The Defender starfighter, or Republic Systems Defender, was a starfighter developed by the Republic Engineering Corporation as part of the Defender design program. It was based on the ATL ("Air-to-Land") Interceptor used by the Fromm Gang in 1379 N.E. The Defender was 5.3 meters long and armed with three laser cannons: one in the nose of the craft, and one each on either side beneath the wing. To save space and weight, the standard Defender starfighter was not equipped with a hyperdrive.
Its extendible S-foil maneuvering struts could retract into the spaceframe for non-combat situations, but once an enemy had been engaged, the struts swung down and forward to give the Defender better positioning for maneuvering-jet bursts.
While sudden maneuvers in an atmosphere actually risked tearing off the struts (due to the G-forces, the gravity of the planet itself, and atmospheric drag), in space, the Defender could literally spin around 180 degrees in mid-flight by firing one maneuvering jet forward and one backward.