Fighter Bays are large, expensive ship outfits designed to provide self-contained facilities for the storage, servicing, launch, and recovery of shipborne fighter craft. Each of the major factions has several fighter bay setups designed for installation on its carrier ships, but many of these systems are also available for private individuals.
The only civilian fighter bay on the market is the Thunderhead bay, though the Federation and Aurorans use them as well. The Federation also has separate bays for Vipers and Anacondas. The Aurorans have separate fighter bays for their equivalents, Firebirds and Phoenixes. The Rebels have individual bays for their variant of Vipers. The Pirates also have seperate bays for their versions of the Vipers and Thunderheads. Finally, the Polaris has a bay for their Mantas.
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All Federation and civilian fighter bays require the purchaser to possess a valid Fighter Bay License or its equivalent. Note that fighters must be purchased separately, and that each fighter variant may have its own specialized bay design.
You can save money on buying fighters if you disable the type for your bay and "board" them. In this case, you do not board the vessel; you add it to your inventory. If you already have the maximum complement of fighters, boarding will happen as normal. If you choose this path, try only to capture variants that you want, such as the "Light Destroyer"-class Thunderhead.