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Kdy

The Kuat Drive Yards logo.

"At Kuat Drive Yards, we're driven to excel. It is this uncompromising commitment to performance that has made us the largest military shipbuilding corporation in the universe."
— KDY advertisement

Kuat Drive Yards or KDY was the largest military shipbuilding corporation in the Galaxy at the time of the Galactic Civil War. It was one of the chief military designers and shipbuilders that supplied the Galactic Empire. It is most famous for its Star Destroyers

Founding and Early HistoryEdit

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Kuat Drive Yards was founded by a group of human aristocrats in the early days of the Galactic Republic known as the Ten. These merchants, led by the Kuat family, joined together with the intent to create the largest and most efficient shipyard in the galaxy. They hired terraformers to change the planet Kuat into a paradise world, while engineers designed and built the first six of many orbital shipyard complexes. This project faced opposition, both from fledgling trade consortiums as well as internal dissent within the merchant families. Despite their use of sabotage, espionage, and hired pirate groups, the trade groups failed to stop the Kuati families, who also managed to settle their internal differences by signing the Inheritance Exemption, giving the Kuat family perpetual control over Kuat Drive Yards. After these early difficulties were sorted out, the shipyard grew rapidly in both size and prestige, and by 5,000 BBY, it was known as one of the first-class ship builders in the galaxy and one of the Wonders of the Galaxy. KDY was not one of the top tier shipyards, however. That title was held by the trimuvirate made up of Core Galaxy Systems, Corellia StarDrive, and Hoersch-Kessel Drive. Kuat set its sights on becoming a member of this group, and engaged in a vicious competition with Core Galaxy Systems. Between price wars, industrial espionage, and more underhanded tactics, Core Galaxy suffered severe losses and was forced to sell its assets. KDY bought the company and retired the Core Galaxy Systems name from use. With this purchase, Kuat managed to take its place as the top ship builder in the Old Republic, though it was soon joined by the Corellian Engineering Corporation, who had bought out Corellia StarDrive when the older company lost its entire senior design team in a shuttle accident.

Expansion and InvestmentEdit

KDY quickly earned a reputation as being a predatory company. Besides Core Galaxy, Kuat rapidly bought up a number of other small ship builders, and built factories on a number of worlds outside the Kuat Sector. Belderone, Karavis, Rothana, and Xa Fel were among the many worlds to contribute to the KDY construction effort, either directly or through subsidiary corporations such as Rothana Heavy Engineering. KDY also had a tendency to create subsidiaries to focus on specific markets:

KDY was also a significant member in several commercial and trade groups, including having two members on the Trade Federation Directorate. Kuat Drive Yards were also a founding member of the Corporate Sector Authority. In exchange for an investment of 50 quadrillion credits, half in direct gifts of credits and equipment, the other half in the purchase of CSA stock and bonds, KDY recieved a position as a signatory sponsor, allowing it complete access to advertise and sell its products in the Corporate Sector as well as extremely discounted prices for bulk goods and raw materials which were necessary for the large scale construction KDY often undertook.

Clone Wars through the Battle of YavinEdit

Prior to the Clone Wars, Kuat Drive Yards began to construct a number of large warship designs, including several massive Star Dreadnoughts as part of the Kuat Sector Defense Fleet. Prior to the Invasion of Naboo, it was expected that KDY would support the Trade Federation in it's opposition to the proposed taxation of trade routes. Ties between the two soured when Nute Gunray orchestrated the assassination of the rest of the Trade Federation Directorate, including the two Kuati delegates. Shortly afterwards, Rothana Heavy Engineering was subcontracted by the cloners of Kamino to build a full range of assault starships and combat vehicles for a secret Clone Army. Kuat itself was secretly contacted by the Seperatists to build a fleet of heavily armed combat vessels that visually resembled bulk freighters. Some senators later claimed that the Storm Fleet contract was an act of treason, but Chancellor Palpatine called it a simple incident of mistaken corporate connections, and KDY escaped punishment. The Clone Army and RHE built vessels soon saw their first action at the Battle of Geonosis, a skirmish which kicked off the Clone Wars. With a number of major shipyards under the control of the Techno Union and other members of the CIS, Kuat was suddenly besieged by orders for capital ships. Within days of the Battle of Geonosis, an order for 1,000 Acclamator transports. More orders followed soon after for a wide variety of warships and support vessels, everything from medical ships to heavy assault walkers. Kuat Drive Yards also took measures to protect their facilities by increasing the numbers of security personnel, upgrading their sector forces (including uprating the Mandator-class to the Mandator II standard) and engaging in an arms race with Neimoidia, scattering massive minefields around their respective sectors, cutting off a section of the Hydian Way to traffic.

