The Incom/Subpro Aggressive Reconnaissance Craft, more commonly known as the ARC-170, was a space superiority fighter developed by the Galactic Republic during the Clone Wars.
The ARC-170 was jointly produced by the Incom and Subpro Corporations. It was piloted by a crew of three Clone Trooper pilots, two forward-facing, one rear-facing, and one astromech droid, usually an R4 model. Like their other starfighter designs such as the Z-95, PTB-626, and the NTB-630, the ARC-170 had a narrow spaceframe flanked by large engines. The ARC-170 also possessed an S-foil system, which helped to disperse excess heat and to increase maneuverability. The two smaller wings could be extended from the fuselage on each side of the ARC 170, one above and one below the stationary wings. They also provided additional stability during atmospheric flight.
The ARC-170's wingspan was 22.85 meters and its formidable armament included two medium laser cannons, two rear-mounted blaster cannons controlled by a rear gunner, and a proton torpedo launcher that carried a payload of six proton torpedoes.
The ARC-170 was a departure from other starfighter designs of the Clone Wars era. Fighters such as the Alpha-3 Nimbus and the Eta-2 Actis were built to be small, fast, and maneuverable, at the cost of heavy weapons, shields, and hyperdrives. On the other hand, the ARC-170 was large, rugged, and capable of long independent operations.
The ARC-170 was one of the first Republic starfighters to be equipped with a hyperdrive, eliminating the need for a hyperdrive ring to travel across interstellar distances. This configuration, coupled with an impressive array of sensors, allowed the ship to operate as both a fighter and a long-range surveillance craft. It was often sent out on dangerous scout missions and raids deep in enemy territory.
The most famous use of the ARC-170 was during the Battle of Coruscant, when thousands of them, alongside Eta-2 Actis-class Jedi interceptors and Venator-class Star Destroyers defended the Republic capital of Coruscant against invasion.
During the Battle of Coruscant, Squad Seven, led by Clone Commander Odd Ball provided cover to the Jedi starfighters piloted by Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker. Squad Seven aided the Jedi by holding off enemy starfighters while they boarded the Invisible Hand, the flagship of General Grievous in order to rescue the captive Chancellor Palpatine. Squad Seven suffered many casualties.
ARC-170s also played a major role during the execution of Order 66, where many Jedi Knights were shot down by clone pilots piloting ARC-170s, most notably the Jedi Master Plo Koon over the planet Cato Neimoidia. It was Clone Captain Jag who turned on Jedi Master Plo Koon as he fired upon Plo Koon's Delta-7 starfighter, destroying the fighter's engines. Plo Koon could not regain control of his ship and plunged to his death as he and what remained of the forward part of the fighter crashed into a building on one of Cato Neimoidia's bridge-cities.
Incom would later go on to produce the T-65 X-Wing starfighter that became the mainstay of the Rebel Alliance and then the New Republic. During the Galactic Civil War, ARC-170s could be found in both Imperial and Rebel fleets, where they were considered elite craft.