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In The Last Jedi, the Resistance attacked a First Order dreadnought in space using proton bombs deployed from MG-100 StarFortress SF-17 bombers. The bombs were "dropped" from the "bottom" of the bomber (as seen from the perspective of the pilot).

Is the MG-100 capable of carrying and deploying forward-launched ordnance (such as proton torpedoes)? The TIE bomber can deploy such ordnance:

The ordnance bay was divided into two sections. The forward ordnance bay carried either eight concussion missiles or four proton torpedoes. The main ordnance bay carried either four proton torpedoes and eight concussion missiles, or eight proton bombs and sixty-four thermal detonators, or six orbital mines, or even stormtroopers. Located underneath the ordnance pod was a bomb chute connected to the ship's targeting systems, a T-s7b targeting computer and a 398X bomb sight. The pod also featured a missile port that allowed for front-launching and torpedoes.

Wookieepedia's article on the TIE bomber

The ordnance bay of the TIE bomber which can deploy forward-launching weapons can be seen on the left side of the bomber here:

TIE bomber image source

However, I don't see a port on the MG-100 to deploy forward-launching ordnance except maybe near the "top" of the bomber:

MG-100s from Episode VIII image source

Wookieepedia's article on the MG-100 only mentions that it has a few laser cannons and can carry proton bombs. Aside from the laser cannons (which aren't really used for bombing), is the MG-100 only capable of "dropping" bombs?

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    Well, presumably it could just rotate 90 degrees in space and drop the bombs forward – Valorum Dec 19 '17 at 18:42
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    @Valorum I only remember the bomb bay being able to open from the bottom. And if they can deploy bombs forward, why bother with a bombardier? The pilot could aim for the target himself if he could drop them forward. – Null Dec 19 '17 at 18:45
  • Because, presumably, the bombs are most effective when deployed against a ship's vulnerable top or bottom rather than the armoured front. – Valorum Dec 19 '17 at 18:49
  • @Valorum They're in space; they can, as you said, rotate 90 degrees and drop the bombs forward -- unless they can't deploy them forward in the first place. They could just as easily "dive" bomb the dreadnought from the "top". – Null Dec 19 '17 at 18:54
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    @Null But dive-bombing might have actually worked! Could have used some Y-wings!! – Skooba Dec 19 '17 at 19:25
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The Cross-Sections factbook shows the inner workings of the bomb loading bay. In short, without removing the entire railrun mechanism (that allows the bombs to be propelled downwards) and front of the pod, there's no way that you could reconfigure it to be able to fire torpedoes forward.

enter image description here

That being said, I suppose you could drop them out of the bay, then configure them to fire forward after being dropped, in the same way that Vader's Executor dropped a bunch of probes that then fired their engines once clear of the ship.

enter image description here

  • The bombs don't have propulsion, though, right? So the magnetic plates would have to drop out of the bomber and then activate in order to propel the bombs forward. I don't remember if the magnetic plates slide out the bottom or if they remain inside the bomber, though. If they remain inside the bomber and the bombs don't have propulsion then there's no way to propel them forward. – Null Dec 19 '17 at 22:51
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    @Null - The bombs have a magnetic plate on the bottom. The railgun pusher device ejects them using an electromagnetic push. The magnet then attracts them to the nearest large metal object. Presumably if you replaced the bombs with torpedoes, they'd have their own power source and engines. – Valorum Dec 19 '17 at 23:22
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    @Null In addition, while the bombers can not fire the projectiles forward a TIE-bomber can not conceivably take out a destroyer... one of the rebel bombers can. There is always a balance! – Odin1806 Dec 21 '17 at 2:00
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I'd say the answer depends on the exact nature of your question.

The bombs can only be sent in one direction from the ship's orientation, but the ship could technically maneuver so that it's bombs are "expelled" towards a front-facing target.

The Visual Dictionary explains that the bombs aren't "dropped", but rather "impelled from their racks by sequenced electromatic plates". This implies that gravity isn't necessary, and that the ship could "send" the bombs in any direction, as long as the ship is oriented correctly.

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    I'm asking if the bombs can be sent forward of the ship. In other words, can the pilot be facing a target right in front of himself and launch bombs directly at it? Or does he have to orient the ship so that the target is below his feet (where he can't see the target directly) and "drop" the bombs? – Null Dec 19 '17 at 20:10

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