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The Eta-3 Jadis-class light TIE starfighter was an experimental fighter used by the elite Storm commandos, developed for use in missions that would likely result in many casualties of unshielded craft such as the TIE starfighter and the TIE/in fighter. The Eta-3 managed a temporary collaboration between the most potent developers of Sienar Fleet Systems and Kuat Systems Engineering. It was supposedly the predecessor of the TIE Hunter project, which became the main fighter of the Storm commando fleet. Some very important figures used these vehicles as a faster, better shielded, and more heavily armed alternative to the TIE fighter, including Darth Vader prior to his test run of the TIE Advanced x1.
The development of the Eta-3 was overseen and approved by Reuben Kralich, who directed the collaboration between the Imperial Security Bureau and the Storm commandos.
The Eta-3 light TIE was not heavily distributed, but it was exclusive to the higher levels of the Imperial military structures. The fighter, significantly larger than the Eta-2, still retained compact qualities of its predecessor, and carrying the few advantages of the TIE fighter. The Eta-3 had advanced sensors, weapons, and flight capabilities, making it the most balanced interceptor of its time. Its most outstanding features, apart from its speed and maneuverability, were its heavy shielding arrays, which generated the most powerful ray shields on an interceptor its size. No spare room was wasted on the ship, allowing capacity for an adequate supply of proton torpedoes (which proved deadly against the sluggish Y-wings that the Rebellion deployed in its early years) and a large shield generator in front of the fighter's astromech, with a .75 hyperdrive unit resting behind the droid.
Due to the power requirements for the speedy twin ion engines, its considerable shields, and its formidable weapons, it was decided by the engineers that it would not be power-efficient to radiate excess energy generated from the S-foils as other TIE fighters did, but to refract it between each other to spare up to 60% of potentially radiated energy until reabsorbed by selected receptors on the interior of the S-foils to boost the power capabilities. The refracted radiation turned out in the test runs to boost the power of the ray shields over the cockpit and shield generator, but only by three-quarters of a percent.
The fighter was one of the only reasons the Empire justified the standard complement of astromech droids in facilities such as the Death Star and some Star Destroyers, namely the Executor. It was the Eta-3 that allowed some propaganda artists to claim the astromech to be an Imperial design.
The laser cannons of the Eta-3 were extremely large for a TIE variant, and their ability to deliver significant damage to shields were rivaled only by the TIE Advanced x1, when referring to the line produced by Sienar Fleet Systems.
The Eta-3 was an experimental fighter that was to be produced as a more reliable and expensive alternative to the TIE fighter and the T.I.E. Starfighter, in a hopeful plan to extend the life expectancies of the more elite pilots in the New Order. Applying to the elite Storm commandos and also distributed to the more aggressive branches of the ISB, the Eta-3 never went into the mass-production of TIE fighters, or even Z-95 Headhunters, due to the high cost of building and maintaining such a fighter. Shortly after being unveiled, a collection of two dozen prototypes were stolen from a high security facility, presumably the work of the 1337 N00B5. It is probable that, despite the gang's switch to YT-1300s around 19 BBY, many of the pilots in the squadron were willing to switch to a modern, small, fast fighter similar in design to the Eta-2 interceptors the gang initially used.
For a short time, Darth Vader used an Eta-3 Jadis-class light TIE starfighter, because of its relative invulnerability and greater speed in comparison with the alternative T.I.E starfighters and TIE/ln fighters. The ship was praised by Darth Vader, who admired the engineering of compacting so much capability and stripping so much weight. During the Hunt for Vergere, the fighter was the primary tactical one-man craft used by several different factions.
About 2,000 Eta-3 interceptors were produced for the Empire, though it is likely that others were manufactured after the design was illegally made available to the public over insecure HoloNet channels by the technical crew of the 1337 N00B5.