|Maximum gross mass||211t|
|Main thruster accel||8g|
|Retro thruster accel||5g|
|Hyperdrive ranges||Class 8:12.17|
|Standard drive||Class 8|
One of the most terrifying experiences of any spacer's life is being awoken from the Stardreamer by the bright blue blast of a Plasma Accelerator from an Imperial Explorer bearing down on their ship like a small comet. These massive, majestic ships are rightly seen as the crowning glory of the Imperial Navy Research Department, and represent the ultimate in opulence, taste and engineering achievement. As such, they cost a packet, and are only seen sporadically. Whilst few have the wherewithal to outfit them properly, those spacers who do will find out how near you can be to be truly invincible in space combat.
Size and durability are the hallmarks of the Explorer, originally designed for (as the name implies) long-range exploration of uncharted space. There is room in the cavernous hold of the Explorer for a Large Plasma Accelerator, huge numbers of shield-banks, hull repair systems and every doo-dad and whatsit known to accessory manufacturers. In the right hands, this is the ultimate combat ship, able to swat pirates with ease. As such, expect some rude comments / small-arms fire should you ever try to use this as a freighter.
Due to its size, the Explorer is somewhat slow, both through space and through hyperspace, and handles like a cow on Phekdan Happyweed. Even with top-of-the-line Class 8 engines, it's range is still a comparatively puny 12.17LY. Although 8G is significant speed for a craft this size, it's still not enough to dogfight effectively, and the lack of a turret leaves the owner vulnerable to a nippy opponent. Many a pilot has survived a fight with an Explorer by sticking doggedly on their opponent's six o'clock position and chipping away at the Explorer's massive tonnage, hoping that it's rear weaponry isn't accurate enough to destroy them. The large crew is also a significant drain on its owner's resources. The only other weakness is the pure overconfidence that ownership of this behemoth engenders, and no wonder.
An awesome battleship, the Imperial Explorer is almost boring in its dominance, toughness and imposing bulk. It is definitely the most expensive and probably the most powerful combat ship available to the general public, and ownership of this craft implies both great wealth and keen combat ability. As mentioned, these are almost never fitted out as traders, so attack at your peril.
Famous Imperial Explorer commanders include Viscount Daniel Preston.