Ultimately, the distinction between ground, air, and spacecraft disappears for military vehicles, and a single type of vehicle assumes all these roles for system defense. Called gunboats, they are capable of extended operations in vacuum, atmosphere, and water.
Individual vessels are strongly armed, and can fight enemy ships while later supporting ground forces or attacking enemy installations. Further, they can continue resistance for long periods, hiding in oceans or gas giants, and coming out only when there is the prospect of enemy losses.
Typically, gunboats are fast, well-armed, and well-armored. They are capable of a wide variety of military missions, and have a high survival potential. Mass displacement is generally in the order of 200 to 600 tons.
(SUPP-8, 1107; MT-ENCYC, 1120)
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