Sharlin Class Warcruiser
||This article needs additional citations for verification. (October 2009)|
|First appearance||In the Beginning (chronological)|
|Fighters||15 Nial class fighters |
|Auxiliary craft||Flyers |
|Armaments||6 Neutron Cannons
1 Electromagnetic Pulse cannon
|Defenses||Tractor beams 
Minbari stealth device
|Propulsion||Stalasha gravimetric drive |
|Power||Fusion Reactors |
The Sharlin Class Warcruiser is the main starship used by the Minbari Federation in the fictional Babylon 5 universe. Also commonly known as the Minbari War Cruiser, the Sharlin class is very large but conflicting sizes have been noted by different resources. The accepted size figure of 1,600 meters in length and roughly 1,900 meters in height was first noted by fan writer Brandon Bray, who worked as a consultant for Mongoose Publishing, producers of the Official Babylon 5 Role Playing Game. This size was officially accepted by Mongoose and published in their game line.
Sharlin class ships do not use conventional engines like rockets or ion propulsion. Instead, the Minbari War-Cruiser used a combination of gravitational and electromagnetic fields for propulsion, a system called a gravimetric drive system in the episode "Mediations on the Abyss". This, described by Minbari Ambassador Delenn in the episode "Matters of Honor", was used to provide propulsion and artificial gravity. No canon information exists on what powered Minbari ships, save for some vague references to fusion reactors. Material from Mongoose Publishing suggests that Minbari warships use an artificial quantum singularity for its main power, while fusion reactors provide a secondary reserve power for this type of vessel. The Sharlin class is very well armed, having gravitic and electro-magnetic cannons. In the TV movie "In the Beginning" this type ship was seen destroying an Earth space station, the Minbari weapon vaporizing an estimated volume of 3770 cubic meters, with a low-end destructive output of 265 Terawatts (63.3 kiloton per second). The ship also makes use of stealth technology which allows it to become effectively invisible to the scanners and targeting systems used by the younger races seen in the TV series.
These ships can hold up to 8,000 people. In peacetime the Sharlin class ships only have the 190 person regular crew. In combat situations there can be 60 additional combat personnel, such as pilots, gunners, and other support officers, and about 8,000 ground troops. The low crew requirement is due to the advanced computer system in place. The Valen'tha-a specially equipped Sharlin class-is home to the Grey Council, the leaders of the Minbari government.
The Sharlin class ships have a special holographic chamber. The chamber provides a complete 360 degree 3D image of the space around the ship. Normally it is used as a command center during battle situations. This chamber allows the commander to view the battlefield. A similar chamber is used by the Grey Council.
Among the younger races of the galaxy, the Sharlin class has no equals. During the Earth-Minbari war only few Sharlin class ships were lost, typically by ramming, while the Sharlin class inflicted heavy casualties on the humans. However, the Sharlin class was no match for the more advanced First Ones-the Shadows were able to destroy a number of Sharlin class ships during the course of the war with ease through the use of planet killer missiles and slicer beams. In Babylon 5: A Call to Arms, a Sharlin is annihilated as it intercepted a planet killer missile aimed at the IAS Excalibur.
Known Sharlin Class Ships 
- Drala Fi (Black Star) - One of the Minbari Flagships during the Earth-Minbari War. Destroyed by Captain John Sheridan earning him the title of "Starkiller" by all Minbari, and making him the only Earth captain said to have destroyed a Minbari Cruiser and survive. In a later episode, Susan gives Sheridan a piece of the Black Star to always remind him nothing is impossible. (Some non-canon sources give a different class name for the Black Star, referring to it as a "Shargotti" class. This is chiefly because the Black Star was shown to be larger than other Sharlins which it traveled with, and thus may have been a different class. The class of the Black Star has never been stated on screen).
- Trigati - This ship participated in the Battle of the Line. When the order to surrender came, the ship's captain committed suicide rather than obey. His crew took the ship into hyperspace, and spent the next ten years in exile. In 2259, after John Sheridan took command of Babylon 5, the Trigati reappeared and tried to provoke Sheridan into firing on them in the hopes of restarting the Earth-Minbari War. When he refused, another Minbari vessel came out of hyperspace and attempted to force the Trigati's surrender. The Trigati's crew committed suicide rather than obey. The Trigati is an important example as she highlights the fundamental weakness of the Sharlin design. The other Sharlin disabled the Trigati by slicing off its tail fin, part of the gravimetic drive system. As the Sharlin design has no other propulsion system, the Trigati was left dead in space.
- Ingata - This war cruiser came to Babylon 5 in 2258 while carrying home the body of the deceased war leader Branmer.
- Valen'tha - a specialized war cruiser that serves as home to the Grey Council. It was this vessel that was damaged by the humans at the disastrous first contact between the humans and Minbari. The damage resulted in the death of their leader Dukhat, and started the war between Minbar and Earth.
- Dogato - John Sheridan and Delenn commanded the first major battle of the Army of Light against the Shadows in sector 83 from this ship.
- Enfili - This vessel also participated in the first major battle against the Shadows in Sector 83.
During the Earth-Minbari war only the Nova class dreadnoughts were able to fight with some effectiveness against the Sharlin class, and even these ships never succeeded in destroying a Sharlin in open battle.