The Obedience-class cruiser is a warship classification that came into prominence in the years shortly after the end of the Human-Covenant War. First constructed by Vandun Forges within the reclusive Imperium of Clarity on the former Covenant Empire's fringe region, the cruiser's design proved to be a popular one and would eventually be marketed to independent forges on other Sangheili colony worlds. Trading mass and storage capacity for firepower and maneuverability, the Obedience-class would soon become effective as both a patrol vessel and mainline warship that could be fielded in fairly large numbers at a relatively low cost compared to some former Covenant ships.
With a dramatic shift away from the more traditional Sangheili design that had existed in the Covenant for centuries, the Obedience-class was partly inspired by the more utilitarian approach favoured by the human United Nations Space Command. As such, it possessed a distinctively boxy shape that stood out from the sleeker, rounded warships fielded by the Covenant. This lowered its profile and allowed the cruiser to bring its full arsenal to bear quicker than most ships of its size. However, the weaker energy shielding of the Obedience-class meant that could only operate at peak efficiency in groups, massing plasma fire for great effect.
The cruiser would operate largely against lightly-armed pirate forces for the first few years after its mass production, though as it spread to other manufacturers it proved to be able to punch above its tonnage when used properly in the field even against larger human and Sangheili-made warships. However, the Obedience-class was never particularly effective when engaging in atmospheric engagements, lacking an excavation beam and possessing only a few hundred troops aboard for ground deployments. As such, it would often send out its fighter and dropship complements almost immediately before focusing on fighting enemy vessels.
The largest known deployment of Obedience-class cruisers was in the brief Imperial War of 2558, where it served as the backbone of the Imperium of Clarity's space fleet. Due to the Imperium's status as the warship's original designers, its well-trained Shipmasters were able to put these cruisers to great use over the course of the war, proving their true effectiveness through well-orchestrated tactical maneuvers made possible by the group's superb fleet cohesion.
A departure from standard Covenant designs that had prevailed for hundreds of years during the empire's height, the Obedience-class took a great deal of inspiration from warships fielded by the UNSC Navy during the Human-Covenant War, cutting down on excess space with the intention of creating a formidable but compact cruiser that favoured speed over heavy armour. In addition, the Obedience's mixed design team of humans and Sangheili intended for the ship to outwardly represent a hybridisation of both cultures, hoping to highlight the Imperium of Clarity's more open nature while distancing itself from the Covenant's much-feared warships.
Crew and complement