After the humans discovered the machine army digging toward Zion, Commander Lock recalled all hoverships in preparation for the Battle of Zion. Lock believed he needed "every ship" for the defense of Zion:

Lock: I believe I need every ship we have if we're going to survive this attack!

Councillor Hamann: I understand that, Commander.

Lock: Then why did you allow the Nebuchadnezzar to leave?

Councillor Hamann: Because I believe our survival depends on more than how many ships we have.

So how many hoverships did Zion have? I am interested in how many hoverships were used by the Zionists during the events of the films, up until the Battle of Zion (after which there were obviously a lot fewer of them still operational).

The Matrix Wiki has a list of known hovercraft which provides a rough lower bound on the number of hoverships available. However, many of these are from The Matrix Online (which occurs after the Battle of Zion); some of those ships may have existed before the Battle of Zion, but some of the them were salvaged from hoverships destroyed before or during the Battle of Zion (such as the Logos II, which was salvaged from the Logos).

The answer would probably be found in a remark from any canon source (or from the Wachowskis) of the nature "Zion has 50 hoverships". Also, a remark on the number of hovership captains is acceptable since there is one captain per ship.

1 Answer 1


The Matrix Wiki lists 11 ships being known in the Matrix Reloaded, and claims there are 12 ships in the Zion Fleet.

Given that they lose 5-6 ships when Bane prematurely fires the EMP and they don't appear to have any in reserve, and General Lock really laments having to lose not one but two ships to search for Neo (1/6th of his fleet!), I am thinking they really do only have 12 or so before the Battle of Zion. If it has really been something like 50, where were they during the battle, and why was Lock so sour on losing such a small number of ships relative to his fleet size?

You can see MARK and No. on some of the ships cores in the movies.

The Osiris, which is the ship that warns Zion of the Machine army and subsequently gets destroyed has a nameplate on the core which says:

MARK VI No. 16

The Logos has the following core plate

MARK XIV Number 14

The Mjolnir has a core plate reading of

Made in the USA Year 2111

Which is confusing, since it is listed as the largest ship in the fleet, and the Logos is listed as the smallest, and yet, supposedly they come from the same series. Also, since the USA hadn't existed for at least 6 generations of the Matrix, where was it really made?

The Vigilant core plate


The Nebuchadnezzar core plate

made in the USA year 2069

Contrast that to the Pequod


It is listed as small, as opposed the large Nebuchadnezzar. Also there was a 43 year gap from No. 9 til No. 11. They must take a long time to build.

At one time or another someone has created at least 11 Mark IIIs, 16 Mark VIs, 32 MARK XIIs, and 62 MARK XIVs. That is 121 ships. However, we know sometimes (or often) ships get destroyed by sentinels. It probably took them awhile to develop the early warning systems and EMPs that allow them to operate near the surface.

It could also be argued that they are salvaging cores and other things from long past hovercraft. That would explain the random dates and MARK series on them. If they were just scrounging up a power core, and decided to build small ship around one and a large ship around another, it could explain some of the discrepancies.

Apparently all of the MARK series are ascribed to verses in the Bible.

  • Unfortunately, this answer ignores the comic series, considered to be canon due to the involvement of the Wachowskis
    – Valorum
    Commented Jul 16, 2015 at 20:31
  • Where is the claim that the Zion Fleet has 12 ships? I can't find that anywhere on the Matrix Wiki pages (am I just blind?). Also, I just noticed that the bottom of the list I linked to includes a link for unnamed hoverships, mostly from the comics but also from the Animatrix. These are unaccounted for (but they may have also been used to build new ships if they were destroyed, in which case they do not count for the Battle of Zion).
    – Null
    Commented Jul 16, 2015 at 21:23
  • I don't think the core markings tell us much because, as you point out, ships are destroyed and components re-used.
    – Null
    Commented Jul 16, 2015 at 21:24
  • @Null matrix.wikia.com/wiki/Icarus The history says "One of the twelve ships in the Zion military fleet." Commented Jul 16, 2015 at 21:29
  • Ah, there it is. Good find. Unfortunately, that statement is unsourced so I can't trust it.
    – Null
    Commented Jul 16, 2015 at 21:32

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.