Ship Type Code

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Ship Type Codes are a short form for identifying the types or mission statement for a starship.

Please refer to the following AAB Library Data for more information:

Description (Specifications)[edit]

The type code provides a general system for describing the mission of a ship, the Ship Hull Designation listing contains the complete list of assigned codes and meanings.

  • These are different from Starship Classes in that many classes of starships may share the same type, yet have different performance characteristics.
  • Ship types codes have one to three characters. In order, they are: a primary mission identifier, and one or two characters of an optional mission qualifier. All ships use the same primary mission identifier. The definitions for the mission qualifiers are different between military ships and civilian ships.

Imperial Ship Classification Synopsis[edit]

The basic system of ship classification and organization for ships within Charted Space and particularly within Imperial Space works on a simple hierarchy of mission (generalized use), type (specific use), class (very specific use), model (technological level), and lot or bloc (production run):

Imperial Ship Classification
# Level Designation Synopsis Example/s
1. Ship Mission Codes SUPRACLASS MISSION Free Trader AKA Merchant
2. Ship Type Codes SUPERCLASS TYPE Type A class Free Trader
3. Ship Class Codes CLASS CLASS Beowulf class Free Trader
4. Ship Model Codes MODEL TL & Model TL-14 Beowulf Build
  • Models aren’t always mentioned, but if they are, they are usually referred to by a TL designation.
5. Ship Bloc Codes LOT or BLOC Named Ship “The Lonesome Wolf” of ‘Bloc 312-1115d’
  • Ship Lots or Bloc Codes are rarely used except by naval shipyards, patrol craft, and the like. They are recorded in the ship’s computer as well as a number of places on the hull.

Overview of Imperial Ship Classification[edit]

'Imperial Ship Classification
# Level Example Remarks
1. Supraclass (Function) Dreadnought It’s the largest organizational grouping by a generalized function or mission. For instance, battleships and cruisers have different generalized missions although they can perform many of the same jobs.
2. Type (Superclass) Type BB class Dreadnought It’s a larger type grouping by a specific function or mission. Different kinds of battleships or types may perform different yet broadly similar missions.
3. Class (Ship) Tigress class Dreadnought The ship itself is synonymous with a class. The first produced version becomes the class namesake under most practices. It has an even more specific mission that the craft type code (type) or superclass.
4. Model (Version) TL-15 Tigress Model 1105-Q3-9PR This classification may include incremental improvements often as a result of TL advances. Some classes of ships can be built at several different TL’s. For instance, the ubiquitous Beowulf Free Trader has builds from TL-10 to TL-15.
5. Lot (Block) Block 365-1105 Reg-A-4702-4826-9931 This classification is also known as a Production Bloc. Blocs may have differences from lot to lot. Sometimes aftermarket or post-production modification (customization) may yield very different ships from the originally manufactured ship class.

History & Background (Dossier)[edit]

If one thing can be said about Charted Space, it might be that non-conformity reigns supreme. Even within the runaway superpower of the Third Imperium, the prototypical Feudal Confederation, naval fleet organization has often been haphazard. At least three major naming and organizational schema have been used since the Holiday Year.

All major race navies use similar yet significantly different systems.

Early Imperial Type Codes[edit]

The earliest Imperial Navy organizational codes were borrowed wholesale from the Sylean Federation Naval Service. They served the Imperium well until the First Civil War.

Ship Hull Designation Codes #1
Code Primary Secondary (M) Secondary (C)
A Military Auxiliary Heavy Heavy
B Battleship Battle Battle
C Cruiser Cruiser Construction
D Destroyer Destroyer Transport
E Escort Escort Tug
F Frigate Frigate -
G Commercial Gunned Governmental
H Non-Commercial Fuel Fuel
IJ Intruder Interface Interface
K Safari Ship Courier Courier
L Lab Light Light
M Merchant Missile Mining
N - - -
O - Ordinance -
P Fighter Pursuit Law Enforcement
Q Military Specialty Decoy -
R Liner Rider Residential
S Military Smallcraft Strike Survey / Scout
T Transport Tender Tender
U Utility - -
V Carrier Replenishment Agricultural
W Orbital Complexes - -
X - - -
Y Yacht - Private
Z - Hybrid -

Alternative Ship Type Encoding[edit]

There are a number alternative ship type encoding.

