The Plate-class was a type of Culture Systems Vehicle.



The physical hull of a Plate was over 50 km long and 20 km wide[1][2], with a height of 4 km.[1][3][4]

The top kilometre was the accommodation section for biological passengers.[3] The flat portions of the top area have a combined surface area of 800 km2.[5]

The middle two kilometres were docks and construction yards for spacecraft.[3]

The lower kilometre was engineering space, primarily for engines.[3]

With an external multiple-layer field-complex could reach 90[1] to 100 km.[4]

One example had a operational mass of about six trillion tonnes.[4]


The hyperspacial aggregation motors of an average Plate of the 19th century CE could sustain an indefinite cruise speed of 104 kc; the designed maximum acceleration was 0.72.[3]

Control systemsEdit

Plates were normally run by three Minds.[6]


A Plate biased toward ship construction could have a Real population of 250 million.[1]


Plates were in service by the Idiran-Culture War of the 14th century CE.[7]

The Plate-class Sleeper Service gained notoriety for its actions leading up to and during the Esperi Excession crisis of the 19th century CE; it became known as the quintessential example of a Culture ship feigning Absconder or Eccentric status to mask Special Circumstances activities.[8]

The class continued to serve as General Systems Vehicles through the c. 29th century CE.[4]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 The Player of Games, chapter 2
  2. Surface Detail, chapter 10
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 Excession, chapter 7.2
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Surface Detail, chapter 5
  5. Excession, chapter 5.5
  6. Excession, chapter 3.1
  7. Surface Detail, chapter 9
  8. Matter, chapter 20