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The Twin ion engine Hunter was an Imperial starfighter which had a wing configuration was roughly the reverse of a TIE/IN interceptor. Similar to the T-65 X-wing starfighter, the TIE Hunter possessed S-foils, which meant that they would open in attack mode and close in normal flight. This was largely because the TIE Hunters were created by the Galactic Empire specifically as a means to counter the T-65 X-wing starfighter. Unlike most other contemporary TIEs of the time, TIE Hunters were equipped with a hyperdrive and shields, making them more valuable than most starfighters the Empire utilized. Because of these characteristics, it was also considered to be the fastest TIE variant among the Imperial fleet. When the S-foils were closed, the craft could not fire its weapons.
TIE Hunters were piloted by one individual. They were equipped with a weapon load-out identical to that of the BTL Y-wing starfighter; two laser cannons, two ion cannons, and a proton torpedo launcher with twelve proton torpedos.
The craft carried a Class 1 hyperdrive, 2 days worth of supplies, and cost 100,000 credits.
They also were waterproof, being capable of being submerged in resevoirs for a week and lift off with no worse for wear.
At some point prior to 3 ABY, the Imperials developed the TIE Hunters, as a means to counter the Rebel Alliance's X-wing starfighters. TIE Hunters were used exclusively by Imperial storm commandos. During one instance, then-Storm Commando leader Crix Madine and the other Storm Commandos during a mission hid their TIE Hunters in a reservoir to avoid detection, and retrieved them within a week.
Imperial ace pilot Tam Blackstar led the Dark Blade Squadron of TIE/IN interceptors. Shortly after the Battle of Yavin, they participated in the attack on the Arda I Rebel base, engaging the fleeing Rebel Alliance forces.
A squadron of TIE Hunters was encountered by Wedge Antilles during his mission to Destrillion, although they were destroyed by the Rebel fighter ace. Several TIE Hunters were captured by the Rebel Alliance, and three of them were used in a successful raid on Fondor by Rogue Squadron shortly before the Battle of Endor. Rogue Squadron successfully made it past the shields and destroyed the unfinished Executor-class Star Dreadnought being built there.