A technologically advanced capital ship designed primarily as a carrier, the Astral-class is able to project vast amounts of firepower through its numerous fighter craft squadrons.
The Astral-class ships are thought to have been the epitome of carrier design in the Domain during the years prior to the Collapse. Nearly all systems that can be automated are, with each handled by sophisticated AI cores installed throughout the ship. Defensive weapon systems are typically, but not always, point defense turrets and long-range missiles.
The true power of an Astral lies in its fighter craft, which give the carrier unprecedented flexibility in the battle space. Nearly any enemy ship type that appears on the captain's scopes can quickly be dispatched, given just a launch order of a wing of nimble interceptors, strike bombers or fighters. Automated facilities ensure that a squadron coming back from a mission can quickly be repaired and rearmed behind the safety of the powerful X-35 shield emitter. The Astral-class is very vulnerable should the X-35 come down. This is why when not protected by its fighter wings it never travels alone, but instead is at the head of space-borne carrier fleets. These task forces are a rarity, as the power they hold is usually required to subjugate entire planets or blockade enormous areas of space.
The Astral is perhaps the most technologically advanced capital ship that can be seen in the Sector today. Few serve with the Hegemony due to the high technological requirements that it imposes on orbital docks. Senior Naval Corporate Officers of the Tri-Tachyon Corporation or extremely wealthy private admirals sometimes make an Astral their flagship.
The Astral is a capital-grade carrier with heavy missile weaponry and the more fighter bays than any ship in the game. Its most notable features are the in-built Advanced Optics hullmod which extends the range of any beam weapons the ship has equipped; and the Recall Device system, unique to the Astral, which allows it to teleport any fighters it has deployed to back to the ship for rapid re-arming.
The Astral also boasts two large missile mounts and powerful 360 degree shields, but has a fragile hull and a respectable logistical profile, as to be expected from a high-tech ship.