The Carrack-class light cruiser, also known as the Carrack-class gunship, was a cruiser deployed by the Republic Navy throughout the Multiverse Wars. It was later an important addition to the Axis Navy; although 350 meters long, the small combat cruisers were heavily armed and had a top speed that matched starfighters. The Carrack-class was made as a cheap replacement for expensive capital ships and was not designed to operate as ships of the line, despite being capable of trading fire with larger adversaries. It was used by the Alliance of Nations, the Axis of Empires and the Coalition of Independent States.
Two weapon configurations were known for this class: one with ten heavy turbolasers, twenty laser cannons designed to defend against starfighters and missiles, and five tractor beam projectors, and an alternative version which replaced the flak lasers with ion cannons. In either version, the Carrack was very heavily armed for its size, a feature which it coupled with impressive speed and maneuverability made it a highly versatile warship. A group of Carracks could defeat one ship ten times bigger than an individual Carrack.
In addition, the survivability of the design was enhanced by safety devices built into the hull to strengthen the spaceframe and provided extra protection for the crew. Reinforced bulkheads and a compartmentalized design made Carracks tough for their size, and these were combined with independent life-support systems in different sections of the hull to lessen the dangers of hull breaches. Even when Carracks were reduced to drifting hulks, it was by no means uncommon for salvage teams to find survivors unharmed inside the wreckage.
Built as cheap alternatives to expensive capital ships, the Carrack was first employed by the Old Republic during the Clone Wars where they served as fast-attack escorts for larger vessels like the Dreadnaught and the Constitution-class of Starfleet. Although heavily armed for its size and capable of keeping pace with an X-Wing and other typical starfighters, the Carrack’s small size left no room for an internal hangar bay. Coupled with the rise of the Star Destroyer under the Axis, this lack of starfighter support led to the Carrack being relegated to system patrol duties or deployed in skirmish lines ahead of primary forces.