|Capital Ship Combatants||Escort Combatants||Military Smallcraft||Support Ships|
|Battleship||Cruiser||Carrier||Destroyer||Escort||Frigate||System Defense Boat||Fighter||Assault Transport||Smallcraft||Auxiliaries|
|Commercial Mercantile Ships||Non-Mercantile Commercial Ships||Non-Commercial Ships||Civilian Smallcraft||Highports & Satellites|
|Merchant||Liner||Transport||Commercial Industrial||Commercial Ships||General||Research||Private||Auxiliary|| Orbital
A Frigate is a class of ships smaller than a Cruiser and with even lighter armament.
Frigates are smaller than 10,000 tons, with most in the 1,000 to 2,000 ton range. Frigates mount only turret weapons, no spinal or bay mounted weapons. Frigates also lack the drive (acceleration and jump) capabilities of true warships.
Strategy and doctrine
A Frigate's primary mission is a defensive role. Providing extra security for merchant ships against pirates and light raiders. The frigate generally mounts enough firepower to defeat most armed merchants, but not enough to threaten a Cruiser or similar warship. Unlike an Escort, which is expected to be able to at least assist in combat with larger warships, most frigates are not.
The lack of firepower, drive capability, and generally armor, makes the frigates less expensive to build and maintain than warships, so they can be built and maintained in large numbers. Their ubiquity lends them to being applied to other missions, including piracy suppression, raiding, and ground support missions.
History and Background
Many interstellar polities outside of the Imperium use Frigates for internal security missions, feeling that full warships are not needed for policing duties. The Imperial Navy uses Escorts for many of these duties.
Major Frigate Classes
A Frigate in the Royal Caledonian Navy is the equivalent of a "Cruiser" in Imperial parlance, and fills the Cruiser role. They are listed under Cruisers.