Since the beginning of the Empire the Imperial Navy has relied on massive starships with immense firepower to fulfill the agenda of the Emperor. Although effective, these large ships like the Star Destroyers are extremely complex and costly to maintain. Often missions do not require the firepower which the Star Destroyers contain. The Imperial Navy began this secret project to allow them to complete certain missions at a lower cost.
The new class of ships, called Krayt after the fierce Krayt dragons of Tatooine are small multi-role escort frigates. Based around the conventional Star Destroyer design the Krayt class of ships will offer all of the capabilities of a Star Destroyer at one tenth of the cost.
The Krayt Class ships carry heavy firepower despite their small size of 250 meters. The 14 turbolasers, and two ion cannons they carry make them among the most heavily armed vessels of their size. In addition to the weaponry they also can launch a devastating starfighter attack. Unlike their larger Star Destroyers who had a massive fighter bay on the underside of the ship, the compactness of the Krayt has led to a substantial design change. The docking bay has been moved up to the mid section of the ship with bays opening laterally. This bay configuration affords better launch coverage and more effective use of space. The Krayt normally carries one squadron of TIE fighters with the ability to carry up to 3 squadrons. This fighter carrying capacity allow them to operate as independent starfighter carriers, without the cost of using a much larger escort carrier.