Carriers were originally seen as an enigma within the context of starship combat and operations. Shuttle Carriers had obvious capabilities in rescue and exploration, but little advantage in a theater of operation. Few shuttles could withstand even a glancing blow from a starships main weapons. Most Carrier class vessels before 2270 were simple shuttle transport vessels. But by 2268, advancements in technology and design gave shuttles and their support vessels a much greater presence in the fleet. Since then, carriers have once again, become extremely capable and important vessels.Carriers are designed to fulfill several specialized niches. Most carriers are designed to expand the mission of a given starship, be it exploratory, military or medical. Carriers themselves constantly evolve, with new equipment and systems installed nearly every year. Most carriers are based with a large fleet or at a specific star base or home world and are charged with rapid response and delivery of their respective craft at a moment’s notice. Like Dreadnoughts, most Carriers spend their patrol time less than a day’s journey from their home port. Carriers of all types carry a large variety of shuttle craft, and may be called upon to rendezvous and deliver shuttles to other front line vessels. Carriers contain berths for flight crews, pilots and often a large area for passengers, patients or troops, depending on the mission parameters. Most carriers also have large medical or storage areas, also congruent with their mission profile. Nearly all carriers have an extensive operating protocol, including emergency transporter recovery systems, rapid shuttle launch and recovery, emergency medical or evacuation protocols and extensive troop or colonist deployment plans. Although all carriers are capable of full filling any of these operations, whenever possible, specific carriers are sent, allowing specialists who have trained to conduct the mission. Many in the Carrier fleet compete against other vessels for recovery times, information gathering and emergency procedures.



Assault Carriers are considered the backbone of most ground force support squadrons, capable of attacking a single fixed target with extensive weapons, while supporting large numbers of attack shuttles and troop transports. Assault Carriers act as primary base vessels for ground troops and support troops, coordinating troop movement, landing zones, medical recovery and space support operations with other Assault Ships and Frigates. Assault Carriers can support entire brigades when necessary. Most Assault Carriers have large numbers of docking facilities and specialized hangar decks that allow for the mass transfer of troops and equipment to waiting shuttlecraft. Assault Carriers also have extendable docking rings used to link with other support vessels. Most Assault Carriers are larger than standard vessels of similar mass and are extremely expensive to operate for lengthy periods of time. Assault Carriers are known for their port and starboard weapons compliment, owing to their ground support role. As with another shuttle carrier vessels, Assault Carriers are often used during rescue missions to provide evacuation points and transport when necessary.



Attack Carriers are designed to engage several enemy targets using both fighter squadrons and on-board combat systems, while still maintaining a focused attack on a single target. Attack Carriers are usually smaller than Heavy Carriers, but maintain the same overall number of combat shuttles. Unlike Fighter Carriers, Attack Carriers have a moderate recovery capability, but are not as maneuverable or speedy as Fighter Carriers. Most Attack Carriers maintain multiple egress points to allow the command vessel to maintain a combat posture while launching fighters. Attack Carriers do not have the extensive research capability of other carriers, nor the medical base of rescue carriers. Surprisingly, they are often sent with other carriers to escort large groups of shuttles near hostile boarders.



Although sometime associated with escorts, Escort Carriers are more often known for their fast attack capability within military convoys. Escort Carriers maintain a constant military readiness stance while escort other vessels, with their air crews often waiting “on-deck” in their respective shuttles and fighters. Escort Carriers have highly sensitive passive sensors, designed to allow commanders a first strike warning capability. Because Escort Carriers are most often used for highly sensitive escort missions or to escort combat strike forces, stress levels are high. To combat this problem, most Escort Carriers are designed with extensive recreation facilities and crew accommodations. Escort Carriers also support a non-standard 4 watch day, requiring larger numbers of flight crews and support personnel. Escort Carriers require greater re-supply efforts. Escort Carrier fighters are often the first response when trouble is detected, with entire wings of ship able to be launched before most enemy vessels can even de-cloak. Escort Carriers, like other high use carrier vessels, maintain numerous crew safety and protection systems. Escort Carriers also employ an extensive crew rescue capability, designed to secure crew members from captured or severely damaged freighters. Escort Carriers do not maintain the extensive air coordination systems found on other carriers. Escort Carriers, like other specialized ships, are extremely expensive to build and maintain.



