The names, and types of ships aren't particularly important. The names in game will be arbitrary, and will be the same as the ships currently available (scout ship, etc). That could be modded, but you'll want overall ship names or every ship of that style will be "UNSC Chalons" for example, which isn't appropriate. It's obvious that there has to be a full fleet of ships in the Halo Universe, but what can be accurately taken from the games is still small. I haven't read the books. Too "geeky" for me.
But, they offer no visual representations of the ships. Perhaps descriptions or cover art, but that's up for interpretation. I don't remember off-hand, but in game there are about 20 or so ships slots (for different designs), and then a few more for the colony ship, survey, etc. You can get away with less designs, but the point still stands.
The ships in the books might help, but they'll still be the artists creation if applied to the mod. And again, the ship's length or it being a destroyer doesn't matter as much for the mod, it just determines where it gets placed when assigning a new ship style, and complaints for people to make for relative scale.
Also, with GC2's memory allocation, new ship models can push the system to the limit quickly. I'm attempting now to make the game play as nicely as possible with custom models, but even running the 1.7 beta, it's still very easy for me to get to that 2gb limit. It's definitely better than 1.6, but still a prevalent problem for me. More ship models = more memory, which more than likely = memory crash.