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The Lancer-class frigate was a capital ship used for anti-starfighter operations in the Imperial Navy.
The Lancer-class was a frigate design armed with 20 AG-2G quad laser cannons, with at least some of these guns capable of being retracted into the main hull of the vessel.
The Lancer was propelled by four drive engines and had a hangar bay area on its ventral side, where it could dock two shuttles. In addition, the Lancer has a docking port located on the top of its bow. The ship's bridge was located in the middle of the bow area, below a similar-looking computer/sensor control room.
Development and usageEdit
An early type of Lancer-class frigate saw its initial deployment a few months after the end of the Clone Wars.
Imperial starships had long focused on ship-to-ship combat capabilities, relegating smaller capital ships to planetary defense rather than picket duty. As Rebel Alliance pilots learned to exploit the major weaknesses of Star Destroyers, commonly called "Trench Run Disease", Imperial officers grew increasingly concerned over the growing relative effectiveness of these heavily-armed and shielded starfighters. After the first Death Star's destruction at the Battle of Yavin by a handful of Alliance starfighters, the need for greater starfighter defense was clear.
Admiral Ilon Drez proposed using the KDY Lancer-class ships to screen enemy starfighters to allow dominant Star Destroyers to pummel enemies in ship-to-ship combat. This was then approved by the Imperial Naval Command. The final iteration of the craft ran a slim 250 meters with twenty quad laser cannon batteries designed specifically for starfighter hunting. However, this came at cost of having no capital grade weaponry or shielding, leaving the ships vulnerable to other capital ships. The ship was also quite slow, allowing many fighters to simply outrun it.
With a high build cost and requiring a relatively large crew of over 800, the Imperial Starfleet found the Lancer-class too expensive for full fleet deployment. A few frigates made it into various fleets, but most admirals preferred to use, and subsequently lose, their TIE starfighters as anti-starfighter options. As a result, most Lancer-class frigates, like smaller ships before them, were assigned to planetary defense and rear guard operations along with interdiction and anti-piracy patrols in the Outer Rim Territories.
Imperial remnant and beyondEdit
It was not until the emergence of Grand Admiral Thrawn in 9 ABY that Lancer-class frigates were put to good use. Thrawn used the frigates in raiding missions against key New Republic worlds, where they used their laser cannons to slice through the New Republic’s starfighter-based planetary defenses.
As the remnants of the Empire collapsed and the New Republic defeated the remaining aggressive warlords, a number of Lancer-class frigates were captured by the New Republic Defense Fleet. While the Defense Fleet incorporated some into planetary defense fleets, most were decommissioned, although the design principles of the Lancer-class were revisited when the New Republic developed the Ranger-class gunship.
During the Yuuzhan Vong War, the New Republic recommissioned many Lancer-class frigates for use against coralskippers.