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"We of the fleet like to think of ourselves as heroes. Often, though, the true heroes are those who design and build the warships we take into battle."
Senior Captain Mitth'raw'nuruodo[1]

A broadside between two opposing warships.

A warship, or military starship, was any starship designed to engage or participate in space warfare. The various types of warships were capital ships, troop transports, and patrol ships.



SWA The Corellian Conflict box art

Warships of varying size, design, and power participate in naval warfare.

A warship, or military starship, was a naval starship designed to participate in naval warfare as a combatant. Throughout history, various factions used warships of varying size, type, and purpose.[2] Many militaries incorporated warships into service, and outfitted them with weaponry such as laser cannons and proton torpedoes for offensive and defensive purposes, as well as protections such as deflector shields.[3] Beyond armed forces, other groups such as megacorporations,[4] pirates, mercenaries,[5] and planetary defense forces utilized warships for their purposes.[2] The role of warships varied, as they were designed for combat and could be used for a diverse amount of roles, ranging from conquest and attack,[3] piracy,[5] protection, transportation, supply and more.[3]


Widely used for combat purposes, warships were used in a multitude of roles. Warships served as assault ships, battleships, command ships,[3] such as the flagship of a fleet or flag officer,[4] as consular ships in certain instances, as dropships, evac ships, hospital ships carriers,[2] picket ships,[6] supply ships,[2] and transports.[7]


Capital ships[]

Throughout history, military starship names and classifications were contradictory as shipwrights, guilds, and species used their own measurements and terminology. Despite this, all classification systems were consistent in classifying a capital ship as a warship that was 100 meters or more in length.[2]

The Anaxes War College System, which was first implemented during the Clone Wars that began in 22 BBY, was the galaxy's standard capital ship classification system. At the time, it introduced three new classes of warship– the destroyer, the battlecruiser, and the dreadnought. The classifications instituted by the system were malleable, as warships moved up or down a class based on their armament or role. Beyond this, architects of the system developed a generic shorthand that placed corvettes, transports, and starfighters as gunships; frigates and light cruisers as cruisers; and larger warships of the line as battleships.[2]

When measuring more granular, capital ships that were between 100-200 meters were classified as corvettes; 200-400 meters as frigates; 400-600 meters as cruisers; 600-1,200 meters as heavy cruisers; 1,000-2,000 meters as destroyers; 2,000-5,000 meters as battlecruisers; and 5,000 meters and larger as dreadnoughts.[2] Specific models of warships could fall into multiple classes, such as the Free Virgillia-class Bunkerbuster that was considered to be a corvette,[8] a frigate,[9] and a cruiser,[10] as well as the Subjugator-class which was designated as a heavy cruiser,[11] a battlecruiser,[2] a battleship,[12] a dreadnought,[13] and as a star dreadnought.[12]

Sub-capital ships[]

In addition, sub-capital ship was used to describe certain warships,[14] though some examples of sub-capital ships[14] were also considered to be capital ships,[2] such as the 282-meter long Pelta-class frigate.[15]

Other warships[]

Beyond capital ships, there were other forms of small warships used in naval warfare. These included various types of space-faring gunboats such as assault gunboats,[16] escort gunboats,[17] and missile boats. Another type of warship included the corsair.[18]

Non-warships used in militaries[]

Although not classified as warships, other types of starships could be used for military purposes. Freighters were commonly used in combat,[19] as were retrofitted yachts.[20]


Military starships, specifically capital ships, were the centerpiece of navies for millennia and whose desigsn responded to the trends in technological advances and economic incentives.[2]

In the centuries of peace that preceded the Clone Wars, many large and powerful warships were built by the Corellian, Humbarine, and Kuat sectors to defend their vast industrial riches. Unlike later models, however, their hyperdrive jump ranges were limited to local.[21]


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Non-canon sources[]

Notes and references[]

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