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The TIE Fighter was the typical fighter used by the Empire in Star Wars. Notable features included aluminum foil hull, no life support system, no ejection seat, and an armament of two .22 caliber machine guns. As such these fighters had a damage potential slightly better than that of the Victory-class Star Destroyer. The big advantage was the Empire had a huge number of these fighters as they were cheap. Each fighter only cost about 50 credits, and 42 1/2 cents to build, plus another 200 credits to train a pilot. (There was no need to worry about paying the pilot a wage, as he would usually not survive long enough to claim one.)
The aluminum foil hull made this ship a death trap. A piece of space dust could easily breach the hull, causing the ship to explode. This was due to the fact the fuel was conveniently stored in small tanks scattered throughout the craft, any damage would likely blow one of them up. In any case the Imperial Grand Poohbahs did not care and viewed the ships as expendable. They were cheap, and every Imperial Starship and base had a minimal complement of 57 billion of these fighters. After combat statistics of these craft were released, showing a 95% attrition rate for the loss of 0 Rebel craft, the pilots demanded improvements. These complaints were answered by producing new variants of the TIE Fighter like the TIE Advanced x1, TIE Interceptor, TIE Avenger, TIE Defender, neckTIE, bowtie pasta and clip-on tie. The other more economical response taken after billions were spent in R&D costs, was simply to execute any complaining pilots, and replace them with protocol droids, recycling their dead brains as cybernetic flight computers to save cost on robots.
TIE Fighters were sold to many air forces outside of the Empire. These include the air forces of Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, and Jordan. Many historians attribute the loss of the Arab-Israeli conflicts to the TIE Fighter. Canada also purchased some TIE Fighters, but quickly replaced them with the much more reliable Sea King helicopter. The TIE Fighter is the only object so loud that its engine can be heard through the vacuum of space.