 1,000 kilometers per hour, and a respectable sublight acceleration of almost forty thousand meters per second squared.

Clawcraft made up for their lower sublight speed by greater maneuverability. Each curved wing could make minor position adjustments and was paired with a mounted control jet to allow a Clawcraft's pilot to throw the ship into sharp turns and complex maneuvers.

A unique hyperspace beacon system allowed a Clawcraft to make lightspeed jumps without an on-board navigation computer, enabling it to function as a long-range craft while significantly reducing the weight, size and complexity of non-combat equipment carried.

A Chiss Clawcraft, apparently with the moons of Rhigar in the background.

But the starfighter's dependence on navigational data transmitted from a nexus of anchor points also restricted the area in which most Clawcraft could operate. For long-range deployment, ships of this class typically had to travel with specialist beacon ships, until about 28 ABY, when new variants began to enter service, featuring on-board navicomps for the first time, as well as warhead launchers.


Nssis-class Clawcraft were often associated in the public imagination with the Chiss Expansionary Defense Force, but although the basic term "clawcraft" would appear to be a Chiss one, and fighters so described were used as trainers by cadets at Chiss military academies as early as 19 ABY, there is no direct evidence that these ships incorporated the TIE technology of the Nssis-class.

In fact, the design lineage and operational history of the classic Clawcraft connects the type far more closely with the forces loyal to Grand Admiral Thrawn. Part of the confusion stems from the fact that Thrawn's Household Phalanx was largely staffed by Chiss personnel—but this unit was a "rogue phalanx" operating independently of the CEDF, commanded by Imperial General Soontir Fel, and operated alongside the stormtroopers and line military units of the Empire of the Hand.

By 19 ABY, pilots from the Household Phalanx were using long-range scout vessels combining TIE cockpits and drives with alien technology in a manner that bear an obvious similarity to the Clawcraft, and it is known that the Empire of the Hand was using some form of Clawcraft as combat fighters by 22 ABY, at which point the Chiss Ascendancy was still apparently refusing to adapt non-Chiss technology.

Chiss Clawcraft in an asteroid field.

The Nssis-class was revealed to the wider galaxy in 26 ABY, when three squadrons of Chiss pilots from the Household Phalanx fought at Garqi and Ithor where they were commanded by Commander Jagged Fel. A part of this force continued to fight alongside Rogue Squadron until at least the battle of Kalarba, and after the fall of Coruscant. The Chiss force returned to their home territory until Commander Jagged Fel convinced Baron Fel to allow him to take a scout force to further determine the danger posed by the Yuuzhan Vong. This led to Commander Fel and Shawnkyr Nuruodo to deploy in a a wing-pair of Household Phalanx Clawcraft where they participated in operations in the Hapes Cluster. Commander Fel's group were later joined by several squadrons of combat pilots that formed Vanguard Squadron at the time. The two Clawcraft also fought alongside the Galactic Federation of Free Alliances with Twin Suns Squadron until the end of the war.

A few Nssis-class ships were seen in Chiss space in 29 ABY, by which time unknown political developments in the Unknown Regions had led to Baron Fel becoming Assistant Syndic of the CEDF; but it was not until the clashes with the Killik Colony in 36 ABY and 38 ABY that the familiar Clawcraft categorically appeared in large numbers in CEDF forces.

Behind the scenes

A Chiss Clawcraft.

As originally introduced in Dark Tide II: Ruin, the Clawcraft seems to have been intended as a hybrid Chiss/Imperial design flown by Chiss pilots allied with Imperial forces in the Unknown Regions, independent of the Chiss government. Author Michael A. Stackpole may have also intended the wings to be more sharp-edged and angular than those depicted in subsequent illustrations. Later novels and guidebooks associated the Clawcraft instead with the Chiss Ascendancy, leading to a number of minor continuity problems. Various fan theories have been advanced to solve these problems, but as yet, no clear explanation has been given.

Most notably, this article cautiously suggests that the Clawcraft described in the short story Red Sky, Blue Flame were purely Chiss designs, as the text makes no reference to TIE cockpits or Imperial technology, and the novel Survivor's Quest implies that the Chiss military was not using foreign technology in this timeframe; but it should be noted that the associated image shows a Nssis-class fighter, with a TIE-style cockpit.



TIE starfighter variants
Imperial starfighters
T.I.E. starfighter · TIE/ln starfighter · TIE Advanced x1 · TIE Advanced x2 · TIE Advanced x3 · TIE Advanced x7
TIE Aggressor · TIE/ad starfighter · TIE boarding craft · TIE/D Defender · TIE/D automated starfighter · TIE/fc starfighter
TIE/gt starfighter · TIE Hunter · TIE/In starfighter · TIE Interdictor · TIE lander · TIE Light Duty · TIE Oppressor · TIE Phantom
TIE/rc starfighter · TIE/sa starfighter · TIE/sh shuttle · TIE/sr starfighter · TIE starfighter · TIE Vanguard
Scimitar assault bomber · Predator-class fighter
Non-Imperial starfighters
Advanced Project ship · Aleph-class starfighter · Chir'daki · Clutch · Y-TIE · X-ceptor
X-TIE · TYE-wing · Lone Scout-A · TIE/rpt starfighter · Nssis-class Clawcraft · TIE stealth
Non-starfighter models
Century tank · TIE ap-1 · TIE fighter boat · Lancet Aerial Artillery

This article uses material from the "Nssis-class Clawcraft" article on the Starwars wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.


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