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Commonly used by all forces during space combat, the fighter screen was an effective defensive maneuver. A capital ship (or frigate) would deploy its fighters between itself and the enemy fighters (in a roughly square formation although there were other variants). The formation was used to allow the fighters to intercept any enemy fighters or bombers attempting to attack the larger ship (usually the one who had deployed the fighters) and thus allow the crew of the larger ship to focus on just fighting the enemy capital ships, instead of spending time coordinating point defense fire, and adjusting course to spread out the damage caused by fighters.
Despite its defensive use as an "extra shield," the starfighter screen was an impressive formation, as it allowed for a completely coordinated switch from defensive to offensive tactics; however, this invaluable ability to switch between offense and defensive strikes was rarely exploited. The fact that the Thrawn Pincer allowed enemy ships to jump into the battles suddenly, kept commanders on the constant defensive, lest they be ambushed, so this tactic never reached its full potential.