Please note that this is the Encyclopedia Hiigara's article on the Somtaaw ship created during the Beast War. If you are looking for the article on the ship created by the Progenitors then you should head to Progenitor Dreadnaught.
Its purpose was to deal with the Beast's heavily armed Qwaar-Jet-class Heavy Cruisers, which were simply too powerful to be dealt with by destroyers. Originally, Kiith Somtaaw decided to try to produce Avatar-class Heavy Cruisers, but realized they would take too long to develop and build. The Archangel's design was based on the Bentusi tradeships hull. The unique curved shape provided superior energy control and damage absorbtion. After much trial and error (mostly error) the researchers found the ideal level of curvature and began constructing the new ships.
Armed with 4 heavy turrets (originally mass drivers, but later upgraded to energy cannons) and 6 Large missile tubes, and protected by a hull that deflects more damage than it absorbs, the dreadnought quickly became the king of the battle field. The first Dreadnoughts did not possess Ion Cannons, these were added to deal with ships in the side and rear arcs of fire. Despite a lack of maneuverability, these ships can easily dominate a battlefield, each greatly superior to a Qwaar-Jet.
After encountering the Nomad Moon's repulsor emitter, the scientists incorporated a somewhat weaker version of the device into the Dreadnought, though at a high cost: the two emitter domes were placed at the top and bottom, with the latter obscuring the lower Ion Cannon's frontal arc, greatly reducing the Cannon's already limited coverage: by being attacked from above or below, the Dreadnought can only bring one Ion Cannon to bear, a design flaw which is shared with the much-later Hiigaran Battlecruiser.