A corvette is a classification of strike craft designed for escort and light combat duty. Corvettes are generally characterized by their crew size, which is small but still larger than the single pilot and occasional co-pilot crew found on fighters. Corvettes are often said to be a "missing link" between strike craft and Capital Ships, their firepower and armor stronger than those of a fighter while they remain faster and more maneuverable than even the most nimble frigate. Corvettes are almost entirely manned by an onboard crew rather than controlled by remote or AI.
Corvettes usually possess turrets rather than mounted weapons, giving them excellent coverage. Their guns track moving targets more quickly than those of larger ships and as such corvettes are exceptionally adept at anti-fighter roles. As a result corvettes follow an almost universal design philosophy. There are exceptions, however. Minelayer Corvettes, for example, are unarmed except for their mines which they lay in fields which serve as anti-capital ship defenses. Salvagers and Repair Corvettes serve non-combat roles and with their small or nonexistent weaponry serve more specialized roles.
Corvette technology has advanced greatly in the years. During the Cataclysm Era, Somtaaw engineers developed composite technology, allowing fighters to link together to form a vehicle of the same size as a corvette which then served a similar role. The era also saw the advent of the Acolyte Fighter Drive, which was implemented in corvettes as well as fighters and allowed strike craft to operate without constant refueling. During the Homeworld 2 Era, laser and pulsar technology advanced sufficiently for miniature versions of the weapons to be mounted on corvettes, allowing the vehicles to take on anti-frigate roles.
Despite their adaptability corvettes are still vulnerable and like fighters are usually deployed in squadrons, although these squadrons are of fewer numbers than those of corvettes' smaller brethren.