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Fictional Tanks

Armored Assault Tank (AAT) (Fictional Tank)

Confederacy of Independent Systems (CIS) (32 BBY-19 BBY)
Repulsor Tank

The Armored Assault Tank (AAT), also known as the AAT-1, was a medium repulsor tank designed by Baktoid Armor Workshop. The AAT was deployed by the Trade Federation and, after 24 BBY, also deployed by the Confederacy of Independent Systems (CIS). It was used by the droid armies from the invasion of Naboo (32 BBY) until the end of the Clone Wars in 19 BBY. It was the main crewed tank of the droid armies, with dozens of thousands of examples built in many droid factories around the Galaxy.

After the proclamation of the Galactic Empire in 19 BBY, all droids were deactivated and, together with the majority of the equipment of the Confederacy of Independent Systems, scrapped. A few Armored Assault Tanks survived the destruction and were deployed by many warlords of the Outer Rim planets, where old droid tanks could be extremely useful when defending from small units of Stormtroopers or in order to oppress the inhabitants of an area.

An early production Armored Assault Tank of the Trade Federation. The difference between the early and late versions of the AAT are their armament positions and camouflage. Photo: Lucasfilm/Disney

A Long Time Ago in a Galaxy far far Away…

The Second Trilogy of Star Wars starts with The Phantom Menace, set 32 years Before the Battle of Yavin (BBY), which took place during the A New Hope movie of the Galactic Republic era. This was followed by the Attack of the Clones, set 22 years Before Battle of Yavin, and Revenge of the Sith, set 19 years Before Battle of Yavin. This timeline, created for the First Star Wars Trilogy, had as year 0 the Battle of Yavin during the bloody Galactic Civil War. This was the first decisive victory of the Rebel Alliance, during which the first Death Star of the Galactic Empire was destroyed.

The Star Wars canon timeline explaining the Star Wars Saga for each canon film and TV series. Source: cultureslate.com

Trade Federation

The Trade Federation was the most powerful commerce guild of the Galaxy, controlling all the major commercial routes, with an enormous number of merchant spaceships in its fleets and even owning some planets.

The Dark Lord of the Sith, Darth Sidious, contacted the Viceroy Nute Gunray, leader of the Trade Federation, in the mid-30s BBY and manipulated him and his guild for his plans to found the Galactic Empire.

The spark which started the fire of the Clone Wars that led to the fall of the Galactic Republic started 10 years before the actual start of the War, with the blockade of Naboo in 32 BBY. The blockade, which began as a showdown, would turn into military occupation of the planet by the Droid Army under Gunray himself.

Viceroy Nute Gunray (right) and his right hand man Rune Haako (left) on the Droid Control Spaceship during the blockade of Naboo in 32 BBY. Source: starwars.com

The brief occupation ended a few days after, when the Gungan Army engaged the Droid Army on the flat landscapes near the human capital city Theed, known as the Battle of the Great Grass Plains or simply the Battle of the Grassy Plain. A group of Naboo soldiers, who had escaped from capture, commanded by Princess Padmé Amidala and Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn, took control of the Royal Palace in which Viceroy Nute Gunray was sheltered.

During the attack, pilots from a nearby hangar were liberated by the Naboo rebels and launched an attack on the blockade’s spaceships. During the furious spaceship battle, a young boy called Anakin Skywalker, who would become famous in the years to come, destroyed the droid control spaceship by a stroke of luck, disabling all the droids that had landed on Naboo.

Confederacy of Independent Systems

After the Battle of Naboo, the new Republic Supreme Chancellor, Sheev Palpatine (alias Darth Sidious), approved a decree that increased the taxes for the Outer Rims space routes.

This political maneuver led to the discontent of some hundreds of planets and commerce guilds. In 24 BBY, these planets and guilds joined to form the Confederacy of Independent Systems, led by Count Dooku, (a renegade Jedi and Darth Sidious’ new apprentice) alongside the headstrong Nute Gunray.

Some of the most important commerce guilds that were part of the Confederacy were the Techno Union, Corporate Alliance, InterGalactic Banking Clan, SoroSuub Corporation and, of course, the Trade Federation.

