|Type:||Dedicated Light Bomber|
|Top Speed:||80 MGLT|
The TIE bomber was the Empire's prime assault bomber. While slower and less maneuverable than standard starfighters, these bombers provided excellent "surgical strike" potential against ground and deep-space targets.
all the TIE fighter variants produced by Sienar Fleet Systems for the
Galactic Empire, the TIE bomber was one of the most effective. The heavy
assault ship, designed for strategic strikes against surface and deep-space
targets, proved one of the most heavily armed starships in the Imperial
fleet. It contributed to the capture of Yavin 4, aided in the search for the
Millennium Falcon near Hoth, and made direct attacks on
"When the TIE bombers
first started shelling Yavin 4, I thought the planet would though crack wide
open. Those egg layers leveled the jungle." -Rebel controller Tigran
Previous to the bomber's development, orbital bombardment was handled by the weapons of the capital starships such as Imperial Star Destroyers. While no one would argue against the lethality of such methods, capital ship bombardments would often result in unwanted collateral damage adjacent to the targets. For more refined attacks, such as when the Empire desired to take a target intact, the surgical precision of the TIE bomber excelled.
TIE bombers have double pods and elongated solar panels. The starboard pod holds the pilot's compartment (with ejection seat) as well as flight computers, communications, and life support. The port pod contains the forward and main ordnance bays as well as the targeting and delivery systems. The ship is powered by Sienar Fleet Systems P-s4 twin ion engines mounted as a single unit between the two pods.
The TIE bomber's weaponry includes high-yield proton bombs, guided concussion missiles, orbital mines, and free-falling thermal detonators. Depending on the mission configuration, TIE bombers can carry eight concussion missiles or four proton torpedoes in the forward ordnance bay. The main ordnance bay can carry eight more concussion missiles, four additional proton torpedoes, eight proton bombs, six orbital mines, or sixty-four thermal detonators. Two front-firing laser cannons provide protection from enemy ships.
The TIE bomber's targeting computers are mounted below the forward ordnance pod. Bombs are fed through the bombing chute behind the targeting computers, while missiles are launched through the missile port at the front of the port pod.
For space duty, the TIE bomber was used to deliver heavy ordnance against Rebel capital ships. Traditionally, TIE fighters first softened up the target. Then the TIE bomber, in conjunction with assault gunboats and Skipray blastboats, used its precise targeting computers to disable vital areas such as the shield generators or engines. With the target crippled and unable to protect itself, Imperial boarding parties took control of the vessel and captured Rebel troops for interrogation.
TIE bombers were used to assault space stations and stardocks and to mine planetary orbits. TIE bombers normally had TIE fighters for protective escorts in hotly contested combat zones. The TIE bomber packed a high payload for its small size and could often slip through enemy defenses, which tended to be geared toward detecting capital ships. TIE bombers are preferable to large capital ships because of their pinpoint targetingócapital ship turbolasers are far less precise.
TIE bombers are also exceptional for ground bombing missions. Their targeting computers are precise enough to level specific buildings while leaving adjacent areas unscathed. They are maneuverable and fast enough for low-altitude bombing runs in cramped situations, such as canyons and cities.
A Star Destroyer typically
carried one squadron of twelve TIE bombers. A rare, hollow-hulled version of
the TIE bomber could carry small boarding parties when larger ships such as
the Gamma-class assault shuffle were not appropriate to the task. Before the
Emperor's death, the Empire began developing a more advanced bomber
prototype, which eventually evolved into the Scimitar assault bomber.