- "You have to admire the Chiss. They don't just steal your technology — they make it better."
- — Anonymous Imperial engineer
The Nssis-class Clawcraft was a starfighter normally associated with the Chiss, but in fact was a hybrid development of standard Imperial technology.
The fuselage was based on the ubiquitous "ball cockpit" of the TIE series of Imperial starfighters, with a Sienar ion drive pod mounted on the rear, but stemming from the junction of cockpit and drive pod were two pairs of curving wings which thrust out like an X-wing's strike-foils, and then extended forward in a claw-like grip around the cockpit. At the tip of each wing was a Sienar L-s7.2 laser cannon.
With modest deflector shields and thicker hull armor, Nssis-class Clawcraft were slower at sublight speeds than their TIE/ln starfighter progenitors, although the ion engines allowed the ship to achieve an atmospheric speed of 1,000 kilometers per hour, and a respectable sublight acceleration of almost forty thousand meters per second squared.
Nssis-class Clawcraft made up for their lower sublight speed by greater maneuverability. Each curved wing could make minor position adjustments and was paired with a mounted control jet to allow a Clawcraft's pilot to throw the ship into sharp turns and complex maneuvers.
A unique hyperspace beacon system allowed a Clawcraft to make lightspeed jumps without an on-board navigation computer, enabling it to function as a long-range craft while significantly reducing the weight, size and complexity of non-combat equipment carried.
But the starfighter's dependence on navigational data transmitted from a nexus of anchor points also restricted the area in which most Nssis-class Clawcraft could operate. For long-range deployment, ships of this class typically had to travel with specialist beacon ships, although some variants did feature on-board navicomps, as well as warhead launchers.