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.
Exploration cruisers are specifically designed to map and explore deep space.
Although they posses the capability to conduct first contact and terrestrial
investigations, their primary systems are dedicated to mapping solar systems,
stars, comets and other deep space objects.
Exploration Cruisers are often larger than standard cruisers, and have
extended patrol capability, larger fuel reserve, and better crew accommodations.
Most are used as scouts during times of conflict.
Research cruisers are specifically designed to conduct intensified and
detailed investigations on a single phenomenon. Unlike other cruisers, which
keep their system separated, Research Cruisers integrate their on-board systems,
allowing cross department data transfer and material analysis. This unique
ability is not without itís limits.
Several Research Cruisers have been crippled when a single system became
damaged/infected by a research subject. Although this has happened with other
classes of Starship, the inherent De-centralized nature of Research Cruisers
does make them more prone to such accidents. Like Exploration Cruisers, Research
Cruisers are used as scouts during times of conflict.