The Xiang-class attack craft was a child of budgetary concerns. The Chinese High Command wanted a lethal weapons platform capable of protecting its mobile assets in deep space, but there was a desire for a precision strike vehicle that could operate in a variety of atmospheres.
This design was chosen, due to its ability to crossover to different roles. Primarily these are interceptors or close support configurations. They have also been used as recon and electronic/photonic warfare platforms.
The Xiang is typically armed with twin laser cannons, or a singular railgun. It can carry up to eight missiles internally.