"Gun corvettes aren't obsolete - they've just been repurposed."
―Lieutenant Commander Tom Žagar
The Christchurch-class escort corvette (hull classification symbol: FSE) is a classification of Corvette that is marketed towards private military corporations and planetary defence groups. Unusually fast and heavily-armed for its size, this specialist is a vital supporting pillar in larger fleets, particularly those charged with protecting merchant convoys. Lacking a hangar, a small target profile from above, and a spinal Magnetic Accelerator Cannon, it instead provides a purpose-built screening ship to protect the blind sides of larger, more popular craft.
The Christchurch-class corvette was introduced in 2544 as a spiritual successor to the Mako-class light corvette, one of the most popular military ships of the Insurrection. Deployed by the United Nations Space Command in planetary defence roles due to its rather small fuel capacity, it would be offered at a discount to approved private military corporations in an effort to make it ubiquitous to the market. Finding success, it would participate in protecting the evacuations of large colonies, using its speed to hold off small Covenant frigates while the civilian transports escaped. Their status as private combat vessels ensured that many more survived the Human-Covenant War than the UNSC is currently aware of, giving corporate executives the security they needed to make their own claims on former colony worlds in the aftermath of the conflict.