The Endurance had a Class 1 hyperdrive and could carry 1,600 troops and enough consumables for five months. However, weapons had to be sacrificed to make room for extra fighters. Endurance-class fleet carriers were only armed with a secondary armament of twelve turbolaser cannons, twenty laser cannons, eight ion cannons, and four tractor beam projectors.
While they boasted improved hull integrity, their shields were markedly less powerful. Although they were equipped with a formidable anti-starfighter weapon system, the fleet carriers were usually protected by screening ships and starfighters. They were not designed to enter the savage heart of battle, but to deploy and coordinate smaller ships.
The main fighting punch of an Endurance-class ship consisted of almost four wings of starfighters. One wing was a short-range assault wing composed of K-wing bombers and Defender starfighters for close support. Another wing was a long-range superiority wing composed of hyperdrive-equipped fighters such as E-wings, A-wings, and X-wings.
Fleet carriers represented a change in the Republic's military policy. While the Imperial Navy was built around larger, heavily-armed warships, such as the Imperial-class Star Destroyer, the New Republic had chosen to use much smaller gun platforms, with starfighters playing a greater role in power projection.
Following New Class practice, the Endurance-class fleet carrier was built upon the same basic hull and systems of the Nebula-class Star Destroyer—although this commonality disguises the fact that the Star Destroyer was apparently designed first, as part of the Defender project, so that the Endurance-class could also be seen as a Star Destroyer variant with heavy weapons replaced by extra fighters just as on the earlier Venator-class Star Destroyer.
Besides being a base ship for starfighters, the Endurance was also a command vessel. Task force commanders and fleet flag officers often used these carriers as their flagships. Admiral Areta Bell raised her flag aboard the lead ship of the class, Endurance, during the Orinda campaign of 12 ABY until her destruction by the Imperial Remnant at the Battle of Orinda.