From left to right: Poggle, the Lesser Archduke of Geonosis, Count Dooku, the new Lord of the Sith’s pupil and leader of the Confederacy of Independent Systems, and Viceroy Nute Gunray, leader of the Trade Federation. Here on Geonosis in 22 BBY, a few minutes before the Clone Wars would start. Source: Lucasfilm/Disney

Development

The Armored Assault Tank was developed by the Baktoid Armor Workshop. This company was owned by the Trade Federation, with Wat Tambor (future Techno Union leader) as Chief Executive Officer. The Baktoid company specialized in developing and producing sturdy all-terrain ground vehicles for the civilian market before the blockade of Naboo. Even if these vehicles were officially civilian and were not equipped with armament, they could be easily equipped with support for heavy blaster guns by the owners after acquisition.

The Baktoid Armor Workshop logo, which was never painted on the armored fighting vehicles in manufactured. Source: Wookieepedia

With the deterioration of the diplomatic relationship between the Separatists and the Republic, the Baktoid Armor Workshop received funds from the Trade Federation and was converted to the production of military equipment. Rumors denied by the Baktoid itself stated that the Trade Federation organized a collaboration between the Baktoid Armor Workshop and Haor Chall Engineering, a high-precision manufacturing company specializing in small arms production. The development of new tanks was helped by Baktoid’s brilliant Chief Designer, Raith Sienar, described as “obsessed with tanks”.

Some of the equipment produced by Baktoid Armor Workshop during the Battle of the Grassy Plain. There are three AATs, two Multi-Troop Transports (MTTs) armored droid carriers, two Platoon Attack Craft unarmored droid carriers, and various Single Trooper Aerial Platforms (STAPs) supporting them. Source: Wookieepedia

After the blockade and the Battle of Naboo, the Trade Federation was forced to distance itself from Baktoid. This forced Nute Gunray and his subordinates to finance the creation of the Baktoid Combat Automata, an illicit company, composed of various subsidiaries located on many planets under the Confederacy of Independent Systems’ control. The most important known Baktoid subsidiary plants were located on the planets of Balmorra, Foundry, Geonosis, Cato Neimoidia, Ord Cestus, Ord Lithone, Skako, and Telti. For the duration of the war, the Baktoid subsidiary plants produced an uncountable number of battle droids, tanks, and weapons with which the Confederacy of Independent Systems defeated the Clone Armies of the Galactic Republic on many occasions.

Design

Armor and Hull

The tank was built over anti-gravity repulsion discs that allowed the vehicle to levitate some centimeters off the ground. The frontal repulsor disc was under a thick half-round shaped armored structure that could be dismounted from the superstructure. The rear repulsor disc was placed under the fighting compartment. On the sides sat the autoloaders for the 6 grenade launchers, placed 3 per side in the rounded structure.

A Trade Federation Armored Assault Tank cross section. Source: Dorling Kindersley Publishing

Despite it being an expensive solution, the adoption of repulsor discs made the vehicle invulnerable to pressure-operated landmines, while the height above the ground also provided it with some protection against RC-IED (Radio Controlled – Improvised Explosive Devices).

An early production AAT. This design took part in the Battle of Naboo in 32 BBY. Source: swse.fandom.com

Despite the cost of the repulsor discs, it is possible to assume that an AAT was cheaper compared to other armored vehicles of its era commonly spotted on the Clone Wars battlefields. These included the NR-N99 Persuader-class Droid Enforcer Tracked Sentient Tank, which cost 120,000 Galactic Credit, or the Clone Army’s All Terrain Tactical Enforcer (AT-TE), which cost 300,000 Galactic Credits.