  • Starship type codes are between one and four or more characters long. In order there is an optional race or empire qualifier, a required primary mission identifier, and an optional mission qualifier.
  • MegaTraveller has a subtly different set of ship type codes available. Nothing taken away, but a few additions are made.
  • See Military Starship Types and Civilian Starship Types for more information.
  • The full list is under the MT Primary and MT Qualifier below.

Mid-Imperium Ship Type Codes[edit]

The First Civil War really shook up the Third Imperium and caused naval strategists to rethink fleet organization. By the year 700, this new schema had been implemented.

Ship Hull Designation Codes #2
Code Race Primary Qualifier MT Primary MT Qualifier
A Aslan Merchant Armored Merchant Armored
B - Battle Battle; Boat Battle Battle; Boat
C - Cruiser; Carrier Cruiser; Close Cruiser; Carrier Cruiser; Close
D Droyne Destroyer Destroyer Destroyer Destroyer
E - Escort Escort Escort
F - Frigate; Fighter Fast; Fleet Frigate; Fighter Fast; Fleet
G - Gig; Refinery Gunned Gig Gunned
H Hiver - Heavy Hunter Heavy
I,J Julian Protectorate Intruder - Intruder Imperial
K K'kree Pinnace - Pinnace Courier
L - Corvette; Lab Leader; Light Lab; Corvette Leader; Light
M - Merchant Missile Merchant Missile
N - - Non-Standard Ferry Non-Standard
P - Planetoid Provincial Planetoid Provincial
Q - Auxiliary Decoy Auxiliary Decoy
R - Liner Raider Liner Raider
S Solomani Scout; Station Strike Scout; Station Strike
T - Tanker; Tender Troop; Transport Tanker; Tender Troop; Transport
U - - Unpowered Tug Unpowered
V Vargr - Vehicle Carrier Vehicle
W - Barge - Barge Slow
X - Express - Express Alternate
Y - Yacht Shuttle; Cutter Yacht Shuttle; Cutter
Z Zhodani - Experimental Special Experimental

Late Imperial Type Codes[edit]

Around the year 900, these codes began to predominate. The Imperial Navy adopted them wholesale before the year 1,000.

Late Imperial Ship Classification
A. Mission
1. Supraclass
B, Qualifier
2. Superclass
C. Type
3. Class
D. Activity
4. Model
E. Service
5. Bloc (Lot)
C Cruiser Principal Offensive Combat Military
G Frigate Major Offensive Combat Military
E Corvette Minor Offensive Combat Military
H Ortillery Ship Attack Siege Combat Military
T Assault Invasion Siege Combat Military
S Sentinel Defender Siege Combat Military
B Monitor Principal Defensive Combat Military
D Defender (SDB) Major Defensive Combat Military
E Escort Minor Defensive Combat Military
P Corsair Anti-Shipping Independent Combat Military
P Marauder Anti-Port Independent Combat Military
R Raider Anti-Commerce Independent Combat Military
T Transport Major Supply Auxiliary Military
W Barge Minor Supply Auxiliary Military
T Tender, Tug Resupply Supply Auxiliary Military
E Corvette Information Supply Auxiliary Military
M Liner Passenger Scheduled Merchant Civilian
R Merchant Ship Cargo Scheduled Merchant Civilian
F Freighter Ship Freight Scheduled Merchant Civilian
T Transport Ship Freight Unscheduled Merchant Civilian
A Trader Cargo Unscheduled Merchant Civilian
U Packet Ship Passenger Unscheduled Merchant Civilian
K Safari Ship Recreation Charter Merchant Civilian
K Expedition Ship Active Charter Merchant Civilian
Y Yacht Luxury Charter Merchant Civilian
S Courier Ship Small Goods Information Non-combat Paramilitary
S Messenger Ship Data Files Information Non-combat Paramilitary
X Express Ship Goods & Files Information Non-combat Paramilitary
S Scout Ship First Look Exploration Non-combat Paramilitary
S Survey Ship Re-Look Exploration Non-combat Paramilitary
N Beagle Data Collection Exploration Non-combat Paramilitary
N Hospital Ship Medical Data Exploration Non-combat Paramilitary
L Lab Ship Data Analysis Exploration Non-combat Paramilitary
J Seeker (Prospector) Resource Search Exploration Non-combat Paramilitary
P Picket Ship Inspection Bureaucratic Non-combat Paramilitary
P Patrol Ship Enforcement Bureaucratic Non-combat Paramilitary
P Privateer Anti-Shipping Privateer Combat Paramilitary
Z Unclassified Unclassified Unclassified Unclassified Unclassified

References & Contributions (Sources)[edit]

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