The Antares-class carriers were antiquated transports used throughout the 24th century by the Bajorans, during and following the Occupation of Bajor. These vessels were limited to half impulse and possessed no visual communication capabilities.
In 2368, an Antares-class carrier was used to mislead Cardassian forces into attacking what they believed was a group of Bajoran terrorists traveling from Valo I to Valo III. The empty ship was escorted by the USS Enterprise-D, but would be destroyed by two Type-3 Galor-class warships, providing evidence that Starfleet Admiral Kennelly had been collaborating with the Cardassians. (TNG: "Ensign Ro")
The Bajorans frequently used Antares-class carriers to make routine stops at Deep Space 9. They carried Bajoran civilians, government officials, Vedeks and occasionally even the Kai. Jake Sisko and Nog used to enjoy watching the Bajoran girls among those disembarking from these vessels at the stations airlocks.
Vedek Bareil Antos was injured on an Antares-class carrier en route to Deep Space 9 when a micro-fracture ruptured in one of its warp plasma conduits and the entire relay system exploded. Kai Winn Adami was also on board. The radiation leak from a loose plasma coil prevented transporter beam-off. (DS9: "Life Support")
The Cardassians also operated at least one ship of this class following the occupation, which was at the time referred to as a Cardassian freighter. In 2372 this vessel was used for a convoy mission to Pentath III in 2372. The ship was engaged by a group of Klingon raiders that were attacking the freighters, an engagement which eventually set the stage for the apparent, and inadvertent destruction of a Klingon civilian transport ship. (DS9: "Rules of Engagement")
- TNG: "Ensign Ro"
Background information Edit
According to the Star Trek Encyclopedia, Star Trek: The Next Generation writer/consultant Naren Shankar suggested that the Bajoran cargo vessel in "Ensign Ro" be designated as Antares-class as tip of the hat to TOS: "Charlie X".