All spacecraft in the BattleTech universe are categorized as either a Small Craft, Aerospace fighter, DropShip, JumpShip/WarShip or Space Station. In this context, "Small Craft" refers to any spaceworthy vessel massing 100 to 200 tons (the size range between Aerospace fighters and DropShips) that can be docked inside a small craft hangar bay.
Very small space vehicles such as Life Boats and Escape Pods are also sometimes considered small craft for lack of a better category, although they do not technically fall into the small craft mass range.
There are literally hundreds of different types of small craft in operation throughout the Inner Sphere and Periphery, ranging from shuttles and long-range craft to utility vehicles and armed escort craft resembling super-large fighters. Many, but not all, are capable of atmospheric operations.
The K-1 DropShuttle, although built using Small Craft rules, actually meets the criteria for both a Small Craft and a DropShip, as it sports a docking collar and its mass of 200 tons is both the maximum size for the former and the minimum size for the latter type.
- (see also: Category:Small Craft classes)
Small Craft are manufactured on the following planets: