The Escort Carrier carries an entire starfighter wing and it augments the overall starfighter strength of whatever fleet it is attached to. These ships are particuarly valuable to the Galactic Empire as they provide a hyperspace platform for TIE fighters, thus giving the starfighters a method for quick travel via light speed.
Escort Carriers do not generally involve themselves directly in combat. They are armed, but they are not considered offensive weapons and their whole function is to launch starfighter support at a distance. Each Escort Carrier also has limited field repair facilities.