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One can easily find criticism of the Resistance's use of MG-100 StarFortress SF-17 to take out the First Order's Fulminatrix Dreadnought. While a single bomber appeared to handily take down the Dreadnought itself, in general, the bombers were helpless against its starfighter defenses.

Critics sometimes point to the Y- and B-wing fighters as a better choice for going up against a First Order Dreadnought, considering that they were much better dogfighters. However, they bomb and torpedo payloads were many times smaller than that of the StarFortress. While the Rebellion fighters were capable of taking out Star Destroyers, it's not clear if they had the wherewithal to take out a FO Dreadnought with its full complement of defenses. First, a Dreadnought is many times larger, and second one might presume that the FO took into account Y-wings and B-wings when designing the defenses of the Dreadnought.

How many Y-wings or B-wings would be needed to take down a FO Dreadnought? What wing composition would you be looking at if you were drawing up plans to take out a Dreadnought with Rebellion-era fighters?


EDIT So this question has been put on hold for being primarily opinion-based, which I understand.

While there is considerable leeway in devising fantasy space battle, I believe that one could a reasonable case that is based on stats that might be provided by the creators of the Star Wars Universe.

Wookiepedia lists the Fulminatrix as having 6 deflector shield generators. Wookipedia also describes SBD: "a common unit of measurement for deflector shields. The value indicated how much damage the vessel could withstand before the hull started taking damage. [A]T65 X-Wing starfighter shields are rated at 50 SBD with a 20 RU rated hull... an Imperial Class Star Destroyer shields are measured at 4800 SBD with a 2272 RU rated hull."

So if a starfighter wanted to actually damage the hull of of a Star Destroyer, they would need to deliver 4800 SBDs worth of damage to its shields, before they failed, and further strikes would start damaging the ship itself.

Now, I was not able to find stats on how much SBD any of the torpedoes or bombs deliver, but if such information is out there (in a book, say, or from somewhere else), and we knew the SBD rating of the Fulminatrix's shields, one could make a non-opinion based argument:

We learn in The Last Jedi Adaptation 1 that the Fulminatrix's shields are rated at 36,000, when General Hux boasts to his second-in-command about the impenetrability of the Dreadnought. In Star Wars Legends: Aventures of Gold Squadron [Ed: I made this novel up] we note that the squad of 4 Y-wing making direct hits at point blank range of their entire payloads of 8 proton torpedoes and 4 proton bombs each (32 proton torpedoes and 16 proton bombs) on the immobile yet still shielded Venerator an Imperial-Class Star Destroyer, with X-wings providing starfighter cover. Assuming the Venerator had standard shielding, we can deduce that it delivered 4800 SBDs worth of damage. Since the Fulminatrix has 7.5 times the amount of shielding, you would need at least 32 Y-wings, delivering their entire payloads to the Fulminatrix's shields, to bring its shields down. Then you can start attacking the hull. Based on that, the SF-17, with its armament of 1,024 bombs (about 85 Y-wings' worth), is a reasonable option (and the only one the Resistance had at the time) to bring down a Dreadnought, if you can get it into position.

This is an answer based on evidence (fake evidence-- this is an example), not opinion.

Someone else might respond:

Yes, but that SBU rating is divided among the ship's six shield generators, each of which cover a different section of the ship. Therefore, each generator only generates 6,000 SBUs. You could attack the bridge's shields, which are provided by a single generator, with two Y-Wing or one B-wing squadron and bring its shields down. A few more hits on the bridge, then you have a Dreadnought that's dead in the water. They're clearly a better choice. The SB-17s were sitting ducks against TIE fighters, and overkill once they got to the target. Save them for actual bombing scenarios.

So that's another response based on evidence (made up for this example), not opinion.

Here's an example of an opinion-based answer, which I'm not looking for:

Hera Syndulla was able to destroy two Imperial heavy cruisers with a few well-placed missles and some trick maneuverings, where she got them to crash into each other. Throw her in a B-wing cockpit and make her the squad commander, I'm sure she would make quick work of the Fulminatrix and its starfighter defenses!

While I believe that Hera Syndulla is the best pilot in the galaxy, and probably force-sensitive, my opinions are just, like, my opinion, man. This isn't based on evidence. This isn't what I'm asking for.

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    I'm at a loss why this has attracted close votes. We know the weapons complement of all three classes of ship and can easily compare them. – Valorum May 18 at 17:59
  • @Valorum me too. Are theoretical questions allowed on this site? Maybe TLJ is just too divisive : / – user151841 May 18 at 18:01
  • The question of whether they'd survive is pretty moot since the bomber is basically slow-moving tube of metal going in a single direction whereas the Y-Wings are faster and more maneuverable. – Valorum May 18 at 18:10
  • Perhaps this is my experience with the X-Wing flight sim games leading me astray, but I'd be very skeptical of any plan that relies on the dogfighting capability and maneuverability of the Y-Wing, and only slightly less so of the B-Wing. – Cadence May 18 at 20:48
  • @Cadence Well, I didn't mean dogfighting capabilities going up mono-e-mono against a TIE squadron; rather, that they would stand some chance of making it past the starfighter defenses to their target, as opposed to being the sitting ducks that the SF-17s were. – user151841 May 19 at 14:55
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In Rogue One, we see a Y-wing dropping proton bombs onto the Scarif gate so we know that they can be loaded with proton bombs instead of their usual proton torpedoes, depending on the likely target.

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The Star Wars Blueprints: Rebel Edition indicates that the loadout of a Y-wing is 12 torpedoes housed in two bays. Assuming each long torpedo was replaced by a few proton bombs, this would suggest that the main weapons complement of each Y-wing was around 24-36 proton bombs, as opposed to the loadout of a MG-100 StarFortress SF-17 which (according to the Force Awakens: The Visual Dictionary contains 1024 bombs in tiered racks.

That being the case, you would need something like 30-40 Y-wings flying in formation to achieve the same level of devastation as a single StarFortress.

  • So that answers one half of the question -- how much destruction can a Y-wing deliver-- but to answer the other half, we need to know how much delivered destruction is needed to take down a Dreadnought. – user151841 May 18 at 18:03
  • Also, the idea of Y-wings going up against a Dreadnought includes their dogfighting abilities to survive the starfighter defenses. If you take all of its proton torpedoes out of the dogfight, can it still survive the onslaught? – user151841 May 18 at 18:05
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    @user151841 - Well, it's something between 1 and 1024 proton bombs. Since we only see one dreadnought being destroyed, we can't really compare like with like. – Valorum May 18 at 18:11
  • @user151841 - The bombers only survived because Finn McMissile used his super-duper-high-speed-rocket-booster to fly faster than turrets could track him and blew them all up. – Valorum May 18 at 18:27

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