In many ways, frigates are the pinnacle of the shipbuilder’s art. Lean, fast, and dangerous, frigates can outrun anything they can’t fight, and destroy anything they can catch. Frigates fill the ranks of Battlefleet Calixis, where they are prized commands for the youngest and most aggressive naval captains. While a frigate may not seem as prestigious as a cruiser or battleship, their versatility means they are the Navy’s ship of choice for all manner of actions. Frigates are tasked for convoy escorts, patrols, anti-piracy operations, and even attacks on rebel ships and stations. They routinely skirmish with the frigates and raiders of seditionists, pirates, and even hostile xenos races. Thus, a frigate captain is “in the mix” much more than his counterparts aboard the Battlefleet’s larger vessels.
Frigates are a balance between all aspects of ship design; speed, manoeuvrability, firepower, and defences. A skilled Mechanicus shipwright can even increase their cargo capacity and supply stowage without greatly reducing any other aspects. They are also relatively common ships, often with robust, simple designs. Therefore they are easily modified and maintained. There are countless stories in the Calixis Sector of crippled frigates lost in space, only to limp into port months later after their crews had affected emergency repairs.
All this means frigates are some of the most desired ships for enterprising Rogue Traders. A frigate provides a Rogue Trader with a almost unlimited options. Trade, exploration, conquest, piracy, all are possible with a properly outfitted frigate and a captain of pluck and nerve at the helm.
As follows are the varied frigate-class hull types available in the Koronus Expanse and Calixis sector. Note these hull types consist of Imperial-pattern starships, and equivalent xeno or chaos pattern hulls may vary considerably.