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TIE Defender

The TIE/D Defender, commonly known as the TIE Defender or T/D, was a high-performance TIE Series starfighter developed for the Imperial Navy by Sienar Fleet Systems in a project overseen by Grand Admiral Demetrius Zaarin shortly before the Battle of Endor. Representing a shift in starfighter design from previous TIE models, the ship featured a hyperdrive as well as deflector shields to allow it to operate independently of Imperial capital ships. The ship's speed and agility, combined with its arsenal of four laser cannons, two ion cannons, two warhead launchers and an optional tractor beam projector made it arguably the most advanced starfighter available at the time.

After Zaarin's failed coup against Emperor Palpatine, the renegade admiral attempted to gain control of the TIE Defender technology to give his forces a technological advantage over the Empire. The advanced starfighter also attracted the attention of other factions, including the Rebel Alliance and pirate groups. Imperial forces under the command of Grand Admiral Thrawn were ultimately able to prevent the spread of the technology and the starfighter played a major role in Thrawn's successful campaign against Zaarin.

Beyond the Zaarin campaign, the TIE Defender's high cost, together with political factors, kept it from achieving widespread use in the Empire and units were assigned only to the most elite pilots. The fighters participated in several other engagements during the Imperial era, including the Battle of Mygeeto and the Battle of Endor. Following the death of Emperor Palpatine at Endor, the TIE Defender continued to see limited use by Imperial forces. TIE Defenders saw action during Shadowspawn's campaign against the New Republic in 5 ABY and were used by the Republic's Rogue Squadron during a brief alliance with former Director of Imperial Intelligence Ysanne Isard against Prince-Admiral Delak Krennel's Ciutric Hegemony in 9 ABY. The fighters participated in multiple battles during the Yuuzhan Vong War and continued to be used by the Imperial Remnant until at least 44 ABY. (Read more…)
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