Designed to replace the aging and venerated Archer class carriers, the Skirmishers are technically escort carriers, but unlike most carriers they are designed to go into harm's way. The Archers were the first attempt at humanity to make space carriers and they were actually refitted box cargo carriers, so, despite their historic combat record, they were never meant to be military craft and were inefficient in many ways. The Skirmisher was designed from the ground up to be a modern ship of war. It is faster, more maneuverable and more heavily armored than its predecessor, and it carries a full three squadrons of fighters. They are designed for independent action, meaning they rely far less heavily on escort vessels, like destroyers, and in fact are often used to defend capital ships and the much larger fleet carriers. The Skirmishers utilize a bow-deployment, aft-recovery flight deck that runs the length of the ship. It has four bays, including its two main forward bays, its rear recovery bay and a second rear ventral bay for shuttles and small pinnaces. It is armed with four missile tubes that can launch heavy anti-ship missiles, two long-range particle cannons and eight point-defense rail gun turrets. It has an extended range and some modified versions have been designed for special operations use, able to deploy special forces deep behind enemy lines.