|TCS Tiger's Claw|
|Class||Bengal-class strike carrier|
|Weapons||Dual Mount Laser Turrets (8)|
Dual Mount Laser Batteries
|First appearance||Wing Commander I|
|Last appearance||Wing Commander II: Vengeance of the Kilrathi|
The Tiger's Claw (CV-07) was a Bengal-class, the first of the Flight IIA ''Bengal''-class carriers. Tiger's Claw was 700 meters long, ten meters longer than subsequent Flight IIA ships.
Originally laid down as the TCS Tiger Claw, and commissioned as Tiger's Claw, it's the latter that appeared on her hull while the former is frequently used even in documents written by the carrier's pilots and crew.
It was launched in 2644 and on its shakedown cruise, it found itself in the path of a surprise Kilrathi invasion force. As a fresh ship, it carried a minimal spacecrew and an under-experienced command, but its unexpected presence surprised the Kilrathi. Along with clever tactics on the part of the command crew, and performance above and beyond the call of duty by the spacecrews, they routed the superior Kilrathi force. Shortly thereafter, the Claw was given permanent assignment in the Vega Sector.
In 2649, the Confederation sent 60% of the Vega Sector Fleet to invade Kilrah. Having being surprised by unexpected Kilrathi warships, the Claw was sent from its station to the retreating Terran fleet's path and fought to delay the Kilrathi forces (Custer's Carnival) and allow the lightly armored Terran transports time to reach Terran space. During the conflict the Claw lost 3/4 of its engines and half of its crew, but managed to limp back to Terran space.
Following the attack and subsequent destruction of the Pegasus Station, the Kilrathi gained a direct route to Earth. Tolwyn, who was now an Admiral on the flagship TCS Concordia, sent orders to Captain Jason Sansky as the Claw was the only ship in the Vega Sector. Christopher Blair, who had already served on the destroyer TCS Formidable and the heavy cruiser, delivered the orders to Captain Sansky, that the Claw, with help from James Taggart, should go to the Charybdis and gather information about the Kilrathi strike force. Taggart, using his Pilgrim talents, approached a class-2 pulsar and engaged a level-five jump-point interphase to the Ulysses corridor.
While scouting the Pegasus debris, pilots revealed their presence to a Kilrathi ConCom. A strike force was then formed to destroy the ConCom. Meanwhile, two Ralari-class Destroyers and one Sivar-class Battleship launched three dozen starfighters and torpedoes against the Claw which retaliated by destroying one of the destroyers. The battleship returned more torpedoes which severely damaged the Claw, but was soon destroyed along with the second destroyer by the pilots of the Baker Wing.
The Claw hid inside an asteroid crater and launched a decoy in a attempt to misguide the Kilrathi battle group. However, a single Kilrathi destroyer began to methodologically nuke every crater causing further damage. Confederation Marines with cover starfighter cover then managed to board the approaching Kilrathi ConCom and steal fuel cells. Furthermore, they discovered the Pegasus Navcom AI along with the Kilrathi coordinates through the Charybdis jump point. This information helped the Concordia battle group to target the exact location where the Kilrathi force entered the Sol Sector. During the attempt to deliver this vital information, Jeannette Devereaux almost killed herself while protecting the Claw from a skipper missile. With Taggart's guidance, the Claw obliterated one more Cruiser and a Destroyer, before jumping to Sol Sector and join the Concordia.
To replace these heavy losses, the 201st Plebe class of the Hilthros Space Naval Academy arrived aboard the refurbished Claw in order to replace the regular flight crew under Commodore Geoffrey Tolwyn. The cadets, as 2nd Lieutenants of the Cadet Wing, were to complete their course of instruction while performing routine patrols and flight training.
One of the first missions of the cadets was to scout the M4-21a System.
While exploring a binary star system, Grikaths piloted by delusional Kilrathi attacked the Claw, and it was saved thanks to the cadets. However, they were also infected by the solar flare which caused delusions. They mutineered and conspired to destroy the Claw. Gwen Bowman had to destroy Allen Goetz's Broadsword to save the Claw.
The Claw sent cadets to Dioscuri II to investigate whether the Kilrathi had contaminated the native primitive Dioscurans. When the cadets were captured, Admiral Tolwyn dispatched Scimitars to their rescue. Again, when two cadets went missing, Sabres and a Longbow were sent to rescue them.
On the discovery of a Kilrathi jump buoy near a pulsar, Tolwyn ordered its destruction and sent a recon team to scout the other side. Tolwyn ordered communication silence expecting the emergence of Kilrathi forces.