Left, The NR-N99 Persuader-class Droid Enforcer Tracked Sentient Tank, another less famous tank of the droid armies. The All Terrain Tactical Enforcer (AT-TE) tank, the main Clone Army’s armored fighting vehicle and main opponent of the AAT. Photos: Wookiepedia

As with all the Baktoid Armor Workshop armored vehicles, the Armored Assault Tank was composed of thick armored plates capable of easily withstanding light laser guns. This made it a virtually unstoppable behemoth against clone trooper patrols without portable anti-tank weapons and, in general, against any enemy without medium blaster guns. The repulsor generator, power generator, and power converter were kept in the rear of the vehicle, increasing the protection.

Rear view of an Armored Assault Tank. The rear access door is opened to permit Separatist General Whorm Loathsom to start peace negotiations with Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi during the Battle of Christophsis (22 BBY). Note the heavy armored plates with which the lower half-round superstructure was made. Source: starwars.com

Even the communication system was placed at the vehicle’s rear. It both connected all the vehicles of a unit to ease coordination and also permitted a constant connection link with the Separatist Command Spaceship in orbit above the planet on which the AATs operated.

The Armored Assault Tank’s rear. The rear access ramp (closed) and turret base are clearly visible. Source: miaurnbull.pw

On the superstructure were three handles on each side. These were used by B1 Battle Droid ‘tank-riders’ when traveling long distance to avoid draining their batteries. On the rear of the superstructure, near the main armament, two horizontal trunnions were placed for the secondary armament.

Two B1 Battle Droids taking a ride on an early production AAT. The droid in the background is holding one of the handles on the vehicle’s superstructure. Source: static.wikia.nocookie.net

Propulsion

The Armored Assault tank was propelled not by a conventional combustion engine, but by a power generator that, thanks to the tank’s levitation, was small and compact and probably not very powerful given the lack of friction with the ground.

The maximum speed of the AAT was 55 km/h (34 mph), which was decent for such an armed and armored vehicle.

The propulsion and repulsion systems were placed on the vehicle rear, increasing their protection and decreasing the IR signature against missiles with infrared homing guidance systems.

The energy supply guaranteed an autonomy of one week before necessitating a battery recharge or change at a Separatist field workshop, base, or C-9979 landing craft.

However, the lack of friction with the ground meant that the vehicle was slower to brake and steer, being more difficult to control and presenting further difficulties for fire control.

An Armored Assault Tank of the Desix Droid Battalion during the defense of Desix city following the end of the Clone Wars (19 – 18 BBY). Source: Wookieepedia

Turret

The one-droid (or humanoid) turret was placed over the AAT superstructure and was characterized by its low profile. Another interesting feature of the turret was what seems to be a separated section containing the gun, gun elevation, and autoloader separated from the droid commander. This feature surely increased survivability for a humanoid crew member.

During the Battle of Christophsis, General Whorm Loathsom checking out the advance of his troops from the commander’s hatch of an Armored Assault Tank. Even if developed for droid crews, the AATs could be manned by alien crews. Source: imperialtalker.com

The turret was equipped with a plethora of fire control systems, observation systems, and other devices, such as the turret rotation mechanism and battlefield sensors that were placed on the left side of the turret. Both the driver and commander had periscope scanners and stereoscopic cams at their disposal. A major shortcoming of the AAT was the lack of a commander’s independent periscope, which forced the vehicle commander to expose himself from the turret’s hatch to check the battlefield, becoming an easy target for enemy snipers or ambushes.

Armament

The Armored Assault Tank was one of the best armed vehicles of the Clone Wars era. The main gun was placed in the turret and was manned by the droid commander from the turret’s interior. It was equipped with a muzzle brake and was capable of dealing with the majority of Republican armored fighting vehicles. It also had an elevated firing rate, permitting it to quickly engage clone trooper walkers during assaults. The main gun could be raised at high angles to engage slow-flying incoming targets, such as the ubiquitous Low Altitude Assault Transport/infantry (LAAT/i) clone gunships.

Main armament sight reticle showing Jedi Grand Master Yoda during a clash on Rugosa (22 BBY). Source: starwars.fandom.comalias Wookieepedia

On the horizontal trunnions on the superstructure’s sides were two secondary laser guns coupled with rangefinders. Two other guns were located on the lower side of the superstructure, on the sides of the driver. These were short range laser blasters that were rarely used and were of limited utility, similar to the bow machine guns of early WW2 American tanks.

