CZ:Military Workgroup/Style Guide

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Ship and class names

When more than one ship is built to the same general design, the group of related ships is called a class. With some exceptions, the class is named for the first, or lead ship, actually built. We have, for example, the Yamato-class battleships of the Imperial Japanese Navy, of which IJN Yamato was the lead ship and IJN Musashi and IJN Shinano were the others.

The class name carries a hyphen, while ships do not. There is no formal standard for X-class versus X class, but the hyphen is suggested to help visual discrimination.

Some classes have names other than that of the lead ship. Russia and the Soviet Union, for example, often refer to "Project 999". After the lead ship, USS Thresher (SSN-593) of what would have been the USS Thresher-class was sunk in early testing, the class was called the Permit-class after the first operational vessel.

Ship names may be disambiguated by date (e.g., HMS Dreadnought (1905) or by hull number (e.g., USS Enterprise (CV-6).