- "You're among the best pilots in the galaxy. You'll have to be if you want to control this starship."
- — Admiral Ackbar briefing B-wing pilots prior to the Battle of Endor
The B-wing Assault Starfighter is one of the largest and most heavily armed starfighters/bombers in the New Republic's fleet. The name B-wing comes from the craft's remote similarity in appearance to the lowercase letter "b".
Known as "crosses" due to their distinct shape, the B-wing was designed by the Verpine company Slayn & Korpil in cooperation with then-Commander Ackbar as part of Project Shantipole. Through the years, Hoersch-Kessel Drive has managed to acquire the rights to sell the powerful fighter as well.
The B-wing is a highly adaptable design, with modular hardpoints and other components. Its weapons can be reconfigured more easily than many other New Republic fighters. The B-wing also has a unique rotating cockpit module which is independently stabilized to allow the pilot to coordinate advanced flight and attack maneuvers. The fighter is powered by either of two engine systems: a Quadex Kyromaster engine with four thrust ports, or four Slayn & Korpil JZ-5 fusial thrust engines.
The B-wing was designed to replace the aging BTL Y-wing Starfighter in the heavy assault role, as it has the advantage of more weaponry and stronger shields. However, the B-wing has several weaknesses, notably being difficult to fly and lacking speed and agility. Its large hull furthermore makes it an easier target and it also has less armor protection. Consequently, it has never fully succeeded in supplanting the Y-wing as intended.
In particular, the rotating hull system makes the B-wing a challenge to master. It also makes the ship abnormally delicate; too many sharp turns can cause extreme strain to the spaceframe, and the cockpit rotation system can get stuck in one position.
Like its predecessor, the Y-wing, the cockpit can be detached from the rest of the ship, but unlike the Y-wing, the B-wing's cockpit can be ejected into space and support atmospheric re-entry.
The B-wing carries an unusually high payload for its size, due to its designation as an assault fighter. As originally designed, the B-wing carries three ion cannons, two proton torpedo launchers, one laser cannon, and two auto-blasters. While its strong deflector shields and great firepower allow it to be somewhat survivable in fighter engagements, it usually requires an escort on the way in. However, with the firepower of many naval corvettes, it fulfills its purpose as a dangerous foe against many light capital ships.