Heiress of the great galleys of antiquity, but having many Byzantine specificities, the Khelandion, or "chelande", is a type of rowing ship developed to carry goods in addition to its troops and rowers. Developed at the beginning of the 8th century AD, it was a question of answering the problem posed by the great military dromons, which had to embark their supply on two "galleys-servantes", the Ousiakos. In fact, the Khelandion had to be able to do without it and to embark. Representing the top in the typological hierarchy, many served as Admiralty ships to the Byzantine Maritime Prefects, Ravenna and Mysena for example.

The most extensive were 80 meters long, about 10 meters wide, with two rows of oars and five oars rowing in scaloccio. They were therefore "ten" according to the ancient standards. Written in Latin on three masts in general, they displayed a less important armament than on the Dromons, but still dissuaded, spread over their entire bridge. In addition to the troops embarked (more than 50 men), powerful ballista, made to fire Greek pots (explosive) and other pots full of snakes that threw terror on the enemy ship, but also included its traditional siphon flamethrowers at the front, a spur, and for the collision, leaded dolphins supported by the antennas of the masts intended to fall and pierce the deck of the vessel approached, as well as nacelles for one to four archers suspended from the masts.

La Chelande avait deux dérivées, la Chelande-hussière, un véritable navire amphibie des temps moyenâgeux, capable d'embarquer troupes, catapultes et chevaux en vue d'un débarquement, s'échouant directement sur la plage et s'ouvrant par l'avant. Il y avait également un intermédiaire entre le dromon et la légère Pamphile, appelé Chelande-Pamphile, et qui était en général du niveau d'un petit Dromon.