Like in Wing Commander and WC2 the player has no ship choice. This is for two reasons, first in universe the character you play is not the CAG like Blair is in WC4 but a junior officer. Secondly, for game design reasons, the developers by restricting which ship is flown in each mission can tailor each mission for the craft the player will be flying.
Each squadron on the Hermes flys a specific ship and only that ship. As you are transfered from squadron to squadron the fighter you fly will change with your unit assignment.
[spoiler:bbykjzt9]You will fly the ships in this order. (Hellcat, Arrow, Thunderbolt, Longbow, Excalibur)[/spoiler:bbykjzt9]
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