CF-117b Rapier
Type Medium fighter
Class Rapier
Model CF-117b[1]
Length 9m[1]
Mass 9t[1]
Weapons Dual-Pulse rotary barrel neutron gun, Wing-mounted laser cannon (2), missile mounts (10)[1]
Shield 7/7 (phase shield)[1]
Hull 6/3/4[1]
Propulsion Jump-capable drive array[1]
Speed 250/450 kps[1]
Crew 1 pilot
Affiliation Terran Confederation
Equipment Ejection survival pod, Tempest AI, 7 hours life-support, retrieval tractor[1]
Events Terran-Kilrathi War
First appearance Wing Commander film

CF-117b Rapier is a version of the Rapier, the premier starfighter used by the Terran Confederation. It replaced the earlier F44-A Rapier (CF-117a Rapier) model with enhanced missile capacity and more efficient rotary-barrel neutron gun (its most distinguishing visual feature).[1]

It is seen as a good combination of acceleration, maneuverability and firepower. Its short-range neutron guns require close approach to the enemy, balanced by its handling superiority. There is also a CF-117b-L Rapier variant.[1]


It was more advanced than the older F44-A Rapier.

CF-117b was introduced in 2645 and in the later Terran-Kilrathi War it supplanted the CF-105 Scimitar in frontline operations.[1]

The CS Tiger Claw carried Rapiers which were used in engagements in the Ulysses Corridor.[2]


Dual neutron pulse generators can be set to alternate or synchronous fire, and the multibarrel allows longer continuous neutron fire. The wing-mounted lasers are to provide longer firing range. The wings function as weapon/missile mounts and can mount 10 missiles (dumbfire or guided) (the wings are not designed for atmospheric flight).[1]

It features an ejection survival pod, a standard Confed Tempest navigational/targeting AI, a jump-capable drive array, 7 hours life-support autonomy, and a retrieval tractor that can tow objects of up to 75 tonnes.[1]

There a few noteable differences between the newer CF-117b and the older F44-A Rapier. The newer model had increased missile capacity to ten guided or dumbfire missiles and packed a second generation nose-mounted rotary-barrel neutron gun that allowed for longer continuous neutron fire than the old F44’s first generation cannon. A switch on his stick allowed for alternate or synchronous fire, and standard laser cannons mounted to the 117’s short, upturned wings provided longer-range support. The standard Tempest targeting and navigational AI remained the same, as did the jump-capable drive array and twin thruster afterburner, as did the jump-capable drive array and twin thruster afterburnerpackage. Monitors and control panels seemed slightly smaller, but that could be an illusion. The seat felt a hell of a lot better though, with the welcome addition of lumbar support.[3]


Behind the scenesEdit

This type of Rapier was introduced in the Wing Commander film the full-scale stage mock-up being constructed from the nose and cockpit sections of two English Electric Lightning jet fighters. This version of the Rapier is designated CF-117b and its primary weapon is a gigantic Gatling neutron gun on its nose, although the lasers were never fired during the movie.

In the novels its strongly suggested that Blair flew F44-A's in the film, and didn't start using the CF-117b until Pilgrim Stars.


  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 Chris McCubbin, Official Authorized Wing Commander Confederation Handbook, Joan's Ships of Known Space
  2. Wing Commander film
  3. Pilgrim Stars,
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