The nomenclature used to describe starships and their varied forms has changed dramatically since the early days of space flight. Modern terminology is both inclusively specific and broad based, describing the general size, function, capabilities and even assignment of a given class of starship. Terminology has also crossed cultural and political boarders, with many nations adopting the terms of an enemy power in an attempt to help understand transmissions and deciphered messages. Generalized descriptions are also used for many vessels. These general descriptions refer primarily to the overall function and profile of a given vessel, despite its class or capability. Such terms are often linked to several classes of vessel, and can be used to understand the overall profile used by a given ship. More often than not, most descriptions indicate only a minor difference between vessels. Cruisers and Heavy Cruisers are both designed to conduct deep space research. Size and crew compliment are somewhat different though. The difference between a Cruiser and Research Cruiser indicates that a Research Cruiser is more specialized. Often, descriptions will indicate a single advantage of a given class, at the cost of other systems or capabilities. General listings can be used to compare broad based vessel descriptions, but examination of details is best when comparing vessels of the same type. As in science, ships are divided into a number of sub-categories listed here.
 Most of the wording is from FASA Star Trek :Starship Tactical Combat Simulator Starship Designer.

        BATTLESHIPS               DREADNOUGHTS         CRUISERS 


      FRIGATES               DESTROYERS          ESCORTS         

       SCOUTS                         CARRIERS                       TROOP VESSEL


     STATIONS                CONTAINER             SMALL VESSEL

                                                           PIRATE VESSEL

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