The Imperial Escort Carrier is a light frigate available to the Pentastar Alignment in Eras 1–5. It carries an armament of 2/2 Turbolasers, 2/2 Dual Turbolasers, and 10/2 Laser Cannons.
The Imperial Escort Carrier (not to be confused with the standard Escort Carrier of the Imperial Navy) was utilized exclusively by the Empire's elite Storm Commandos. Drastically different looking than its standard cousin, it was a narrow-hulled ship with an arrowhead-shaped bow. While primarily a starfighter hangar (capable of launching ships such as the advanced TIE Hunter) the Imperial Escort Carrier was also capable of engaging in combat of its own accord, used to attack medium transports and cruisers. As Storm Commandos were elite infantry, Imperial Escort Carriers were also capable of deploying troops for planetary assault. They were known to have guarded the Fondor Construction Yards and participated in the Battle of Fondor. When Grand Moff Ardus Kaine broke away from the Empire and took the Storm Commando program with him, these ships saw use in the Pentastar Alignment.
The third of four unique light frigates of the Pentastar Alignment, the Imperial Escort Carrier is mainly a support craft with light offensive capabilities. Its main function is to deploy its 2 squads of TIE Hunters into the battle. Hunters are an extremely effective craft against enemy fighters and bombers. However, unlike the Escort Carrier, which has no use after it has disgorged its fighters and bombers, the Imperial Escort Carrier has combat capability after it has no fighters left. It can outlast and outgun any other corvette in the game, and is fast enough to keep pace with them.
The primary weakness of the Imperial Escort Carrier is its lack of bomber support. TIE Hunters have no torpedoes, so they are primarily used in a strictly antifighter role. The standard Escort Carrier, on the other hand, though it has weaker fighters, releases more and launches bombers as well. In short, the Imperial Escort Carrier is a TIE Hunter platform and a corvette killer.