Four AATs fighting against the Gungan Army, shortly followed by Multi-Troop Transports during the Battle of the Grassy Plains. The short range laser blasters are visible on the superstructure’s lower side. Source: starwars.com

In the round-shaped structure were a total of 6 grenade launchers with their autoloaders and 57 grenades each. When an Armored Assault Tank exhausted its grenade launcher’s ammunition, it turned back to its carrier. There, an automated workshop replaced the lower structure with a fully loaded one.

The grenade types fired from the lower grenade launchers of the Armored Assault Tank. Source: Star Wars: Complete Cross-Sections

The grenade launchers fired three types of ammunition: Bunker-busters against static fortified positions, armor-piercing against enemy armored vehicles, and high-energy against infantry, artillery positions, and unarmored vehicles. After leaving the barrel, the grenades were covered by high-energy plasma that decreased friction with the air, increasing speed and penetration in the case of the armor piercing rounds.

An early AAT opens fire with four grenade launchers simultaneously. In the foreground, a high-energy shell. Source: fantasyflightgames.com

With all this firepower, the AAT proved to be among the most multi-purpose vehicles in the Clone Wars, able to not only face similar vehicles in protection and armament, but also to serve as a fire support vehicle during Separatist assaults, being able to destroy any kind of threat it faced, from Republican gunboats, to fortifications, to the Heavy Assault Vehicle/wheels (HAV/w) A6 Juggernaut that were among the best armored and armed vehicles in the Republican Army. It maintained a cost-effectiveness that was drastically better than that of its opponents thus becoming extremely advantageous to produce for the Separatist armies, which were notorious for skimping on raw materials and quality of their equipment, preferring quantity over quality.

Crew

The crew of an Armored Assault Tank was composed of four battle droids, on some occasions substituted by four humanoid sentient aliens. A B1 Battle Droid of the OOM command battle droids series was usually the vehicle’s commander even if it was also common to see OOM AAT Driver Battle Droids as tank commanders.

An OOM pilot battle droid was the driver, positioned in the front of the fighting compartment, with a big round escape hatch on the front.

Driving position of an AAT. Source: starwars.com

On the driver’s sides, there were two more gunner positions for OOM AAT Driver Battle Droids that operated the secondary armaments of the tank. It is likely probable that, in case of breakdowns, the gunners in the hull could take the controls of the turret gun or vice versa. The commander could fire the secondary armaments from its position.

An OOM command battle droid, named OOM-9, over an AAT commanding a company of armored vehicles during the Battle of Naboo. Source: Wookieepedia

To distinguish an OOM command battle droid, an OOM AAT Driver Battle Droid and an OOM pilot battle droid, paint schemes were applied over the usual B1 Battle Droid kaki camouflage. The command droid received yellow circles on the torso and head, the AAT driver droid received blue markings on the torso while the pilot droid received two different shapes of dark green markings on the head and torso.

Three droid tank commanders over their AATs’ turrets during a briefing in the clashes of Rugosa. The side ones are OOM AAT Driver Battle Droids with their complex tow-tone green markings while the middle one is a OOM command battle droid. Source: youtube.com “Star Wars: B1-Series AAT Pilot Battle Droids” @Mando and Scoundrel Gaming

The crew had a total of three access points, the main one was the rear entrance, which made it easy to evacuate the vehicle in a hurry. The others were the commander’s cupola and the front escape hatch that was rarely used due to exposure to enemy fire and the presence of the more useful rear entrance.

For self-defense, the droid crew could rely on the common E-5 light blaster rifle produced by the Baktoid Armor Workshop. It was a cheap and light gun, characterized by its compactness and thus really useful in the narrow spaces of the AAT. The crew was probably also equipped with other weapons, such as thermal detonators or E-60R missile launchers, but these are only assumptions, since no image shows such equipment inside an AAT.

