Based on Solarian shipkillers, the Cataphract was essentially a single drive missile with the addition of an anti-missile drive to the final stage. The resulting missiles were twenty percent longer than standard size of the shipkillers they were based on and had half the lasing rods and less powerful seekers, ECM, and penaids. The tradeoff in power gave them a powered range from rest of almost 16.6 million kilometers. (CS2, HH12)
The first generation of Cataphract came in three variants:
- The A variant - based on the Solarian League Navy Spatha destroyer/light cruiser missile - was capable of being launched from heavy cruisers and battlecruisers.
- The B variant - based on the SLN Javelin heavy cruiser/battlecruiser missile - was capable of being launched from superdreadnoughts.
- The C variant - based on the SLN Trebuchet capital missile was only capable of being launched from missile pods. (CS2)
The longer range second generation of Cataphract was only capable of being launched from missile pods. (HH14)