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Commonly used to transfer personnel or material from one ship to another, or down to the surface of a planet. Usually lightly armed, although Combat/Assault shuttles that sacrifice their carrying capacity for guns are not unheard of. Civilians may own these for personal transport.
Drop Ship - Specialized shuttle-like craft specifically made to carry troops from a ship to the surface, even into the middle of a battlefield or under fire. Always heavily armored, and usually armed to boot.Edit
Drop Pod - Instead of deploying infantry together in ships, transports will sometimes drop individual soldiers or mecha in pods or very heavy armor.Edit
Breaching Pod - Ship-to-ship torpedo/missile/pod that is used to deliver infantry by attaching or boring into the enemy hull.Edit
Escape Pod - Not a craft in its own right, but a lifeboat IN SPACE. Despite the limited practicality these would have in reality (space is just too big and too empty), they're very common in science fiction works: when a larger ship is about to be destroyed, the crew will scramble for the escape pods, hoping to reach rescue or at least a Conveniently Close Planet. Generally these have only rudimentary engines and no weapons, but will carry some survival supplies. Can be used to create dramatic situations with stranded or adrift characters, or just to get civilians and redshirts out of the way so the main cast can save the day at the last possible moment.Edit
Utility Pod - Very small space craft used for building and maintenance. Often spherical, barely fitting one or two people, with very thin walls, manipulator arms, some thrusters, and little else. It may not even have a built-in life support system, nor can it operate in an atmosphere or heavy gravity. They can be used to build space stations and ships, are almost always found at construction yards, and one or two could be attached to a ship for extravehicular transport / minor repair work.Edit
Basically a jet fighter in space. Usually armed with a wide variety of weaponry(so they can get into an Old-School Dogfight) and missiles. Space Fighters typically battle each other in space, but depending on the distribution of firepower in the universe, may be capable of damaging or even destroying capital ships. The most common type of small craft to (possibly) have an Tunnel drive. The best ones are designed to be used in an atmosphere as well as under water.
Bomber - Heavy fighter-sized craft, armed with big missiles (commonly called Torpedoes) to damage or destroy larger ships.
Interceptor - Light, fast fighter whose primary purpose is to catch and destroy Bombers before they can strike the larger ships.
Stealth Fighter - A Stealth fighter, equipped with a cloaking device or such. They can also come in larger versions, depending on the setting.
Assault Fighter - The classic fighter equipped with lots and lots of guns.
Recon - Trades weapons for sensors, stealth, and speed. Scouts ahead of primary fleet to gain last-minute intelligence on enemy positions.
Roughly 2-3 times the size of a heavy bomber, as well as small and cheap enough to be built by even the poorest of factions. These are the smallest known class of ship able to use Warp and Hyper-Drive. Law enforcement, personnel transport, and guard duty is the corvettes main role, since it doesn't require a large crew to operate. However, small raids can be conducted with these ships. Corvettes are highly maneuverable but lightly protected, used mostly for protecting larger ships or small colonies.
Fast Attack Craft- Variant of the Patrol Boat, FAC are heavily armed ships, often with anti-ship missiles or guns . They maintain the speed, agility, and low cost, but retains the fragility and lack of endurance. Because of their speed and weaponry, they can outmaneuver Capital Ships while posing a major threat. Then again, they're not likely to survive a direct hit from escort craft.
Frigate - They are the largest of the Corvettes and tend to the most heavily armed, sometimes acting independently for raiding, long-range patrol, bombardment, or scouting. Considering the size of some space empires, having a large number of these craft may be required to picket such vast distances.
Jack Of All Stats of warships. Big enough to take care of themselves, fast enough to run from most anything that can squish it (which there are a lot, since a Cruiser often trades hull defense for firepower), and expendable enough that they don't require escorts. As such, they can operate independently from a fleet. Common variations include 'Heavy' and 'Light' Cruisers, where the Heavy Cruiser is a bit larger, longer duration, and has slightly stronger firepower. The Light Cruiser is less firepower and often smaller than standard, but useful in a scouting role.
Ship whose purpose is to ferry goods from one planet to the next. Usually lightly armed, if at all. Mostly a background ship not seen in war.
