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Up to date as of February 02, 2010

Memory Beta, the wiki for licensed Star Trek content.

A Constitution-class heavy cruiser, in service in the 23rd century.

The term heavy cruiser is a starship classification that is applied to large multi-purpose cruiser starships, and are similar in many regards to explorers.

In the 22nd and 23rd centuries, the term was used synonymously with battle cruiser. For example, the Klingons referred to the Enterprise (NX-01) and the USS Enterprise as battle cruisers, although Starfleet classified them as heavy cruisers. (ENT episode: "Judgment", and TOS movie: Star Trek III: The Search for Spock).

Types of heavy cruisers


Starship classification
By type argosy • assault shipattack cruiserattack fighterbattle cruiserbattleshipbird-of-preycargo transportcarriercolony ship • combat support tender • construction ship • corsair • corvettecouriercruisercutterdestroyerdreadnoughtescortexplorer • fast attack ship • fast cruiser • freighterfrigatefuel transport • gunboat • heavy cruiser • heavy escort • hospital shipliaison cutterlight cruiser • light frigate • medical frigate • mining freighter • monitor • passenger liner • patrol cruiser • personnel carrier • prison barge • repair tender • research vessel • research cruiser • runaboutscoutstrike cruiser • super carrier • surveyortanker • tender • timeshiptransport • troop transport • tugwarbirdwarpshuttle

This article uses material from the "Heavy cruiser" article on the Memory-beta wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.

ST Expanded

Up to date as of February 07, 2010

The Star Trek Expanded Universe Database is for fanon and related content. See for the canon Star Trek wiki.

The term "heavy cruiser" refers to a type of starship. Heavy cruisers are larger and more heavily armed than light cruisers but typically smaller and less powerful than battleships or battle cruisers.

The term is sometimes synonymous with "battleship" and "battle cruiser".

Types of heavy cruisers

starship classification
armed courierarmed scoutassault cruiserassault gunshipassault shipattack cruiserattack fighterattack frigateauxiliary craftbattle cruiserbattleshipbird-of-preyborder cuttercargo transportcarrierclippercolony shipcombat support tendercommand cruiserconstruction shipcorsaircorvettecouriercruisercutterdestroyerdestroyer escortdreadnoughtdropshipescortespionage shipexploratory cruiserexplorerfar courierfar scoutfar starbirdfast attack shipfast cruiserfast frigatefreighterfrigatefuel transportgeneration shipgunboatgunshipheavy courierheavy cruiserheavy destroyerheavy escortheavy explorerheavy frigateheavy gunshipheavy scoutheavy starbirdheavy warbirdheavy warshiphospital shipincursion frigateincursion cruiserinterceptorlight cruiserlight escortlight explorerlight frigatelight starbirdlight warbirdlong range tactical cruisermedium cruisermonitorpassenger linerpatrol shipperimeter action shippersonnel carrierpicket shipprison shipproberaiderrepair tenderresearch vesselresearch cruiserrunaboutscience vesselscoutshuttlecraftshuttlepodsleeper shipspace control shipstarbirdstarlinerstarshipstrategic frigatestrategic heavy cruiserstrike frigatestrike cruiserstrike warbirdstrike warshipsublight gunshipsuper carriersuperscoutsurveyorswift bird-of-preyswift courierswift cruiserswift frigateswift warbirdtactical cruisertactical frigatetankertendertimeshiptransporttugwarbirdwarship

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This article uses material from the "Heavy cruiser" article on the ST Expanded wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.


Up to date as of February 04, 2010
(Redirected to Cruiser article)

From Wookieepedia, the Star Wars wiki.

