World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Lead ship

Article Id: WHEBN0000855210
Reproduction Date:

Title: Lead ship  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: List of aircraft carriers of the United States Navy, Brazilian battleship Minas Geraes, USS Execute (AM-232), Minas Geraes-class battleship, War/Featured picture/9
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Lead ship

{{multiple image | align = direction = horizontal

The lead ship, name ship, or class leader is the first of a series or ship class of ships all constructed according to the same general design. The term is applicable to military ships and larger civilian craft.


Large ships are complicated internally and may take as much as five to ten years to construct. Any changes or advances that are available when building a ship are likely to be included, so it is rare to have two that are identical. Constructing one ship is also likely to reveal better ways of doing things and even errors.

The second and later ships are often started before the first one is completed, launched and tested. Nevertheless, building copies is still more efficient and cost-effective than building prototypes, and the lead ship will usually be followed by copies with some improvements rather than radically different versions. The improvements will sometimes be retrofitted to the lead ship. Occasionally, the lead ship will be launched and commissioned for shakedown testing before following ships are completed, making the lead ship a combination of template and prototype, rather than expending resources on a prototype that will never see actual use.


Ship classes are typically named in one of two ways; echoing the name of the lead ship, such as the [[s, whose lead ship was the USS Pennsylvania (BB-38), or defining a theme by which vessels in the class are named, as in the Royal Navy's [[ frigates, named after tribes of the world, such as HMS Mohawk (F125). If a ship class is produced for another fleet, the first active unit will become the lead ship for that fleet; for example, the [[ frigates are known as the [[ in the Royal Australian Navy. Larger civilian craft, such as the Sun Princess, the lead ship of the Sun-class cruise ships, sometimes follow this convention as well.

In fiction

The same custom is often followed in fiction: The Constitution-class cruiser is the basis for the Enterprise of Star Trek (although in Star Trek the term pathfinder is also occasionally used instead of lead ship) and the Imperial-class Star Destroyer appears in Star Wars.


External links

  • Example of a lead ship announcement from US Navy
  • The USS Pennsylvania BB-38
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.