The Modified Invincible-class Dreadnaught Heavy Cruiser, which currently serves with the CSA's Picket Fleet is not as capable as its name implies. When first introduced over 3,000 years ago they were wonders of engineering, able to fell any foe of their day, and were feared throughout the civilized Galaxy. Later depictions of Xim the Despot's Eibon Scimitar and the Alsakan Conflicts inspired their creation. For a time they were one of the most mammoth battle cruisers in Republic service. And yet with all this passage of time, this very obsolete design continues active military service.
Before the rise of the Galactic Empire the CSA relied more on these heavy cruisers to meet its security needs. As Victory I-class Star Destroyers and additional Marauder Corvettes were added to the Picket Fleet this dependency eroded somewhat. Eighteen years before the Battle of Yavin an unholy alliance of Sikurdian pirates, Tervig and Zygerrian slavers had begun raiding the newly reformed CSA, and threatening the Listehol Run and Shaltin Tunnels trade routes. Invincibles which were slated to be delivered to the CSA were requisitioned by the Empire to participate in the successful Listehol Campaign. By the time the wretched Yuuzhan Vong enter the Galaxy in force, a handful of these ships still remain in CSA service.
There were two reasons as to why these vessels were chosen for the CSA Picket Fleet. First and foremost was expense. These woefully obsolete warships were not in demand for modern forces. The CSA managed to persuade the Republic to hand over these museum pieces at no cost. Later on, additional ships were acquired from Imperial surplus. And second, the primary mission of the Invincibles would be system patrol, smuggling interdiction and piracy prevention. Most of their original equipment is still maintained, however, frequently armaments, control and shield systems have been considerably updated. Fully one third of their internal volume is consumed by its sublight drives. Additionally, their astonishingly inefficient power and crew requirements have not been rectified.
Within a few decades of their introduction over 3,000 years ago, the Invincible-class was showing its age. Within a century it was effectively obsolete, as it was too large and expensive to operate. Technological advancements in weapons and shield technology, combined with changes fleet tactics, which preferred smaller warships over titanic battle platforms would doom this warship to decommissioning. Smaller cruisers had the advantages of faster response times, versatility, less crew requirements, and were more effective in small scale engagements and battle manoeuvres, despite having to work together for applied firepower.
Because of their archaic systems, their unpredictable operation, and the very difficulty in training crews the CSA's Security Division initiated a crash program of contracting technical advisors from system navies which still employed the Invincible. A few years later, these technical advisors had successfully completed the training of proficient officers and overseeing low cost system upgrades. Even with these enhancements, the Invincible-class, while considered to be "armoured like a protosteel mountain" is only able to engage smuggler and pirate vessels. This class maintains multiple hanger bays with overlooking conference rooms. It is also equipped with a hypertransceiver. When required, it can take over all communications routing from a planet's surface; as was done during the Endregaad planetary plague quarantine.
|Sources: EGW***Pg 115 / HSCSSB***Pg 1, 49, 92-94 / PP***Pg 78 / TF***Pg 7, 26, 27, 29-31, 121, 122|