An AAT B1 Driver Battle Droid with its usual blue paint addition and a standard E-5 light blaster rifle. Source: reddit.com

According to various sources, the AATs which were not scrapped after the end of the Clone Wars fell in the hands of the Alliance to Restore the Republic where they were modified in order to better accommodate organic crews. Anyway their service with Alliance to Restore the Republic is completely unknown.

Differences Between Models

The Armored Assault Tank was produced for 13 years in the droid factories. During its production history, it saw some modifications to speed up production, save on raw materials, and decrease the overall costs. To cool the hardware inside the vehicle or simply to let a humanoid crew survive, the AATs of the Trade Federation were equipped with an air intake on the lower side of the superstructure.

Early production Armored Assault Tanks with new Confederacy of Independent Systems camouflage. Old batches of Armored Assault Tanks were deployed until their total destruction or wear and tear. Source: deviantart.com @SirChewy

A modification between the AATs deployed by the Trade Federation and the most modern versions adopted by the Confederacy of Independent Systems was the commander’s hatch on the turret roof. In the early models, it was composed of two doors opening to the sides, while on the later models, the hatch was composed of a single rear-openable door.

OOM-9 command droid refers to the successful landing on Naboo to Viceroy Nute Gunray in 32 BBY. Note the early-type two doors cupola. Source: Wookieepedia

During production, there was a modification on the original secondary armament. The laser guns coupled with rangefinders installed on horizontal trunnions were replaced with twin heavier laser guns, increasing the already heavy firepower of the tank. This however came with the removal of the short range laser blasters from the superstructure, which were probably judged to be superfluous because they fired solely in the direction of travel and were of too limited power to be effective against anything other than clone troopers.

An Armored Assault Tank of late production in its usual Confederacy of Independent Systems camouflage. The twin heavier laser guns and the absence of the short range laser blasters are clearly noticeable. Source: battle-droids.fandom.com

Operational Use

The production of the Armored Assault Tank started before the Battle of Naboo, which took place in 32 BBY, even if the exact year of their first tests is not known. During the tests, two AATs fought against each other to assess their resistance, protection, and armament.

It is known that, before using them in the occupation of the peaceful planet, the Trade Federation used the AATs against the pirate armies of several Outer Rim planets with great results. One such example was on the planet of Lok in the Karthakk System, where battles against pirates were fierce. When the tanks were moved to Naboo, some were already battle-scarred.

When the invasion of Naboo was ordered, the Armored Assault Tanks were the most common armored vehicle of the Droid Army and were deployed in the droid units in proportion of two AATs for each Multi-Troop Transport (MTT). The only criticism encountered in the first part of the operation were the dimensions of the vehicles that, during urban operations in Naboo’s capital city, Theed, damaged some buildings.

AATs and B1 Battle Droids advancing through the Royal Palace’s Square in Theed, Naboo’s capital city. Source: starwars.fandom.comalias Wookieepedia

With the start of the Clone Wars in 22 BBY, the Armored Assault Tank saw an increased production rate. Due to its low cost and speed of production, it quickly became the most common Separatist vehicle encountered by clone troopers and the Jedis. After the first battles of the war, the AAT showed its vulnerabilities against the Republican force’s PLX-1 anti-tank missile launcher and TX-130 tank of the Saber-class. With the continuation of the war, clone troopers learned by experience how to disable an AAT at short range using hand grenades and EMC (ElectroMagnetic Compatibility) grenades dropped in the tank hatches after separating it from droid infantry. Another solution was to ambush isolated AAT with fast All Terrain Recon Transport (AT-RT) attacking the tanks at short distances on the sides.

An AAT ambushed by AT-RTs during Battle of Ryloth (22 to 21 BBY). Despite heavy armor, the AAT was vulnerable to short-range side ambushes. However, clone walkers had to score many hits before destroying it. Source: Wookieepedia

Despite its vulnerability and its career of over 10 years, the Armored Assault Tank was still produced when the war ended and widely deployed in the droid armies of General Grievous, the Separatist Army’s commander. One possible reason, in addition to low cost and ease of production, is to be found in the ease of operating a manned tank compared to the cost of a sentient droid-tank. In the event of battlefield damage, the crew of an AAT could partially fix the damage and return to the carrier’s automated workshop for repair. A sentient droid-tank, such as the NR-N99 of the Persuader-class, could not self-repair due to the absence of a crew. The AATs took part in the majority of the Clone Wars’ battles as main battle tanks of the droid armies. They were present during some of the great successes of the Separatists during the three years of the Clone Wars.

