A wiki edit on June 12, 2014 (carrying Squadron 42 developer Mike Northeast's name in the edit comments) clarified that senior designer Chris Parry is developing the Pegasus Escort Carrier.[source?]
Name Change Update
As of December 19th, 2014 the Panther was renamed Pegasus.
|“||Please welcome the Pegasus-class Escort Carrier to the ranks of the UEE Navy! The Pegasus-class is the Empire’s premiere small carrier, capable of carrying a thirty-craft strike force deep behind enemy lines if necessary. The Pegasus (formerly the Panther) is currently being grey-boxed by the team at Foundry 42… and in honor of the holiday livestream, they are sharing these first images of the ship’s exterior!||”|
–Introducing the Pegasus Escort Carrier
Historically, naval escort carriers were "light aircraft carriers" about 1/3 the size of their full-sized cousins. Escort carriers were used by Japan, the US and Great Britain during WWII.