Stationed near that pulsar's hypernode, and worried by the Kilrathi activity in this sector, Tolwyn asked the Fleet Command for reinforcements. After ambushing another Kilrathi recon force, reinforcements arrived, TCS Manasses and TCS Trafalgar. Admiral Rhea Bergstrom ordered Tolwyn to guard the node as a bait for an ambush at Seti Beta I of their combined forces of 140 fighters and then retreat to an unsecured sector. He objected to the foolishness of the plan, and Bergstrom, not trusting that Tolwyn would carry out her orders, ordered cadet Blair to spy him for her. Tolwyn thus changed his plans to carry out the ambush. The sudden retreat, while having the advantage, made Kilrathi commander Garahl nar Hhallas suspicious. Tolwyn soon found out that the Kilrathi had already prepared a trap on their own, and Bergstrom's task force was under attack. The Claw complied to her request and assisted the Trafalgar right before its destruction. Survivors joined the crew of the Claw.
Seeing all the Kilrathi forces coming towards the Claw, Tolwyn ordered all head forward to the jump node under all the gunfire with all power diverted to forward shields. Maintaining collision course with Agon Ra Sivar, he played "chicken" with Thrakhath nar Kiranka, until the Prince acknowledged his bravery and moved his Dreadnought to evade the Claw. The carrier was scratched and made it to the node.
The Claw received attack by Confederation fighters from the TCS Morgan which was captured by Kilrathi. After the attack, Tolwyn recommended Bowman for saving the Claw.
The Claw was escorting an Achilles-class and a Byrd-class en route to Oasis, when pilots salvaged a mysterious Sleep Ship from a Kilrathi Salvage Tug. The Ship was occupied by an alien in cryo-sleep, who intended to recover a powerful orb from the planet.
Tolwyn set the plan for an ambush to surprise a Kilrathi Carrier that his pilots discovered. The Carrier was successfully destroyed, with the informatin that Prince Thrakhath will move to Dolos for the Sivar-Eshrad.
After arriving to the Dolos System, the Claw destroyed the Kilrathi jump buoy and its guards so there was no warning on their arrival. Talking with Summer, Tolwyn was denied any reinforcements or assistance and was ordered to consider the Claw expendable on his objective to attack Thrakhath. He briefed the cadets about their fake objective to prepare fot a Confederation Marines invasion to liberate the Dolosians.
During the process of the mission, Tolwyn informed the pilots that the Marines won't arrive and the Claw would engage the Kilrathi fleet alone, helped by the Dolosian uprising. Indeed his plan worked and having captured the cadets, Thrakhath expected a military invasion, unprepared for an assault against Agon Ra Sivar from space. The Kilrathi fleet left Dolos dishonoured.
Being over 11 years old, the ship's systems started to show its age, such as the cooling system; pilots would complan that the barracks' temperature controls were on the fritz again, and still wold be a little too warm.
After the withdrawal from the Firekka system, the Claw had a brief stop at Sol allowing some pilots to take a leave on Earth. The Kilrathi encroached into the human-controlled areas of Enigma Sector and the Claw was assigned there to participate to the Enigma Campaign as the .
Holds a crew of 750. The Claw's leadership at the end of the her life was as follows:
- Commanding Officer: Captain Thorn, TCSN
- Executive Officer: Commander Nelson, TCSN
- Lefty :Maintenance
- Jacob Manley communications technician ,
- Commander, Air Group (88th Carrier Air Wing): Colonel Peter Halcyon, TCSF (also Commanding Officer in Wing Commander: The Secret Missions)
- Commander, Rapier II Group (Black Lions Squadron): Lt Col. Christopher Blair, TCSF[Source?]
Note-worthy pilots included:
- Carl "Prankster" LaFong
- Jason "Maverick" Armstrong
- Jeannette "Angel" Devereaux
- Mariko "Spirit" Tanaka
- Etienne "Doomsday" Montclair
- Ralgha "Hobbes" nar Hhallas
- Zack "Jazz" Colson
- James "Paladin" Taggart
- Todd "Maniac" Marshall
- Ian "Hunter" St. John
- Joseph "Knight" Khumalo
- Kien "Bossman" Chen
- Michael "Iceman" Casey
- Gwen "Archer" Bowman
- S.E. Sarasin
- Fatima Haroud
- Rosie Forbes
- Larry Dibbles
- C.A. Skinner
- Killer Bees (Hornets)
- Yellow Jacket (Hornets)
- Blue Angels (Scimitars)
- Blue Devils
- Star Slayer (Raptors)
- Black Lion (Rapiers)
- The Chihuahuas, 88th Fighter Wing, First Squadron
- The Mongrels, Second Squadron
- Screamin’ Shepherds, Third Squadron
- Lightning's Squadron, Fourth Squadron
- Fifth Squadron
- Sixth Squadron
- Seventh Squadron
- Alert One (or Alert?)
- Cadet Squadron
- Tiger's Claw
- Alpha Wing
- Beta Wing
- Chi Wing
- Delta Wing
- Theta Wing
- Psi Wing
- Sigma Wing
- Kappa Wing
- Epsilon Wing
- Eta Wing
- Lamba Wing
- Gamma Wing
- Omicron Wing
- Omega Wing
- Nu Wing
- Mu Wing
- Tau Wing
- Rho Wing
- Iota Wing
- Upsilon Wing
- Xi Wing
- Zeta Wing
- Baker Wing
- Phi Wing
- Geoffrey Tolwyn (2653, 2654 (various))
- Peter Halcyon (2654.056?, 2655.?/2656.289 - 2656.?)
