One of the major problems during the Cylon War was the high attrition rate. Shipyards long struggled to churn out new ships to replace damaged and destroyed ones, especially in the first few years. Once production got into full swing the situation became less critical and opened room to develop new designs to supplement Battlestars.
Before Battlestars received their own production facilities, they relied on tenders for resupply of fuel, ammunition and fighter complement. These became priority targets for the Cylons and subsequent designs, with better defensive and offensive capabilities were introduced and became known as Escortstars.
The Starweaver arrived in the latter days of the War and is often described as a "Pocket Battlestar" because of her unusually heavy armament and advanced features. Unlike many Escortstars she has proper fighter launching facilities, which allows the Starweaver to operate under combat conditions. In addition to a substantial array of CWIS for defensive purposes the Starweaver boasts six twin Railgun turrets, making it able to take on enemy threats.
Located in the side wings are a pair of Kunami-Yaeger "Spacetrucks", large transport shuttles that can deliver cargo and supplies to other ships. Her unusual curved bow hides a large cargo hold, with Tylium, ammunition, food and spare parts storage. The Starweaver boasts a small, but well-equipped repair and production facility.
Fighter complement consists of three squadrons of fighers and a dozen raptors though under normal circumstances only a single squadron can be deployed through the launch system, the other craft must take off from the flight deck that runs most of the length of the Starweaver.
All these feature have made the Starweaver a capable craft, especially compared to other Escortstars that lack most of her facilities. Realistically, her capabilites are closer to that of a light Strikestar than a true Battlestar.
The Searcher is currently commanded by Silas Gale a highly decorated Cylon War hero, holding the record for being the youngest Battlestar commander ever. Until a year ago he commanded the Dreadstar Charybdis. During an incident at the Scorpia shipyards he nearly collided with Battlestar Pegasus, damaging the docking installations. Realising that his days had passed, Commander Gale decided to step back and let a new generation take over. He was assigned to the Searcher, going on a year-long deep space survey mission to look for useful resources and suitable outposts beyond the red line. This was not his first incident as he was the Commander of Battlestar Triton when it collided with Battlestar Artemis nearly fifteen years ago, resulting in the death of nearly three thousand crew and the death of Rear Admiral Taris. Unsubstantiated claims of a lingering Cylon virus causing the incident were never proved and the crash was attributed to command errors. The Scorpia incident appears to have been caused by Battlestar Pegasus refusing to give way as is customary, despite official claims that the Charybdis deliberately cut off Pegsus. Some say that Commander Gale was sidetracked so as not to prejudice Admiral Cain's otherwise meteoric career.