Bursting from Imperial hangar bays in gnat-like clouds are the standard starfighters of the Imperial arsenal -- the Twin Ion Engine craft known as the TIE starfighter.
The single-seater short-range vessel lacks a hyperdrive, and as such requires deployment from launch bases and capital ships. It features two fire-linked laser cannons chin-mounted on the ball-shaped cockpit.
TIE fighters were typically employed en masse to make up for their shortcomings. Speedy and maneuverable, these fighters are nonetheless fragile. Though hard to hit, even a glancing blow can destroy a TIE.
Though TIEs presented a formidable challenge to pirates and civilian craft, the skilled pilots of the Rebel Alliance made short work of them in combat. The Alliance workhorse, the T-65 X-wing starfighter, continually bested the TIE in numerous engagements. As the Galactic Civil War raged on, the standard TIE arsenal was supplemented with more advanced and specialized craft, such as the fearsome TIE interceptor and the dedicated TIE bomber.