An Offensive Unit was a purpose-built Culture combat spacecraft.
The most capable Offensive Units were classified as General Offensive Units (GOU.) Rapid Offensive Units (ROU) and Limited Offensive Units (LOU) were lesser types.
Initially, demilitarized ships were known collectively as DeMilitarized Vessels (DMV) and identified by the prefix "(Demilitarized)". For example, a General Offensive Unit would, after conversion, become a (Demilitarized) General Offensive Unit ((D)GOU), while a Rapid Offensive Unit would be redesignated a (Demilitarized) Rapid Offensive Unit ((D)ROU).
Demilitarized ships could be reconverted into Offensive Units simply by re-installing their weapons.
OUs were typically controlled by a single Mind.
The Culture built no purpose-built warcraft in the five hundred years leading up to the Idiran-Culture War. Offensive Unit production was extensive during the war, and most were scrapped during post-war demobilization. Within 200 years the Culture had fewer active warships than at the start of the war.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 The Hydrogen Sonata, chapter 16
- ↑ Surface Detail, chapter 16
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 Hydrogen Sonata, chapter 5
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 The Player of Games, chapter 1
- ↑ Use of Weapons, chapter 1.One
- ↑ Matter, chapter 10
- ↑ Matter, chapter 16
- ↑ Hydrogen Sonata, chapter 9
- ↑ Consider Phlebas, chapter 9
- ↑ 10.0 10.1 Excession, chapter 4.5
- ↑ Surface Detail, chapter 12
- ↑ Surface Detail, chapter 9
- ↑ Consider Phlebas, The war, briefly