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The Kir'shashvre (Castellan)-class Escort, also sometimes referred to as the Kir'shashvre (Castellan)-class Heavy Escort, is a new ship design of the Tau Empire developed as part of the Kor'or'vesh fleet initiative. The Castellan is the Kir'la (Warden)-class Gunship's larger cousin; capable of independent action and well-equipped for starship combat.
Operations by the older Kir'qath (Defender)-class Starship revealed that while it was a capable Escort, continuing shortcomings in its engineering plant required a new vessel design that could make much deeper and longer dives as well as a larger number of dives before requiring to recharge its primary drives. Like the other vessels designed during the Kor'or'vesh initiative, the Castellan’s unique hull design allows for considerably longer-range operations compared to its predecessor. When deployed in the role of traditional escort vessels, it has proven directly comparable to commonly encountered Imperial designs such as the Sword-class Frigate and the Firestorm-class Frigate. Around Taros during the Taros Campaign, the Tau fleet deployed Castellans in large numbers in support of their larger vessels with great success.
All Castellan-class Heavy Escorts are, as standard, armed and equipped with a prow Railgun battery and Gravitic Launcher, a pair of defensive turrets mounted around their hulls, and standard Tau starship gravitic shielding.
- Battlefleet Gothic 2010 Compendium, pg. 165
- Imperial Armour Volume Three - The Taros Campaign pg. 214