 Fast Carriers pose a difficult design challenge. The heavy, powerful engines and support systems required for a ‘fast’ vessel necessarily limit the amount of space and weight that can be designed in for other systems. A carrier requires considerable space and weight for it’s contingent of small craft and their launch and recovery systems, maintenance bays, and specific supply needs. As such, Fast Carriers carry the smallest numbers of fighters and/or shuttles of all carrier designs including Light Carriers. Their maintenance bays are cramped and their on-board supplies are normally minimal at best. The launch/recovery systems are kept as simple as possible to reduce weight. The Fast Carriers are also lightly armed as a result, opting to use the space and weight that would go into more extensive weaponry to improve flight operations capabilities. Consequently, Fast Carriers are seldom deployed unless another ‘fast’ vessel such as a Destroyer or Cruiser is available to act as an escort. Few Fast Carriers are built to serve specifically as combat vessels. The Fast Carriers that are built to serve primarily as combat vessels normally carry elite squadrons to help improve the effectiveness of this ship type in combat. In a noncombat role, Fast Carrier are deployed to aid in rescue and evacuation missions and are often the first to arrive on the scene due to their speed. However, their limited supplies and cramped on-board space make them more suited to support such operations instead of leading them. Fast Carriers find their greatest utility as fast re-supply vessels, carrying replacement fighters and shuttles to other carrier types. During military campaigns, their swift re-supply of fighters and assault craft along with replacement crews to front-line carriers is vital in maintaining the carrier fleet’s combat effectiveness.



Fighter Carriers have been likened to the surface ships of old that would launch and recover large groups of specialized fighter aircraft. Modern fighter carriers are often less maneuverable than destroyers and are designed for fast attack strikes by their fighter wings, with moderate to heavy support from the Carrier itself. Most fighter carriers have fairly small recovery systems, but have excellent launch protection and defense.



Fleet Carriers are the largest of the combat carriers, capable of launching dozens of fighters and attack shuttles in moments. Unlike fighter carriers, Fleet Carriers have more extensive recovery and rearming systems. Most Fleet Carriers are well protected against other fighters, but are not designed for extended starship combat. Fleet Carriers are often employed as command vessels for other carrier vessels. Fleet Carriers also have a large medical recovery capability, allowing them to operate and coordinate rescue and evacuation operations.



Heavy Carriers are the cruiser classed carriers designed to function as support for several specialized shuttle and fighter squadrons. Unlike combat carriers, Heavy Carriers have extensive research facilities as well as shuttle support systems. Heavy Carriers have combat abilities equivalent to large destroyer or medium cruisers, with enough of a science base to be classified as a light cruiser. Heavy Carriers often sacrifice some maneuverability to allow for the necessary internal space for shuttle operations.




The Light Carrier is considered a fast response multi-purpose carrier, designed to operate freely away from a home port. Most Light Carriers have only a few squadrons of shuttles or fighters on board, but do have extensive support facilities for its embarked craft. Light Carriers are also used as long range scouts during military and non-military missions, able to coordinate data gathering from all of its normal shuttle compliment, extending the “eyes” of a fleet. Light carriers are considered to have ample firepower to engage enemy destroyers, and with its full complement of combat craft in the air, can engage enemy cruisers. Light Carriers are less expensive to field and maintain than other carriers.




 Specifically designed for emergency operations, Rescue Carriers employ not only Shuttles, but mass transporters, energy transfer systems, and extendable shield systems that allow Rescue Carriers to lend assistance to nearly any size or type of vessel. Rescue Carriers, like other emergency starships, have extensive medical facilities, with many on board facilities able to transform into mass trauma bays at a moment’s notice. Rescue carriers have extended research bays, isolation science centers and other specialized science systems, as well as on board systems to convert entire decks of the vessel to “other atmospheric” conditions. Rescue Carriers also have a number of specialized transports that allow shuttles to drop off evacuees or injured persons without needing to physically dock with the Carrier. Rescue Carriers are rarely armed, but do maintain a minimum defensive capability.



