Most ships in the GFFA are equipped with two types of conformal shielding to protect them against impacts by solid objects and the weapons fire of enemy ships. Some high performance fighter craft omit one or more types of shielding to improve acceleration by reducing mass and power drain. A third type of shielding protects against relativistic effects during the jump to Hyperspace. Although not lethal, accidents involving these shields can cause passengers to loose up to 200 years to time dilation.
Most shields have a capacity to radiate energy into space, and any energy absorbed above and beyond that must be dumped into heat sinks. Because heat sinks can melt, shield generators are often modular to make replacement easier.
Needless to say, shields are able to absorb much of the damage put out by weapons in the same size class.