Kuat shipyard, WOTC

Kuat was responsable for building a majority of the Imperial Fleet.

Despite being the single largest and most powerful shipyard in the galaxy, the scale of the Clone Wars was beyond even KDY's ability. In order to keep up with the demand for vessels and match Seperatist shipyards, KDY joined forces with other loyal companies such as CEC and Rendili StarDrive. CEC focused on small troop transports, corvettes, and gunships, while Rendili and KDY formed the Victor Initiative Project to share development experience for heavy multi-role warships. Two key figures would emerge during this program: Walex Blissex and his daughter Lira Blissex. Walex was assigned to head the Rendili effort, which resulted in the Victory I-class Star Destroyer. The Victory-class was rushed into full production six months early when a Techno Union fleet broke the blockade of Foerost. The Victory Fleet managed to defeat the Bulwark Fleet at Anaxes and won significant support for the concept of heavy capital warships. Soon afterwards, the KDY team led by Lira produced a pair of designs. The first, the Venator-class Star Destroyer was designed to be a multi-role warship and escort for larger battleships. The Venator was larger than the Victory, and carried a far more massive fighter complement. The second design, the Imperator-class Star Destroyer was highly controversial, with various strategists opposing the ship on the grounds of the massive cost of the project. It would take more than a year, and a marriage to Denn Wessex for Lira to gain the political support to begin construction of the Imperator

Meanwhile, the Venator was suffering from an inauspicious start. Several of the first ships were involved in a Senate scandal which resulted in the loss of Duro. Despite this, the Venator proved itself, leading the Republic to issue orders for many thousands of the ships. Over a thousand of the ships would take place in the Second Battle of Coruscant. Kuat, flush with wealth, finally began construction of the Imperator. As the Clone Wars drew to a close, the first Imperators were finishing construction. These new ships would go to become flagships of key Imperial task forces, such as the one under Darth Vader. The Clone Wars era Victory, Acclamator, and Venator class starships would be shifted into support roles or simply replaced by the newer KDY designs.

Because of their support for Emperor Palpatine, KDY recieved a majority of the contracts for building up the Imperial Navy. In order to focus on capital ships, Kuat Systems Engineering was folded back into the main KDY line, and several of the starfighter designs were sold to Sienar Fleet Systems. Lira Wessex continued to design larger and larger warships for the fledgling Galactic Empire. Building on the Imperator design (renamed to the Imperial I class after the Jedi Purge), Kuat produced the heavier Tector class as well as heavy designs such as the Procurator and Praetor class battlecruisers. The pinnacle of the KDY line was to be another Lira Wessex contribution. Shortly before the 0 BBY, KDY drew up plans for a titanic warship, one even more powerful than the Mandator IIs of the Clone Wars. The new Star Dreadnought design was vehemently opposed by a number of Imperial Admirals, but Darth Vader and Emperor Palpatine took a personal interest in the program.

As the Death Star program neared completion, the Imperial Navy changed its mind and most Admirals began to support the concept of "terror styling" that the new design represented. It was also hoped that the new ship could provide the Navy their own superweapon to compete with the Death Star. Four ships were ordered, though the first ship, Executor began construction at Fondor, rather than Kuat. There are several possible reasons for this move, including the need for secrecy, Darth Vader's plan to use the construction of the Executor to draw out treasonous officers and Rebel spies, a simple demonstration of superiority by Palpatine over KDY, which had made attempts to remain independent of the Empire, or retaliation for KDY's refusal to participate in any part of the Death Star project. Irritated, KDY began construction of the second ship of the class at the same time, also naming it Executor. Meanwhile, Kuat continued to take contracts from other parties, including an order for custom exploration ships for Alderaan just prior to its destruction.

The Galactic Civil WarEdit

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The schedule for the four Dreadnoughts would be radically altered as a result of the destruction of the Death Star by the Rebel Alliance at Yavin. The Executor at Fondor was finished only six months laterwith the second ship, renamed Lusankya, completed shortly after. The second ship was promptly buried under the surface of Coruscant at the behest of Ysanne Isard. The other two ships were given to admirals personally chosen by Palpatine. With Executor devastating a number of Laakteen Depot Rebel outposts, the Empire ordered an increase in production of these massive ships. Fondor continued to serve as an alternate construction site, but KDY built a majority of the ships in their own facilities, often rushing them out of dock mostly completed and sending them to smaller facilities for finishing work. This allowed a higher rate of production than otherwise possible, as there were a limited number of shipways capable of holding a ship the size of an Executor-class.

