White Star (Babylon 5)
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A White Star firing weapons.
|First appearance||Matters of Honor|
|Class||Medium Cruiser |
|Fighters||4 Nial fighters|
|Armaments||1 Neutron Cannon 
4 Twin Fusion Cannon 
|Defenses||Vorlon Bio-armoured hull
Gravitic Tractor beams
Minbari stealth device
|Propulsion||Stalasha Gravimetric Engine |
The White Star class was designed and built through a collaborative effort between the Minbari religious caste and the Vorlon Empire. With the reorganization and revitalization of the Rangers as a force with which to fight the Shadows, it was imperative that they be provided with a warship that would not be inherently recognized as either Vorlon or Minbari. As such, the ship was designed and built in secret and in large numbers by the Minbari worker caste. These vessels proved devastating during the Shadow War and the subsequent Earth Alliance Civil War. After the dust had settled, they served as a vital part of the Interstellar Alliance's military assets.
The White Star commanded by John Sheridan was thought to be unique until near the end of the third season (in "And the Rock Cried Out, No Hiding Place"), where it was revealed that the first wave of 40-50 White Stars had entered service. White Stars continued to be built and they were used extensively thereafter. The original White Star was vaporized as Sheridan crashed it into the largest city on Z'ha'dum while detonating two 500-megaton nuclear warheads.
While they are powerful ships featuring Vorlon and Minbari technology, Earth Alliance Omega class destroyers proved they could lock onto a White Star and destroy it, breaking the Minbari "stealth" advantage they had had previously (in the episode "No Surrender, No Retreat"Captain John Sheridan and Marcus Cole confirmed weapons lock on the White Stars). The advanced Omega class destroyers from the EarthForce proved to be a match for the White Star task force during the Battle of Sector 300, although the whole fleet of Omega class destroyers was obliterated.
Unlike most other large ships in the series, White Stars were numbered rather than being given unique names—Enrique Montoya's Maria (White Star 27) in Season 5 is the only known exception. At least 90 White Stars had been constructed by the end of the series.
The White Star was amongst the smallest ships in the Babylon 5 universe that still possessed the capability of opening its own hyperspace portals (known as "jump points") rather than relying on stationary jump gates or upon jump points created by larger allied craft.
The heavy losses suffered in the conflicts of the Shadow War and subsequent liberation of Earth led to the design of the larger and more powerful Victory class destroyer, an Earth-Minbar joint project based on Vorlon designs. The first results were two prototypes completed five years after the events of the television series. The White Stars were the best ship class of that size of cruiser, but the Interstellar Alliance had been forcing them to face heavy destroyers which highly outclassed them in one-to-one combat. The White Stars were no match for any heavy destroyer of any of the major races in a one-on-one combat (such as an Earth-Alliance Omega class destroyer that completely out-gunned a White Star one-on-one). The only way the White Stars could win would be in groups, as by themselves they were too weak to succeed against a destroyer. The Victory class was an attempt to create a new backbone of dedicated heavy destroyer class vessels for the Interstellar Alliance fleet.