Cruiser was a designation of starship class, which included wide variety of uses. The term star cruiser was often used as an alternate term.[1]



Throughout naval history, it was used for some of the largest and most common warships in a given fleet, but alternate designations like Star Cruiser was also applied, like in the navy of the Galactic Empire[2] and the Rebel Alliance.[3] Ships that were designated with other names were also often referred to as cruisers.[4][5]

The cruiser designation for warships second only to battleships was used to a certain extent by the Trade Federation,[6] the Confederacy of Independent Systems[4] and the Galactic Empire (as Star Cruisers).[2] The Rebel Alliance often used the Star Cruiser term to describe its heaviest Mon Calamari warships, which served as either cruisers or battleships.[7]

In at least one classification system, cruisers could be divided into three categories: light, medium and heavy. The light cruisers were at the lower end of the cruiser interval, around 350-400 meters, medium cruisers between 400 and 500 meters, and heavy cruisers 600 meters and beyond. The alternate designation of battle cruiser was also used for some ships in the same size brackets.[8]

With a variety of different ship classifications in use, some of these used the "cruiser" definition for dimunitive patrol ships like the Guardian-class customs vessel.[9][10]

Known classes

Behind the scenes

In the real world, the term cruiser originates in the age of sail, when it denoted simply a ship assigned to cruise independently of large battlefleets, either as a scout operating ahead of the main fleet, or on detached duty. This of course defined cruisers as ships which did not fight in the line of battle, so that the term was particularly applied to frigates, fast, mid-sized vessels that were not designed to stand up to the firepower of ships of the line.

As the ironclad developed the later nineteenth century, the term "cruiser" came to be applied definitively to a class of ship designed for duties outside the battle line, initially serving in more distant waters as raiders or in patrol squadrons. These ships were essentially lighter-weight cousins of contemporary battleships, with less-heavy armor and main guns, and they were divided into two types: armored cruisers, which had armored belts on the sides of the hull in the manner of contemporary battleships, and protected cruisers, which simply had an armored deck over their vulnerable engines and magazines. Early ironclad cruisers were no faster or smaller than contemporary battleships, but as their speed improved, scouting for major battlefleets once again became an important role for the cruiser.

In the early twentieth century, inspired by the new generation of battleships represented by HMS Dreadnought, the armored cruiser developed into the battlecruiser, which carried guns of the same caliber as battleships, and came to be thought of as a type of fast, light-armored capital ship that could fight with the battlefleet. Actual cruiser construction shifted to smaller, faster "light armored cruisers", soon simply called light cruisers, with guns of six-inch and four-inch calibers. By the end of the First World War, the largest "light cruisers" had in turn grown in size to carry 7½-inch main guns.

The inter-war naval treaties formally defined cruisers by three main constraints: limiting their displacement to 10,000 tons; redefining a "light cruiser" with nothing more than six-inch guns; and formalizing a new term, heavy cruiser, for ships with guns of up to eight-inch caliber. These caliber-based definitions remained in use through World War Two, and after the decommissioning of the last battleships, cruisers became the largest traditional surface-combat warships in service, though in modern times, whether a ship is a "cruiser" or not is largely a matter of what she is officially defined as one. Russia uses the term for all large surface warships, including the massive Kirov-class "battlecruisers" and their aircraft carriers, a usage which by 1975 had led to a perception of a "cruiser gap" in the United States Navy, which had only one modern warship designated as a cruiser; as a result, the "cruiser" designation was revived in US service, although modern USN "cruisers" have, without exception, been designed as large destroyers. The Royal Navy has, in contrast, designed ships as cruisers which entered service under other designations: the Type 82 destroyer, and the Invincible-class aircraft carrier.

In Star Wars, the standard definition of the "cruiser" type is probably closest to the modern Russian usage, although under the Empire, the separation of most large cruisers into a sub-category as Star Destroyers largely reduces the "pure" cruiser to a secondary role more akin to historical usage. Something similar is true in alternative designation systems that add distinct battleship categories, although here the size definition of "cruiser" can be different.



Notes and references

  1. The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia
  2. 2.0 2.1 Star Wars: Complete Locations
  3. Starships of the Galaxy (2007)
  4. 4.0 4.1 Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith
  5. Star Wars: Republic Commando
  6. Attack of the Clones: Incredible Cross Sections
  7. The Rebel Alliance Scrapbook
  8. Rebel Alliance Sourcebook
  9. Tapani Sector Instant Adventures
  10. Revenge of the Sith: Incredible Cross Sections

This article uses material from the "Cruiser" article on the Starwars wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.

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