A modified version of the Alliance Chieftain, the Alliance Crusader's main point of distinction is its fighter bay. The Crusader also offers three internal military compartments and space for up to two crew members, making it ideally suited to combat situations.
— In-Game Description
The Alliance Crusader is a ship manufactured by Lakon Spaceways for the Alliance. It represents a middle-ground between the Alliance Chieftain and the Alliance Challenger, combining heavy firepower with a Fighter Hangar for Ship-Launched Fighters and two additional pilot seats to accommodate Multicrew. While the inclusion of the Fighter Hangar has resulted in a noticeable decrease in overall speed and manoeuvrability, Lakon is confident that the Crusader can hold its own in any combat situation, especially against the Thargoids.
The third ship to release in the Alliance faction ship series and the second variant of the Alliance Chieftain, the Alliance Crusader's primary advantage over the other two Alliance ships is its ability to equip a Fighter Hangar for Ship-Launched Fighters, a feature that both the Chieftain and the Alliance Challenger lack. Consequently, it also boasts an additional pilot seat for Multicrew, giving it a total of three seats versus the two of its companion ships.
The Alliance Crusader possesses an almost identical hardpoint layout to the Alliance Chieftain, but trades one Class 3 hardpoint for one Class 2 hardpoint, making it comparable to a Federal Assault Ship in terms of base firepower. Its increased mass drags its manoeuvrability and speed down when compared to the Chieftain and Challenger, although it does retain the trademark handling features of the ship series. Its agility surpasses that of every other medium-size ship able to launch fighters, including the Krait MkII.
The reduced number of hardpoints of the Crusader is compensated for by its ability to deploy Ship-Launched Fighters, resulting in it potentially being a stronger option for combat than it would appear to be at first glance, if a player is utilising a fighter bay.
The Crusader retains the three Military Compartments found in both of its predecessors, but trades the Chieftain's single Class 4 Internal Compartment for two Class 3 slots. This alteration provides slightly more flexibility in terms of module selection, but results in the same maximum cargo capacity as the Chieftain: 120t.
The jump range of the Crusader is even lower than that of the Challenger. This makes the Crusader a less than ideal option for exploration and further emphasizes its specialized combat use, as most combat ships tend to have greater mass values and consequently lower jump ranges.
Compared to the Chieftain and the Challenger, the Crusader has lower mobility and multipurpose potential, as well as reduced weapons loadout versatility due to its lower number of total hardpoints. However, its ability to deploy up to two fighters simultaneously is something that should not be underestimated, especially when these are flown by skilled pilots. Therefore, the Crusader is a decent option for commanders who make good use of ship-launched fighters, but for others, the Chieftain and Challenger may be better suited to their needs.
When compared to the Krait MkII, the Crusader features a significantly lower top speed, superior agility, weaker shields, and a far more durable hull. Compared to the Federal Gunship, the Crusader is faster and far more agile, with relatively higher hull durability and similar but potentially lower shield capacity depending on the loadout; the Crusader must be fitted with a Class 5 shield generator if one wishes to make use of a Class 6 Fighter Hangar and 2 SLFs, thus trading defence for firepower.
The Alliance Crusader is most commonly available in Alliance systems. Despite its name and affiliation, it requires no rank or reputation with the Alliance to purchase.
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|Brestla||i Sola Prospect||Always available||20% surcharge|
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|Rahu||Acharya Station||Aug. 28, 2018|
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|G 180-18||Hale Port||Jan. 29, 2019|
- Main article: Outfitting
All ships are highly customisable through the Outfitting menu of Station Services. Listed below is the default load-out for the Alliance Crusader.
|Category||Default System||Default Rating||Default Class||Max Class|
|Medium Hardpoint||Pulse Laser (L)||F||1||2|
|Pulse Laser (L)||F||1||2|
|Reactor Bay||Power Plant||E||6||6|
|Frame Shift Drive Housing||Frame Shift Drive||E||5||5|
|Environment Control||Life Support||E||5||5|
|Power Coupling||Power Distributor||E||6||6|
|Fuel Store||Fuel Tank [x16]||C||4||4|
|Internal Compartments||Cargo Rack [x32]||E||5||6|
|Cargo Rack [x4]||E||2||3|
|Cargo Rack [x4]||E||2||3|
|Planetary Approach Suite (H)||I||1||1|
- (L) = Loaned Module
- [x#] = Capacity
- (H) = Requires Elite Dangerous: Horizons, reserved solely for Planetary Approach Suite
- (M) = Military Compartment reserved for Hull Reinforcement Package, Module Reinforcement Package, or Shield Cell Bank
- The Alliance Crusader was released with the Chapter Three (3.2) update of Elite Dangerous: Beyond on August 28, 2018.
- The Alliance Crusader's name was accidentally first revealed on the Frontier Store shortly after the release of the 3.1 update. It was promptly removed, leading many to believe that "Alliance Crusader" was an old internal name for the Alliance Challenger rather than a new ship.
- When deployed, the cover for the top mounted hardpoint will clip through the ship.
- Like the Alliance Chieftain and Alliance Challenger, the Alliance Crusader is named after a British tank, in this case the A15 Crusader.
- Visually the Crusader can be extremely difficult to distinguish from the Chieftain, as its only visual differences are its back wing and paint scheme.
- The Crusader is the only Alliance ship to not have a white paint scheme, instead being a dark blue