This ship was the predecessor of the Omega class destroyer. It was introduced into service sometime in the late 2220s, in time to serve with distinction in the Dilgar war. The ship is capable of generating its own jump point to enter hyperspace, but unlike equivalent vessels of some of the other races, did not originally have artificial gravity for its crew and passengers (see below). This limited long deployments, and necessitated regular crew changes to counter the effects of Zero gravity conditions, other measures such as rigorous zero-gee exercises only going so far.
The initial variant of the Nova was heavily armed with plasma cannons, backed up by a large number of Starfuries. It also doubled as a troop transport, able to carry up to 18,000 ground troops with equipment, although not in very comfortable conditions. Despite its heavy armament, the ship was considered by some to be ill-equipped to fight in the Earth-Minbari War due to the short range inherent in most plasma weapons. However, the Nova's Plasma cannons actually had good range, though their rate of fire was slow due to high energy requirements. In battle with the Minbari, ships of this class proved to be relatively more survivable than the Hyperion class vessels. Also, if a Nova can get close enough to an enemy, extreme damage can be dealt, even to a Minbari ship. In the war, on the few occasions in which the Novas managed to close to very short range to target the Minbari units with the manual emergency weapon controls, the plasma cannons of the Novas were able to inflict devastating damage to enemy units lighter than a Sharlin class War Cruiser (and even a Sharlin would have known it was in a fight).
After the conclusion of the war, the class was eventually replaced in front line roles by the more flexible Omega class destroyer. However, Novas were seen participating in an attack on a planet close to Babylon 5, as well as in the later Earth civil war.