The TIE/LN Starfighter, simply known as the TIE Fighter, is the primary starfighter of the Imperial Remnant and Pentastar Alignment. Colloquially known as "eyeballs" by Rebel (and later New Republic) pilots, the TIE Fighter is armed with 2 laser cannons.
The history of the TIE/LN can be traced back to before 32 BBY, when Sienar Fleet Systems created the ship that would later become Darth Maul's Scimitar. The next stage was the Advanced Project Ship, a fighter built to deploy from tight-packed launch stacks in ordinary cargo holds. The long nose of the Scimitar was removed and replaced with a round cockpit; and had broad, vertical cooling vanes on each end of its 20 meter wingspan. The essence of the T.I.E. design was born. Seven years later, the final component of the T.I.E. design was revealed: the revolutionary SIE-TIE twin ion engine. The first T.I.E fighters went underway as a means to launch fighters from the limited space available in certain warships (such as the Dreadnaught). Although without hyperdrive, life support, or shields, the T.I.E. was incredibly cheap, insanely fast, and could stack tightly into the Navy's preexisting cargo holds and launch racks. Winning the contract over Kuat System Engineering's Eta-2 Actis-class Interceptor and Alpha-3 Nimbus-class V-wing, the T.I.E. fighter's success led to its being carried over into the Galactic Empire. Shortly after the rise of the New Order, the TIE/LN was born.
The basic design of the TIE/LN would continue to inspire a number of other design variants for the Galactic Empire. The TIE/LN boasted increased maneuverability and more powerful weapons than the Rebellion's X-wing Starfighters. TIEs would be used in massive numbers by the Galactic Empire and were regarded alongside Imperial Star Destroyers as a symbol of the Imperial Navy. It was intended that the TIE/LN be replaced by the TIE Interceptor due to their inability to compete against the heavier, shielded X-wings of the Rebellion. The disastrous Battle of Endor put an end to this, as more and more manufacturers found themselves behind New Republic lines and were forced to cease production. By the time of the Pellaeon-Gavrisom Treaty, the Imperial Remnant began importing other starfighters, as they lacked the manufacturing capacity to produce TIEs and the finances to be constantly replacing their starfighters.
The TIE Fighter is to the Imperial Remnant what the X-wing is to the New Republic: the ubiquitous symbol of the faction. However, they are completely different in function and ability; TIEs have no shields, and are armed only with laser cannons, making them useless against anything larger than a fighter. They will consistently lose against the primary starfighters of the New Republic and Empire of the Hand. Two squads of TIE Fighters are needed for every one squad of enemy fighters. However, they are quite effective against most bombers (K-wings excluded).
The advantage of TIEs are the sheer number of free, replacable squadrons that are fielded in a battle. Every ship in the Imperial Remnant except for the Lancer, Carrack, MTC, and Tector have at least one squad of standard TIEs. Most heavy frigates have between one and three, and capital ships have between two and three. With proper micromanagement, they can tie down enemy fighters and bombers before they reach your front lines.