|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
Fighter: Generally using a 10-ton hull, the fighter is capable of 6-G acceleration, carries 1.0 ton of fuel, and has a crew of one.  Small craft are boats of interplanetary (though not interstellar) capability. Fighters are characterized as small spacecraft usually without jump capability.
- It is a combatant smallcraft, although some fighters are larger in size and tonnage.
- A fighter can also be a larger combatant bigcraft or even a combatant starcraft stretching to tonnages of 100 dtons or more.
- There is an overlapping and blurred definition between battlerider, boat, and fighter subcraft.
- Starship User Types
- Ships by Function
- Advanced Ship Classifications
- Basic Ship Classifications
- Speed of Travel
- 1 Description (Specifications)
- 2 History & Background (Dossier)
- 3 References & Contributors (Sources)
The lack of a jump drive and its accompanying fuel storage, enables designers of these ships to focus more on putting heavier weapon systems and better in-systems drives. This characteristic makes them more of a threat on a ton per ton basis than similar ships with a jump capability.
The Fighter is a small, highly manoeuvrable, armed small craft, usually capable of at least 4 Gs acceleration, carrying one or two crew, and displacing around 10 tons. Fighters generally have a small fuel tank (usually less than twelve hours' fuel), and no cargo capacity.
Fighters are invariably armed; usually with the heaviest armament the small craft can bear in a non-turret mount. Generally beam weapons are preferred because they are intended to operate at close range. In some cases a missile launch rack may be installed as well.
Strategy & Tactics (Doctrine)
The primary role of these craft is in-system offense and defense. Their primary operational area is space, but a number have been configured or have variants suitable to for in atmospheric operations.
Although the role these ships are normally employed in is a system defense role, the shipborne fighters with their ability to be transported in jump capable carriers makes them an ideal addition for convoy duties, as well as scouting and reconnaissance. Once launched at their destination they can keep in-system defense busy and at bay while other ships complete their missions.
On the other hand, based fighters are ideal vessels to control vital areas of a system such as gas giants, asteroid belts, and orbital installations. Their speed and weapon loads make them strong threats to most hostile vessels and few can ignore them with impunity. Because these vessels don't have jump capability and have very modest resource requirements even poorer system can afford to have them to protect their essential space assets.
Fighters typically serve the following roles:
- Atmospheric Fighter AKA Air Fighter
- Attack Fighter
- Escort Fighter
- Grav Fighter
- Heavy Fighter
- Interface Fighter / Spaceplane
- Light Fighter
- Medium Fighter
- Snub Fighter
- Space Fighter
- Star Fighter
- Strike Fighter
Mission Basing Types: There are two broad divisions with this ship type:
- Shipborne fighters: Characterized by features to enable the easy storage, maintenance, launch and retrieval by tenders and carriers.
- Based fighters: Although base type fighters are very similar they lack features which make them more difficult to use in the confined spaces of carriers.
A number of manufacturers do offer mod kits which support conversion of ships between the several types, and many of these craft are produced in multiple variants.
Selected Fighter Classes: Fighters come in many sizes and types including the following:
|Selected Fighter Classes|
|Heavy Fighter||Heavy fighter are designated so, due to heavier weapon suites and higher costs. They are often larger vessels then typical fighters and carry larger crews to support the operation of their weapon batteries. Their larger size does affect the number that can be carried on carriers and tenders and can impose a higher maintenance burden.|
|System Defense Boat|| Most system defense boats (SBD) range in size from 100 to 5000 tons and are constructed at all tech levels from 8 to 15. There are hundreds of different types, depending upon the specific mission for which they are designed.
Moving SBDs from system to system can be a problem. Although Some types have jump packages which can be fitted to the craft to provide jump capability, the usual method is to transport them in large bulk cargo containers. This method, of course, is not recommended if immediate combat is expected at the destination.
|Gunboat|| Gunboats are characterized by their capability for extended operations in vacuum, atmosphere and water, making them an all environment threat. Typically these vessels are strongly armed with diverse weapon suites which enables them fight enemy ships, provide ground troop support, and bomb enemy installations. They are very self sustainable and their flexibility enables them to continue resistance for long periods, hiding on oceans or in the local gas giants, and coming out only when there is promise of enemy losses.
