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In Rogue One, Admiral Raddus called in a Hammerhead Corvette to ram an Imperial Star Destroyer and crash it into a second ISD, leading the two to subsequently come crashing down onto the space station in a bid to disable the planetary shield blocking transmissions from Scarif.

Looking at other questions containing answers which cite the novel, the in-universe physics for this is only possible because the ISD in question is dead in space after Y-Wing ion strikes disabled the ship.

Incidentally, the particular Hammerhead in question was available for use because it had withdrawn to the rear after suffering significant damage in battle.

Are other ship types of similar or larger size (e.g Corellian Corvettes, Nebulon B Frigates, Mon Calamari Cruisers, even fellow Imperial ships) capable of ramming said ISD head-on and complete its task without getting totalled and disintegrated in the process? Or is the Hammerhead the only one with a tough enough "head"?

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  • I think it was just a coincidence, any ship would have been able to ram the ISD.
    – Max
    Jul 18, 2017 at 1:22
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    Seeing as the Lightmaker was destroyed in the process of ramming the ISD, I don't see how that's an example of a ship "safely" ramming an ISD.
    – Null
    Jul 18, 2017 at 2:27
  • Also, the way you've phrased this I think the Death Star would qualify as a "ship type of...larger size" capable of ramming an ISD. The Death Star II was not destroyed when a Super Star Destroyer crashed into it.
    – Null
    Jul 18, 2017 at 2:29
  • Oh, didn't know it didn't survive...thought it did. Jul 18, 2017 at 10:55
  • I just assumed it had a big front bit that made it ideal for ramming.
    – Valorum
    Oct 23, 2017 at 20:44

2 Answers 2

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The Eclipse

In Star Wars Legends, there is a Super Star Destroyer called the Eclipse, which was the Emperor's flagship. Its shields and armor were strong enough that it could willingly ram enemy ships, according to the Essential Guide to Vehicles and Vessels.

The incredible ship was deliberately designed to frighten enemy forces, for a frightened enemy is a defeated enemy. The ship was solid black, and its hull resembled that of naval warships of eras long past. The Eclipse easily achieved its objective of demoralizing enemy troops. In combat, the Eclipse's hull and shields were so strong that it could ram enemy vessels without hesitation.

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  • that's the only example from Legends that I could think of. There was an Eclipse II, but I'm not sure if it had the same abilities.
    – user128883
    May 18, 2020 at 12:55
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The exact answer would be that no ship is safe to ram another ship. In the scene right after where the ISD slices down into the Shield Ring, the Hammerhead corvette is still lodged into the side of the ISD. This would imply that it was known that the ship would be sacrificing itself, and the Mon Calamari Admiral knew that the Hammerhead had the best chance just because of it's structure. If it was a "safe" ramming, it would be likely that the Hammerhead could simply reverse out and avoid going down with the ISD.

I can't find any other sources of ships powerful enough to deploy shields as equally powerful as the Eclipse. As Return of the Jedi proved, that feature was likely unique to Vader's super star destroyer. In Empire strikes back, I'm sure that even those two ISDs with full shields had to return to spacedock to bang out some serious 'dents'.

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