A single-seat fighter, the Lightning was designed as a hyper-manoeuvrable craft capable out out-flying any adversary. Its twin, opposed boosters added unprecedented thrust to every manoeuvre, allowing it to change course faster than any other contemporary ship. Its top speed was 300m/s. It was not capable of hyperspace travel.
In terms of weaponry, a typical loadout was a pair of belly-mounted laser cannons tucked into a recess below the cockpit section. Its fuselage also held two missile pods with a complement of twenty guided missiles.
Developed by Liberty Shipyards around five years before the founding of Unity, the Lightning was designed to be the very last word in manoeuvrability, and had a price tag to reflect that. Despite this, it proved a relatively popular seller among the various corporate militias, though beyond the big-budget consumers it was a little too expensive for the relatively small amount of firepower it provided.
It was eagerly adopted as the interceptor of choice by the Unity Navy in its earliest days (prior to the Second Battle of Tortuga in U10), and was often carried by GA-C1 Valkyries. However, it was eventually deemed too weak a fighter to form a cost-effective part of the new, strong Navy, and production was officially halted in the Eighth Year of Unity.