Repurposed Freighter - Basically a weaponized transport, given enough guns and defenses to attack other ships. A favorite of pirates, rebels, and desperate governments, these quasi-warships are relatively cheap and fast to produce. As these ships were not originally built for combat, they're less durable or capable than a conventional warship.
Tender - Military use freighter that can be used to extend the range of a fleet by carrying extra supplies (ie, food, fuel, etc.) Obviously they won't always be seen, because a fleet will tend to try to operate within its normal range, but occasionally it may need to go beyond those limits, at which point a Tender becomes invaluable.
Tanker - A specific cargo ship that carries large amounts of fuel and propellant. Unlike their wet-navy counterparts, space tankers carry fuel for fusion reactors and sub-light drives, they also have their own extraction and refining equipment. These ships are the life-blood of any fleet, capable of keeping it running. And being so important, Tankers tend to be the first targeted for destruction. Being large, difficult to maneuver, and unarmed, they also make for easy targets.
Colony Ship - These generally aren't very well armed, even if only because they tend to be outdated more often than not. They carry everything you need for a colony: Equipment, construction materials, animal and plant specimens, living environs, and lots of colonists. Sometimes designed to become raw materials for the colony, especially in the more primitive slower-than-light models. Comes in many forms such as generational, crygenic/sleeper, seeder, etc.
Repair Ship - Basically a mobile shipyard these carry large quantities of spare parts, raw materials to manufacture spare parts and trained personnel to handle the actual repairs. Found in large quantities when in deep space and in some cases they may even be large enough to act as a dry dock for smaller space craft (Corvette and Cruiser range). Similarly to the Tender the main purpose is to support a fleet away from its base by allowing for more intensive repairs to be done on the spot rather than requiring a ship to return to base and in extreme cases patching up a badly damaged ship enough for it to get back to base rather than having to be scuttled.
Courier - This is a civilian ship equipped with either a well developed warp-drive or a hyper-drive for those VIPs who prefer speed to comfort and want to get from A to B pronto, hell or high water. It's more cramped and less pleasant, but much faster, the fastest type of ship available to any civilian population. Sometimes used by government/corporate/space knight/whatever troubleshooters on missions. For civilizations that have not yet developed sub-space/FTL communication, Couriers are the fastest way to communicate between the stars.
Wields both heavy guns and heavy armor and shielding. It is more often than not the Flagship of a fleet (unless a Dreadnought is on the scene). Destroyers and Battleships are usually classified as the same class of ship. Capable of dealing heavy damage to any enemy ship as well as carrying their own small fleet of fighter and depending on the size, corvette class ships. This is the smallest known ship class capable of using a loopwarp drive.
Specifically built for inter-galactic travel, supercarriers are roughly the same size as a dreadnought and fulfill a large variety of purposes both civilian and military. Although exceedingly rare, this class of ship can be repurposed into a Dreadnought for military use, but they are more commonly used as massive freighters. Carrying a vast amount of wealth and resources across inter-galactic distances. Usually equipped with a Hyper-spacial drive, but when it comes to more advanced societies, a Loopwarp drive is sometimes used.Edit
Specifically built for inter-galactic travel, supercarriers are roughly the same size as a dreadnought and fulfill a large variety of purposes both civilian and military. Although exceedingly rare, this class of ship can be repurposed into a Dreadnought for military use, but they are more commonly used as massive freighters. Carrying a vast amount of wealth and resources across inter-galactic distances. Usually equipped with a Hyper-spacial drive, but when it comes to more advanced societies, a Loopwarp drive is sometimes used.
Moon and small planet sized warships capable of destroying inhabited worlds and reducing them to dust. However, more often then not, the gravitational effect of this class of ship entering any solar system will have disastrous effects. Sometimes knocking a planet out of its orbit is all that is needed. Although this class of ship is extremely rare, there are hundreds of them scattered across the unverse. Almost always capable of loopwarp travel and feared across the entire universe. The Unity possess roughly three-hundred such ships scattered across a region of several billion light years, however they are almost never used and usually act as a trophy for any civilization, a way of proving their military dominance.