Sooner or later, most combateers get to see the awesome sight pictured on the right. Quite often it's the last sight they see. The Explorer is an impressive weapons platform. The Alliance is not averse to using a foreign design when it gives the right performance.
The Empire quickly refused to sell Explorers to the Alliance, so nearly all of the AJN's Explorer fleet consists of converted civilian models (much to the Emperor's frustration). Typically, the Explorer is used as a troop carrier or refueller, but a heavy bombardment variant is also in service. Some of the supply variants are attached to peacetime scientific missions carried out by the Victor class starship, the AJN Excelsior. The AJN Lion also had a complement of Explorers when it disappeared - two of the Explorers were deploying scientific instruments and it's due to the deep space capability of these vessels that the Explorer crews returned home without the AJN Lion.
The cavernous interiors of this vessel means that the bombardment version is extremely heavily armed and can perform missions without escorts should it become necessary. However, this is typically avoided since the Explorer is not a particularly agile craft.
The current variants are: