The TIE Hunter was an experimental TIE used during the Galactic Civil War by the Imperial
Starfleet and it was rarely seen. The craft was produced in limited quantities and performed relatively well. But as a result of internal debates within Naval Command for and against using weapons improved with the enemy's designs, it was decided to stop production.
Also, the TIE Hunter was not as economical to produce compared to other TIE designs.
The TIE Hunter was originally commissioned by the Imperial Starfleet to
defend the planet Fondor and its shipyards. The design of this new craft integrated the folding S-Foils design of an X-wing into the form of a TIE interceptor. When the S-Foils of the TIE Hunter were
in the closed wing configuration, all available energy was transferred to the craft's advanced twin ion engines, thereby increasing the fighters max speed.
Unlike most other TIEs, TIE Hunters were equipped with shields and a hyperdrive, making them significantly more powerful.
They were also equipped with weaponry that could match that of a T-65 X-wing starfighter—two laser cannons, two ion cannons, and two proton torpedo launchers. The torpedo load coupled with high speed made it an effective assault fighter.
TIE Hunters were encountered by Wedge Antilles during his Mission at
Destrillion. Several TIE Hunters were captured by the Alliance and 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 Executor-class Star
Destroyer being built there.
Some TIE Hunters still remain in more remote areas of the galaxy, mostly protecting vital facilities or depots.