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.

  • The Ship Type Code has the following format:
    • Type - Type
    • BB - Alphanumeric designation
    • class - Separator
    • Battleship - Mission
  • 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 typically 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]

The Vilani Imperium and its successor, the Ziru Sirka, were both large, stable bureaucracies that kept the order for many millennia. They propelled the Vilani people from a planetary bound existence to one of the largest interstellar empires known to sophontdom. The Vilani achieved this due to many reasons and one of the foremost of these reasons was excellent organization, asset tracking, and logistics of their many spacefleets. The First Imperium successfully used the system for several millennia before running into the Terrans and their balkanized chaos. In some ways, the early Terrans were unified, but in many others, they were completely disheveled and disorganized along historically nationalistic and cultural lines. A number of competing fleets each used their own systems of ship organizations and the progenitor organization of the Terrans, the United Nations, was a complete basket case.

After the Terrans won the Interstellar Wars and established the Second Imperium of Rule of Man, they tossed out the older, well-established vilani system of ship organization and tried to institute their own. Much like the United Nations a chaotic mess ensued and numerous competing systems existed side by side, often contributing to mix-ups and sometimes even fatal accidents. Within a few decades, planetary and subsector fleets officially used Terran ship organizations systems, but quietly and unofficially used the traditional vilani methods. These methods had stood the test of time and regime change.

Even after the fall of the Second Imperium and the mess of the Long Night, the ship organization system persisted in use. Those pocket empires which retained spaceflight and even starflight, continued to use the old ways, which continued to work. The Sylean Federation actively used the system and when it grew into the Third Imperium, the system was a tried a true part of human space navies. The system was greatly complicated and confused by Terran additions during the Second Imperium, but it is functional today and most spacers are familiar with the system, even travellers from non-Imperial polities, who use alternate systems.

A - Traders & Auxiliaries[edit]

NOTES: Type A’s do everything well, but are the masters of few roles. Stll, they are flexible and capable within their mission profiles. Some of the best known type/s (superclass/es) using this designation are:

  1. Type A class Free Trader: Lead Primary Setter Type, Generic Type Setter

  1. Type AC class Medical Vessel: Casuality Vessel, Hospital Ship, Medical Frigate
  2. Type AD class Transport: Medium Transport
  • ADA: Heavy Transport
  • ADL: Light Transport
  • AE: Fleet Tug
  • AEA: Heavy Fleet Tug
  • AEL: Light Fleet Tug
  • AF: Medium Tanker
  • AFA: Heavy Tanker, Supertanker
  • AFL: Light Tanker
  • AM: Medium Replenishment Vessel
  • AMA: Large Replenishment Vessel
  • AML: Light Replenishment Vessel
  • AO: Medium Ordinance Carrier
  • AOA: Heavy Ordinance Carrier
  • AOL: Light Ordinance Carrier
  • AO-F: Medium Ordinance Carrier (Fast)
  • AS: Salvage/Recovery Vessel
  • ASA: Mobile dock
  • AT: Ship Tender
  • ATP: Figher/SDB Tender
  • ATC: Cruiser Tender
  • AU: Medium Utility Vessel
  • AUL: Light Utility Vessel
  • AUA: Heavy Utility Vessel
  • AX: Medium Refinery Vessel
  • AXA: Heavy Refinery Vessel
  • AXL: Light Refinery Vessel
  • AZ: Medium Tanker/Replenishment Vessel Hybrid
  • AZA: Large Tanker/Replenishment Vessel Hybrid
  • AZL: Light Tanker/Replenishment Vessel Hybrid
  • AZT: Rift Tanker, Long jump tanker

B - Battleships & Monitors[edit]

NOTES: Type B’s are the strong end of the line, battleships and dreadnoughts, the largest and hardest hitting naval combatants, almost always armed with massive spinal mounts. Some of the best known type/s (superclass/es) using this designation are:

  1. Type B class Battleship: Lead Primary Setter Type, Generic Type Setter

  1. Type BA class Heavy Battleship: Heavy Battleship, Superbattleship, Dreadnought
  2. Type BB class Battleship: Battleship, DEW OR KEW Spinal Mount
  3. Type BDN class Dreadnought: Dreadnought
  4. Type BL class Light Battleship: Light Battleship, Pocket Battleship
  5. Type BM class Monitor: Monitor, Battle Monitor
  6. Type BMS class System Monitor: System Monitor
  7. Type BR class Battle Rider: Battle Rider
  8. Type BS class Strike Battleship: Strike Battleship, Commerce Raider Battleship
  9. Type BZ class Hybrid Battle Rider: Battle Rider Hybrid

C - Cruisers[edit]

NOTES: Type C’s are line ships. They are meant to survive the enemy and trade blows in fleet combat. Some of the best known type/s (superclass/es) using this designation are:

  1. Type C class Cruiser: Lead primary setter type.
  2. Type C class Mercenary Cruiser: Lead primary setter type.

  1. Type CM class Missile Cruiser
  2. Type CA class Heavy Cruiser: Heavy Cruiser, Armored Cruiser
  3. CAB: Heavy Bombardment Cruiser
  4. CAM: Heavy Missile Cruiser
  5. CAP: Heavy Provincial Cruiser
  6. CAR: Heavy Cruiser Rider
  7. CB: Battlecruiser
  8. CL: Light Cruiser
  9. CLB: Light Bombardment Cruiser
  10. CLM: Light Missile Cruiser
  1. CSM: Strike Missile Cruiser
  2. CY: Mercenary Cruiser

D - Destroyers & Defenders (SDB)[edit]

NOTES: Type D’s are considered the smallest viable combatant capable of minimal survival and power projection. Some of the best known type/s (superclass/es) using this designation are:

  1. Type D class Destroyer

E - Escorts & Corvettes[edit]

NOTES: Type E’s defend other ships, often merchants, but also auxiliaries and others. Some of the best known type/s (superclass/es) using this designation are:

  1. Type E class Escort: Lead Primary Setter Type

F - Freighters & Frigates & Fighters[edit]

NOTES: Type F’s are small ships meant to project force, fly the flag, and deter lighter enemies. Some of the best known type/s (superclass/es) using this designation are:

  1. Type F class Fighter: Lead Primary Setter Type for smallcraft
  2. Type FF class Frigate: Lead Primary Setter Type for non-smallcraft

  1. FFA: Heavy Frigate
  2. FF: Frigate
  3. FH: Heavy Fighter
  4. FFM: Missile Frigate
  5. FFL: Light Frigate
  6. FFS: Strike Frigate

G - Industrial Vessels & Frigates[edit]

NOTES: Type G’s explore and exploit the system as well as maintaing a spacefaring industry. Some of the best known type/s (superclass/es) using this designation are:

  1. Type G class Industrial Vessel: Lead Primary Setter Type

  • GC: Construction Vessel
  • GCA: Mobile Construction Plant
  • GCL: Repair Vessel
  • GE: Tugs, Towing Vessel
  • GEA: Heavy Tug/Towing Vessel
  • GEB: Beacon Maintenance Vessel
  • GEL: Light Tug/Towing Vessel
  • GF: Fuel Cutter, Medium Gas Skimmer
  • GFA: Large Fueler, Large Gas Skimmer
  • GFL: Fuel Pinnace, Light Fueler, Light Gas Skimmer
  • GM: Miner Craft, Asteroid Miner
  • GMA: Heavy Asteroid Miner, Asteroid Processor
  • GMC: Prospector's Cutter
  • GR: Mercenary Cruiser
  • GT: Medium Tender
  • GTA: Mobile Repair Dock, Large Tender
  • GTL: Ship Repair Vessel

H - Ortillery Vessels & Security Vessels[edit]

NOTES: Type H’s serve paramilitary roles as customs ships, inspectors, police, and the like. Some of the best known type/s (superclass/es) using this designation are:

  1. Type H class Security Vessel: Lead Primary Setter Type

  • HC: Customs Boat
  • HG: Any government vessel without other designation
  • HM: Messenger, Commercial Courier
  • HP: Law Enforcement Vessel
  • HPA: Heavy Law Enforcement Vessel, Armed Law Enforcement Vessel
  • HR: Revenue Cutter
  • HS: Settlement Ship, Colony Ship, Settlement Transport

I - Assault Transports & Intruder Assault Transports[edit]

NOTES: Type I’s serve the vital role of taking and keeping real estate, especially against armed opposition. Some of the best known type/s (superclass/es) using this designation are:

  1. Type I class Assault Transport

  • IA: Heavy Assault Transport
  • IAI: Heavy Assault Intruder
  • II: Assault Transport
  • IL: Light Assault Transport, Assault Shuttle, Marine Cutter
  • ILI: Light Assault Intruder, Assault Lander
  • IM: Medium Assault Transport
  • IMI: Medium Assault Intruder
  • IS: Small Assault Transport, Assault Gig, Marine Gig

J - Seekers & Prospectors[edit]


K - Expedition Ships & Safari Ships[edit]


L - Lab Ships & Research Vessels[edit]

NOTES: Type L’s are not common, but they are a vital part of research and the furtherment of science and technology. Some of the best known type/s (superclass/es) using this designation are:

  1. Type L class Lab Ship

  • L : Laboratory Ship
  • LE : Experimental Ship
  • LS : Survey Ship

M - Liners & Merchant Vessels[edit]

NOTES: Type M’s are amongst the most common trade ships found on the spacelanes. Some of the best known type/s (superclass/es) using this designation are:

  1. Type M class Subsidized Merchant

  • MA: Large/Heavy Merchant
  • MAS: Large/Heavy Subsidized Merchant
  • MM: Medium Merchant
  • MMA: Medium Armed Merchant
  • MMJ: Medium Merchant Frontier Trader
  • MMS: Medium Subsidized Merchant
  • MC: Merchant Cruiser
  • ML: Light Merchant
  • MLA: Light Armed Merchant
  • MLF: Light Merchant Free Trader
  • MLJ: Light Merchant Far Trader
  • MS: Small Merchant
  • MSF: Small Merchant Free Trader
  • MSJ: Small Merchant Far Trader