A late model Armored Assault Tank during the Siege of Muunilinst (22 BBY). It was painted with the InterGalactic Banking Clan camouflage, identical to that of the Trade Federation. Source: star-wars-clone-wars-original.fandom.com

In order to transport the droid assault forces from the spaceships to the planet surface, 4-wing C-9979 landing craft were deployed. Each C-9979 landing craft could transport a total of 114 AATs: 24 on each front wing and 33 on each rear wing. The C-9979 also worked as a workshop for damaged battle droids or vehicles. When an AAT finished its ammunition, it returned to its C-9979 landing craft that automatically replaced the empty racks with fully loaded ones. This totally automated process sensibly decreased the loading time, allowing the crew to remain on board the tank and return to the battlefield in a few minutes. At the same time, the automatic workshops substituted damaged parts of the AATs to put them back on the battlefield as soon as possible. The vehicle could also be deployed on moons and asteroids without an atmosphere if operated by a droid crew.

A C-9979 landing craft unloading an AAT and some droids units on Rugosa. Source: starwars.fandom.comalias Wookieepedia

In 21 BBY, the Techno Union attacked Ryloth populated by the peaceful Twi’lek. The armies of Wat Tambor quickly repulsed the clone forces on the planet and started a hard dictatorship which was disturbed only by the ruthless warrior Cham Syndulla.

Later on, the Galactic Senate sent a clone force to free the planet. The force was commanded by Master Jedi Mace Windu supported by Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi and Jedi General Anakin Skywalker. After a hard fight to create a bridgehead on the planet, the clone forces started to push back the droid forces which spared no droids and AATs to stop the Republican advance.

In one of these clashes, the droids successfully employed ambush tactics to slow down the clones, inflicting the maximum number of losses. Probably, without Jedis and Cham Syndulla’s rebels, the campaign would have failed.

Techno Union’s AATs ambush a column of clone’s All Terrain Tactical Enforcer tanks during the Battle of Ryloth on 22 BBY. Source: youtube.com

During the Battle of Christophsis on 22 BBY, the AATs were between the main droid armies’ vehicles. During the Battle of Chaleydonia, capital city of the planet, the clone forces were trapped and Jedis were called to intervene.

The heavy firepower of clone’s AV-7 Antivehicle Cannon repelled numerous waves of droid army tanks, and to destroy the clone’s artillery Separatist General Whorm Loathsom adopted an innovative solution. Droid armies would advance below an energy shield to prevent clone artillery from hitting them. The plan worked well and Gen. Loathsom was one step away from destroying the clone armies. Jedi General Anakin Skywalker, however, managed to infiltrate behind enemy lines and disable the shield. The Separatist general should have concentrated on destroying the opposing guns but he entertained himself discussing the terms of surrender of the clone armies with Jedi Master Obi Wan-Kenobi and was caught unprepared by the loss of the shield. In a very short time, the clones responded and annihilated the Separatist forces, including dozens of AATs.

Separatist General Whorm Loathsom’s droid army advanced, covered by the energy shield. On the first line, five AATs and four platoons of B1 Battle Droids shortly followed by three platoons of B2 Battle Droids and NR-N99 Persuader-class Droid Enforcer Tracked Sentient Tanks. Source: starwars.fandom.comalias Wookieepedia

The AATs also saw extensive service in the various battles on the jungle planet of Felucia. A repulsor tank was considered better in the harsh terrain of the planet, legged and wheeled clone vehicles easily got stuck in mud and dense forests. Nevertheless, battles on the planet were often fought along the few roads on the planet. Most of the clashes took place head-on, and the AAT proved adequate in absorbing opposing lasers. Even in ambushes the vehicle could prove very useful, although its low speed did not help.

An AAT with a droid battle group being repelled by a clone’s HAVw A6 Juggernaut. Source: YouTube.com

There was only one instance where the AAT was not used, during the Battle of Kashyyyk in 19 BBY, by then the end of the Clone Wars. The Trade Federation invaded the peaceful forest planet, home of the Wookies, and the Republic rushed to the aid of its allies. There were no AATs in the ranks of the droid armies, although the reasons are unclear. Probably the NR-N99 Persuader-class Droid Enforcer Tracked Sentient Tanks were preferred for their off-road capabilities.

After the Clone Wars, some AATs that survived the scrap, were repurposed by renegade Separatist warlords and the nascent Alliance to Restore the Republic.

Versions

Heavier Armored Assault Tank

During the Battle of Naboo, the Trade Federation also deployed a heavier version of the AAT, called the Heavier Armored Assault Tank (HAAT), of which nothing is known. It was probably hindered by bad performances and judged negatively. When the Baktoid Combat Automata resumed the production of droids for the Trade Federation, the HAAT production was not resumed.

An image of the Heavy Armored Assault Tank. This vehicle only appeared in the game Star Wars: Galactic Battlegrounds. Source: starwars.fandom.com alias Wookieepedia

Heavy Artillery Gun

The Heavy Artillery Gun – Mortar (HAG-M) or Mortar Tank was a self-propelled gun version of the AAT. It was a sentient self-propelled artillery vehicle equipped with a longer superstructure and a bigger gun used for indirect fire during sieges.

The Heavy Artillery Gun – Mortar (HAG-M) in its Confederacy of Independent Systems camouflage. Source: reddit.com u/KunaiOats

The Heavy Artillery Gun’s armor was increased compared to that of the Armored Assault Tank to better protect it from clone armaments. The increased weight decreased the maximum speed. It was capable of becoming a dangerous opponent on the battlefield, but its low speed and maneuverability made it an easy target for more mobile Republican units, such as the small All-Terrain Recon-Transport (AT-RT) walker.

Defoliator Deployment Tank

The Defoliator Deployment Tank (DDT) was a Self-Repulsor Artillery system, developed by droid armies general and gun developer Lok Durd of the Confederacy of Independent Systems. It was a heavily modified Armored Assault Tank armed with a defoliator gun instead of the turret.

This new gun was capable of destroying all organic life forms, such as plants and aliens, leaving the droids intact. The prototype of the DDT was tested for the first time in 21 BBY on the semi-desert planet of Maridun, where only a small colony of Lurmen was located. Thanks to the intervention of some Galactic Republican forces arriving on the planet during a crash landing, the Lurmen village was not destroyed during the defoliator gun tests and Master Jedi Anakin Skywalker sliced the prototype of the DDT with his lightsaber.

The Defoliator Deployment Tank prototype. As visible, the front part of the original chassis of the AAT was left intact, modifying only the rear and turret. Source: star-wars-and-mlpfim.fandom.com

Imperial Armored Assault Tank

The Imperial Armored Assault Tank (IAAT) was a heavier armored version of the AAT adopted by Galactic Empire allies, such as the Trandoshan slave merchants.

The main armament was substituted with a heavy flamethrower. It is unclear if this was an especially produced variant or a simple conversion to operate in the full forest planet Kashyyyk.

An Imperial Armored Assault Tank on Kashyyyk, manned by the Trandoshan. Source: Lucasfilm/Disney

The hull and turret were left unmodified while there are few more external features. The turret was now equipped with a second external position for another gunner. while the half-round shaped structure was elongated at the back probably to increase the flamethrower fuel reserve.

This vehicle appeared for the first time in 18 BBY. Some Trandoshan slave merchants on the forest planet Kashyyyk, homeland of the Wookies, were attacked and stopped by the Clone Force 99 (also known as the “Bad Batch”) and Padawan Gungi.

