I found out that the carrier will defend you. On my way back to the carrier from mining, I was attacked by a NPC anaconda. I wasn't equipped for fighting so I FSD back to the carrier. The NPC was attempting to inderdick me. but I dropped out of supercruise about 10 k from the carrier. The NPC dropped out right behind me and started to fire at me. I wasn't yet in the no fire zone and the carrier opened up on the NPC, that lasted a whole 5 secs. NPc became space dust. I wished I had recorded that but it happened to fast.