The Il'Emaar (Courier)-class Merchant Transport is a new ship design of the Tau Empire developed as part of the Kor'or'vesh fleet initiative, and was a response to the need for a new kind of fast transport that could make long, deep dives in support of Tau fleets and quickly replenish forward-deployed flotillas.
The Tau Empire's long and protracted war with the Orks in their Second Sphere of Expansion proved early on that the numerous but relatively fragile merchantmen that were the life-blood of the rapidly expanding Tau Empire were woefully inadequate. Continuing raids decimated the fleets of these small ships, leading to the development of a much larger class of heavily armed transport in the form of the Il'Fannor. As time progressed, smaller transport classes almost disappeared entirely until the development if the Il'Emaar. The Tau Empire thrives on the trade between its Septs, and transports are the workhorses of the trade routes. While this vessel was originally designed to support the Kor'or'vesh, the obvious utility of these vessels was expanded to the greater Empire, and now these easily produced starships are common sights throughout Tau space and beyond.
Small vessels, with limited crews, Il'Emaar (Courier)-class Merchant Transports are only armed for self-defence, with a single prow Railgun battery, one defensive turret, and standard Tau starship shielding. As befits a transport, Il'Emaar also have large holds for transporting goods and supplies.
- Battlefleet Gothic 2010 Compendium, pg. 165
- Imperial Armour Volume Three - The Taros Campaign pg. 215