Dreadnaught heavy cruiser 无畏重型巡洋舰
600 meters long
10 turbolaser cannons, 20 quad turbolaser cannons, 10 turbolaser batteries
Dreadnaught heavy cruiser
Developed before the outbreak of the Clone Wars, Dreadnaught heavy cruisers are among the oldest vessels in active service in the Imperial Navy. Though outdated, the Dreadnaughts continued to see use due to simple economics: they were readily available and effective cruisers, if not the most efficient and advanced models.
The Dreadnaught is plagued by a number of design flaws that prevented it from becoming a preeminent ship of the line. Inefficient power generators resulted in slow sublight and hyperdrive performance, weak shielding, reduced firepower and frequent surges within the computer systems.
Perhaps the Dreadnaught's biggest drawback is how crew-intensive the ships are. Standard operating procedure recommends an optimum crew that numbers over 16,000 personnel. The consumable supplies required to maintain that crew took up enormous cargo space. A modification of the ship's hyperdrive that increased its performance to class two allowed for more frequent victualing stops, and some of that cargo space was converted for hangar use. In the Empire, a standard Dreadnaught carried a squadron of TIE fighters. The Imperials employed Dreadnaughts to maintain a presence in the Outer Rim Territories, as convoy escort vessels and ensuring dominance over primitive worlds.
Years before the Clone Wars, the most well known Dreadnaughts became an embarrassment to the military echelons that commissioned them. To counter the high-staffing requirements of the vessels, a fleet of Dreadnaughts was extensively modified with full-rig slave circuitry, reducing the crew requirements to only about 2,200 per starship. This much-heralded advancement in slave rig technology was positioned as a new era for military warships.
To further distinguish the Katana fleet of 200 Dreadnaughts, the starships were completely redecorated inside and out in a dark hue, earning the unofficial moniker, the Dark Force. Prior to its inaugural launch, its crew became infected with a hive virus that drove them mad. In their insanity, they slaved the ships together as the whole fleet disappeared into hyperspace, jumping to parts unknown.
For nearly 50 years, the Katana fleet was lost. Five years after the Battle of Endor, Grand Admiral Thrawn blackmailed smuggler Niles Ferrier into providing the location of the long-missing Katana fleet and escaped with 180 of the 200 ships under the nose of the New Republic.
The Dreadnaught is 600 meters long. It carries 10 laser cannons, five facing starboard and five facing port. Twenty quad laser cannons are distributed along the ship's forward and side arcs, with six facing front, and seven on each side. The ship's front and rear are guarded by five turbolaser batteries per facing.