A space fighter, also called a starfighter or a strike fighter and known by the Covenant as Strikecraft, is a small, versatile, and maneuverable spacecraft, primarily used for exoatmospheric interception, interdiction, or space-supremacy operations.
These ships are unable to enter slipspace by themselves, and need to be launched from planetary bases, orbiting space stations, or capital ships to conduct strike-operations against enemy warships, intercept fighters, and provide escort for warships and dropships. Their size varies from a few meters to well over 50 meters. Most known space fighters are spaceplanes, capable of operating in both atmospheric/exoatmospheric (A/X) and suborbital/orbital (S/O) environments. The Forerunner Warrior-Servants often used space fighters in combat. Some space fighters, called weapon-ships, could be remotely-controlled at a ratio of up to a million ships per warrior.
Warships primarily designed to transport and maintain fighter-squadrons are commonly known as carriers. In the UNSC Navy, starfighters were deployed from all warships larger than a corvette, as corvettes were too small to carry anything larger than a shuttle.
Known space fighters