Besides the Star Dreadnoughts, Kuat continued to recieve huge orders from the Empire. The Imperial Navy was augmenting its forces, and Kuat was the prime provider for their capital ships. New designs were created during this time to counter the actions of the Rebels, such as the Nebulon-B frigate, the VT-49 Decimator and Star Galleon, all designed as a reaction to Rebel convoy raids. Several more special projects were begun as well, notably the Eclipse, a superlaser armed Star Dreadnought. Despite these new projects, KDY was still able to produce Imperial-class ships at a high rate, allowing the Imperial Navy to reach a strength of 25,000 of these ships.

Kuat of KuatEdit

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During the Galactic Civil War, Kuat Drive Yards was lead by Kuat of Kuat. A technically minded aristocrat, Kuat of Kuat made every effort to keep KDY independent of the Empire. One of his greatest fears of nationalization, to the point where he believed that the Rebel Alliance was the better choice. Only pragmatism kept hem loyal to the Empire, as Palpatine would quickly crush any attempt for Kuat to join the Alliance. Pragmatism also guided many of the decisions made by Kuat of Kuat during his tenure as head of the company. Shortly after the Battle of Yavin, KDY was under seige from a number of directions. Emperor Palpatine was suspicious of Kuat's motives in refusing to bid on the Death Star project (the reason was that the Death Star could potentially replace a large number of capital warships, which would result in a severe decrease in profits for KDY), Prince Xizor of Black Sun was making a play for control of KDY itself, and the Rebel Alliance had recently made a suprise assault on the shipyard facilities to draw imperial ships away from Fresia. Kuat of Kuat managed to respond to all of the threats- he placated Palpatine by having KDY absorb an unplanned cost overrun in a series of battlecruisers, and he set into motion a plan that would implicate Xizor in the death of Owen and Beru Lars, hopefully setting the Rebels and Black Sun against each other. This plan failed however when the evidence fell into the hands of Boba Fett, along with the Kuati noble Kateel of Kuhlvult. Kuat attempted to kill Boba Fett to destroy the evidence, which was useless after the death of Xizor, and could lead back to Kuat.

Kuat of Kuat also had to react to a political play by the other major families on Kuat, led by the Knylenn family. The families bribed Fenald, the Chief of Security for KDY, into aiding their attempt to overturn the Inheritance Exemption. The attempt failed, and Fenald was exposed as a spy. He was replaced by Kodir of Kuhlvult. Kuat did not entirely trust his new chief of security, and became increasingly paranoid, to the point the shipyards to be wired with explosives. His suspicion was merited, Kodir had been the one to hire Fenald. The entire incident had merely been a ploy for her to become chief of KDY security. In the leadup to the Battle of Endor, many of these plots came to a head. The Rebel Alliance stationed a squadron of Y-Wings in the shipyards to watch over the system and ensure that the Empire did not recieve the latest batch of heavy warships. Kodir managed to retrieve the evidence against Xizor from Boba Fett as well as Kateel, promptly returning to Kuat and meeting with the Rebel squadron. Kodir offered a deal with the Rebels- if they would help her take control of Kuat Drive Yards, she would provide support for the Alliance. Kuat of Kuat managed to hear the conversation, and decided not to allow anyone to have the shipyards. He began the self-destruction of the shipyard facilities. The Rebel squadron took the opportunity to move in and attempt to steal a number of warships, mainly Lancer-class frigates and Nebulon-Bs. At the same time, Boba Fett arrived to question Kuat as to why the Technician had been attempting to kill him, and after a brief conversation, Fett took control of the large warship Kuat had chosen as his tomb. While Kuat of Kuat committed suicide, Fett piloted the ship out of the dock, cutting the link for the self-destruct sequence. The explosions ended, with 80% of the docks remaining intact. In a confrontation, Kateel killed Kodir, and took charge of Kuat Drive Yards.

