A Fighter Carrier is a class of warship designed primarily to carry starfighters and other small craft, rather than directly engage enemy ships in combat. They typically have large landing bays and launch tubes to accomodate multiple fighter takeoffs and landings at once, plus spacious interior hangar bays for storage and maintenance of their small craft. Nearly all carriers are equipped with at least a first-generation gravity drive capable of forming its own jump point, enabling them to drop into normal space, launch their fighters, then escape back to hyperspace during the battle, returning later to pick up the surviving fighters afterwards.
Carriers come in three broad subclasses:
- Battle Carriers are the largest, carrying both large complements of fighters and significant firepower of their own.
- Light Carriers and Scout Carriers are smaller, carrying fewer fighters and equiped with the approximate armament of a cruiser or destroyer, respectively. While Battle Carriers are designed to fight with the fleet, Light and Scout carriers are intended for more detached deployments to guard the flanks of a battle fleet, scout ahead of them, or conduct hit-and-run raids on enemy star systems.
Carriers were often an ignored and devalued part of Earth Fleet, considered incapable of standing up to a real warship in single combat, while their fighters were thought easy meat for modern point-defense systems. Admiral Joseph Smythe changed all that when he introduced new and effective fighter-based tactics late in the Third Civil War, and carriers were afterwards somewhat more respected. Smythe's death at the end of the Ascension War and the rise of the Holy Terran Empire saw Carriers once more relegated to second-line duties. The end of the Jumpgate Network saw Carriers largely pressed into service as convoy escorts, using their gravity drives to open jump points to hyperspace for convoys of merchant ships, and their fighters to protect their charges against pirates and other dangers.
Human Carrier ClassesEdit
K'Nes Carrier ClassesEdit
- Contract-class Escort Carrier