Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Also called Walkers, the All Terrain Armored Transport (AT-AT) was a major part of the Galactic Empire's army in the fictional Star Wars universe. They were assembled by Kuat Drive Yards, and evolved from the previous built AT-TE Walkers, made for the Clone Wars.
AT-ATs were large, four-footed machines resembling mechanical camels. Some literature describes their height as 15.5 meters, but onscreen measuring places them closer to 25 or even 30 meters. Their primary purpose was transportation of more vulnerable units across the battlefield. It could carry either 40 Imperial Stormtroopers and 5 speeder bikes or 2 AT-ST units (probably disassembled due to height issues). The Stormtroopers could be deployed via rappeling cable, but the heavier ordinance could only exit upon the slow and comparatively awkward process of the AT-AT kneeling and extending its ramps.
Inside the Worlds of Star Wars Trilogy shows that AT-ATs and AT-STs were deployed from the Y-85 Titan Dropship.
The arsenal of the AT-AT was also devastating, as they possessed two chin-mounted heavy laser cannons to destroy slow, bulky targets and two temple-mounted medium blaster cannons which could engage lighter targets. The armor plating was too thick for blasters to penetrate, and they could walk over--and thereby crush--people and equipment.
At the Battle of Hoth in Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back, the Empire used walkers to land beyond the limits of the Rebel Alliance's shield. General Maximillian Veers commanded the ground forces and advanced on the shield generator. Faced with such forces, Luke Skywalker devised a strategy to disable the walkers: his team of snowspeeders would use their magnetic harpoons and tow cables to entangle the walkers' feet, causing them to fall. Wedge Antilles and his gunner Wes Janson managed to disable one walker this way, Luke destroyed a second by cutting a hole in it with his lightsaber and tossing in a thermal detonator, and a third blew up when a speeder crashed into it.
Despite this, the Battle of Hoth was one of the most devastating losses for the Rebels in the entire Galactic Civil War.
AT-ATs later patrolled the garrison base on the Forest Moon of Endor.
AT-ATs in the Expanded Universe
Sometime after The Battle of Endor, the Empire's AT-ATs replaced their lasers and blasters with light turbolasers, easily capable of defeating many hardened defensive weapons emplacements.
See also: List of vehicles in Star Wars
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