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The largest and most independant starship class in the Earthforce arsenal, not to mention the largest ships ever constructed by any among the Younger races. Explorer ships are not, strictly speaking, warships. Their primary purpose is to scout the Rim and construct jumpgates for follow-on exploitation by survey teams. Being given command of an Explorer ship is the highest accolade an Earthforce officer can aspire to besides being promoted to General. See Cortez.