The Warrior-class gunship is the most common vessel in the Shikanen Navy. Agile, stealthy, and heavily armed, they are fearsome foes, and perfectly highlight Shikanen tactics.
Each gunship totals at roughly 25 meters long and 4 meters wide, containing a single deck and bridge.
The Warrior's armanents are largely modular, though all version mount 4 rapid-fire high-velocity torpedo tubes and a single light MAC in the bow. Additional armanent consists of a single flat-topped turret, armed either with two light plasma cannons or miniguns, depending on the configuration. In addition, many Warriors also mount a pair of heavy missile pods or armor-piercing bombs just ahead of the engines.
Warriors are capable of extreme acceleration, and are manueverable enough to attack fighter craft easily.
Two main variants of the Warrior-class exist:
The first mounts light plasma cannons in the turret, and is used in conjunction with the Navy's heavier vessels in set-piece battles. These are used to weaken and isolate enemy squadrons, and have heavy fighter cover, which is why they lack anti-fighter weaponry.
The second utilizes the dual miniguns and missile pods or bombs. These are designed for detached duty with Explorer-class gunship carriers, ambushing and hunting down enemy convoys and other such targets. Most are equipped with stealth technology. These are usually assigned to experienced captains.
Warriors lack warp or hyper technology, forcing them to rely on carriers for long voyages.
Warrior-class gunships were first created during the Shikanen Diaspora, as new technology was introduced to the Shikanen. Their first recorded use was in the Battle of Xerxes III, in which gunship squadrons performed strafing runs, knocked out critical defense stations, and generally caused havoc. They are generally credited for much of the victory there.
The second variant of Warriors quickly came into use as Shikanen High Command recognized the value of a ship that could disrupt merchant shipping to the enemy with such ease. Highly agile and given strong armor and shielding for its size, the Warrior-class quickly proved its worth in its new role, causing the loss of billions of tons of shipping to the UR and Mekkain Empire. Convoy commanders learned to fear it, as the stealth technology and specialized anti-capital ship armanent allowed it to ambush and destroy far more powerful vessels. In one infamous raid, a Warrior squadron wiped out an entire UR shipyard, destroying 15 incomplete battleships and dreadnoughts as well as completely destroying the shipyard itself, at the loss of only a single gunship.