Name: TIE Experimental M3
Type: Sienar Fleet Systems TIE M3 "Warhead" Experimental Starfighter
Length: 6.6 Meters
Skill: Starfighter Piloting - TIE
Crew: 0 (Remotely Controlled or Droid Brain)
Crew Skill: Starfighter Piloting 4D+2 (3D+2), Starship Gunnery 5D (4D)
Consumables: 2 Days
Cargo Capacity: 20 Kg
Hyperdrive Multiplier: x1.5
Hyperdrive Backup: No
Nav Computer: Limited to 3 Jumps
2 Concussion Missile Launchers (8 Missile Magazine Each)
Fire Arc: Front
Fire Control: 3D
Atmosphere Range: 50-100/300/700
Description: The TIE Experimentals, the secret weapons of the Empire like many other Imperial projects were intended to be a certain solution against the Rebellion. A few months after the Battle of Hoth, Rebel High Command was receiving reports that convoys in the Vilonis Sector were disappearing. When Rebel fighters responded to the few received distress calls, all they found was the wreckage of the convoys. As a result of the disappearances, civilian traffic in the Vilonis Sector became stagnant, and commercial vessels feared that they would face a similar fate to those of their loss comrades. In response to those events, Rebel High Command decided to send the MC80 Liberty under the command of Admiral Yamarus to investigate the matter, while still keeping a low profile in the sector.
The Rebels received one of their first, if not their first encounter with the TIE Experimentals when they responded to an attack near the Belat System during the transfer of replacement pilots and flight crews to the MC80 Liberty (as that ship suffered severe losses due to a recent Rebel operation). After that encounter, the Rebels baited the Vilonis Sector with several "mock" convoys in the hopes of attracting the Empire to attack those convoys with its TIE Experimentals so several of those new Imperial fighters could be captured for examination. The convoy ships themselves were under computer control, transmitting false transponder signals and were also avoiding custom's checkpoints. In the end the Rebels' plan succeeded with convoy group Sulin. The Rebels deployed Z-95 Headhunters equipped with the new experimental Ion Pulse Warhead to disable the fighters. Not only did they disable the fighters, they were also able to capture one of the control ships, a Beta Class ETR-3 Escort Transport.
Later, acting upon a report from a Rebel spy who learned the location of an Imperial production facility (manufacturing TIE Experimentals) orbiting the planet of Nomlis III in the Kurdin System, the Rebels sent a strike force. The Rebels were able to destroy the facility, but before they did they collected data concerning the new Imperial fighter project from the facility's computer core. However, due to that attack Imperial Forces were able to track the Rebel attackers back to the MC80 Liberty and ambush that Rebel cruiser. Unfortunately, the Imperial ambush was thwarted. Soon after the ambush, the Rebels managed to locate and destroy the XQ1 Platform Obsidian, the focal point of the TIE Experimental research, and the Imperial Research Ship Sardis. They were also able to cause the loss of the project's director, Director Lezner. Throughout it all a single pilot, Ace Azzameen was the one who was instrumental in the downfall of the TIE Experimental Project, unfortunately.
The Beta Class ETR-3 Escort Transports used during the project were fitted with transmitters and were being used as control ships for the TIE Experimentals. As a result, the new TIEs were able to work tightly together, but they did not display pilot "common sense". Upon their destruction, the effectiveness and the "behaviour" dramatically of the TIE Experimentals changed for the worse. They lost their cohesiveness and become disorganized, and as far as the enemy is concerned it became a mopping up action.
The TIE/e3 is unsurpassed as an inexpensive, expendable and effective platform capable of quickly firing off warheads. It had been suggested that if a piloted version of this fighter existed, it would quickly replace the TIE Bomber as the Empire's favoured warhead delivery platform. There is a recorded incident where an X-Wing squadron was severely crippled by encounter with this type of TIE Experimental.
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