- Jason Sansky (2653?-2654.076 (March 17))
- Paul Gerald(2654.076-.163+)
- Thorn (2655.?-2656.?)
Note: Peter Halcyon may have been captain before Sansky before 2654.056 (rough date when Paladin left the claw to board the Diligent on his secret mission), but also captain/commander of the Claw during the Super Wing Commander events as well (which more or less mirror regular Wing Commander with some side plots added). Per the movie events proper events of the Vega Campaign cannot occur until after some point after .163 when Paladin returned to the ship after his court martial in Pilgrim Truth. Halcyon is also said to be in command of the Claw by Iceman in the first missions of Lost Missions, and also per the SNES manual.
Behind the scenes
In the Wing Commander film, the Tiger's Claw is designated CSS Tiger Claw (on uniform patches in the movie) and referred to as the TCS Tiger Claw (in subtitles and when discussed). The term CSS has a more historical background because it was used by the Confederate States of America during the American Civil War. It is referred to as the CS Tiger Claw in the Pilgrim Stars. Not much technical information is known of the Tiger Claw (beyond what is described in the novel). The film's ship design is much different from the game's ship design of the Tiger's Claw (although they are intended to be the same).
In the novel the chapter computer readout headings list it as the United Confederation Carrier, Tiger Claw.
The version that appears in the games has a 07 listed on the flight deck in reference to the CV-07 designation.
The TCS Tiger's Claw was also seen in the animated television series Wing Commander Academy. Although the ship looks similar to the game's version of the TCS Tiger's Claw (REZ-667-FT), there are minor differences, mainly the flight deck locations. This Tiger's Claw was equipped with thirty five dual-laser turrets, six triple-laser turrets and a single-laser turret cannon. The front of the ship looks more like a tapering blade rather than the rectangular as in the game. The WC Bible discusses the "CVS-02 Tiger's Claw".
Super Wing Commander had yet another version of the Tiger's Claw based on the Terran Carrier from Armada (Lexington-class heavy carrier).
Lastly is the CS Tiger Claw from the film.
Commodore Geoffrey Tolwyn was in command of the Tiger's Claw in the television series. Jason Sansky was in charge of the ship for the first quarter of the year, Paul Gerald was in charge for roughly the second quarter of the year.
Halcyon appears as the captain of the ship Wing Commander: The Secret Missions (SNES), but he may also be implied to have a bigger role in lines of the original WC1 and Super Wing Commander as well, and in the The Wing Commander I & II Ultimate Strategy Guide. Its generally assumed that Halcyon took over from Thorn after Tolwyn relieved him. The order from "Vice Admiral Tolwyn" on the back of the Crusade box seems to imply that Halcyon is the commander of the ship as well.
Thorn was captain during the Firrekan Campaigns according to Freedom Flight and Heart of the Tiger although likely intended to be the captain of the ship during the entire Vega Campaign and Goddard as well (though he is not mentioned in the game). Thorn is removed as Captain by Admiral Tolwyn and accused of cowardess, but is later reinstated (on the Claw or elsewhere is not made clear). It is generally assumed Halcyon took over command during this period.
Due to a retcon with most of the Academy TV series being moved to 2654, and the placement of the film series, there are overlaps between when Sansky, Paul Gerald, Tolwyn and Thorn commanded the ship, as well as overlap between the Vega Campaign and the Pilgrim Uprising.
It would seem Tolwyn must have come on board the Tiger's Claw for specific missions as 'acting captain'.
- Claw Marks (Wing Commander I box package), Playing Wing Commander, p. 45
- Cite error: Invalid
<ref>tag; no text was provided for refs named
- Star*Soldier, pg 2
- Wing Commander film
- Wing Commander I
- The Most Delicate Instrument
- The Most Delicate Instrument
- Lords of the Sky
- Word of Honor
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- Walking Wounded
- Invisible Enemy
- Price of Victory
- Glory of Sivar
- Wing Commander I, Goddard series (Mission 1)
- Wing Commander I, Vigrid series (Mission 3)
- Mercedes Lackey and Ellen Guon, Freedom Flight, Chapter 3
- Wing Commander I, Firekka series (Mission 1)
- Mercedes Lackey and Ellen Guon, Freedom Flight, Chapter 9
- Mercedes Lackey and Ellen Guon, Freedom Flight, Chapter 10
- Wing Commander II: Vengeance of the Kilrathi Introduction
- Freedom Flight, Wing Commander III novel
- Wing Commander Academy (tv series)
- Secret Missions SNES
- " This is Lieutenant Hunter of the T.C.S. Tiger Claw."