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Centuries before the events of the Red War, Dominus Ghaul exchanged the solitary cruisers of Calus' space fleet for swarms of close-quarter frigates designed to be independent, small, and highly maneuverable and adaptable. This was in response to the Hive threat, whose usage of space-time rifts let them close distances instantly and forced the Cabal to fight them at extremely close ranges.
During the Cabal's occupation of Mars, scores of warships could be seen stationed about the Solar system, from the ruins of Freehold to an abandoned warbase on Phobos, including an abandoned fleet on Mercury. In the aftermath of the Skyburners' offensive on the Dreadnaught, two warships can be viewed in a hologram on the bridge orbiting above and below Saturn's rings.
During the Red War, a fleet of ships along with Carriers attacked the Last City. The Tower was destroyed by swarms of long ranged rockets. During the course of the war, Shaxx's Redjacks were able to board and acquire some ships for the Crucible.
Cabal warships were built to replace the solitary, elegant cruisers that Emperor Calus favored during his reign of the Cabal empire. Small frigate types by Cabal standards, are described by Calus as "ugly, hasty, and crude", individually expendable, and built for brute force and close-range combat. Other models were illustrated by the Skyburners' command ship, Dantalion Exodus VI, being deployed as a warship-sized boarding pod against Oryx's Dreadnaught on the orders of Ghaul, and remaining largely intact. This is after the Awoken offensive failed in the Battle of Saturn, where the Harbingers left not a mark upon the Hive vessel's armor.
They are also capable of deploying Mining Landers, Injection Rigs, drills, long range-missiles (for other models) and boarding pods. They have four main engines, with a six-engine variant serving as Ghaul's command ship. The Immortal is not the only known six-engine variant, however, as The Almighty has three within its Skybox flying around above. They are serviced by carriers.
The Red Legion utilized other warship classes capable of long-range combat during the invasion of The Last City; there are larger battlecruiser variants of the mainline warship for orbital bombardment and carrier operations. These ships boasted greater armaments and could carry multiple Land Tanks, Goliath Tanks, Threshers, and Harvesters on-board. An example is the warship Retribution. They may either be surviving examples of Emperor Calus' elegant "instruments of state", or converted and retrofitted per Umun'arath's specifications into the Red Legion's fleets.
Named Cabal warships
Imperial Cabal warships
Red Legion warships
List of appearances