The Kilrathi War was an interstellar conflict between the Terran Confederation and Kilrathi Empire during the 27th century.


First official contact between humans and the Kilrathi race was on 15 April 2629, when the Iason, a Terran Confederation research vessel, encountered an unknown vessel along the frontier of space in the Vega Sector. The Iason's captain chose not to prepare the ship's weapons in order to avoid hostilities. However, the Kilrathi detected a wide-band radiation eminating from the message and believed that the signal was an attempt to lower their shields. The Kilrathi vessel then attacked and destroyed the Iason, with all hands lost. The unknown ship was later discovered to be the KIS K'rath'kan, a Kilrathi destroyer. Immediately, the Confederation interdicted all exploring and colonizing actions in the Vega Sector and mobilized its intelligence to ascertain the extent of Kilrathi influence.[1]

The next year, the Confederation Assembly tried to hold negotiations with the Kilrathi leadership, but these overtures were rejected. Heavily escorted envoys attempted to open up lines of communication, only to find armed aggression and retreated to Confed space under fire, which has been repeated 3 more times. Despite this, Confed created a non-aggression policy in a failed attempt to soothe the faltering relations between the two sides, though threatened with military action if raids against its vessels and colonies were not stopped. These warnings fell on deaf ears, and from 2629 to 2634, the Kilrathi conduct numerous raids on Confed vessels. From its side, the Empire wished to conquer the Confederation both to stabilize the inter-clan conflict[1]

On date 2638.348 a Kilrathi corvette was looting a free trader at Masa when it was caught by a CSF patrol. The corvette was taken and the privateers were all killed in the fighting. The computers provided intelligence such as the total radius of Kilrathi space, its astrography and new jump lines within Kilrathi space.[1]

The Terran Confederation Handbook expands upon the Wing Commander film canon and puts the War later in the timeline; this is inconsistent with established canon, as this event is supposed to have happened before the war and the date is well inside the war.

The conflict escalated on 2639.006 when a Kilrathi carrier group destroyed the agricultural colony on Hellespont and 12 hours later, a similar force attacked the shipping port of Tartarus which however was able to hold out until reinforcements arrived from Brimstone Naval Station. After 48 hours of heavy fighting the Kilrathi to withdrew. The Confederation Senate passed a formal declaration of war against Kilrah on 2639.007.[1]

The War beginsEdit

The war was formally declared by the Confed on 2641.009.

The specific cause is not mentioned, but this date is quite later than the formal declaration by the Confederation Senate mentioned earlier, as a response to the Kilrathi attacks against Tartarus and Hellespont.

The Confederation was prepared to launch a punitive counter-offensive against the K'nT'qal system during which the ships of the two Grand Fleets of the Pilgrim War implemented wartime defenses on all border colonies.[1]

In 2649 the Confederation sent most of the Vega Sector Fleet for an all-or-nothing attack against G'wriss, but they were routed by stronger forces than expected. The TCS Tiger's Claw was sent to fight a desperate but heroic supporting action to cover the retreating Terran forces. The fateful engagement was referred as Custer's Carnival.[1]

According to other sources, the invasion was against Kilrah.

After the Custer's Carnival, the Confederation concentrated on a defensive policy. Border colonies were fortified causing the most aggressive Kilrathi to hit themselves in disadvantage. The losses among the Kilrathi were astronomical, far greater than the Terrans', and after these failures aggressive attacks had declined precipitously. However Confederation strategists were anticipating a massive invasion effort.[1] Indeed, in 2654, twenty-four years since the Kilrathi War had began, the Kilrathi attacked Pegasus Station and stole the NAVCOM A.I. gaining access to Earth from Vega through the Pegasus Corridor. However thanks to intelligence gathered by Christopher Blair, the TCS Concordia battle group anticipated the attack and destroyed the Kilrathi capital ships as soon as they entered the Sol system.[2]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 Chris McCubbin, Official Authorized Wing Commander Confederation Handbook, History of the Terran-Kilrathi War
  2. Wing Commander film