|Build cost:||875 RU|
|Build time:||80 sec|
|Maximum speed:||105 m/s|
|Turning rate:||30.0 deg/s|
|Squadron firepower:||0 HP/s|
Project Moonshadow is known to be one of the most unsuccessful Aggregate military engineering endeavours to date. Project Ripper introduced a generalized chassis that was believed to be easily adapted to any role including that of traditionally purpose-built chassis. Most nations use frigate-class power plants in totally new hulls for generating defensive space-warping gravity wells or cloaking fields in large part due to the complexity of the machinery and their frequent needs for specialized hull geometry. Moonshadow is just the latest name for an ongoing Aggregate attempt to mount their indigenous cloaking technology, the Project 0522A13 cloak generator, on a combat frigate chassis. But even after nearly 200 years of development and two generations of frigate platforms coming and going, the cloaking generator is still much bigger and heavier than similar Taiidan or Kushan designs and much more unstable.
The Aggregate armed forces tend to prefer that they have a number of starship 'templates' that they can refit for whatever threats the nation faces, and thus it has been a standing directive that fleet design prepare modular cloak and gravity well generating technology that can be applied quickly to any spaceframe of any size in the field. It is currently the assessment of UNH Intelligence that the aforementioned power and hull geometry requirements for these specialized functions will render that goal ultimately futile, but it must be admitted that for its many flaws the Moonshadow is a promising step in that direction.
The Project 0522A13 cloak generator itself is extremely hazardous and volatile, famously exploding when the central cloaking core is disturbed in the slightest. Our analysis of several specimens reveals that a likely cause is insufficient shielding. Even minor vibrations tend to make the heat sinks come into contact with the core, and over the family of 13 revisions to the generator it's never managed to break its habit of exploding both as soon as its armoring fails and when the crew least expects it. At least the modern variant is safer - not that the crews seem to be that reassured, as the Moonshadows are widely believed to be extremely unlucky, with at least one famous Aggregate fleet-wide rumor that during a disagreement under cloak, a single physical blow between the command crew destabilized a Moonshadow's generator core and caused the ship to explode.
The Moonshadow X7 modification is publicly stated to have a completely stable situation for its cloaking device, and can project a cloaking field in a small radius to hide several other vessels. While it possesses the strong armor of other Ripper-family vessels, the threshold of damage that needs to be inflicted before the cloak generator's instability becomes a factor is low. Republic border patrol forces have noted a significant number of Moonshadows detected on exercises, indicating that at long last this part of the long-running Aggregate dream of on-demand cloaking will be leaving the "prototype" stage and entering mass-production. Compared to our own cloaking generators it is likely less efficient but more resilient, with better speed and acceleration. It also has no defensive weaponry of its own, relying on its battlegroup to provide support.