Tempest Class Frigate
The Tempest is the assault and anti-piracy frigate of the Imperial escorts.
Tempest is a strange escort in a few way. For one she is huge, about a third larger than the Sword Class, and has prow armor that wouldn't be out of place on a light cruiser. She is armed with a battery of short range melta pulsar Weapon Batteries on each side of the ship, as well as one of the fairly typical laser based Weapon batteries mounted dorsally in a single turret. She is also unique among escorts for having limited carrier capacity in the form of a single squadron of assault boats, as well as boarding equipment and a full compliment of ratings and boarding personnel.
The ship was designed by Battlefleet Calixis to combat pirate operation. The idea was that the weaker weapons normally found on pirate vessels (like on the Iconoclast-Class Destroyer and, to a lesser extent, the Havoc Class Frigate) would be unable to kill the frigate due to her heavier armor, and unable to outrun the ship in a straight line, firing her dorsal laser battery while in pursuit. Then the ship could be left crippled burning after a single broadside form the melta pulsars or, if the cargo was sufficiently large or important, board the criminal ship and retake any cargo that may have been stolen.
This ship proved so effective in this role that the ship began seeing use against large threats to the Imperium. Although the ship was mostly useless in defensive operations, due to her incredibly short range and poor broadside and rear armor, she proved very deadly in any offence. Able to close the distance quickly and do heavy damage, even to ship many times her size, with a mix of boarding actions and Melta pulsar bolts.
The idea of such a design is that the escort uses her speed and frontal armor to close quickly with an opponent, use her short range and devastatingly powerful melta batteries to tear apart similar sized vessels and breach the hulls of larger targets, doing critical damage to key systems, then following up with a wave of boarding craft and assault boats.
Purely an offensive vessel: quick, cheap and durable with a devastating array of weapons and boarding capacity.