The Gladiator-class was a small Star Destroyer that shared its keel design with the Broadside-class cruiser. A ventral protrusion on the hull appeared to cover the ship's main reactor, but was also the location of several cannons. The class had two main thrusters and no visible secondary thrusters.
It possessed an array of capital-grade torpedo or concussion missile launchers and turbolaser emplacements. Torpedo loading bays were located deep inside the ships, with automated loading arms controlled from a console next to the conveyor belt that fed munitions to the launchers.
The total number of guns installed was 25 light turbolasers, 10 point defense laser cannons, 10 medium concussion missile launchers and 6 tractor beam projectors grouped in 5 turbolaser batteries, 2 laser batteries, 2 missile batteries and 3 tractor beam batteries.
The Star Destroyer class was characterized by its extensive hangar area, with an opening in the bow of the vessel, that split the forward superstructure in two, similar to the Broadside-class. The hangar had enough room for several starfighters to enter or exit at the same time. A complement of 24 fighters was usually carried to intimidate small frontier worlds.
The Gladiator-class was originally envisioned as a Republic escort vessel for the Victory-class Star Destroyer, and the initial design was made by Walex Blissex for Rendili StarDrive. The final design was not finished until after the end of the Clone Wars, and with the Victory-class being abandoned as a main warship by the Galactic Empire, the specs were handed over to Kuat Drive Yards.
Kuat Drive Yards repurposed the class as a long-range patrol vessel, carrying enough troops, fighters and firepower to subjugate local pirate groups and planetary defense forces in the fringe regions of the galaxy. When the Rebellion began to field heavier naval elements, smaller Imperial ships like the Gladiator-class were outmatched.
A ship of this class, the Demolisher, served as the flagship of Imperial Admiral Terrinald Screed during his mission to the Roon system. Prior to the Battle of Tammuz-an, the pirate leader Gir Kybo Ren-Cha and his band stole a Gladiator from an Imperial repair dock. They utilized it to attack the planet of Tammuz-an in order to steal its riches, but were defeated and the ship was disabled.
The shipyard facilities in orbit of Lianna were used to perform maintenance of Gladiator-class ships during the Galactic Civil War.
At least one Gladiator-class Star Destroyer was deployed to guard the Timira City Cloning Facility on Kamino at 2 BBY, where it later participated in a battle with the fledgling Alliance Fleet.