The second largest of the carriers, the Shuttle Carrier is designed primarily to provide logistic support for a great number of shuttles. Although combat capable, shuttle carriers are most often employed in rescue operations or transporting of colonists and equipment from large colonial transports to planetary locations. Shuttle Carriers are well adapted to operate as non-combat command vessels for scores of shuttles. Shuttle carriers have extensive repair and modification equipment and are capable of building, from the ground up, nearly any type of shuttle or fighter. Shuttle Carriers are often slow and maneuverable, being designed as a “refueling” stop rather than a front line combat vessel. Although not designed as rescue vessels, many shuttle carriers are capable of acting as a resting stop during evacuations, allowing other carriers and vessels to take on more critical supplies or wounded in times of crisis.





The largest of all the carriers, the Super Carrier is capable of launching, supporting and recovering over 100 shuttles simultaneously. Slow and fairly maneuverable, Super Carrier non the less fulfill all aspects of carriers in general, including rescue and evacuation, heavy combat support, ground combat support, research and exploration, transportation, repair and construction, and re-supply to other units. Super Carrier have nearly as many shuttle as a Shuttle Carrier and as many fighter wings as a Fleet Carrier. Super Carrier greatest liability is their dependence on other support tenders and supply vessels for extended missions. Although most Super Carrier are capable of taking on board nearly 30,000 souls, should the need a rises, few Super Carrier could support such a passenger load for more than a few weeks, relying on other support craft.




An unusual designation, the Support Carrier is designed for large civilian companies who require extensive shuttle support vessels for both colonial and mining operations. Support Carriers feature surprisingly luxurious rooms for operations specialists who are required “on site” for various jobs. Support Carriers also have large internal spaces that can be used as cargo transfer and processing areas, as well as interchangeable internal configurations that allow for quick installation of specialized cargo processing modules. Most support carriers are used between systems to upload ore or raw materials that cannot be moved easily by transports. Support carriers then escort the cargo transports and help quickly off-load the same material at a destination ports. Currently, there are very few Support Carrier designs. Surprisingly, most Support Carriers are highly modified by their owning companies. An entire sub-culture of Support Carrier modification companies has arisen in the Firangi Alliance to help customize these vessels for deep space use.




Tactical Carriers, like other Tactical classified vessels, are designed to coordinate both shuttle

squadrons and other starship in large scale attacks against several targets. Tactical Carriers, like Command Cruisers, have large Command-and-Control centers and can take command of a fleet should a command vessel be lost. Tactical Carriers replace their standard sensors with wide area flight command sensors, allowing Tactical Carriers to act as a “control tower” for nearly any ship situation. Tactical Carriers are most often employed independently with one or more squadrons of Destroyers or other combat craft, to engage enemy facilities and raid shipping during times of war. Tactical Carriers are also employed when emergency Command-and-Control is necessary for disasters that would otherwise overwhelm a standard carrier or Command Cruiser. Tactical Carrier’s ability to coordinate the more minute operations of front line shuttle operations make them ideal for micro-management use in large fleets with multiple shuttle based craft. Tactical Carriers do have sufficient firepower to act as a Heavy Cruiser, but lack the maneuverability of a Cruiser, being akin to a Dreadnought or Battleship. Despite their sluggish maneuverability, Tactical Carriers are faster than standard carriers.




Through-Deck Carriers, unlike another carrier vessels, are designed to rapidly re-arm and launch shuttle and fighters on a massive scale. Very slow when compared to even freighters, most Through-Deck Carriers require a greater number of defensive escort ships, but can support twice the number of shuttle employed by a Through-Deck Cruisers. Through-Deck Carriers are able to rapidly modify a large number of shuttles for special air operations when necessary, and have the ability to support mass evacuation operation at any time with little or no warning. Through Deck Carriers employ many of the same safely features installed on other Carrier vessels.

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