Authors notes:

The Cervantes class frigate is intended to be the support craft/escort attached to a larger vessel in my upcoming book. Thus why the sheer amount of explicit detail. If you want to play around with designing your own spacecraft, I have put together a Spreadsheet. I estimate it's size to be comparable to that of a Perry Class Frigate.


In the 6710s, a decade after the Inner System War, the realities of a massive military buildup were becoming obvious to the public in ISTO. Stakeholders were looking at the disasters that were the Betelgeuse and Bellatrix projects, and noting that neither design, even if the bugs could be worked out, could be manufactured on an industrial scale.

The design team began with the Rigel class, and was given the mandate to develop one class of frigate that used swappable modules to serve in 5 roles:

The result has been deridingly called "the swiss-army ship". While it can perform each of those roles, it is not as capable in any specific job as a dedicated vessel. However, what it lacks in quality it makes up for in quantity. There is also little argument that having one platform to maintain has greatly simplified ISTO's logistics train.

The main controversy with the Cervantes class was the decision to return to using LID fusion for it's power and propulsion system. To critics, this leaves the vessels vulnerable to the same fusion-initiating warhead (FIW) munitions that doomed ISTO vessels during the Inner Systems War. It also means the fleet carriers have to store and transport massive amounts of LID. Muon-Cat systems, by comparison, are fueled by heavy water. The design team evaluating the safety of LID noted that if this craft was struck by any kind of warhead that was large enough to contain a FIW the vessel would be destroyed by the impact, regardless. As far as the safe storage of LID in carriers, there are a number of highly classified safeguards in place.

In general, the concept of the Cervantes class is to deploy a number of cheap and relatively expendable ships that can operate with small crews. The survivability of the fleet is assured, even if the survivability of the individual vessels is not.

Number planned: 570 (through 6820)

Number built: 570 (through 6820)

Number in service: 150 (as of 6820)

Number lost: 71

Number retired: 0

Number cancelled: 0

Pennants: F-20 thru F-570

While the ships serve a number of roles, Spacey has assigned every hull an F- series penent number. What task a particular ship is actually performing depends on it's particular configuration. Note that changing modules requires shipyard facilities, and the process can require weeks of assembly, integration, calibration, and fine tuning.

General Specifications

Overall Diameter: 50m
Length (standard): 100m
GVM (standard): 1.42e8 kg
Reaction Mass (standard): 1.07e8 kg
DeltaV (standard): 576575 m/s
Cruising Velocity (standard): 0.333 au/day
Combat Radius (standard): 18.92 au
Endurance (standard): 60 days

Cervantes Mods

The Cervantes is assembled in modules. Each mission module adds mass, and thus degrades the vessel's performance and increases the amount of fuel required for maneuvers. Most modules have a dedicated crew requirement.


The "Core" is the aft-most module of the Cervantes, and is essentially what constitues the vessel itself. It contains the propulsion system, power reactor, crew accommodations, fuel tanks, and generic auxiliary systems. The core also includes a basic cargo and crew transfer airlock.

The core has accommodations for the 67 people. The core systems and basic ship handling require a crew of 20 plus 7 officers to operate. On board supplies are sufficient for a mission of 60 days or less.

Shop Module

On-board repair and maintenance facilities, as well as pre-staged spare parts and expendables to allow a vessel to operate for 6 months. (Crew 12)

Cargo Module

Sealed container cargo storage module. Includes robotic equipment for rapid transfer. (Automated)

Triple Cargo Module

Sealed container cargo storage module. Includes robotic equipment for rapid transfer. Only has one set of equipment, for three times the cargo volume. (Automated)

Accomodation Module

Contains accommodations for 40 crew, enhanced recreation facilities, and provisions for 74 crew to survive for 6 months.

Picket Module

Sensor and self-defense suite. Contains 2 anti-ship torpedos, 24 anti-strike missiles, and point defense cannons. Sensors are designed to participate in a fleet-wide mesh. (Crew 20)

Shuttle Module

Launch and retrieval facility for 2 shuttle craft. (Crew 14)

Destroyer Module

Anti-capital ship suite. Contains 24 anti-ship torpedos. Torpedos are guided by either an attached Picket module, or sensors from an adjacent ship. (Automated)

Spy Module

Long range passive sensor module, intended for signals intelligence and surreptitiously tracking enemy fleet movements. (Crew 8)

Minelaying Module

Space-Denial suite. Contains 48 anti-ship mines, with deployment equipment. (Automated)

Minesweeper Module

Anti-Space-Denial suite. Contains enhanced sensors, drone launcher, and explosive disposal facilities. (Crew 20)

EVA Module

Enhanced EVA facilties required for salvage work, construction, emergency response, boarding actions, or planetary invasion. Includes drones and personnel transfer pods.

Medical Module

Emergency medical facilities to assist with mass casualty events. Includes sick bay for 32 patients, and supplies for 14 days. (Crew 20)

Austere Accommodation Module

Facilities and supplies to house 120 people for 14 days. 30% of the berthing can be configured as a brig.