A Carrier is a capital ship employing fighters as its primary defense. Carriers can be purpose-built or variants of other large ships, such as destroyers. A large carrier often serves as the flagship of Federation and Auroran task forces. Purpose-built carriers are the largest military ships of any fleet, out-massed only by the large merchant freighters - this large mass is due to the extensive support structures required to house the fighters. Besides these fighters, carriers are typically lightly armed, usually with only a single short-range weapon and a single long-range weapon. Given this, and their large size, carriers are typically the weakest aspect of any fleet, offset only by the fact that they can carry large numbers of fighters safely into battle. Carriers are particularly weak against attack by enemy fighters.
There are three types of purpose-built carriers in the game - the Federation Carrier, the Aurora Carrier, and the Pirate Carrier - but given the definition, the Polaris Raven may also be considered a carrier. Though it carries Dart fighters, the Vell-os Javelin is not classed as a carrier - with its smaller size and relatively heavy armament, it could be considered a cruiser or destroyer. Several smaller ship types also have been retro-fitted into carrier variants - again, these are not actual carriers, but simply smaller ship types which hold fighters.
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