The Explorer-class was a carrier-type starship used by the Earth Defense Force of the United Earth Republic. It was the first class of Earth starship to be fitted with faster-than-light(FTL) propulsion systems since the beginning of the recovery on Earth.
Due to political controversy, the Explorer-class ships were officially designed to serve as ships of exploration and diplomacy. However, it remained primarily a hybrid warship-carrier, well armed and employing a state of the art design based upon the most advanced concepts and technologies yet found in the Data Ark. They were considerable tactical platforms that can be used in almost any combat role.
It was believed that the Explorer-class's smaller frame and sleeker design would appear less threatening than the heavier Defender-class warships. Hence the United Earth government felt more comfortable fitting them with the ability to travel at superluminal speeds, giving them a far larger operation range.
The Explorer-class was smaller than the Defender-class ships, by as much as a third.