In addition to manufacturing the warships for the other departments of the Imperium, the Adeptus Mechanicus also maintains fleets of its own.
The Cult Mechanicus believes knowledge to be the manifestation of divinity, and holds that anything embodying or containing knowledge is holy because of it. The vast foundries of the Adeptus Mechanicus are solely responsible for providing to the Imperium of Man all technical devices and machinery from mundane farm equipment to vast interstellar warships.
It is ordered in a strong hierarchy, but details on what form this takes are not made widely available to those who have not been so indoctrinated. Generally, more highly positioned techpriests are expected to have more seniority and knowledge than lower ones, and are consequently more important as greater repositories of knowledge. After many decades of service, techpriests may be elevated to the rank of Magos, from where they may begin service in one of the many sub-sect Divisios within the Cult.
Held in highest regard are the Magos Explorator. Obsessed with the quest for knowledge, they search high and low across the known galaxy for lost Standard Template Constructs (STC) and ancient knowledge. A breed apart from regular techpriests, any Explorator or member of his team will willingly walk into forgotten catacombs, even at risk of death, for snippets of long-forgotten knowledge.
Toward this end the Adeptus Mechanicus have at their disposal a large fleet of starships. Because the Quest for Knowledge can involve long, ardurous forays into unexplored space, it is important that they be heavily armed and armored. This is not only for their own protection from thise who covet their technology but to engage in combat when necessary to secure vital data or artefacts that may prove cruical to the Quest. Though the total number of ships the Adeptus Mechanicus has at its disposal dispersed among its many forge worlds is far outnumbered by that of the Imperial Navy, it goes without saying that those responsible for all starship construction reserve for themselves among the most powerful and best-equipped warships encountered anywhere in the Imperium.
The fleets of the Adeptus Mechanicus are composed of types of vessel found in other Imperial fleets as well as more unique vessels, such as the near legendary Ark Mechanicus. A Mechanicus fleet is usually led by an Archmagos Explorator or Archmagos Veneratus.