To the RESF, a “capital ship” is any warship that mounts a stellar convertor as a weapon, regardless of size. The sheer size and mass of the mounting, however, restricted deployment of stellar convertors to battleship-and-heavier hull sizes. For the RESF, the capital ship was a hull in search of a mission, lacking military territorial ambitions that were common in the Griffin Moot or a need to deal with Changeling Empresses that the Senate and Minotaur Republic had to do on a regular basis. The only class that saw major deployments prior to the Horizon War was the Princess Luna-class fast battleship, which had a specific role of hunting down hostile battle-cruisers and bringing them to battle.
After the Horizon War, the need for both capital ships and more aggressive deployments became obvious. Heavier weapons, especially the direct “slam” firepower of larger aperture buster launchers would also be needed, reflecting the tentative design and improvement in the various classes of ships. With the Princess Sunset Shimmer-class beginning to replace the Princess Luna-class, the first keels being laid down for the Prince Shining Armor-class, and a rumored replacement for the Princess Celestia-class, the capital ship may be seeing a renaissance of development.
(Note-Equestrian ships of capital ship weight are called “Alicorns”-ships, and are named after famous Alicorn ponies in Equestrian history. The initial class names for these ships came from the Equestrian history, the Diarchy, and later alicorns that has Ascended.)
Princess Cadence-class Battleship
The first of the true capital ships of the RESF, the Princess Cadence class masses 55,000 tons and is 320 meters long, with heavy weapons to match. Armed with six 12cm buster launchers and a stellar convertor in the bow, eight 10cm buster launchers on the hull, and six plasma torpedo launchers; the class is armored by the standards of most battleships, but it carries a much heavier point defense system than ships of its weight class. Deployment of this class was relatively rare, as many of the missions that it performed prior to the Horizon War were handled by the Princess Luna-class Fast Battleship. During the Horizon War, it formed the core of many task groups, serving as the major warship for most engagements during the war.
The class may see an end, as the RESF is applying lessons from the Horizon War to a new class of battleships, tentatively named the Prince Shining Armor-class. This class would mount heavier broadside buster launchers and more passive defenses than the Princess Cadence-class.
Princess Twilight Sparkle-class Fleet Drone Tender
Massing at 57,000 tons and 320 meters in length, the Princess Twilight Sparkle class is essentially a Princess Cadence with the broadside buster launchers and plasma torpedoes removed to mount launch bays for thirty-six Spike-class ACVs. The class is mostly seen in fleets with other ships, rarely deployed independently because of the lack of secondary weapons. The class may continue in service, as the role it fulfills is handled very well by the ships currently in service. Rumors, however, exist of development of a larger FDT ship carrying forty-eight ACVs after the various battles of the Horizon War.
Princess Luna-class Fast Battleship
This class of ship was built for the very specialized mission of running down battle-cruisers and forcing them into battle, in addition to providing a dangerous “fast attack” wing for fleet operations. To this end, the 320 meter long ship has an acceleration profile equal to the Rarity-class battle-cruiser in a hull massing 60,000 tons. The ship carries six 12 cm buster launchers and a stellar converter in the bow, eight 10cm buster launchers on the hull, and six plasma torpedo launchers for its weapons. Armored in highly expensive composite armors and shielded as well as any other battleship, the Princess Luna mounts point defense that would be considered standard for the much larger Princess Celestia-class dreadnought. Prior to the Horizon War, these ships would operate in small Task Groups of two to four ships, with lighter vessels in proportion providing support and assistance.
One long-standing tradition is that all the Princess Luna-class ships have their nanopaint set in a default black/dark purple color scheme, with ships operating with the Princess Luna assuming the same coloration. The class served through the Horizon War, and is seeing replacement with the Princess Sunset Shimmer-class fast battleship, which has the same acceleration profile with a heavier weapons fit.
Princess Sunset Shimmer-class Fast Battleship
Massing at 70,000 tons and 330 meters long, the Princess Sunset Shimmer-class mounts a much heavier weapons fit in the form of six 14cm buster launchers and a stellar converter in the bow, eight 12cm buster launchers on the hull, and six heavy plasma torpedo launchers. With the first few ships built in the early days of the Horizon War, they were deployed mostly for anti-piracy missions. The ship maintains the same design profile as the Princess Luna-class fast battleship, with Rairty-class accelerations and designed to run down and engage hostile battle-cruisers in combat.
Like the Princess Luna-class, the ship maintains its nanopaint in red and gold, with ships operating with the class changing their color scheme to the same red and gold pattern.
Princess Celestia-class Dreadnought
At 85,000 tons and 350 meters long, the Princess Celestia-class is the last “pure” warship class of the RESF. Armed with six 16cm buster launchers and a stellar convertor in the bow, twelve 12cm buster launchers on the hull, six plasma torpedo launchers, and a point defense array that is immune to ranged weapon attacks short of another dreadnought; the Princess Celestia class would only see “show the flag” duties prior to the Horizon War. During the war, Princess Celestia-class ships would be the core of the fleet formations, surrounded by a veritable swarm of lighter warships. The four major fleet actions of the Horizon War would see these ships in battle, and the loss of any of these ships would be major in many respects.
Post-War, the RESF is building more ships, both to replace the destroyed ships in the war and to ensure larger fleet formations. Rumors abound of a replacement dreadnought class (tentatively named the Princess Flurry Heart-class) that would mount the same bow buster launcher array but heavier shields and 14cm buster launchers on the hull.
Queen Majesty-class Super Dreadnought
The largest single warship of the entire RESF, the Queen Majesty masses at 100,000 tons, 400 meters long, and has a “jack of all trades” design. Mounting eight 18cm buster launchers and a stellar convertor in the bow, the ship carries the single largest mobile buster launcher system used by the RESF. Broadside weapons include twelve 14cm buster launchers and sufficient facilities to carry and tend eighteen Spike-class ACVs. The ship also carries eight plasma torpedo launchers, and point defense that can protect itself against a squadron of cruisers. The class also carries flag facilities sufficient to support a major fleet.
The ship only fought one battle in the Horizon War, and mostly operated as a defensive deterrent around major Equestiran worlds. The RESF is building more ships, but at the rate of two a year. Debate about the future of this class is also tied into the possibility of a replacement class for this ship.