in the SG Universe. In the pre-colonial times the corvette class was the ultimate explorer vessel and the biggest ships humans ever built. As times and needs have changed, advances in technologies allowed the building of much bigger ships, they became more and more obsolete and the class faded out of use until the Empire realized the need for a patrol vessel on the colonies to protect shipping routes which has more guns, more armor and being more space worthier than a gunship.
Description and designEdit
With the risk of war with the colonies increasing, it was clear to the Imperial Navy that it needed more escort ships to counter the threat from piracy and sabotage. What was needed was something larger and faster than armed freighters, but still cheap enough to be built in large numbers, preferably at small merchant shipyards, as larger yards were already busy. To meet this requirement, the old Mars Shipping Dock Company, a specialist in the design and build of merchant vessels, offered a development of its 900 armor, mid-range cargo-hauler Mars Pride. They were intended as small convoy escort ships that could be produced quickly and cheaply in large numbers. Despite naval planners' intentions that they be deployed for coastal convoys, their long range meant that they became the mainstay of Colonial Escort Force convoy protection during the first half of the war.
The corvette class became an essential resource for colonial convoy protection until larger vessels such as destroyer escorts and frigates could be produced in sufficient quantities. The simple design of the emerging class using parts and techniques common to merchant shipping meant they could be constructed in small commercial shipyards all over the Empire and the colonies, where larger (or more sophisticated) warships could not be built. Additionally, the use of commercial machinery meant that the crews - who were mainly enlisted merchant reserve forces that were manning the corvettes would be familiar with their operation.
Corvette class vessels are very lightly armed as they were intended solely for anti pirate (mainly gunships) warfare; many of these ships were fitted with pinpoint precision beam weapons and anti-cloak equipment to be able to counter the fast, highly agile pirate gunships who preferred the cloak, ambush, hit and run tactics on the slow and unarmored freighters. However as time passed, many private companies and factions realized how well this class fits for multiple purposes while being cheap to produce, so the class became the universal support vessel for small gunship fleets as well as for general/scientific purpose. The design is so well-thought and versatile, that even small pirate organizations are able to produce their modified versions using salvaged parts and scrap metal.
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