The Samurai Class Destroyer Leader
First Commissioned: 2238
Length: 415 meters
Mass: 250,000 metric tons
Crew Complement: 60
Maximum Number of Personnel Ship Can Support: 350
Duration Before Resupply: 3 years
Jumps Possible Before Overhaul: 15
Atmosphere Capability: poor maneuverability, limited atmospheric flight
Landing Capability: All heavy atmosphere to no atmosphere planets, up to 1.5 Gs
History: The Samurai class is yet another product of the Delta Sector War. From the fall of Sirius on the Terran Trans-Solar Federation Navy suffered tremendously from enemy star bombers and other light torpedo ships. The Swiftsure destroyers did not have the strength to stop them. In time, resulting in enormous losses to Terran convoys and light space stations. More than 30 capital ships, including four super dreadnoughts, were lost to star bomber torpedoes in the first decade of the war. The Samurai was designed specifically to combat this threat. It was the first ship to earn the new designation Destroyer Leader (DOL). The S.S. Samurai (similar to the current Mark IV ships) was the smallest ship in its time to mount a heavy particle beam battery. This weapon allowed the ship to fire at targets at long range, something ordinary destroyers could not do. The hope was that even a single battery could deter or possibly destroy a star bomber while it was still tens of thousands of kilometers from firing range.
In reality very few kills occur at long range. It is still considered an incredible victory for a Samurai class DOL to seriously damage a star bomber at long range. At medium range though, the Samurai proved itself. Most destroyers can only fire two light bursts (i.e. 2 damage each) of M.P.B. fire at medium range, while the Samurai can fire three light bursts and one heavy burst (i.e. 3 damage). This does not sound very impressive to the layman, but military experts state this increases the odds of destroying a star bomber at medium range 180%. Even enemy destroyers avoid fighting Samurais at short range as much as possible.
source: Terran & Avarian Fleet Book