Post-EndorEdit

After the Battle of Endor, the Empire took more direct control of Kuat Drive Yards. Construction continued on both new Executor-class vessels, as well as the Eclipse, but KDY was no longer the independent company Kuat of Kuat had maintained. Security increased, to the point where the system was guarded approximately as well as Coruscant. This didn't stop various raiders from attempting to steal ships or attack the shipyards. The most famous incident took place approximately 7.5 ABY. Warlord Zsinj discovered through his network of spies that Kuat was nearing completion of a new Executor-class vessel. He arranged assistance for a KDY employee to set up a black market ring in exchange for access to the new ship when necessary. Zsinj also hired a collection of privateers, mercenaries, and pirates to create an "expendable fleet." What he did not know that Wraith Squadron had joined his rag-tag armada, posing as a pirate gang, the Hawkbats. Shalla Nelprin was selected to join Zsinj's infiltration group. The mission went flawlessly, with the infiltrators seizing the bridge of the ship, Razor's Kiss, and blasting the vessel out of it's berth. The defense ships in the system responded quickly, but Zsinj arrived with his fleet, led by another Star Dreadnought, the Iron Fist. After a short battle in which the Wraiths took the opportunity to plant a locator beacon on the Razor's Kiss, Zsinj retreated with his new acquisition. While the Razor's Kiss would be destroyed shortly later by General Solo's task force, Kuat Drive Yards suffered heavily in the three way battle. Besides the theft of the massive warship, several Star Destroyers were lost, and the shipyards suffered severe damage from the violent escape.

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Only a year later, the New Republic would return to Kuat. After the death of Zsinj at the Battle of Dathomir, the New Republic Fleet under Admiral Ackbar fought a vicious campaign against Admiral Rogriss and Warlord Teradoc to capture Zsinj's territory. In response to heavy losses, the Imperial fleet pulled back to regroup. The New Republic took the opportunity to strike at Kuat. The battle was short but intense. The Empire suffered a major blow, with the New Republic claiming their most valuable shipyard. It was not a complete victory, however. The entire senior design team fled to Byss aboard the partially completed Eclipse, while the shipyards themselves were heavily damaged and rife with Imperial partisans. It would be years before production could resume at anything approaching previous levels, a painful fact for the New Republic, which found itself painfully strapped for warships during the Thrawn Campaign.

With the return of Palpatine, the Empire managed to retake the Core, including Kuat, though with the shipyards still under repair, Byss remained the primary shipyard for the Empire. A number of KDY projects were begun at Byss, including a second Eclipse-class vessel and the smaller Sovereign-class. This re-occupation was short-lived, as by 11 ABY Palpatine was finally vanquished at Onderon and Byss was destroyed. The new management of Kuat Drive Yards threw its support behind the New Republic, participating in the New Class Program. During the war with the Yuuzhan Vong, the shipyards continued to produce warships, especially Star Destroyers, for the New Republic and later the Galactic Federation of Free Alliances. The shipyards were captured by the Vong near the end of the war, despite the extreme emphasis on defending it and other major shipyards, though Kuat was returned to the GFFA at the conclusion of the war relatively unharmed.

The most recent development by KDY is the new Galactic-class battle carrier, an enlarged Star Destroyer that now forms the backbone of several Galactic Alliance fleets.

Facilities and ConstructionEdit

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The actual Kuat Drive Yards are a collection of various facilities throughout the Kuat System. The primary shipyards make up a nearly solid ring, called the Orbital Array, that surrounds the planet Kuat itself. These stations are split into smaller units, designated as shipways, offices, machine shops, factories, drydocks, or apartments for workers. Most Kuati citizens live within this ring, never setting foot on the surface of the planet below. The orbital array is lightly armed, sufficient to deal with pirates or small warships, though anything above a frigate is beyond the capabilities of the array's defenses. Kuat's two moons, Bador and Ronay are used for weapons and drive testing, to prevent damage to the main facilities or planet in case of any accidents. Further out are a number of secondary facilities. While the orbital array contains the most important shipyards, they are far from the only ones. A massive belt of stations, docks, and repair facilities orbit at the fringe of the Kuat system itself, making up the bulk of KDY's construction capabilities.

In addition to the Kuat system, KDY has facilities in a number of other systems: Rothana was home to Rothana Heavy Engineering, with facilities for the construction of capital ships, combat vehicles, and gunships.

  • Belderone was the location of a major AT-AT production facility.
  • Xa Fel was the location of a number of hyperdrive manufacturing facilities, which made up 20% of KDY's hyperdrive production capability. The planet was heavily polluted as a result.
  • Karavis was a regional shipyard owned by KDY.
  • N'Zoth was the location of Black-15 shipyards, used by the Imperial Navy to support Black Sword Command as well as undertake finishing work for vessels begun at other KDY facilities.
  • Gyndine was a possible subsidiary shipyard of KDY.
  • Jaemus subcontracted work from KDY and Sienar Fleet Systems, notably the Enforcer-class picket cruiser.
  • Balmorra was the primary builder for the AT-ST and other KDY combat vehicle designs.

