An improved design over the MC40, the MC40a Light Cruiser was developed to provide for a growing Rebel Alliance fleet. This capital ship has a hangar twice the size of its predecessor, capable of carrying up to two starfighter squadrons of New Republic making. It is equipped with powerful shields for a vessel of its size. Its three engines give it a higher speed than the bigger MC80a Star Cruiser, and it is more maneuverable.
The MC40a was constructed some time prior to the Battle of Hoth. It saw heavy use in the year leading up to the Battle of Endor.