Odin-class supercarriers are the first generation of dedicated fleet carriers in the Imperial Navy.
Sidh naval doctrines have long emphasized direct firepower and extended independent operability over combined naval arms tactics that carrier-based navies typically espouse, along with Navy serving primarily as a ground support instrument. Odin-class marks a rather unorthodox departure from this tradition.
Traditionally, the Sidh naval doctrine has emphasized planetary fire support and independent operation, direct fire support forming the basis of the entire naval doctrine. This perception began to change during the Reconquest Wars with the ideas of Grand Admiral Aurelia Creed, who took note of the effectiveness of Federation carrier battlegroups and argued that Imperial resources would be spent more efficiently by separating carrier and battleship roles entirely, a radical suggestion at the time given the long-standing Sidh naval tradition of designing all their capital ships as battle-carriers, combining the traits of carriers and battleships.
After Aurelia Creed successfuly proved her point with an experimental carrier task force, Imperial authorities would sanction the development of a full-scale fleet carrier rivalling the dreadnoughts in size and power. Odin-class was the end result of this process.
Odin-class supercarriers are designed strictly for a fleet carrier role and not meant to be operating alone on their own like most other Imperial warships. Despite their formidable close-range defenses, Odins are vulnerable to long-range direct fire and should hence always be kept out of enemy direct firing range, relying solely on their massive fighter and drone contingent to keep foes at bay.
Standing just slightly shorter than a Dies Irae-class star dreadnought, an Odin-class supercarrier is a spectacular sight to see. Furthermore, that sight comes at a much lesser cost to the Imperial citizenry - the price of building one supercarrier are only about 1/4 of building a dreadnought. Granted, an Odin-class warship is nowhere near as versatile as a dreadnought and requires constant escort under all but the lightest of combat situations. The drawbacks of such specialization are well-worth the gain, however, as a single supercarrier can establish aerospace superiority over much of a star system without ever entering enemy firing range.
Besides serving as launch platforms for a massive force of assorted aerospace fighters, bombers and drones, Odin-class carriers can also deploy a large contingent of marines for planetary assaults and boarding actions. Although not designed for direct engagement, they still have sufficient direct-fire armaments to fend off anything less than a battleship with relative ease.
Since the first Odin-class carriers have entered production, Imperial naval doctrines have been gradually readjusted accordingly. The present naval plans for the two coming decades call for a gradual shift towards a mixed navy of supercarriers and dreadnoughts as the navy's core, dreadnoughts serving as command ships for Army legions and their naval arms, and the new Odin-class carriers serving as flagships of an independent Navy. If fully implemented, Odin-class carriers would become centerpieces of Navy battlefleets, while dreadnoughts would retain their primarily-ground support role. Furthermore, the widespread introduction of such vessels would finally allow for the aging Dies Irae and Fenrir-classes to be sent to a much-needed overhaul and modernization, perhaps discarding extra room for fighters and bombers in favour of more role-appropriate direct-fire weaponry. The Imperium's future ideal is for every Army legion to have its own command dreadnought in it's attached naval armada, and every Navy battlefleet to be centered around a supercarrier.
Although fully capable of defending itself in a stand-up fight, Odin-class was never meant to deal with prolonged direct contact, and hence relies on its massive fighter contingent and escorting ships for protection. Although considerably lighter and cheaper than a proper dreadnought, lacking the massive amounts of armor and planet-cracking weaponry with corresponding power requirements, a supercarrier still commands exorbitant costs and is hence protected as a strategic asset of paramount importance.
Odin-class carriers are named after gods of predominantly-Norse mythology, although at least some bear names from Ancient Mesopotamian mythologies. Same convention is expected to apply to all future supercarriers, much as it has become an established practice to name dreadnoughts after mythological monsters from Old Terran legends.