The TIE/ca "Punisher" Starfighter was a class of heavy bomber that was manufactured by Sienar Fleet Systems based on the mainframe of the TIE/sa bomber although it had four times more payload and cost 253,000 credits. The TIE punisher was armed with forward-mounted light laser cannons, a ventral-mounted twin proton bomb chute with tandem release for surface targets, and either four fire-linked forward-mounted proton torpedo launchers or concussion missile launchers. Due to the value of delivering a successful payload, the TIE punisher has a sturdier defense than other TIE craft, including deflector shield systems to ensure delivery of the munitions.
As a bomber, the TIE punisher was not suited for dogfights, and instead used its payload to launch volleys of warheads to blast and obliterate enemy starfighters, freighters, and gunships. The TIE punisher used this same tactic against capital ships, and was able to stay out of range of enemy point-defense laser cannons. The TIE punisher then used its bombs to destroy ground targets, large cruisers and battleships.
The TIE punisher was utilized for heavy bombardment missions where Star Destroyers could not travel to, and was used against ground targets as well as against starships. An Interdictor-class Star Destroyer typically carried a squadron of TIE punishers or TIE/sa bombers for heavy targets.
The TIE/ca "Punisher" Starfighter was manufactured in the aftermath of the decisive Rebel Alliance victory at the Battle of Yavin against the Galactic Empire, and saw use during the Galactic Civil War.
Behind the scenes
The TIE/ca "Punisher" Starfighter was introduced in the new Star Wars canon in Starships and Speeders, a 2020 sourcebook for the Star Wars Roleplaying series by Fantasy Flight Games. It was first introduced in the Star Wars Legends continuity as the TIE/IT Interdictor starfighter in the 2001 Star Wars: Galactic Battlegrounds: Prima's Official Strategy Guide.
- Starships and Speeders (First mentioned)