Starship Classification
This page was created using information from the Daystrom Institute Technical Library (
A ship class is a group of starships of a similar design and function.  While there are literally dozens of different classifications,
including well known classes such as the Galaxy and Sovereign, almost all starships fall into one of six general categories.  
Starships are not required to be an exact match to achieve a certain grade; a vessel must simply fall within the general level of
capability implied by the said grade.  Specialty ships, such as medical transports and cargo vessels, typically fall into categories
of their own, and are not listed here.
The most powerful type of ship.  Dreadnoughts are typically large and immensely powerful,
often able to destroy numerous targets, even fleets and planets, in one fell swoop.  Due to
their sheer size and strength, dreadnoughts are also very rare.  
The most heavily armed starships designed to engage enemy fleets with direct and indirect
weapons fire from an arsenal of phasers and torpedoes.  They are also capable of
bombarding enemy targets on or near a planet's surface.  Battleships are typically
slow-moving and lack maneuverability; they are frequently escorted by destroyers.  While
not engaged in combat, battleships frequently serve in diplomatic and exploratory
Battlecruisers possess armaments and tactical systems similar to the battleship, but are
typically smaller and less heavily shielded, instead devoting that power to speed and
maneuverability.  While not in combat, battlecruisers are typically used as deterrent
Cruisers are the smallest type of starship capable of independent tactical operations.  
Heavy Cruisers typically possess armaments slightly less than a standard battlecrusier, while
Light Cruisers are less heavily armed, with operations geared more toward science and
diplomacy.  Almost all cruisers are fast and maneuverable.  
Destroyers are fast, maneuverable starships intended to escort larger vessels in a fleet or
battle group, and defend them against smaller, short-range attackers.  While not engaged
in military operations, destroyers are typically used to escort convoys and diplomats, and
occasionally embark upon scientific missions.
Frigates are small to medium-sized starships used primarily as scout ships.  They are lightly
armed, but usually the fastest ships in any fleet.  While not engaged in tactical situations,
most frigates are used as research and science vessels.