|There is more information available on this subject at Capital Ship on the English-language Wikipedia.|
Capital Ships are the most important and largest warships; the ones with the heaviest firepower and armor. There is usually no formal criterion for the classification, other than the fact that these ships tend to be heavily armed and armored. But despite the vagueness of this category, it is still a useful concept when thinking about strategy, for instance to compare relative naval strengths in a theater of operations without having to get bogged down in the exact details of tonnage and gun variants. A capital ship is generally a leading or primary ship in a fleet, battlegroup, or Strike Force.
These are the classifications of Covenant warships known to fall under the Capital Ship category:
These are the classifications of UNSC warships known to fall under the Capital Ship category:
Capital ship was a general term that referred to any armed military starship that had a length greater than one hundred meters. Ships of this class ranged from small and nimble corvettes like the Corellian Engineering Corporation CR90 Corvette to titanic Star Dreadnaughts, such as the Kuat Drive Yards Eclipse.
Ships of this class were typically designed for fleet warfare, often positioned in armadas stationed in high orbit around a strategic planet. They usually formed the primary attack groups in most fleets. There were, however, a few exceptions to the typical definition. For example, the Sienar Fleet Systems GAT-12 Skipray Blastboat was considered a capital ship because of its heavy armament, despite being a mere twenty five meters in length and operating primarily in the role of a heavy assault starfighter.
These vessels were commonly fitted with ship-to-ship and anti-fighter defensive weaponry, ranging from heavy ion cannons to turbolaser turrets. Many capital ship classes also served as carriers and were able to deploy starfighters, landing craft, and other resources as required.
Given their size, capital ships employed relatively numerous crews, employing in some instances thousands of beings. An example was the Imperial-class Star Destroyer, which was 1,600 meters long and required a crew of 37,000 to operate at full efficiency. There were also examples that utilized a much smaller number of active personnel, whether by means of advanced control systems or simply necessity, as in the cases of the Katana Fleet and the Errant Venture, respectively.