- "From the earliest atomic rockets with primitive laser armaments, to Expansion Era cruisers such as the Gilagimar, to the Republic's battle vessels, to the amazing Super Star Destroyers of the Empire, ships have traded fire in the depths of space."
The primary armament consisted of the ship's heaviest weapons, typically heavy turbolaser cannons. These massive weapons drew their power straight from the main reactor to direct a vessel's full power against a target. Often, these systems had limited targeting ability independent of the vessel's hull, which required the vessel itself to maneuver for targeting.
Secondary armament usually consisted of smaller, directed-energy weapons which served as both offensive and defensive systems. These dual-role systems provided supporting fire during offensive operations against planets, mid-range attack capability for ship-to-ship engagements, and some defensive capability against larger targets. Secondary armament systems typically consisted of turret-mounted weapons which could be targeted independently from each other or fire-linked to bring multiple batteries to bear against a single target.
The third tier of armament was referred to as the close-in or "last-ditch" weapons. These smaller-caliber weapons were typically not utilized in offensive operations as they consisted of close-in weapons systems like flak guns, point defense lasers and ion cannons for shooting down incoming hazards or small asteroids. Smaller vessels such as starfighters rarely incorporated this third tier of weaponry in their design.
A few classes of combat vessel used "warship" in a more specific sense, comparable to "frigate" or "cruiser." These were typically large combat warships, including the Cal-class warships of the Galactic Republic and most notably the Yuuzhan Vong Miid ro'ik, although the latter may also have been the class of ship designated as a destroyer analog by the New Republic.
Behind the scenes
While in the real world "warship" is basically a generic term, the examples cited above means that it also has a more specific meaning within Star Wars.
- Star Wars: The Old Republic
- Star Wars: The Old Republic: Galactic Starfighter (Codex entry)
- Star Wars: The Old Republic: Knights of the Fallen Empire
- Star Wars: The Old Republic: Knights of the Eternal Throne
- Star Wars: The Old Republic: Onslaught
- Knight Errant
- An Uneasy Peace
- Han Solo at Stars' End
- Blood Ties: Boba Fett is Dead 2 (Mentioned only)
- Star Wars (1977) 7 (First identified as battle-spacers)
- "Small Favors"—Star Wars Adventure Journal 12
- Under a Black Sun (Mentioned only)
- (Mentioned only)