N - Hospital Ships & Medical Vessels & Beagles[edit]


O - Ortillery Vessels & Siege Ships[edit]


P - Corsair Vessels & Patrol Ships & Fighters[edit]

NOTES: Fighters support capital ships and help to establish space superiority missions despite their fragility. Some of the best known type/s (superclass/es) using this designation are:

  1. Type P class Fighter

  • PA: Heavy Fighter, Gunned Scout
  • PAM: Heavy Missile Fighter
  • PF: System Defense Boat
  • PFA: Heavy System Defense Boat
  • PG: Gunboat/Gunship
  • PI: Interface Fighter
  • PL: Light Fighter
  • PLM: Light Missile Fighter
  • PP: Medium Fighter
  • PS: Strike Fighter

Q - Auxiliaries & Decoys & Military Specialty Craft & Q-Ships[edit]

NOTES: Type Q’s tend to be quite rare and serve in very specialized roles. Some of the best known type/s (superclass/es) using this designation are:

  1. Type Q class Specialist Ship

  • QE: Experimental Vessel
  • QM: Mine Dispensing/Mine Retrieval Vessel
  • QP: Military Prison Vessel
  • QS: Surveillance Vessel
  • QT: Q-Ship

R - Merchant Vessels & Raiders[edit]

NOTES: Type R’s are commonplace traders (…Liners), often in the mid-sized category. Some of the best known type/s (superclass/es) using this designation are:

  1. Type R class Free Trader

S - Communication Vessels & Military Smallcraft & Scout Vessels[edit]

NOTES: Type S’s are small, functional craft, usually scouts, couriers, and explorers. They are typically small, relatively cheap, and expendable. Some of the best known type/s (superclass/es) using this designation are:

  1. Type S class Scout/Courier

  • SA: Heavy Scout
  • SAF: Heavy Fleet Scout
  • SC: Courier
  • SCL: Long Range Courier
  • SF: Fuel Cutter, Medium Gas Skimmer
  • SFA: Large Fueler, Large Gas Skimmer
  • SFL: Fuel Pinnace, Light Fueler, Light Gas Skimmer
  • SG: Gig, Pinnace
  • SGR: Recon Gig, Recon Pinnace
  • SL: Light Scout, Dispatch Boat
  • SS: Scout
  • SSF: Medium Fleet Scout
  • SSM: Medium Medevac Scout
  • SSR: Armed Scout, Scout Raider
  • SSX: Medium Recon Scout
  • ST: Shuttle
  • STA: Heavy Shuttle
  • STL: Light Shuttle
  • STM: Medevac Shuttle

T - Assault Vessels & Tankers & Transports[edit]

NOTES: Type T’s tend to be bulk carriers and larger merchant ships, typically resource carriers. Some of the best known type/s (superclass/es) using this designation are:

  1. Type T class Transport

  • TBA: Large/Heavy Bulk Cargo Transport
  • TBL: Light Bulk Cargo Transport
  • TBM: Medium Bulk Cargo Transport
  • TFA: Large/Heavy Tanker
  • TFL: Light Tanker
  • TFM: Medium Tanker
  • TOA: Large/Heavy Ore Transport
  • TOL: Light Ore Transport
  • TOM: Medium Ore Transport
  • TV: Agricultural Transport

U - Utility Craft & Bigcraft & Packet Ships & Tugs[edit]

NOTES: Type U’s are almost always utility smallcraft (…ship’s boats) although some bigcraft may also receive this designation. Some of the best known type/s (superclass/es) using this designation are:

  1. Type U class Utility Ship

  • UCA: Cutter, Pinnace
  • UC: Launch, Ship's Boat, Ship's Shuttle
  • UCL: Gig
  • UCS: Lifeboat

V - Carriers[edit]

NOTES: Type V’s carrier smallcraft and bigcraft, typically in a combat role. Tenders and jump carriers are included in this category. Some of the best known type/s (superclass/es) using this designation are:

  1. Type V class Carrier

W - Orbital Complexs & Space Stations & Barges[edit]

NOTES: Type W’s are typically used a Highports. Some of the best known type/s (superclass/es) using this designation are:

  1. Type W class Space Station

  • WA : Armored station
  • WG : Government station (unspecified)
  • WHP: Prison hulk or prison orbital complex.
  • WM : Merchant / commercial station
  • WMD: Floating Dock/Repair facility
  • WMI: Orbital industrial facility
  • WR : Residential orbital habitat
  • WS : Sensor platform
  • WSA: Armed Sensor Platform
  • WSB: Sensor/Beacon Platform
  • WSM: Manned Sensor Platform
  • WV : Agricultural orbital
  • WY : Private orbital habitat

X - Communication Vessels & Tenders[edit]


Y - Yachts[edit]

NOTES: Yachts are privately owned luxury craft. Some of the best known type/s (superclass/es) using this designation are:

  1. Type Y class Yacht

  • YA : Large Yacht
  • YY : Medium Yacht
  • YYG: Gunned Medium Yacht
  • YR : Racing Yacht

Z - Unclassified Vessels & Experimental Craft[edit]


References & Contributions (Sources)[edit]

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