The FreiTek E-wing starfighter was introduced during Grand Admiral Thrawn's campaign against the New Republic. A year later, when the revived Emperor made his bid for power, the ship had become a key element of the New Republic 's starfighter forces.
The E-wing was designed by the former Incom Corporations designers who created the fabulously successful X-wing starfighter. The E-wing gave their new company, FreiTek, a design ranked with the best starfighters any company was producing. Initial engagements with Imperial fighters convinced the New Republic pilots that they had an incredible ship at their disposal. The E-wing was initially designed with the same mission profile as the older A-wing: to protect New Republic convoys from Imperial Raiding missions.
The ship provides respectable speed, but its greatest asset is firepower. The primary weapons are fire-linked triple laser cannons: one cannon on the end of each wing, with the third cannon directly above the cockpit.
The E-wing also serves as an excellent medium assault and close-support fighter because of its sixteen proton torpedoes. These heavy weapons can severely damage capital ships and reinforced military bases, giving New Republic strategists another option when B-wings are too slow for a mission.
The E-wing offers performance that until recently was thought to be impossible. FreiTek's engineers incorporated remarkable advances in flight control and power regulation. The resulting ship is as fast and maneuverable as the TIE interceptor, and it's heavily reinforced hull allows the E-wing to absorb more damage than the New Republic 's famed X-wing can.
Unfortunately, those advancements come at a price. The E-wings advanced computer systems have proved overwhelming for R2 astromech droids. The New Republic has had to switch over to the new Industrial Automaton R7 astromech, which were designed specifically to handle more advanced systems and hyperdrive interfaces aboard the E-wing.
The E-wing has a reliable fixed-wing design. While some designers consider movable wings essential to top combat performance, FreiTek's designers produced a ship that is superior to any moveable-wing design. The E-wing is easy to repair between missions; modular parts, from laser cannon actuators to power couplings, enable New Republic technicians to strip and rebuild an E-wing in almost half the time it would take to perform a similar operation on an X-wing.
Initial battles show the laser cannons were underpowered because they used synthetically spin-coiled Tibanna gas, which broke down quickly greatly reducing firing range. Because of the Battle of Calamari, New Republic technicians lacked the time to design a permanent solution, such as refitting the weapons for a more suitable blaster gas. Instead, the rigged the laser cannons to blaster gas. Instead, they rigged laser cannons to accept three times the standard power feed, increasing the weapon range to acceptable levels but also risking a terminal power overload. These modified ships have been dubbed E-wing: Type B.