While Corvettes are arguably the cheapest, and most numerous vessels in any of the star nation's navies, frigates, on the other hand, are the main warship employed in all galactic navies. Frigates being much larger a starship or between 1 and 1.5km long and at least 500m wide, count as the navy's main offensive firepower. Were a corvette could only hope to fill in the gap in the formation, the frigate creates that gap or quickly exploits it. Frigates have multiple powerful, big cannons, which are housed in heavily armored emplacements. Designed and built by the best starship engineers of this Empire, those heavily armored turrets provide the craft with excellent firing arcs, making the Frigate one of the best and well-protected warships on the battlefield. Well shielded and covered with plenty of armor-plating, the frigate's hull is heavily reinforced since according to most naval doctrines, the craft has to be able to survive plenty of hits and then return fire with its big guns. Those captains who are given command of a frigate can also count on plenty of point defense and small, fast target tracking turrets. Although the ship is big, its point defense capabilities are probably on par with that of the much smaller corvette. Frigates also have a larger, more spacious hangars than the corvettes. They can carry and service one full starfighter wing consisting of three squadrons, though most captains instead choose to have two fighter squadrons and use the rest of that hangar space to accommodate their star marine detachments dropships.
Frigates have larger crews and often use their star marine detachments to board other, smaller enemy vessels. They more often than not also carry dedicated ground or space infantry troops and are expected to capture planetary or orbital bases and installations. In large fleet engagements, frigates are tasked with punching through an enemy's outer screen ships, dealing with their Corvettes and, of course, other frigates. Since it is the best-balanced warship considering cost, production time and maintenance, most navies have their main shipyards constructing any and all frigate designs that they have developed. Captains of a higher rank, Commodores and even rear Admirals, often are given a command frigate to use as their flagship. Slightly larger, the command frigate is often fitted with the very best internal ship systems and crewed by experienced personnel. Such vessels are, of course, tasked with more and important duties that simple border patrol. Star navies have their own, slight variations in the widely accepted frigate designs, but the overall strategic and tactical usage of these ships remains basically unchanged. That too was challenged by the Terrans, whose few frigates, not only are of widely different design, their tactics too are highly innovative, to say the least.
The Terran Minarchy has fewer starships and that rings especially true for larger craft. Vessels like frigates are considered incredibly valuable and most often than not, they all are of the command design. Terran engineers outdid themselves and had far surpassed any other of the existing frigate designs. After the invasion of pirate lord Mahimm and the loss of humanity's first three battle cruisers, Terran commanders decided against following any of the existing already established, and widely used galactic fleet doctrines. Instead, they focused on producing smaller capital ships, but of far superior quality. That core principle was implemented to the letter when Terran frigates were first designed and built in the later decades after the invasion. Compared to similar alien starships, the Terran frigate is designed to outperform and excel against them in every way. Instead of normal armor, it is covered with extra thick, reinforced armor-plating forged from the best energy absorbing materials. Its outer hull is made from the same alloys that are ordinarily used for armor on smaller craft, like the Corvette for example. Where most frigates have single particle-beam turrets, the Terran craft have a quad, rapid firing, 88mm railguns. In addition to this, the craft is equipped with heavy laser cannon emplacements on its bow, port, starboard, and aft. This design feature, which all Terran frigates and corvettes share is tried and tested in battle. Albeit those weapons can hit enemies from a much closer range, and their arcs are not as wide as those of its railgun turrets, nevertheless, the pulse beams proved to be just as deadly. The frigate's heavily shielded torpedo tubes can launch big, anti-capital ship torpedoes who are themselves armored. Some torpedoes of advanced design are even equipped with an automatic point defense turret. Terran frigates carry a total of three elite interceptor and/or strike craft squadrons which are piloted by the much-feared Minarchy's "Top Guns".
Being slightly larger, they also house more star marines than what their enemies could count on. As such, the Minarchy's frigate is often called a "Pocket cruiser" and very much so acts like one during battle. In stark contrast with most well established naval doctrines, the Minarchy's frigates first and foremost engage the enemy fleet screening vessels. With its long range, powerful railguns, it can lock, track and fire upon multiple escorts, quickly wiping them out, or at least creating holes in the enemy defenses. Those opportunities are then quickly and mercilessly exploited by its heavy starfighters and bombers, who are crewed exclusively by ace pilots. Instead of outright concentrating fire at one enemy frigate at a time, the Minarchy's "Pocket cruiser" aims to heavily damage the main armaments of its counterparts, leaving them for others to finish. Frigates use the same gas cooling system which all Terran escort craft have equipped and therefore can maintain a constant, higher rate of fire with its main railguns. On many occasions, one single "Pocket cruiser" in command of a Terran strike force was able to defeat multiple enemy frigates. Most notably, in an engagement above Sirius prime, one Terran battlegroup faced off the combined forces of four pirate Clan frigates, a dozen taz'aran corvettes, and other enemy support craft. Finally, after two months of desperate fighting, the Terran starships were able to punch through the enemy blockade and reinforce the besieged colony. Despite the unfavorable odds, in just three minutes the Terran battlegroup managed to destroy or cripple virtually all enemy starships. Only a couple of escorts and transports were able to run away, temporarily escaping the colonists' wrath.
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