The Heavy Assault Vehicle/repulsorlift A9 Floating Fortress, also known as the Imperial Flying Fortress or simply the Floating Fortress, is an advanced vehicle available to the Pentastar Alignment in Eras 1–5. It is armed with a rotating Laser Cannon.
Manufactured by Ubrikkian Industries, the A9 Floating Fortress was designed to aid ground assault and occupational forces. Heavily armored, the craft was armed with two top-mounted turreted heavy blaster cannons. The narrow width and 360° firing arc of the Floating Fortress, as well as the fact that it was a repulsorcraft rather than a legged walker, made it ideal for urban warfare. Many felt that it was better suited to put down urban uprisings than was the AT-AT walker; crews of both vehicles had a long-standing rivalry.
The A9 Floating Fortress is one of two Pentastar assault vehicles, the other being the AT-AT. Just as in the Star Wars universe, proponents of both vehicles exist, each pointing to the strengths of said vehicle. The advantages of the A9 come from both tactical and a logistics standpoint. It is faster, more mobile, and has a wider firing arc (360° arc rather than about 120°), making it less escort-intensive. It serves as the PA's primary transport, and it can thus carry vehicles as well as infantry. Its greatest asset, though, is Sensor Ping. A true command vehicle, the Floating Fortress can remove the Fog of War from areas of the map, allowing for the avoidance of traps and strategic bombing runs and Orbital Bombardments.
This being said, the Floating Fortress is not without weaknesses. It is considerably less offense-oriented than the AT-AT, and cannot deploy its own troops. It can be overwhelmed by heavy units much more easily than the AT-AT, and the accompanying escort must be provided accordingly. In short, the A9 Floating Fortress is the Pentastar Alignment's command vehicle.