The SSA has few specialised ships, and the Arbalest is no exception. The CAW-104 has enough speed and manouvreability to keep pace with the smaller escort craft, and wields a wide range of weapons, enabling it to fill one of several roles. In addition to small array of various hyper-rays and astrobusters, the Arbalest has two torpedo tubes, mounted in the fore of the "blimp" hull sections. In addition to twenty torpedoes (either standard nuclear or atomic shrapnel warheads), the Arbalest also carries five probes for long distance scouting. The Arbalest's main firepower comes from the spinal-mount missile launcher, whose magazine comprises much of the hull. The missile launcher allows the Arbalest further versitility, as it can fulfill the point-defense role, standard missile support or even close-range attack, all depending on the warhead loadout.
The Arbalest's biggest drawback is that it is no more heavily shielded than the smaller vessels of the SSA fleet, giving it only average defence for a vessel of it's size. This is somewhat compensated by it's much higher evasive capability, however.