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TIE/S(D) 'Striker' Droid Fighter
Published 12 months ago
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While the Galactic Empire enjoyed initial success in the Galactic Civil War, as the New Republic was largly lacing a unified military and the Confederacy was still reeling from its recent decapitation and the revelations of the Mustafar Broadcast, once their opponents began to organised their losses quickly mounted; particularly among the Starfighter corps; While the V-wing and TIE/In were on paper powerful fighters the truth was that the former were in short supply and the latter simply too fragile to compete with the powerful X- wing and A-wing fighters fielded by the Republic... and No-one was able to best the Confederacy for sheer numbers, as they routinely deployed tens or even hundreds of thousands of Vulture droids in individual engagements.

The end result was that, within a year of the Mustafar Broadcast, the Imperial Starfighter corps had been effectively destroyed as a fighting force due to horrific losses in both men and material. While the Empire's Advanced Fighter Program would eventually produce the formidable TIE/H 'Hunter,' the Imperial Navy needed a fighter- ANY fighter- to provide support for its capital ships- but the lack of pilots forced a distasteful necessity: the use of Droid fighters.

Enter the TIE/S(D), commonly called the Striker. This fighter was in effect an 'inter-generational' design, not truly a match for the advanced X-wing or the Raptor droids being fielded by the Confederacy by the time it entered service, but far more capable than the craft it had replaced.

The Striker was equipped with four fast-firing laser cannons mounted to its body and a further four slow-firing but powerful heavy laser cannons mounted to its wings. It also possessed four hardpoints near the back of its wings that could hold single-shot Ion or Proton torpedo launchers, allowing the craft to operate as a fighter-bomber to a limited degree. The most important advantages over its predecessors in terms of performance were cost and shielding: the V-wing's advanced systems were expensive to manufacture en mass, while the TIE/In's total lack of shields made it little more than a flying coffin against the powerful New Republic fighters or vast swarms of Confederate Droid fighters.

The other major benefit of the Striker was that, as a Droid fighter, losses were less costly- while the actual craft was more expensive than a TIE/In, the cost of the pilot rendered that calculation meaningless. The Striker saw wide-scale use among the Imperial Navy for some time, however widespread distrust of war-droids and several successful subversions of the automated fighters by the Confederacy would see them quickly retired once the Imperial Starfighter Corps recovered and the TIE/H entered production.

Still, various Imperial factions would continue to use the droid starfighters to protect various hidden bases, or to pad out Starfighter wings in low-priority areas.
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