The TIE Defender was a prototype Imperial fighter that was developed shortly after the Battle of Endor. After initial testing, which was believed to be personally supervised by top Imperial Navy commanders, the TIE Defender was deployed to a small number of elite TIE wings. Since that time the TIE Defender has made itself the preferred substitute to the aging TIE Interceptor.
This vessel represented a radical departure from conventional TIE designs and featured three sets of solar collection panels mounted at equilateral points around the fighter's cockpit. On each solar array a medium laser cannon has been mounted, while dual ion cannons have been fixed underneath the cockpit. Following specific Navy directives, Sienar Fleet Systems developed a ship that was fast, heavily armed, and equipped with a hyperdrive. Also departing from the convential TIE design, the fighter is now equipped with a pair of Novaldex shield generators. At over 300,000 credits per unit, it is more than five times the cost of the TIE/ln.
While the TIE Defender is one of the most sophisticated fighters ever developed, its cost, combined with the upheaval that followed the death of the Emperor, has prevented the fighter from coming into widespread use. Despite these limitations, the Empire has found a way to substitute the TIE Defender for the much older TIE Interceptor.