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Merchant Fleet

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The Merchant Fleets are one of the three components of the Imperial Fleet, along with the civil fleets and warfleets.


The combined merchant fleets compose almost 90% of all the interstellar spacecraft in the Imperium. Each fleet is based in one of the five Segmentae Majoris, and its administrative staff operate from the Segmentum Fortress. Although these fleet bases are huge ports equipped with docks, shipyards and repair facilities, their main function is to administer the fleets operating within their area. Only a small proportion of ships ever travel to the Segmentum Fortress where they are theoretically based.[1]

Each merchant ship serves its fleet under an arrangement called a Merchant Charter.[2] Not all charters are the same - some confer more power and responsibility to the ship's captain than others - but all types take the form of a feudal oath sworn to the fleet authorities on behalf of the Emperor. A captain may not register his vessel with the fleet authorities until this oath has been sworn and a record of it entered at the Segmentum Fortress for that zone and on the Segmentum Fortress on Mars.[1]

One of the positions in the Senatorum Imperialis is sometimes held by the Speaker for the Chartist Captains; it is assumed that this position is related to the merchant fleet.[Needs Citation]

Merchant Fleet Ships

See Also