The new Imperial Armored Assault Tank seen in 18 BBY in Kashyyyk in the hands of Trandoshan slave merchants. Apart from some differences in the rear hull and turret, the vehicle remained an unmodified Separatist AAT. Source: starwars.com

Camouflages

During its operational life, which continued without interruption from 32 BBY to 19 BBY, the Armored Assault Tank saw different camouflage schemes.

The early camouflage was the standard reddish-orange one used by the Trade Federation before the creation of the Confederacy of Independent Systems. It was a generic camouflage also applied to B1 Battle Droids and with darker shades even to Multi-Transport Troops, Single Trooper Aerial Platform (STAP), and landing crafts.

With the creation of the Confederacy of Independent Systems, the various guilds customized many of the camouflages, usually using their usual guild coat of arms colors.

For the AAT, unfortunately, only the standard Confederacy of Independent Systems camouflage was used.

Example of camouflages adopted by the various Separatist guilds on the Droid Tri-Fighter. Source: deviantart.com @SheldonOswaldLee

The Armored Assault Tank deployed from 24 BBY onward were repainted with two-tone camouflage composed of silver-gray and blue, with the Confederacy of Independent Systems’ coat of arms on the lower rounded structure for aerial identification.

An early AAT version with the Confederacy of Independent Systems’ camouflage. Source: 3dexport.com

Conclusion

The Armored Assault Tank was the most iconic vehicle of the Droid Army during the whole duration of the Clone Wars. It had a production history that lasted for 13 years, from 32 BBY until the final fall of the Galactic Republic in 19 BBY.

While well designed and with only minor flaws, its crew composed of cheap droids usually failed in operating these tanks competently, causing high losses that could have been avoided with humanoid crews or more developed droid crews.

Although some new Republican vehicles were more powerful than the Armored Assault Tank, it remained the most produced and used Confederacy of Independent Systems vehicle and, most importantly, one of the best armed vehicles for the whole duration of the war.

An early production Armored Assault Tank of the Trade Federation during the Battle of Naboo on 32 BBY.
Late production Armored Assault Tank with standard Confederacy of Independent Systems’ camouflage during the Clone Wars. Illustrations by Oussama Mohamed ‘Godzilla’.

Specifications

Dimensions L-W-H 9.75 x ? x ? m
Crew 4 droids (driver, commander, 2 gunners)
Speed 55 km/h (34 mph)
Armament 1 Heavy Laser Gun, 2 Repeating Blaster Guns, 2 Light Blaster Guns, 2 Chain-fed Energized Shell and 6 Grenade Launchers
Armor Thick

Sources

Lucasfilm Ltd, The Walt Disney Company, Walt Disney Studios
Star Wars Vehicles Collector Magazine – Number 49 – Lucas Book
Star Wars: Complete Cross-Sections, David West Reynolds and Curtis Saxton – Dorling Kindersley Publishing, 18th March 2007
Starwars.com
starwars.fandom.com alias Wookieepedia
Star Wars, The New Essential Guide to Vehicles and Vessels, W. Haden Blackman, Ballantine Books, New York, 2003

5 replies on “Armored Assault Tank (AAT) (Fictional Tank)”

Something that always annoyed me about this tank was its armament. Only the gun in the turret has a 360 degree traverse. The lasers and short range blasters can only be traversed with the whole tank. The short range blasters can’t even be elevated. This reminds of the fixed machine guns in early US tank designs.
The launchers are also fixed, but seem to be firing guided missiles. The cross section shows, that each launcher fires another type of ammo, but the picture of the firing tank shows the same type of projectile leaving every launcher. Having launchers so close to the ground seems not to be a smart solution.
I could go on, but I won’t.

Presumably, each of the six launchers could be given an ammo track of any of the three types, with the mixed load of each side carrying all three types being the default loadout. But if you were expecting to go up against a mostly infantry force (as in the Battle of Naboo), you’d probably load all six launchers with anti-personnel ammo. But if the enemy has a lot of armored vehicles, you’d go heavy of the armor-piercing.

Another interesting fictional tank would be the T-108 MBT from Crysis used by KPA soldiers.
The T-108 combines elements of the T-72, the ZTZ96, and the M60A1 Patton.

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