The gunboat is fast, well-armed, and well-armored. It is capable of a wide variety of military responses, and has a high survival potential. Their mass displacement is normally in the 200 to 600 tons range. They are also called gunships.
|Interface Fighter||These fighters are characterized by the fact that they are configured for use in atmosphere, as well as, space operations. They basically are streamlined and have sufficient shielding to support atmosphere entry at high speeds. This capability gives them much more flexibility then most typical fighters. They can also be found operating around gas giants as well, and they make a great ambush threat to refueling vessels.|
|Light Fighter||The light fighter is normally more lightly armed and may also have less endurance than other fighter types. They may also be more lightly armored and they are often the cheapest vessels of this type to manufacture. In time of crisis, they may be equipped with weapon pods to increase their combat capability, but at the cost of range and maneuverability. They are usually considered as very highly maneuverable, and many have civilian use variants which find a active market with people who want a fast, maneuverable ship for in-system use. Some vessels of this type also find use as an in system courier capable of very small cargo loads.|
|Missile Boat|| The missile boat is a fighter type whose weapon suite is primarily missile weapons. Their role is closing on the enemy and overwhelming them with a swarm of missiles. Their secondary weapon suite is very limited, which limits their flexibility to be used in other roles. Their dependence on resupply limits their operations and tightly ties them to bases and carriers.
This is not to say that they do not have a place in combat, especially when used in numbers. Even a capital ship's commander would have reservation when facing a horde of missiles aimed at him. Missile boats, when found, are typically associated with larger operations and in richer systems, which can afford to support this ship killer. Some ships called missile boats due to their size do have a jump capability, but should be designated as frigates or escorts.
|Fighter||This class of vessel is consider as representative of the class as a whole. It is a balance of speed, maneuverability, weapons, and armor and constitutes the majority type of this vessel manufactured. Most classes of this fighter are built with both shipborne and base variants. As one of the most widely produced military spacecraft, ships of this type can be found in virtually all naval forces.|
|Strike Fighter||Fighters are designated "Strike Fighters" normally due to their speed. They are not typical because of their relative cost and the fact that speed and weapons have an inverse relationship. The higher the speed the less you can carry. So strike fighter are normally more lightly armed sprinters. A force might have a few to support reconnaissance needs.|
|Atmospheric Fighters||non-jump fighters only capable of operating within the atmosphere of a planet. They often have physical streamlining or the grav equivalent. As grav technology becomes more advanced, there is little difference between an aircraft and a grav vehicle. In fact, composites of the two are often called grav speeders.|
Fighter Classifications by Capability
Fighters are named by their capabilities:
- Fighter is a generic term encompassing all types of flying combat small craft.
- Spacefighters are limited to operations in open space or the vacuum and are systemic craft not capable of opening a transition to jumpspace.
- Starfighters are limited to operations in open space or the vacuum and are systemic craft, but are capable of opening a transition to jumpspace. Craft large enough to carry jump drives are generally pushing the definition of a fighter.
- Interface Fighters, are typically non-jump fighters, capable of operating in open space or within the atmosphere of a planet. They often have physical streamlining or the grav equivalent.
- Air Fighters are non-jump fighters only capable of operating within the atmosphere of a planet. They often have physical streamlining or the grav equivalent. As grav technology becomes more advanced, there is little difference between an aircraft and a grav vehicle. In fact, composites of the two are often called grav speeders.
Note: G-Carriers are advanced grav craft capable of achieving limited spaceflight. Despite the similarity of capabilities, a G-Carrier is not a fighter. The difference between a G-Carrier and a Grav Fighter is that the G-Carrier is primarily an armored AFV and troop transport whilst G-Fighters are typically less armored and focus on air and near space, low orbit COACC space superiority missions.
Fighter Classifications by Size
- Battlerider 100+ tons
- Bigcraft Fighter 100+ Tons
- Heavy Fighter 50-99 Tons
- Strike Fighter 50-99 Tons
- Light Fighter 10-49 Tons
- Microfighters 01-15 Tons
Most Common Standardized Smallcraft Types
- Cutter (50-ton)
- Fighter (10-ton)
- Launch (20-ton)
- Pinnace (40-ton)
- Ship's Boat (30-ton)
- Shuttle (95-ton)
- Slow Boat (30-ton)
- Slow Pinnace (40-ton)
Fighters serve a variety of combat roles and come in a variety of sizes although the more standard 10-ton models are often the most useful in their indicated roles. It has become one of the eight most popular and commonly encountered smallcraft designs found within Charted Space.
Selected Variant Types & Classes
- Lancefish class Strike Fighter
- Type F class Fighter
- Type FH class Heavy Fighter
- Type FL class Light Fighter
- Type FM class Fighter
- Type PA class Light Fighter
- Type PL class Light Fighter
Ship Summary List
- An assortment of unidentified fighters sometimes seen on the fringes of Charted Space.
References & Contributors (Sources)
- Marc Miller. Starships (Game Designers Workshop, 1977), 18.
- Marc Miller, Frank Chadwick. Lightning Class Cruisers (Game Designers Workshop, 1980), 40-41.
- Timothy B. Brown. Fighting Ships (Game Designers Workshop, 1981), 26.
- Marc Miller. Imperial Encyclopedia (Game Designers Workshop, 1987), 81.
- Don Perrin. Starships (Imperium Games, 1996), 62-67.
- Traveller Wiki Editorial Team
- Author & Contributor: Lord (Marquis) and Master of Sophontology Maksim-Smelchak of the Ministry of Science