From Halopedia, the Halo wiki
The karve is a craft of Jiralhanae origin designed for siege and planetary invasion operations. As of Operation: WOLFE, the UNSC was unaware of whether the vessels had superluminal communications capability. They are quick to construct and easy to maintain, making them extremely popular throughout Jiralhane space as patrol craft and cargo ferries, or by the Banished as escorts to dreadnoughts. They are much smaller than the dreadnoughts, though share a similar design including the signature armoured prow, which can be used as an offensive weapon when necessary.
Prior to the Great Immolation, the Jiralhanae employed Karves as patrol ships and cargo freighters. Following the Immolation, the Banished leveraged Kig-Yar shipbuilding methods to construct Karves to augment their existing fleets and serve as dreadnought escorts.
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