Like the RESF, the Imperial Griffin Space Navy regards the cruiser as the minimum sized hull for independent missions. Unlike the Royal Equestrian Space Forces, the IGSN doesn’t have a dedicated cruiser-sized marine transport hull, relying upon the carried numbers of IGSM troops aboard every Navy warship for ground operations and support of ground objectives. Ironically, a number of these ships have shown up in pirate hands, especially the lighter Gyrfalcon-class, with a black market for either the anti-ship missiles or replacing the missile launchers with Equestrian-style plasma torpedoes.
Also, like the RESF, the IGSN encountered “teething troubles” during the Horizon War and newer hulls are being built to fill the issues that were encountered. Older hulls are slowly being cycled out of the numbered fleets into the named fleets, and a few are showing up into “independent” service.
Gyrfalcon-class Light Cruiser
Massing 20,000 tons and 210 meters in length, the Gyrfalcon-class light cruiser is designed and built around filling most of the missions that light cruisers perform. Armed with two 8cm buster launchers in the bow, two 6cm buster launchers in the broadsides, and four launch cells for Viper-class anti-ship missiles, the Gyrfalcon is heavily armed for its weight. The major difficulties of the class is that when the Viper anti-ship missiles run out, the ship loses most of its long range punch against opponents. Armor and defense systems are of standard for the class of ship, as well as secondary systems for combat operations. The ship also carries a single company of Imperial Griffin Space Marines for ground operations.
The class saw service throughout the Horizon War, and many of the class’s flaws were brought to light during the war. A heavier light cruiser class, the Raven-class, began to be produced after the Horizon War, which addressed these concerns.
Raven-class Light Cruiser
Built after the end of the Horizon War, the Raven-class light cruiser masses at 23,000 tons and 210 meters in length. Armed more heavily than the Gyrfalcon-class, the ship carries two bow 8cm buster launchers, four 6cm buster launchers in the broadsides, and four launch cells for Viper-class anti-ship missiles. The major improvements of this class were the additional broadside buster launchers and slightly larger launcher capacity (four salvoes of six over three salvoes of six) for the Viper anti-ship missiles. While the class still has the issue of being less effective in combat once the missile cells are empty, the Raven is still a formidable foe in knife-fighting range with its buster launchers. Like the Gyrfalcon-class , the armor and defense systems are standard for the class. The ship carries a single company of Imperial Griffin Space Marines for ground operations and boarding missions.
As the older Gyrfalcon-class ships are bought by the military nobility and older hulls are retired, the Raven-class is replacing them in greater numbers. The Horizon War showed that there were never enough cruisers for the missions that were required, and the Griffin Moot is planning to be ready when they need these hulls.
Eagle-class Heavy Cruiser
At 26,000 tons and 220 meters long, the Eagle-class of heavy cruiser represents the platonic ideal of cruisers in the IGSN thoughts prior to the Horizon War. Armed with two bow 10cm buster launchers, six 6cm buster launchers in the broadsides, and four launch cells for Viper-class anti-ship missiles, the class is designed to win a cruiser duel by superior bow-to-bow firepower and longer engagement ranges for the 10cm buster launchers. The primary issue with this class of ship is that while it carries a fairly large number of missiles (the launch cells are built to handle six salvoes of six missiles each), once the missiles are gone the ship lacks a maneuver denial weapon against hostile ships. In addition, while the simple “slam” power of the 10cm buster launchers is significant, the advantages of two larger weapons over an array of smaller buster launchers wasn’t worth the mass and design penalties. The class mounts armor and defenses in proportion to the ship’s mass, and carries a reinforced company of Imperial Griffin Space Marines for ground operations.
The Eagle-class would begin to be phased out, to be replaced by the Talon-class heavy cruiser after the end of the Horizon War. The class is oddly popular with the military nobility, which likes the class for its heavy weapons fit.
Talon-class Heavy Cruiser
At 38,000 tons and 240 meters long, the Talon-class is the IGSN’s version of the RESF Big Macintosh class, and it fills the same mission role. Armed with four 8cm buster launchers in the bow, six 6 cm buster launchers in the broadsides, and six Viper-class anti-ship missile launch cells, the class is more balanced in terms of weapons than the older Eagle-class. Like the Eagle-class, the ship has difficulties when it runs out of missiles, but the larger number of launchers gives the ship more endurance. The class also mounts heavier point defense stations than other cruisers, which allows for engagement of seeking weapons at longer distances. Like the Eagle-class, the ship carries a reinforced IGSM company for ground operations.
The Talon-class is replacing the Eagle-class, and while the ship is popular within the IGSN, the military nobility has a dislike for the class due to its mimicry of the RESF and their doctrines.