Warships are starships that are primarily intended as military vessels, as opposed to freighters or other commercial vessels. Given customization, of course, it is possible to make an effective combat ship out of nearly any basic frame. One (perhaps simplistic) way to decide whether a given vessel is a warship is to look at the its outfits and calculate whether the weapon and defensive systems occupy more space than the cargo holds. The Federation bureaucracy, as you might expect, has its own notions of what constitutes a warship, but these relate more to license requirements that actual effectiveness.

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