"The Xesh is a recon ship... this is a true fighter."The PF-1 Aurek was a starfighter designed by VMEW during the RLF/Imperial War and produced for the People's Galactic Alliance by Ikest Industries. It is considered by many to be the pinnacle of multi-role starfighter design.
The PF-1 "Aurek" was designed to be a multi-role space superiority fighter, capable of fulfilling any duty from patrol to attack, and to attack or defend against anything from a drone to a capital ship. The fighter is distinguished by possessing strong shields, armor, and engines, as well as a diverse armament that enhances its survivability and viability in modern space combat.
The Aurek was originally proposed to Velmoran Military Engineering Works by Selkisto Horten, who was on the design team of the first Vev fighter. He pointed out the necessity of an all-around, space-superiority fighter, in the vein of the Old Republic Aurek, or the New Republic X-Wing, especially to serve a galactic republic. The idea was considered, and quickly forgotten in favor of more pressing needs facing the Republic Liberation Front.
After the Fall of Onderon, VMEW began to reexamine its starfighter designs, and after creating upgrades to the Vev and Xesh fighters, it took a second look at the Aurek concept. The majority of the design team originally attached to the Vev began work on the Aurek, producing a series of prototypes based around the principle of a space-superiority fighter, including the XF-40 and the XF-41. All prototypes in the series favored a configuration around two large ion engines with four laser cannons and two missile launchers, arrayed to provide a wide range of fire. When the prototypes proved unsatisfactory, due mostly to the adherence to the practice of emphasizing speed and firepower over shielding and hull strength, the project was redistributed to the original design team that had produced the Xesh series. After some time, the team created the XF-43 prototype series, which first saw the configuration of two medium laser cannons, two light ion cannons, and two missile launchers emerge, while utilizing an advanced sensor and jamming package in an elongated nose, three-engine design, and large, folding radiator panels borrowed from the Xesh series. In the final prototype, the XF-44, the ion cannons were moved onto retractable pylons, so that they would not affect nearby equipment after prolonged periods of fire, while large exhaust panels and retro-thrust nozzles were added to the fighter to enhance cooling and mobility. It wasn't untilt he early days of the People's Galactic Alliance that twelve final-stage XF-44's were submitted to Emerald Squadron for field testing and analysis. Feedback from these trials was fed to the design team, who made last-minute improvements to the fighter before finally submitting it as the 'PF-1' (PGA Fighter, model one) to Ikest Industries for production.
Initial production of the Aurek was slow, due to an extensive use of custom parts and materials, and the precise craftsmanship required to produce such a finely tuned machine. Though the Ikest facilities had expanded considerably since the beginning of the RLF/Imperial War, they were still relatively small by galactic standards, and produced only a handful of fighters each month, until production lines of the slightly less intensive Xesh, which shared several components with the Aurek, were converted for the manufacture of the new Aurek. Emerald squadron continued to use the original XF-44s for some time, and mass-produced Aureks were relegated to a dry dock while Xesh fighters were used as a temporary standard starfighter. The People's Galactic Alliance Forces Navy waited until production of parts and support equipment reached sufficient numbers to field and service them across the galaxy, and the initial introduction was slow, with the first run going to Emerald Squadron to replace their prototype fighters. Increased funding for the PGAF through a senate spending bill saw an expansion in spending on the Aurek program, and Ikest Industries experienced a significant growth, which was used to increase the size of its production facilities. After several months of production, the PF-1 Aurek was finally assigned to fighter squadrons across the galaxy and adopted as the official standard starfighter of the PGAF.