Cruisers are by far the most numerous and varied craft in most space navies,
and come in many sizes and varieties including Heavy, Command,
Medium, Supplemental, Light,
and Medical Cruiser types amongst others. One of the
oldest designations, the term Cruiser refers to a large array of vessel types
and sizes. Cruisers can be both general purpose and mission specific, with many
capable of autonomously switching between the two extremes when needed. Cruisers
are not as large or powerful as Battleships or Dreadnoughts, but can often be as
effective in military conflict. Cruiser are also highly varied in their
abilities to explore and expand the boundaries of established governments. First
contacts, stellar and planetary research as well as diplomatic negotiations are
all well within the purveyance of Cruiser class vessels. Cruisers can also
easily switch to medical emergency mode, search and rescue and evacuation when
needed. Most cruisers have a large science base, consisting of numerous sensor
system, independent science labs and numerous on-board departments that
specialize in a wide variety of space and planetary science.
Cruisers often have a large engineering contingent, giving a cruiser unique
forward capabilities while in deep space. Cruisers can maintain lengthy patrols
and explore well beyond the boundaries of established boarder space. Cruisers
are often well armed and very capable of defence and combat when necessary.
Cruisers are the mainstay of the Romulan Navy, and an expansive part of the
Federation and Klingon Navies.
Command Cruisers are designed to operate as mobile star-bases and tactical
operations focal points during both emergency situations and times of conflict.
Command Cruisers act as a Flagship for medium to large fleets, often superceding
command of Battleships or Dreadnought. Command Cruisers can coordinate the
operations of nearly 100 or more other vessels, having specialized on-board
Command-and-Control systems, tactical data systems, and on-board analysis
systems that allow a front line commander to quickly assess the changing
political and military situation for dozen of parsecs.
Command Cruisers are able to coordinate large scale research operations, but
have only a moderate research ability themselves. Most Command Cruisers are
equal or larger than Heavy Cruisers, and have firepower equivalent to most
Dreadnoughts. Command Cruisers do have a much shorter range, owing to the large
number of extra crew members on-board, which often include Intelligence
operatives, special forces personnel, Military strategists, tactical
engineering/analysis personnel and other specialized military or research
Command Cruisers also have surprisingly extensive repair and medical systems,
allowing them to act as a rescue vessels when necessary.