In the terminology of space naval warfare, a destroyer is a fast and maneuverable warship of long-endurance, mainly intended to protect/escort larger warships of the fleet, battle group and/or battle convoys. It's main purpose is to fight off smaller, agile, short range vessels - torpedo gunships, assault corvettes and frigates. Its size, cost of maintenance and limited availability means that it is an uncommon sight in merchant convoys - which usually uses frigates for escort purposes.
Description and DesignEdit
The need for a destroyer class vessel to emerge became apparent when frigates proved to be ineffectual in defending battle groups against the small, agile torpedo gunboats. New breakthroughs in torpedo technology enabled the colonies to equip small, cheap gunships with weapons capable to destroy a superior enemy battle fleet. This new threat gave rise to the destroyer class, with its long-range is enough to keep up with battleships, light and fast enough to intercept, and has enough armament to destroy any gunship torpedo assault groups.
The design evolved from the frigate class, although since it was intended for different role, basic elements had to be changed. This resulted in scrapping most of the frigate layout - the destroyer class received a bigger power core, more weapon hard points and crew compliment, also a larger body mass/propulsion ratio. All these modifications resulted in that - as opposite that of the frigates - the destroyers were no longer fit to be constructed by smaller/merchant shipyards. For this reason destroyers are fewer in number and have higher operational cost.
The destroyer class quickly became the ultimate choice of defender class in the navy, as it had the necessary armaments to deal with lesser threats and was still fast enough to conduct hit and run attacks itself, so in battle groups it took the role of torpedo gunboats, corvettes and frigates. The colonies adapted the new design quickly, both the military and civilian factions. Pirates rarely favor the class, as frigates are cheaper and more fit for the purpose and as a fleet supporter the slightly bigger and more stronger cruisers are adopted. Still the player may encounter pirate destroyers - often in friendly space, as these ships are perfect for daring captains to prey on merchants near civilian stations.
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