Facing a critical shortage of flight decks in the mid-2660s, the Terran Confederation commissioned a series of nine escort carriers converted from merchant or transport hulls. One of the most notable was TCS Tarawa, which participated in the 2667 raid on Kilrah which destroyed or crippled several Kilrathi carriers under construction. This raid, which saw the carrier nearly destroyed (both of her escorts, a corvette and a destroyer, were lost in the raid), resulted in the ship's official motto, "First to Kilrah." The ship was whole again by Operation Red 3, just before the false armistice of 2668 and was critical in saving the Earth from destruction by Kilrathi missiles during the Battle of Earth in December, 2668. The Tarawa returned to Confederation service immediately following the Battle of Terra, and was quickly crippled in battle. After the end of hostilities the crippled Tarawa was sold to the Free Republic of the Landreich, where it was repaired and recommissioned as the FRLS Independence.
TCS Tarawa was armed with a quad-mount heavy neutron gun, two particle cannon turrets, two medium mass driver turrets and several single tube missile launch racks. Six light mass drivers were installed on the ship during the run from Kilrah. Tarawa carried 45 fighters and a Mark 33 engine taken from a Gilgamesh-class destroyer. Tarawa's construction is based on the real escort carriers of World War II, though none of them were nearly so comprehensively armed (typical armament of a WW2 escort carrier was a full complement of 20 and 40mm anti-aircraft weaponry and a single stern-mounted 5" DP gun loaded almost exclusively with antiaircraft ammunition).
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