Abominators were composed of multiple subsections. These included at least five major elements - effectively autonomous spacecraft - and subsidiary munitions platforms. These subsections allowed each ship to become a small fleet. An Abominator was only 1.6 kilometres long when operating as a single vehicle contained only by naked hull in full compression.
A prototype Culture Offensive Unit designated Abominator existed by the 19th century CE.
2000 Abominators entered service around the 29th century CE as the Culture's. Their deployment was a result of the unsatisfactory rapid reaction capability of Stored warcraft. The Abominators were spread evenly around the galaxy, spending most of their time waiting for crises.
Upon entering service, the Abominators were publicly classified as "picket ships", seemingly in keeping with the Culture's euphemistic reclassification of warships following the Idiran-Culture War; reclassification was typically meant to stress demilitarization. The Abominators were classified as picket ships to mask their atypical nature; unlike typical pickets, Abominators were fully armed and operational warships and rarely served as transports.