While merchant ships carry cargo, Warships are dedicated combat ships, carrying powerful weapons, thick armour and being faster and more manoeuvrable than a merchant ship. Warships are usually exclusively operated by a Navy, though some organisations and companies have operated their own.
Both the Covenant and the UNSC operate their own fleets of warships. UNSC ships tend to be smaller than their Covenant counterparts, utilising weaponry significantly less advanced than Covenant technology, though making excellent use of coordination and tactical thinking. Covenant ships are large, and though heavily armed and protected by Energy Shields, often carry large quantities of ground troops.
In the 26th Century, the term warship encompasses several terms: