Sounds like you're playing three ships comfortably at 100 points and four if you really cut out the upgrades. Defenders have kinda always been this way, even after the fancy new title cards.
Yeah, though I love tie/d with an ion cannon right now
I tend to play him with autothrusters as a modification, can't say I've ever had him get shot down in my games. Still has a terribly hard time putting damage out with only two attacks but is quite nimble and frustrating for people to catch if you fly him a certain way. I want to say Expert Handling is another option for him, either way whatever the card is that lets you barrel roll for a stress token.
I used him earlier with wired and outmaneuver, and while outmaneuver was very useful its pair did not help. Though what really got him killed was the lack of barrel roll.
Yeah so I played my buddy earlier. Two games, the first where I fielded a defender, aggressor, and bomber (Rexler Brath, Lt Kestal, and Deathfire respectively) and the second I had an A, B, and X wing (Felchu, Farlander, and blue ace). In both games he fielded the same squadron, three A wings and three Z-95s's (one was Airen Cracken.)
In both games my manouvering is what did in certain ships, the defender and aggressor delivered good one-two punches that took out one ship and crippled two more before the defender was taken out and bad placement saw the X wing, and then A wing, jousting with four ships.
Between the games I lost as empire and clawed my way to a victory as rebels (it was 1v5, but then I kept the B-wing close and picked off a ship a turn.)