The TIE/sa Bomber is the standard-issue bomber craft of the Vast Empire Fleet. Although it is one of the oldest TIE variants still in service and is considered obsolete by many Imperial Remnant factions, the fact remains that it can carry more ordnance than any other fighter-size craft in the galaxy and can deliver that ordnance with unmatched precision – and it does this for an unbelievably low cost and an even lower maintenance requirement. Although not considered much of a threat to other fighter-size craft, the TIE/sa is rightly feared by any capital ship or base commander.
Though lacking the infamous speed and agility of most TIE craft, the TIE/sa’s claim to fame was its sheer versatility. With fully half of its hull devoted to a modular weapons pod, the TIE/sa could tailor its weaponry for each mission with a minimum of fuss, capable of deploying anything from highly destructive proton rockets to propaganda leaflets. It was also famed for its precision, able to deliver whatever ordnance it carried to its target with pinpoint accuracy thanks to a highly advanced set of targeting computers and bomb sights. Though not as agile as most TIE craft, it was still mobile enough to outfox most capital ship weapons.
Although it shows its age and has been nominally replaced with the Scimitar Assault Bomber, the TIE/sa remains the most versatile and reliable bomber craft ever made, able to tailor its payload to the target and deliver it with unerring precision. A squadron of TIE/sa Bombers is a threat to even an Imperial Star Destroyer, a claim to fame it shares only with the extremely expensive B-Wing used by the New Republic. Like any TIE, it is a specialised craft designed to fulfil a single role, and it does this with remarkable efficiency. It has earned its place as the Vast Empire’s bomber craft of choice.
They are commonly referred to by the nickname of "Dupes" due to their twin hulls.
The TIE/sa was the second dedicated Bomber craft made by Sienar Fleet Systems, supplanting the obsolete TIE/gt, which had a small weapons capacity and relied on a dedicated fire control starfighter for targeting. The Empire, disappointed with the TIE/gt, wanted a new craft that did not rely on any support for targeting and could mount more than one secondary weapon at a time – something the TIE/gt could not do. When Sienar Fleet Systems revealed the brand-new TIE/sa Bomber, the Empire got everything they asked for.
It packed over twice the firepower of its predecessor in a brand-new, modular munitions pod, and could carry missiles, torpedoes and bombs all at the same time. It came standard with advanced targeting systems and bomb sights that completely supplanted the need for a fire control craft and could deliver its astonishing firepower precisely on-target without any assistance whatsoever. It was more heavily protected than the fragile TIE/gt with tough quadanium steel armour, and it was even slightly faster!
In its day, it was groundbreaking, and proved to be a threat to any capital ship or base it was sent against. Despite this, its lack of agility was considered to be a crippling flaw when coupled with the signature TIE lack of shields. Designed to be escorted to the target, it fell prey to Rebel Alliance craft whenever it was not given sufficient escort. Despite this, the TIE/sa Bomber served with distinction throughout the Galactic Civil War, serving from the later stages of the reclamation of the Outer Rim right through to the Battle of Endor.
Its bent-wing design would go on to be used in Darth Vader’s TIE Advanced X1, and this trait has been seen in every TIE craft since, immortalizing the TIE/sa as one of the ancestors of the new line of TIE’s. It paved the way for the advanced Scimitar Assault Bomber designed under Grand Admiral Thrawn’s instruction, though the newer craft was never able to truly replace the TIE/sa, which is still used by a majority of Imperial Remnant factions today.
THE TIE/SA TODAY – THE VAST EMPIRE’S MKIIEdit
The Vast Empire, recognizing that the TIE/sa was over 20 years old and beginning to show its age, undertook a modernization program designed to bring the ageing bomber back in line with its newer descendants. Similar to the TIE/In Interceptor, the Vast Empire’s version of the TIE/sa Bomber is known as the Mk.II, and is a substantial refit of the craft that has kept its groundbreaking positive traits whilst mitigating its infamous weaknesses.
It has replaced the older SFS I-a2b solar ionization reactor with the newer I-s3a, providing the energy output to power the speedier P-s5.6 Twin Ion Engines it carries, as well as the Novaldex Shield Generator. In one fell swoop, this effectively eliminates the craft’s infamous fragility, granting it enough agility to allow it to move with some grace and the protection to survive attacks. It is, however, still hauling 15 tonnes of ordnance and is not a dogfighter.
The munitions pod has also received an overhaul, with the two older, bulkier specialised munitions launchers replaced with the far smaller M-g-2 General Purpose Warhead Launcher. The TIE/saMk.II mounts no less than six of these on a revolving chamber, allowing it to carry an astonishing variety of munitions, from missiles to torpedoes to rockets and more. Its bomb bay has been left as is, but now can be loaded with a tractor beam projector to increase the accuracy of its other weaponry.
These upgrades make the TIE/saMk.II the ultimate bomber craft, matching raw firepower with versatility, whilst retaining the precision and agility to deliver its staggering amount of munitions for maximum damage.
- SFS L-s9.3 Laser Cannon More of a backup option than anything else, the TIE/saMk.II mounts two SFS L-s9.3 Laser Cannons for close-range defence, which can be fired individually but are more often linked to fire as a pair. These are surprisingly powerful lasers and can, at close range, destroy an X-Wing or even the rugged Y-Wing with a single linked shot, if precisely aimed.
- M-g-2 General Purpose Warhead Launcher The real bread-and-butter of the TIE/saMk.II’s weaponry is its six M-g-2 General Purpose Warhead launchers. These highly versatile weapons can mount a wide variety of missiles, torpedoes and rockets, though typically they will carry either four Concussion Missiles, three Proton Torpedoes, or two Proton Rockets. Mounted on a revolving chamber, a pilot can quickly switch between munitions, and can even pre-calibrate the targeting computer with different settings depending on which launcher is currently being used. At any one time, the two launchers opposite themselves on the chamber will be ready to fire.
- Bomb Bay The TIE/saMk.II also mounts a bomb bay to the rear of its munitions pod. Originally designed for deploying Thermal Detonators and Proton Bombs in a ground attack role, they have been used to carry everything from propaganda leaflets to orbital mines and can house a variety of munitions and devices. However, the bomb bay can only store one type of weapon at a time.
- Novaldex Shield Generator With the slew of Imperial Remnant factions throughout the galaxy, TIE’s armed with laser weapons are now the Vast Empire Navy’s most numerous foe. In order to provide some protection, all TIE/saMk.II’s have Novaldex Shield Generators installed. These project a deflector field around the craft, protecting it from lasers to some degree. These shields can be focused in any one direction for maximum protection, or balanced all around the craft for maximum coverage.
- Quadanium Steel Armour The TIE/sa Bomber originally made up for its lack of agility with unusually thick Quadanium-steel armour, providing protection not only against lasers, but against munitions as well. Originally, this protection proved to be insufficient against the high-powered laser and missile weaponry of the TIE/sa’s opponents. Used in combination with deflector shielding, however, this armour is excellent at absorbing residual energy from lasers and is excellent protection against shrapnel from explosives and debris, making the TIE/saMk.II extremely rugged.
- Credit to Wookieepedia for the above information
- Credit to Ansel Hsaio (Fractalsponge) for TIE/sa thumbnail & infobox pictures.
- Credit to Lucasarts for cut-away picture.