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UNSC corvette.png
Bow-class corvette
Class overview

corvette (K)


Chevron Aerospace/Reyes-McLees Shipyards

General characteristics





225,091 metric tons

Maximum velocity

atmosphere: 32,200kph (Mach 26.28)

Engine/power plant

Mark XVI TEMPEST fusion reactor (1)

Slipspace Drive

Mark 34 translight engine

Shielding system

four linked Mark XVI AURORA Projected Energy Barrier System


layered modular/fixed armour (800mm):

  • RADAR absorbant, UV/LADAR distorting coating
  • energy-reactive regenerative nanomaterial
  • alternating ceramic/CVT/Titanium alloy plates, silicon carbide backing
  • ceramic chevron plates/plasma resistant polymer
  • secondary ceramic/CVT/Titanium alloy plate
  • plasma-resistant resin-impregnated carbon nanofibre
  • Boron Carbide/Titanium Carbide/CVT/Titanium ceramic plate

AN/SLE-311 decoy launcher (1)


217 naval personnel (18 officers, 198 enlisted)


Remnant War

  • escort and protection of larger vessels
  • area defence against starfighters and ordnance
  • patrol and rapid response duties
In service



United Nations Space Command Navy


The Bow-class corvette was a class of corvettes in service with the United Nations Space Command Navy from 2578. The Bow-class was an agile, high acceleration, lightweight warship designed to fill a range of utilities, in a manner similar to frigates but at a lower cost and lower capability. Ideally suited for patrolling the periphery of UEG star systems, enforcing law and order in the void and providing a low-level armed presence, the Bow-class corvette was nonetheless a proven combat vessel. It was designed specifically with asymmetric threats in mind, including 'swarms' of small, highly maneuverable insurrectionist craft, starfighters and hypersonic missiles, something reflected in its armament. As a corvette, the Bow-class was more lightly armed and equipped than frigates such as the Remembrance- and Daring-classes, though possessed greater acceleration and manoeuvrability. A key part of the Bow-class' function was screening larger vessels in so-called 'close orbital warfare', where larger warships, particularly those unable to enter atmosphere themselves, were vulnerable to ground-based aircraft and fire.

Internally, almost a third of the Bow-class's space was taken up by its powerplant, one Mark XVI TEMPEST fusion reactor. The TEMPEST, which also powered the Remembrance- and Daring-class frigates in pairs, gave the Bow-class significantly more power at its disposal compared to other vessels of its size. This additional energy translated into more powerful shielding and sensory equipment, a larger number of railguns and significantly increased acceleration. The Bow-class was not equipped with a keel-mounted MAC or the BGSM-14 Harpoon missile, and a limited store of RSGM-16 Archers. The vessel was therefore capable of countering asymmetric threats, and of self-defence, but was not intended to function in an anti-ship role, or to provide the same level of air defence as larger vessels such as frigates and destroyers.

The Bow-class saw extensive action throughout the [[Remnant War. During peace time, much of the Bow-class's operations were focused on patrolling systems where its parent Navy Group was based. Its actual combat usage was as a part of Light Attack Squadrons, which operated as part of a Light Strike Group, offering light combat support to other Groups in the Strike Force. The UNSC Navy operated nearly 14,000 corvettes by the turn of the 27th century.


Intended Role

The Bow-class corvette was designed by Chevron Aerospace in the 2590s as a replacement for the Leander-class corvette, a proven but aging vessel that had served in the immediate post-Remnant War period. The Bow was conceived simply as an updated iteration of the same basic principle- a small craft capable of independently patrolling the space surrounding UNSC systems- albeit with modernised technology and weaponry. Such a design would be cheaper to produce and operate than frigates and destroyers, whilst being more heavily armed than patrol craft, and possessing its own slipspace drive to drastically increase its patrol range over smaller vessels. This corvette concept was not a new idea, having been put into practice with unspectacular, quiet success since the Interplanetary War.


As the design was nearing completion, it became increasingly apparent that the UNSC's long-term plan for size reductions, outlined in the 2567 Strategic Defence Review, would continue to be implemented in the Navy's next ten-year procurement strategy. The doctrine, which called for a smaller number of more advanced vessels, resulted in a reevaluation of the class by the designers. After halting work in 2599, Chevron Aerospace overhauled the existing design to balance patrol and peacekeeping roles with combat roles, including a modified frigate-type reactor and a balanced array of missile and gun weaponry.

Operational History


The Bow-class corvette's design was a distinct departure from the UNSC's previous generation of light spacecraft, taking more after the revolutionary layout of the Remembrance-class frigate. The vessel's spaceframe consisted of a narrow central hull, from which multiple sections extended. The pointed forward section of this hull mounted antennas for sensor and communication systems and the two forward 155 millimetre railgun turrets, while the middle housed the main part of the crew's quarters and facilities. The aft was occupied almost entirely by the slipspace drive and fusion reactor. Engine power was directed through one primary thruster and four smaller secondaries, which controlled the ship's movement in conjunction with maneuvering thrusters arrayed on the hull. The hull's midsection was bulked out to house the main part of the ship's armament, including two of the Archer pods and, on wing-like lateral protrusions, the ship's port and starboard railgun turrets. While these turrets could not retract into the hull due to internal space constraints, the barrels could retract into the turret bodies, which were designed to reduce RADAR cross-section.

