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- A Wraith pilot(src)
Wraiths primarily use missiles for their air/space attacks but can also use lasers for air/space targets. Against ground targets however, their lasers lack punch. Their armor provides little protection to the craft. Wraiths are known as a "phantom killer," due to their onboard cloaking technology which was powered by their Apollo reactors, and in later conflicts came to be used alongside banshees for cloaked strike forces.
Known for their maneuverability, piloting a Wraith is no small task however, and aspiring Colonial Fleet Wraith pilots already had to be certified combat pilots before gaining access to the new craft. Wraith pilots were typically "lionized" in a manner similar to destroyer captains.
Wraiths are capable of both atmospheric and deep space flight, can withstand entry through a planet's atmosphere and are capable of traveling at super-sonic speeds. It is generally a given that Wraiths will be attached to capital ships, as they lack the ability to make jumps through warp space. Though they fell out of major use after the Great War, improvements continued to be made to the Wraith, including improved Tomahawk power cells and an advanced displacement field in order to help the craft dodge incoming enemy fire.
By 2499, the Wraith was still considered the newest in a line of space superiority fighters. Traditionally, most space battles had taken place between capital ships and smaller gunships. However, Tarsonian technicians found that small, dynamic high-speed fighters could repeatedly deal damage to large ships while evading most defensive battery attacks.
The Wraith's prominence diminished after the Brood War as the conflict revealed several critical weaknesses in terran anti-air capability and Wraith's design itself: combined Wraith/Valkyrie squadrons were an unwieldy combination against agile zerg airborne organisms.The Viking was developed as a more versatile anti-air craft, which could better fulfill the role Wraiths were originally intended for. With the development of the AH/G-24 Banshee, the Wraith lost its anti-ground role to the new dedicated ground support craft, which was also equipped with Wraith cloaking systems to boot.
Wraiths remained in service by the Dominion after the Brood War; the Dominion placed restrictions on the augmentations allowed on privately owned Wraith fighters. By 2504, they could still be found as part of the Dominion Armed Forces, despite being older technology. The mercenary group Raynor's Raiders also still has access to Wraith fighters. Statues of Wraith squadrons can be found on Korhal.
The Wraith has been produced in multiple variants. Known variants include:
The CF/A-17 Wraith was the earliest known Wraith model, acting as the basis for all later variants. An innovative and more maneuverable development over older gunships, the fighter craft was solely armed with Gemini air-to-air missiles as it was primarily intended to destroy capital ships.
The CF/A-17G Wraith is an upgraded version of its A-17 predecessor and for all intents and purposes, represents the 'standard' Wraith. Its design was spurred by the lack of an effective terran air-to-ground unit below battlecruiser weight. As such, the G variant was designed featuring a 25mm burst laser in addition to Gemini missiles, for attacks against ground targets.
The CF/A-17G also features other upgrades. Equipped with the latest in ECM and stealth technology, the G variant features a built-in cloaking field which runs off the fighter's main power supply. The cloaking duration can be extended through being fitted with an Apollo reactor. The CF/A-17G is also capable of hovering, and is equipped with a computer system which, among other functions, can key in on heat signatures and is compatible with an energy shield.
The DF/A-19 Wraith Mk2 is an upgraded version of the CF/A-17G, possessing greater resilience and more powerful weapons without the loss of speed. The DF/A-19 was used by the mercenary group, "Unholy" Tara's Stalkers.
During the End War, elite Asteria wraiths were fielded against Amon by Terran Dominion pilots under Matt Horner's command. These were significantly more capable than standard Wraith units and could be cloaked for an indefinite period of time.
- For StarCraft gameplay information see: Wraith (StarCraft).
- For StarCraft in-game quotations see: StarCraft I Wraith Quotations.
- For StarCraft II gameplay information see: Wraith (StarCraft II).
- For StarCraft II in-game quotations see: StarCraft II Wraith Quotations.
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