A carrier was a type of military starship specifically designed to focus on the transportation of small starships. They were generally considered separate from the warship, any vessel honed to be a weapons-platform on its own.
The term carrier can be divided into two main types: dedicated carriers, generally with few weapons and weak shielding, the other type being warships which also had a substantial capacity for carrying starfighters.
In the Clone Wars era, the Venator-class Star Destroyer was used as a dual destroyer/carrier. By contrast, the Victory-class Star Destroyer was assigned to strictly a destroyer role, as it had a small complement of fighters relative to its size. This tradition of using similar hull design, but with a separate carrier and a destroyer version, was carried on in the New Republic's New Class Modernization Program, with the Endurance-class fleet carrier sharing the same hull as the Nebula-class Star Destroyer.
Due to the pre-existing communication and coordination capabilities of carriers, they were often used as command ships. The New Republic's Fifth Fleet flagship during the Black Fleet Crisis was an Endurance-class carrier. In contrast, the Galactic Empire used different Super Star Destroyers for command and carrier purposes, respectively.
EF76 Nebulon-B escort frigates and Strike-class medium cruisers regularly had a small complement of fighters. Additionally, some other ships such as Corellian corvettes could be modified to carry a handful of fighters. Carrack-class light cruisers did not have an internal hangar, so exterior rack was added for up to five TIEs for use on reconnaissance or courier duties.
Known dedicated carrier designsEdit
A Yuuzhan Vong carrier type, 800 meters long on average.
A type of troop carrier used during the Clone Wars.
The 700 meter Defender-class was originally developed for the Defender program in the early New Republic, but was taken up by the New Class Modernization Program and improved upon. The design also became an inspiration for the Majestic-class heavy cruiser, using its hull as basis.
Based on the Nebula-class Star Destroyer hull, the 1,040 meter Endurance-class carried a large complement of fighters.
The 1,600 meter Galactic-class was based on earlier Star Destroyer designs, but with a larger mass, and extensive carrier facilities. It held several squadrons-worth of fighters.
This vessel resembled an over-sized EF76 Nebulon-B escort frigate and had several hangars lining its hull.
This bulk cruiser design was retrofitted to serve as a dedicated fighter carrier.
This 750 meter carrier design was used by the Ssi-ruuvi Imperium and could store landing craft in its 12 launching bays.
The Galactic Empire employed some Super Star Destroyers as dedicated fighter carriers.
Dual-role carrier designsEdit
The 1,088 meter Providence-class had an extensive hangar system lining its sides. On modified ships like the Invisible Hand, this was enlarged even further.
Venator-class Star DestroyerEdit
The 1,137 meter Venator-class Star Destroyer served the dual purpose of both a fighting ship and a carrier, being capable of holding 420 small Republic starfighters inside its dorsal hangar bays that ran along much of the ship's length.
Secutor-class Star DestroyerEdit
The 2,200 meter Secutor-class Star Destroyer served the dual purpose of both a fighting ship and a carrier. Its size would have normally qualified it as a Battlecruiser under the Anaxes War College System, but its relative lack of firepower as well as the aforementioned carrier capabilities placed it in the Star Destroyer designation.
- Knight Errant (Mentioned only)
- Imperial Sourcebook
- Cracken's Threat Dossier
- The New Jedi Order Sourcebook
- Revenge of the Sith: Incredible Cross Sections
- Starships of the Galaxy, Saga Edition
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia