Imperial carrier (788 UC era)
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Imperial carrier (794 UC (485 IC / 3594 CE))
|Armament:||16 forward beam cannons|
120 Walküre fighters
The standard Imperial carrier design had a hull that shared common features with large Imperial battleships like the Wilhelmina. It could be distinguished from the latter, by the large box-like hangar module on top, slightly different engine nacelle arrangement, an area of exposed machinery on each side underneath the hangar module, and also by the different side gun arrangement on the hull.
Fighter recovery was accomplished through ports in the sides of the hangar.
A second variant carried Imperial gunships. The only visual difference was a different hangar module, with 16 doors on each side. The gunships were launched by first being lifted out of the ship by cranes. During this time, the gunships and the carrier itself were vulnerable and there was at least one recorded instance of a carrier and its gunships being hit during the launch process, resulting in the destruction of all through secondary explosions. (LOGH: 'The Battle of Vermilion (Part One)')
Frontal view (800 UC (2 NIC / 491 IC / 3600 CE))
Gunship carrier (799 UC (1 NIC / 490 IC / 3599 CE))
Gunship carrier launching (799 UC (1 NIC / 490 IC / 3599 CE))
The Free Planets Alliance first fielded carriers in 750 UC (441 IC / 3550 CE) but the Galactic Empire continued to prioritize construction of battleships and cruisers. It was not until 780 UC (471 IC / 3580 CE), after the design of the Alliance Lazarus class carrier, that the Empire belatedly acknowledged the usefulness of carriers and resolved to build its own.
The Empire decided to adapt an existing design to reduce development time and chose the Wilhelmina class battleship design on account of its large power plant, which would give the resulting carrier design high mobility.
A large hangar module was added on top of the hull to carry a large complement of fighters. The gunship carrier variant differed only in the hangar module and was otherwise identical to the fighter carrier. (Data Book: Mechanic & Seiyū Encyclopaedia, p. 141, 172)
A production sketch of the Imperial carrier appears in the DVD features.