You said that the Cutlass is the second most played ship, but then say that it is one of the toughest ships.. the two are not hand in hand. Just because people use it doesnt make it the toughest.
The Cutlass is one of the weakest hulls in the game, this is even compared to fighters well below its size.
Here are the 10 weakest ships by hit points, disregarding ground vehicles or snub fighters.
Herald – 3380
Cutlass – 3880
Aurora – 3990
Arrow – 4180
Reliant – 4740
Notice the Cutlass is the only “medium” sized ship that is on that list.
And of those 10 ships, 3 are Drake ships.
4 of the 10 are “racing” ships… which is fine.
So we have an issue when the Cutlass has 1/5th the HP of the Freelancer its direct competitor. And the fact it is slower than a Terrapin which is about the same size, and yet the Terrapin is faster, AND way tougher… but that is a military ship. And it is even weaker than the Reliant line of ships, and that is saying something.
One thing to bear in mind is that hardpoint.io’s data is not the same as whats actually ingame, I’m not sure how they calculate it from the datamined xmls or whether its just not been updated for a while but its simply not accurate to use for comparisons. Neither the Cutlass or the Buccaneer actually have the HP you’ve listed here, checking a few more from the list they’re also not accurate either.