The corvette's command module was situated on its dorsal surface, primarily housing the ship's sensory, communication and targeting systems. The top of this structure housed the MASER dish for short range communication, and AESA RADAR radome. Both sides of this section featured smaller variants of the universal docking ring for docking and linking with other UNSC vessels, such as shuttles, other small craft and orbital stations. The command module also housed the CIC, or Combat Information Centre, commonly known as the bridge. From here, the vessel was steered and combat action commands issued, as well as tactical and navigational operations monitored and directed. Ventrally, the corvette's only hangar, barely large enough for a single Pelican, was housed in a section also containing lateral maneuvering thrusters.


Although lightly armed compared to larger UNSC ships such as frigates and destroyers, the Bow-class corvette was heavily armed for its length and tonnage. The class featured a tiered armament primarily intended for anti-air and point defence against starfighters and missiles, while incorporating a limited anti-ship and anti-surface role. The Bow-class was able to hold off significant attacks by hostile single ships, protecting itself and lending valuable support to larger vessels. In addition to this, it was able to outgun and destroy most comparably sized vessels, as well as harass larger vessels with anti-ship fire, and provide limited anti-surface fire.

The Bow-class corvette's armament consisted of the following:

The Bow-class corvette's primary armament was its six dual Mark XII 155mm naval guns, a general purpose armament capable of anti-air, anti-ship and anti-surface roles, but primarily used as a point defence weapon against incoming single ships and ordnance. The Mark XII naval gun (officially called the 6.1 inch Mark 12 naval gun) was a UNSC naval gun system designed for general purpose fire support duties, mounted in armoured, fast tracking dual turrets, and fitted to UNSC vessels of corvette size and above, replacing the 4.1 inch/105mm Mark 22 naval gun. The Mark XXII was a versatile weapon providing a multi-role fire ability, capable of fire-support, anti-surface, anti-ship and anti-air fire missions. When used in an anti-air role, the weapon's unparalleled accuracy and deadly firpower per shot compensated for its low rate of fire compared to dedicated close-in weapon systems; this enabled it to engage single ships with similar success while also taking on stronger targets and a in wider range of roles. The gun could be directed to fire at vulnerable external targets such as shield generators and weapons, overwhelming shields with powerful localised fire and disabling enemy systems even before the main shields were disabled. The guns could easily fire through the openings in shields when targeting active Covenant weapons, destroying point defence lasers, plasma torpedo launchers and even energy projectors by firing through gaps in the shield. The Mark XII could also function in an anti-surface role, engaging ground targets at extreme range with superior firepower and accuracy.

The vessel's complement of six turrets could function in both offensive and defensive roles, sometimes simultaneously, directly attacking targets or offering defensive fire to cover larger vessels, or projecting a defensive 'screen' of ant- aircraft fire using advanced airburst munitions or other exotic types. These lightweight, armoured turrets had an elevation of 165 degrees from horizontal, and were capable of 360 degree rotation, able to rotate fully in under six seconds. Two turrets covered the forward arc of fire, one dorsally mounted and one ventrally, while two each on the port and starboard sides similarly covered the side and rear ventral and dorsal fire zones. This placement allowed the weapons maximum firing arcs and meant that, in combination with the ship's fire control RADAR, that the Bow-class could engage and destroy any number of smaller craft simultaneously.

The design for the Mark XII was based on the 5.9 inch Mark 2488 naval gun, though thoroughly updated and modernised. The class's vastly improved Mark XVI MAELSTROM fusion reactor, engineered with Sangheili, Ve'nek, Theran and Huragok assistance, meant that the Mark XII could achieve a cyclic rate of fire of 50 slugs a minute.

In addition to its railgun systems, the Bow-class was also equipped with four missile pods for the RSGM-16 Archer missile, each housing five missile tubes and a pooled magazine of thirty missiles. The Archer was a general purpose missile, with the capacity for use against enemy vessels, single ships and surface targets. The Bow's Archers acted as the ship's second-tier armament, with individual missiles either being directed by a shipboard AI after launch, or self-guiding to their targets. As a result of the ship's own space limitations, the total Archer complement was restricted to 120, which was significantly smaller than the 600 missiles carried by the next largest vessel, the Daring-class frigate. For the general light combat the class was designed to handle, however, this capacity was usually more than sufficient- especially given the potency of even a single Archer missile against the small, lightly protected vessels the Bow-class commonly exchanged fire with.


Known Ships of the Line

  • UNSC Bow
  • UNSC Baltic
  • UNSC Beagle
  • UNSC Brazen
  • UNSC Brilliant
  • UNSC Bulldog
  • UNSC Banshee
  • UNSC Basilisk
  • UNSC Bastion
  • UNSC Battle
  • UNSC Bayonet
  • UNSC Beacon
  • UNSC Bellerophon
  • UNSC Bengal
  • UNSC Blenheim
  • UNSC Bold
  • UNSC Bulwark
  • UNSC Broadsword


"Given their size, it's easy to see why the Brutes underestimated the Bow-class in the war's opening clashes. They learnt quickly that appearances can be deceiving."

"During the recapture of Fountain, two of their frigates ambused our long range picket of four corvettes. They clearly picked the wrong fight though, because the Bows just danced around them, avoiding the plasma, landing Archer hits and slotting slugs through the shields' gaps. I'm not sure if the Brutes scored even a single hit before damage crippled both of them."

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