A carrier was a type of starship — whether Federation, allied or threat force — on which were embarked several types of auxiliary craft, including (but not limited to) attack fighters and shuttlecraft.
Designations within typeEdit
Appellations were dependent on size of the vessel (e.g., light carrier, heavy carrier, supercarrier) or purpose (e.g., attack carrier, escort carrier).
An escort carrier, or CSE, is a type of Starfleet vessel capable of performing the roles of both a small spacecraft carrier and a cruiser. In fleet operations these vessels often protect the larger ships of the line. These vessels carry a variety of shuttles and star fighters, but cannot carry as many as the larger dedicated star carriers. In addition, they often carry a substantial armament of their own, which the larger carriers often lack as most of their space is dedicated to the air wings.
The 23rd century designation shuttlecarrier for vessels exceeding a deadweight of 1,000,000 tonnes — e.g., Ariel-class, Fredrikstad-class and Normandy-class — has been largely supplanted by the term supercarrier (fleet carrier was also used by the 25th century).
Carriers by raceEdit