The Empire has fallen and a New Republic is born out of the conflict. But in the ashes of civil war, yet another life stirs...
Preybirds were initially developed just prior to the Battle of Endor. They were a competent starfighter with capable weaponry and competitive speeds but significantly less maneuverability than a TIE fighter or even an X-wing. Company politics eventually led to the discontinuation of the fighter though and existing models were quickly sold off to anyone willing to pay, many making their way into pirate and mercenary organizations as a result.
As time went on, the Imperial Remnant lost control of more and more shipyards, making it extremely difficult to keep up production demands for capital ships and starfighters alike. This meant that many Imperial fleets were left to purchase surplus or refurbished ships to supplement their already meager fleets.
It was at this time that many Preybirds found their way into Imperial service, where trained Imperial pilots were able to put them to good use. In fact, being equipped with shields and a hyperdrive, some Imperial pilots even came to prefer them over the standard TIE fighter.