The strongest Assault hulls have base armor just over 2 million. These can be upgraded like larger hulls using small Zynthonite armors, but the majority of Assault hulls are a lot weaker. The entry level Assault hulls such as the Skyfire Carrier have less than 100K base armor. The lower your base armor is, the more you want to focus on upgrades that increase this number AND add Survivability.
The tiny Zynthonite armors that are so helpful on hulls with huge Armor like Siege hulls will not work as well here. The Survival stat resists an amount of damage proportional to your base Armor, so they would be multiplying a very small number. The percentage you get from them is much higher, but you still need a big boost in Armor points. A really bad example is the Skyfire Carrier. It has only 72K armor points but a whopping 3hrs of repair time. Your Armor/Repair time ratio is a pathetic 7. It is a huge waste of repair time and coins to use this ship, but if you have to, you can improve that by quite a bit.
You get that boost by using the armors that add large amounts of Armor points, such as the D6 Limited Armors. Charged armors are also MUCH more effective on the smaller hulls as well as Assault class in general because Assault targets deal less damage and they contain a tiny amount of Deflection which still matters in Assault targets. If you do run with Charged armors exclusively, your ship’s armor base and Survival stats will not factor much at all. Charged armors are a great choice for Assault, but they work with their own pool of HP and their own special ‘deflection’ type. The Survival they add will help, but only if you have a piece or two of armor that grant high Armor points.
You CAN use the new Ferrite armors for a huge Armor boost and both Assault Survival types if you don't have the Limited armors, but the weight is a killer. D5-COM is a compromise. It adds 45K armor and both Survival stats, but also 22m repair time to an already dismal armor ratio, but it WILL improve the situation if you don’t have the really expensive Limiteds, especially on hulls that can handle the 489t weight.
Once you've added some Armor points, you'll notice your Survival percentage is a LOT higher than if you had added that same armor piece to a hull with a higher tier. The total armor points is factored into this, but the tier weighs much more heavily into the equation. This is a dramatic improvement. I'll use the poor Skyfire as an example again. If you go into Ship Designer and put 4 pieces of the COM ferrite armor and the Alloy COM special, you get 472,000 armor and just over 150% survival for both Corrosive and Penetrating. You probably don't want to run this heavy, but it will illustrate the point. With those stats your Armor/Repair time ratio vs Assault damage types is 472,000 times 1.5 or about 708000 armor points divided by 10804 seconds for an Armor/Repair Time ratio of 65. This is a MASSIVE improvement over 7 for the base model, and will waste a LOT less of your repair time and/or coins, so if you have to run Skyfires and other junk Assault hulls, it will be a lot less painful.
FYI, don't forget that if you put your Limiteds on a crap hull that you scrap later, YOU GET THEM BACK.
Me: Here is how I clear the fleets out of the 500 with Silverfish
Worz: Um... You're hiding behind a rock.
Me: I'd hide behind a preschool if I thought it would help