Ship Class Code
- For a detail of the Classes of Starships see the description in the individual Military Starship Types and Civilian Starship Types.
- This hierarchical designation is also known as Ship Class, Ship Class Code, or simply Class.
Library Data Referral Tree
- Starship User Types
- Advanced Ship Classifications
- Basic Ship Classifications
A class is usually named after the lead ship, the namesake; that is, the first ship of that class. This is usually the ship with the lowest hull number, but may also be the first ship in commission.
- A class should not be confused with a type (see Military Starship Types and Civilian Starship Types). A type of starship (e.g. Battleship) will have several different classes or designs made that fit that type. Some confusion in terminology is in common use, e.g. when referring to a "Battleship class" ship (…strictly speaking this is an error).
Imperial Ship Classification Synopsis
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|
|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
|5.||Ship Bloc Codes||LOT or BLOC||Named Ship||“The Lonesome Wolf” of ‘Bloc 312-1115d’
Overview of Imperial Ship Classification
|Imperial Ship Classification|
|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.|
There are literally thousands upon thousands of Ship Class Codes in existence, from small single digit runs to ships that number in the tens of thousands. In a world where many, many [[Class A Starports exist, many fully capable Shipyards and certified Naval Architects, all it takes to design a new ship class is a lot of money, and patience. Larger polities and suprapolities regularly commission new designs as needed. However, the savings from using existing designs is considerable so only the adventurous commission new designs where and when needed.
Ship Class Standardization
Ship Classes: Once a ship is built, a certain familiarity with the requirements of construction is gained by the building crews, and a shipyard can then produce such ships more rapidly and with greater efficiency. Additional identical ships built following the initial ship in a class can be completed in 80% of the original time at 80% of the original construction cost. 
Ship Class Namesakes
Namesakes: Ships of a class are named to show this relationship. For example, the first ship in a series of small, swift escort vessels might be called the Gazelle, prompting the formation of the Gazelle class of close escorts. Other ship names in the class could be Reindeer, Kudie (for Kudebeck's Gazelle), Antelope, Unicorn, Pinto, as well as any of the many other names for swift herbivores.