Besides starships and vehicles, KDY produced a line of planetary defense weaponry, including ion cannons, turbolasers, and magnapulse weaponry. These products were advertised as "The first, last, and only line of defense your planet will ever need!"

Kuat shipways utilized a unique method to build large capital ships quickly. To maximize productivity, the hulls of ships under construction were wrapped in an airtight shroud, allowing workers to avoid wearing bulky space suits. This shroud was also part of the launching ceremony for a new ship. The work crew was evacuated, and the atmosphere ignited, burning the material away. The ash would settle on the ship until it moved, when it would be shaken off and the new vessel emerged, clean and tempered.

SecurityEdit

Kuat Drive Yards security has a long and convoluted history of independent and Imperial defenders. Originally, the Kuat Sector was protected by a large defense fleet, made up of KDY vessels up to the mighty Mandator-class. During the Clone Wars, These defense forces were built up and upgraded, and huge minefields scattered around the sector to dissuade attack. Despite this, Kuat lost its defense fleet in a single battle. After an incident involving the near defection of the Rendili Home Defense Fleet to the Seperatists, Chancellor Palpatine managed to convince the Galactic Senate to nationalize all sector and system defense fleets into the Republic Navy. Kuat's fleet was made up of a disproportionate amount of modern and heavy warships, and was a major addition to the Republic Fleet. Despite this, Kuat began to rebuild it's defense force. Under Kuat of Kuat, Kuat Drive Yards made an arrangement with the Empire to provide it's own security. Again, ships bearing the emblem of KDY patrolled the system. These ships were used in the bombing raid on the Dune Sea in an attempt to kill Fett, as well as other operations to track down the bounty hunter. Despite the deal, the Imperial fleet begame nervous about increasing Rebel raids, and stationed several ships near to Kuat to provide a rapid response. The Star Destroyer Tyranny was one such ship. Though it was stationed to defend Fresia, it was sent to repel a Rebel raid on the Kuat shipyards. Other ships included Interdictor cruisers at Venir and Renegg. Commanding the Imperial forces on Kuat was Captain Anton Kale, an unconventional officer who volunteered for the assignment.

After the Battle of Endor, the Empire took full control of Kuat's defense. Fifteen Star Destroyers were stationed in the system at all times. These defenders were equivalent to the forces defending Coruscant at the time, though Zsinj's raid quickly defeated them, crippling the Star Destroyer Mauler and destroying the Gilded Claw. Later the defense of the Kuat System fell to the New Republic, who managed to hold the system, even in the face of the Yuuzhan Vong invasion, until the very end of the war, when it was briefly captured.

Besides physical defenses, Kuat Drive Yards undertook other measures to protect themselves or prevent capture. Every ship built or upgraded at a KDY facility had secret backdoor codes installed, allowing KDY security forces to access and gain control of that ship, or simply shut it down. The KDY facilities and some ships were fitted with secret self-destruct mechanisms to prevent capture. Kuat of Kuat attempted to use these to destroy the orbital array above Kuat, but was thwarted by the actions of Boba Fett, who saved 80% of the yards.

Kuat Traffic ControlEdit

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Kuat Traffic Control was a highly organized system run by KDY that both reduced the number of ships travelling in the Kuat System, but also increased security by a vast degree. The system was based on a concept of staging areas. Three stations, each dozens of kilometers in size, were positioned far outside the Kuat system proper and the shipyards that surrounded the system. Each of the three ports was assigned a role. Kuat Passenger Port handled all civilian travel to and from Kuat. Kuat Freight Port managed the flow of goods and materiel into and out of the system. Finally, the Imperial Transfer Post was a staging area for all military operations in the system, as well as for deliveries of warships. Each port was only accessable by four systems, two inbound and two out. Passengers entered from Redrish and Ulion and departed to Drurish and Kidir. Freight was imported from Monadin and Horthav, and exported to Venir and Renegg. All information on the staging systems for the Imperial port were classified.

Once in the system, all traffic to and from the four ports was controlled by Kuat Central Authority, though during combat situations, warships defending the system can take command of traffic control. Ships inside the system were sent to a number of nav points, and then routed to their final destination within the system.

ProductsEdit

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VehiclesEdit

Starfighters and Small CombatantsEdit

Space TransportsEdit

Capital ShipsEdit

Space StationsEdit

WalkersEdit

Other VehiclesEdit

WeaponsEdit

Defense SystemsEdit

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