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The IPV-1 System Patrol Craft, or Independent Patrol Vehicle, was developed in the final days of the Galactic Republic by Sienar Fleet Systems as an inexpensive means of protecting planets from pirates, smugglers, and other threats. The craft proved quite popular with planetary defense forces, and became commonplace throughout the galaxy; after the Republic's rebirth as the Galactic Empire, the IPV-1 became the Empire's first line of defense, with many systems patrolled solely by these small corvettes. The IPV-1 became such an integral part of the Empire's defense forces that it was eventually renamed the Imperial Patrol Vehicle.
Considered to be quite small for a capital ship, the IPV-1 relied primarily on speed, and was too lightly armed and armored to pose a threat to larger ships. However, the patrol craft was an effective counter to the small freighters and fighters commonly used by the pirates and smugglers that threatened most Outer Rim planets. The ship's biggest liability, however, is its lack of a hyperdrive and resulting inability to leave a star system. Due to the difficulty in transporting the patrol crafts, they tended to stay in a single system for their entire operational career. Despite its limitations, the IPV-1 was an effective system patrol craft; in addition to its impressive speed and multiple turbolasers, the IPV-1 was equipped with an advanced sensor suite that allowed it to detect and thwart any suspicious behavior from great distances. Once it caught its target, the IPV-1 was capable of destroying it outright or forcing the target to surrender. The ship's complement of ten troopers was more than enough to overcome resistance from most non-military vessels.
As one of the most numerous vessels in the fleet of the Galactic Empire, the Imperial Patrol Vehicle-1 is a common sight throughout the galaxy and provides one of the most cost-effective ways to keep a system secure. However, with increasing regularity, these ships are being commandeered or salvaged by the pirates they are supposed to defend against, and many have been seen among pirate fleets. While there are rumors that some pirate groups have retrofitted captured IPV's with hyperdrives, such rumors remain unsubstantiated.