The Ur-Quan Kzer-Za Dreadnought is the mainstay of the Hierarchy fleets. A fully-crewed Dreadnought can crush most opponents with ease. While it is a powerful battleship in melee combat, the Dreadnought is also designed to be a Planetary Siege Unit, able to single-handedly subdue an entire planet. Even from orbit, its fusion weapons are more than capable of destroying large structures on and beneath a planet's surface. The massive girth of the vessel is reinforced with the special Eterna-tech metal unique to Ur-Quan technology. The only other ships as massive as the Dreadnought are the Kohr-Ah Marauder and The Flagship. In the unlikely chance that it is disabled, the vessel has been designed to self-destruct to prevent other species from reverse-engineering Ur-Quan technology. Interestingly, a Dreadnought is known to have only one Ur-Quan on board, because of their intense territoriality. It is not known what the remaining 41 crew members are (or even if some of them are actually a gameplay substitute for hull damage), but it is widely believed that they are battle thralls (or robots) forced to work on board the Dreadnought.
The Dreadnought is not a fast or nimble ship. It doesn't have to be. One of these ships — never mind an entire fleet of them — can lumber along and expect to defeat almost any opponent. The strength of the Dreadnought lies in its enormous firepower and considerable crew size.
The Dreadnought's fusion cannon (also named "fusion blaster", similar to the Flagship module) can destroy small ships in one or two hits. The only drawbacks to this weapon are the Dreadnought's never-quite-fast-enough turn rate and the significant amount of energy required to employ it. The second factor is mostly negligable given the Dreadnought's high energy recharge rate. So powerful is this attack that defensive systems like the Chmmr Avatar's Zap-Sat array are useless against it, although a skilled pilot may make use of the Avatar's tractor beam to pull it into a swift demise at the force of its heavy x-ray laser; also, a fully charged Melnorme Trader Energy Bolt will win in a head-on collision.
The Ur-Quan captain can also send out small, one-man fighter ships armed with lasers to harass the enemy. Each fighter has only a limited supply of life support and fuel and must return to the Dreadnought after its brief sortie. These fighters are of little use against ships equipped with auto targetting weapons (such as the Earthling Cruiser) but a sufficient swarm of them can team up to puncture an enemy hull in seconds.
"Finesse" is not a word that exists in a Dreadnought captain's vocabulary. Victory is nominally achieved through the application of superior firepower in large amounts. The relatively high firing rate on the main cannon facilitates this strategy quite nicely, but the slower-than-optimal turning rate can complicate things. Against slow ships, fighters can finish the fight before it starts, but against fast ships they're mostly useless. In fact, fighters can make a battle easier for the opponent by providing a way to sap crew members without getting too close to the main ship.