The Excalibur gets 3 shield slots, a shield resistance bonus, and a kinetic weapon bonus making it great for Gauss (especially with 3 CPU slots too). It’s slightly more fragile on the diffusion, but overall the ship has merit in its use.
The Sword (13) is simply a Jericho version of a Fed gunship, with a diffusion shield. It has good bonuses and modifier layout to support that as well.
But that doesn’t really leave much room for a linear Command in the Jericho lineup, outside the Saw One. Plus there’s no T5 Command with a Range bonus, despite there being one in T2, T3, and T4. (though the T4 is frustratingly Premium)
I’d rather not be forced to use a Secret Project to get a ship role I need.
Exactly, the Excalibur is like a Strong, but kinetic biased, without the strength of module bonus; You have to sacrifice shields for energy, to get a good diffusion tank. It’s flimsy, beyond those nice shields. Reminds of a Dragonfly.
The Sword-S is much more versatile in speed or diffusion, which are more important for the T5 meta, while keeping a good shield fit, having two cpus and nice damage bonus.
It is by far the better ship of the two, except you go solo, which probably was the intent as most T5 premiums are open space oriented, where the Excalibur is much more useful, given you have the time to retreat or be less involved in the main fighting. Well as far as commands are useful that way… In a big team of course the shield is also nice, so yeah. It maybe comes a bit down to playstyle aswell here.
Both are however, not as good, as jerri fighters are in relation in earlier tiers, unlike the sword, which does excel for its rank, but ultimately, is no mainline command.
Generally, fighters of Jericho are weaker in T5 in many aspects compared to what happens in the other factions over time.
So, yeah, as said, I agree that the Sword-S would benefit from this change, in its role, but for the ship itself, its neither the weakest T5 command atm. while of course also not really among the best; And that would not change