- "They're the workhorses of this outfit, I can tell you that."
- — Tiree
The BTL Y-wing Starfighter, built by Koensayr Manufacturing, is a mainstay of the New Republic starfighter corps despite its age. The craft carries two laser cannons, two ion cannons, and two proton torpedo launchers. An astromech droid, such as an R2 unit, can be plugged into a socket in the craft to act as a co-pilot. Known as a "wishbone" to New Republic pilots, the Y-wing starfighter is deployed as a fighter-bomber, designed to fight its way to its objective, deliver its payload of high explosives, and fight its way out again.
The Y-wing is a resilient, well-shielded craft, but is slow and ungainly compared to many other fighters. Its deficiencies are partly compensated for by the heavy proton torpedo load it can carry, and its ability to paralyze craft with ion cannon fire without destroying them, unique until the B-wing Starfighter was introduced after the Battle of Yavin. In addition to the Rebel Alliance, many planetary defense forces, mercenaries, and pirates have fielded the craft since its introduction.
It is a rugged design, but it has some design flaws requiring constant maintenance, which leads to many aggravated maintenance crews getting fed up with constantly having to remove the superficial hull plating and disposing of it altogether. Due to this, many Y-wings have no hull plating (except on the cockpit), exposing the internals of the main hull.
Despite its shortcomings in speed and maneuverability compared to space superiority fighters such as the X-wing and A-wing, the Y-wing is an extremely durable craft, with heavier armor and shielding. The Y-wing also has a larger warhead magazine. The Y-wing is not a sluggish fighter overall, as its speed and agility still exceed that of its intended replacement, the B-wing.
The BTL-S3 is a two-man strike starfighter. The weapons systems officer typically operates the ion cannon turret when needed.
The BTL-S3 is supplanted in most services by the BTL-A4, which is crewed by a single person. The ion cannon turret is typically locked forwards in this design, although some pilots chose to lock it facing aft for extra cover. In addition, this variant boasts much greater endurance (as much as three times greater) over its earlier predecessor, but is penalized with less powerful shields and loss of accuracy in the ion cannon.
BTL-A4 Y-wing "LongProbe"
An additional, though less common, BTL-A4 variant known as the "LongProbe" is equipped with a nav computer, backup hyperdrive, advanced scanners, and an extended fuel supply in place of the weapons systems officer. The "LongProbe" is used primarily for long range scouting missions.
The Manta Ray Fighter/Bomber is a modified BTL-S3 in use with the Black Star Confederacy. The only real change is the adaption of the astromech droid slot to fit a Confederate TX-3 astromech droid. This change prevents use of R-series astromech droids, as the TX-3 is radically different from R-series droids.