Lambda-class T-4a shuttle
The Lambda-class T-4a shuttle was a standard light utility craft in common use throughout the Imperial military as a transport for troops and high-ranking individuals.
The Lambda-class shuttle was based on a tri-wing design with a central stationary wing flanked by a pair of folding wings. When in flight position, the wing configuration resembled an inverted Y. When landing, the lower wings folded upwards.
The Lambda was designed as both a cargo and troop transport and could carry 80 tons or 20 soldiers. It had a crew of six: a pilot, co-pilot, navigator, communications officer, gunner, and engineer. A shuttle could be piloted by a skeleton crew consisting of a single officer during emergencies. It was also equipped with a Class 1 hyperdrive since its mission profile involved traveling across the galaxy.
The Lambda was reasonably well-armed, with three double blaster cannons (one rear-mounted) and two double laser cannons. The military version built by Cygnus Spaceworks was armed with ten laser cannons. It was also protected by a powerful deflector shield, which was powered by multiple generators. A Lambda was covered by a heavily reinforced hull capable of deflecting laser fire. The shuttle class was so well armed that it was able to travel across the galaxy without an escort, thus making it suitable for covert operations.
In an emergency the cockpit could be jettisoned from the main body and travel a short distance under sublight speed. The lifeboat did not have enough space for all passengers when the shuttle had its full complement and therefore priority was given to the most senior officers onboard.
Behind the Scenes
Lambda shuttles were erroneously referred to as "Tyderian class" in some sources, a misunderstanding originating from the shuttle Tydirium.
The name Lambda comes from the Greek letter (uppercase Î›, lowercase Î») whose lowercase form resembles the general arrangement of the shuttle's wings. The designation of this shuttle type as Lambda-class dates back to the novelization of Return of the Jedi (1983), and was picked up by contributors to West End Games when that company began writing material about the shuttle.