Ghosts of the Republic
Considered one of the most capable fighters of its day, the Z-95 boasts a distinctive bubble canopy and a set of triple blasters mounted at the ends of each of its two variable geometry wings; later versions dispensed with the swing wings and bubble canopy in favor of more precise maneuvering thrusters and canopy instrumentation. Its sleek yet rugged design is attributed to Seti Ashgad, a scientist in Incom’s Hyperdrive Design Division.
It was named after the Coromon headhunter, a predator native to the Coromon Islands on Fresia, the planet where Incom was headquartered.
Though the Z-95 still enjoys considerable use, it was clearly outclassed by fighters developed in the decades since its original release. When compared to the T-65, it was slower, less maneuverable, had lighter armor and shielding, and was not as heavily armed.
Z-95 Headhunters are well respected starfighters that are available to buy from various merchants, and are still in common use today.
Originally, the Z-95 was constructed by the Galactic Republic before the Clone Wars. The prototype for the Z-95 was Onyx Star, developed at the Bahalian Shipyards.
After Subpro and Incom ended their partnership, Incom reportedly bought the intellectual property rights and proprietary systems of the Z-95.
A Headhunter variant, the clone Z-95 starfighter, saw use during a Republic campaign to retake the planet Umbara. Also, Headhunters participated in the Outer Rim Sieges against the Confederacy of Independent Systems. After the war, the Z-95 has fallen into the hands of parties other than the newly-formed Galactic Empire, such as pirates and other underworld groups.
Being fairly inexpensive and reliable, the Z-95 is a favorite amongst smugglers, Outer Rim organizations, local system defense forces, and bright-eyed youngsters with dreams of becoming fighter jockeys. Pirate groups such as the Nebula Front also use the Z-95. Despite the later T-65 being more maneuverable, the Z-95 was known to be able to perform a tighter turn.
Owing to its longevity, it is hardly surprising that many variants of the Z-95 have come into existence due to the efforts of starship mechanics and hotrod pilots throughout the galaxy; these included a split-wing version, a courier version that can accommodate a single passenger, variants with various alternative weapons loadouts, and a trainer version, the Z-95XT Trainer, that was commonly used by the Rebel Alliance until replaced by the T-65X, the trainer variant of the X-wing.