The Scimitar Assault Bomber is an experimental next generation attack starfighter built by Sienar Fleet Systems, designed to replace the aging TIE/sa Bomber. Much like Grand Admiral Thrawn's TIE Defender program, it was competing with the TIE Advanced x1, TIE Defender, Gladiator Auctorati-class Star Destroyer, Imperial Praetorian-class Star Destroyer, Project Stardust, and Project Zero for funding. Despite these hurdles, a whole squadron was built of the Heavy Version---Tick-Tock Squadron---and deployed to the Darkest Night for testing. 12 new bombardier TIE Pilots & 12 new gunners (fresh out of Imperial training) were specifically & secretly trained for the new bombers, while the mew squadron also received a black coated RA-7 Protocol Droid whose duty was to train the mechanics and existing TIE Pilots, mechanics, and support staff on the new bombers from the Darkest Night's current (and now being replaced) TIE Bomber squadron.
There were 3 variations of the Scimitar Assault Bomber, with the "heavy version" being dispatched with Tick-Tock Squadron. In total, 72 Scimitar Assault Bombers were built by 2 BBY for testing (12 Heavies, 36 Mediums, and 24 Lights). This number would not increase until after the Battle of Hoth, with the Medium becoming the most widely produced (72 total) and the Heavy ceasing production before the Battle of Endor (24 made in total). The Light would remain in production until 5 ABY (360 produced until that point), with the Medium remaining in limited production until 7 ABY (864 produced until that point), where it would replace the TIE Bomber completely.
The attack starfighter could reach speeds between 72 MGLT, 75 MGLT, and 80 MGLT (depending on version), featured both a hyperdrive & deflector shield (depending on version), and was protected by titanium-reinforced alusteel armor with quadanium steel solar panels over a titanium & condensed-matter composite structural frame to increase durability if the deflector shields were disabled. Pound for pound for structural durability, the Scimitar was tougher then the BTL-S3 Y-Wing Starfighter and could asborb more damage. Additionally, the endless resources of the Galactic Empire enabled the attack starfighter to be in better condition and operate superior under combat conditions, than the resource-strapped Rebel Alliance.
The assault bomber featured a pair of cockpit-mounted prototype L-s7.2 laser cannons, 16 hardpoints able to carry either 32 concussion missiles, 160 thermal detonators or proton grenades (10 per hardpoint), 80 proton bombs (5 per hardpoint), or a combination. The most widely used deployment was 8 concussion missiles (4 hardpoints), 50 proton bombs (10 hardpoints), and 10 thermal detonators & proton grenades each (2 hardpoints).
Heavy Version (Scimitar-HV Assault Bomber)
The "Heavy Version" or HV had all the features a bomber pilot could ever want, but was also one of the rarest, ultimately only being fielded by Tick Tock Squadron. The heavy version could reach speeds of 72 MGLT, featured a hyperdrive (Class 4), durable deflector shields (80 SBD), and also housed a third TIE Pilot who acted as a gunner for the medium-range twin laser cannon turret on the dorsal side (apex ridge structure behind the command pod).
The turret gunner got the unlucky title of death gunner, as the gunner's only escape in the need of exiting a dying Scimitar Assault Bomber was through a small stomach crawling corridor (through a kicked-out emergency hatch on the bottom of the turret floor, where the gunner would unhook their crash webbing and drop to the corridor below) that linked the turret to the detachable command pod (escape pod). The gunner and rest of the bomber's crew had to work quickly and smartly to ensure the gunner had enough time to crawl through the small and tight fitting corridor. The only other escape was through popping the emergency hatches on the transparisteel canopy around the gunner's turret and using a minaturized rocket booster attached to the side of their equipment belt to eject from the turret. By any means of escape, the gunner's chance of survival was low. As such, these gunners were called unlucky bastards, suicide junkies, and other near-death monikers by their fellow TIE Pilots.
The HV had a crew of 3, with a pilot and bombardier sitting in a row (pilot first, bombardier behind the pilot), in the primary detachable cockpit. The 3rd crew member, the gunner, sat in the dorsal gun turret that sat at the apex of the dorsal side of the bomber behind the detachable command pod. Because of the turret gunner's raised position, the aerodynamics suffered on the bomber for planetary dive bombing runs.
Medium Version (Scimitar-MV Assault Bomber)
Identical to the heavy version, except it lacked the gun turret and could reach speeds of 75 MGLT, the "Medium Version" was the most commonly produced for testing. It had a crew of 2, with a pilot and bombardier sitting in a row (pilot first, bombardier behind the pilot), in the primary detachable cockpit.