The name denotes the expect role of the ship. A Cruiser is a stand alone patrol and force projection unit. Because cruisers are equipped to operate independantly, they act, and are some times described as Explorers.
Cruisers can operate in groups as part of a task force.
Cruisers are multi-role starships. They are expected to be able to take a crack at anything, from science, to defense, to disaster relief to diplomacy. A Cruiser is generally more expensive to build and operate an equivalent Frigate.
Starfleet likes Cruisers. They fit with the "Citizen, Soldier, Scientist" Image that Starfleet likes to project.
Cruisers can have sub-classification.
- Heavy - Heavy Cruisers are the largest, they are intended to be flag ships and main line problem solvers. the highest form of starship life by Starfleet thinking.
- Medium - These ships fit between heavy and light classifications. They are the work horse ships of the fleet. The notation is "Medium" is most often dropped. the term is not even much used or a formal classification.
- Light - Light Cruisers are intended to be economical units, spreading multi-role problem capability further. The light cruisers of the late 24th to the 25th century is anything under 300 meters.
- Explorer - an Explorer is a Cruiser equipped for deep space exploration and science. This may be just a matter of what equipment is carried or it may be a shipyard alteration to a cruiser. It is usually applied to the rare (and expensive) four nacelle classes.
- Medical Cruisers: Medical ships or "Hospital ships" are an old standby. They are less multi role and often have a board certified Doctor in command, when possible. they are equipped to provide medical and disaster relief.
- Relief Cruiser: The relief cruiser is a new type first developed in the Far Sector . Technological planets ravaged by the Kliges'chee are a too frequent fact of life. They are built to carry a colony support and rescue pod, or other pods as required. Otherwise they are a standard light cruiser.
Other types are possible
Classes of CruiserEditConstitution class heavy cruiser. The iconic ship of Star Trek, first launched 2245 it is known to Everyone in Trek fandom as the USS Enterprise NCC-1701, no bloody A, B C or D. The typical Heavy Cruiser of the middle part of the 23rd century.
Enterprise class heavy cruiser. First introduced to an adoring public in Star Trek the Motion Picture it has been a fan favorite since, the heavy cruiser of the latter part of the 23rd century.
Galaxy class heavy cruiser. The iconic cruiser of the late 24th century. It is best known for the long run of Star Trek TNG as the Enterprise D. Bigger better and more majestic it is the natural development of the Heavy Cruiser and Galaxy exploration ship.
Intrepid class light cruiser. This is a light cruiser of the late 24th century. It is contemporary to the Galaxy class. It is best know as the USS Voyager from the show of the name.
Kliges'chee implosion zone