Despite its age, the ship has been one of the mainstays of the Rebel Alliance and saw notable duty at the Battle of Yavin, during which the Imperial Death Star was destroyed. Prior to the introduction of the X-wing starfighter, Y-wings were the flagship fighters of the Alliance. The twin-engine Y-wing, at sixteen meters long, is a multipurpose ship that was originally designed as a compromise between a full-fledged attack fighter and a heavier bomber. The durable starfighter can give and take a great deal of punishment, but they don't have the payload capacity or the speed, stealth, and the maneuverability to compete with modern Imperial attack fighters. The Rebel Alliance has flown more Y-wings than any other fighter and has used a number of different configuration for a variety of mission profiles. It isn't uncommon for a Y-wing to be stripped down for assault runs against Imperial convoys and then be refitted by rebel technicians for a heavy bombing run against an imperial base. Y-wings also find use on diplomatic escort missions and for long-range patrols. The BTL-A4 Y-wing (LP), or Long-Probe-Class, has extra provisions, more powerful sensors, and a sophisticated navigation computer specifically for patrol duty. The Y-wing has three main components. The forward cockpit module houses the pilots and weaopons systems. A reinforced space-frame central spar stretches back from the cockpit module; the Y-wing's ionization reactor and hyperdrive/astrogation hardware are crammed into this narrow frame. A cross wing housing the main power cells ataches at the back of the spar, with the two powerful sublight ion drives on either end. The cockpit module has thick armor plating. The pilot controls a pair of forward laser cannons and twin proton torpedo launchers. A turret-mounted ion cannon is directly behind the pilot. Like the X-wing, an R2 or R4 astromech droid fits snugly into the droid socket behind the cockpit and monitors all fight, navigation, and power systems. The droid can also handle fire control, perform simple inflight maintenance, and reroute power as needed. The R2 unit also stores hyperspace jump coordinates.
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by Star_Wars_Geek_1 April 26, 2004
Growing increasingly outdated with the advent of sleeker, more powerful starfighters, the Y-wing nonetheless has a proud track record of service in the Rebel Alliance. The sturdy fighter-bomber gets its name from its shape: a reinforced central spar connects the cockpit to a cross-spar. At each end of the cross-spar rests a powerful engine nacelle, which houses the fighter's sublight and hyperdrive engines. Just aft of the cockpit module is the astromech droid socket.

The Y-wing's primary weapons are twin forward-firing laser cannons, housed in a recessed slot in the front of the cockpit module. A secondary weapon is a turret mounted paired set of cannons. Though many Y-wings fly as single-pilot fighters, some sport a two-seat configuration with a rear-facing tailgunner operating the turret canons.

The Y-wing also carries proton torpedo launchers. During the Battles of Yavin and Endor, Y-wing squadrons were influential in helping defeat the Death Star threats. A Y-wing brandishes its squadron colors and markings on its main cockpit module and the forward tips of the engine nacelles.
by Official_SW Definitions_ December 10, 2004