Battlestar (reimagining)

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First appearance Battlestar Galactica
Affiliation Colonial Fleet
General characteristics
Fighters Colonial Vipers
Auxiliary craft Colonial Raptors
Armaments Gun batteries
Point-defense KEWs
Nuclear missiles
Ship to ship missiles
Propulsion Sublight engines
FTL drive

A battlestar is a battleship/carrier hybrid starship in the reimagined science fiction television series Battlestar Galactica. The reimagined series' battlestars and the series' other visual effects were designed and created by Zoic Studios for Battlestar Galactica.[1]

The battlestars Galactica, Atlantia, Triton, Solaria and Columbia were named in the miniseries; battlestars Pegasus and Valkyrie were seen during the subsequent television series. Twelve battlestars were built at the start of the first Cylon War, one for each of the Twelve Colonies; Galactica represented the colony of Caprica.[2] The fleet had grown by the time of the miniseries, as over thirty were confirmed to be destroyed during the opening wave of the Cylon attack, a loss which Kara Thrace describes as "a quarter of the fleet".[2][3]


A Colonial battlestar is an immense capital ship and is constructed as a series of discrete modules. The wedge-shaped fore section contains the CIC, among other facilities. The aft section contains both conventional (sublight) and FTL propulsion systems. The midsection is where the battlestar's flight pods are mounted, with large support pylons connecting them to the rest of the ship. There are internal transit corridors large enough to move Vipers (and presumably Raptors) from one flight pod to the other.[3] Thus large-scale flight operations are possible even if one flight pod is crippled or otherwise unusable: the battlestar Galactica is able on numerous occasions to hold off massive Cylon attacks, and even to conduct several offensive operations, with her entire starboard flight pod converted to a museum.

Flight Pods[edit]

Battlestars are seen to possess two or four flight pods, depending on the class. Galactica-type battlestars' flight pods retract during an FTL jump, though the same is not true of the Mercury-class. The flight pods serve as landing bays for smaller spacecraft such as Vipers and Raptors. Each flight pod appears somewhat as a large, rounded trapezoidal tube, with a flat deck running inside the length of the pod, completely open to space at the ends. This deck serves as a landing pad for Vipers and Raptors. After touching down, Vipers and Raptors move to one of several side elevator lifts and descend to an enclosed, pressurized lower hangar bay, where they are maintained.

As originally constructed, Galactica's hangars contained overhead storage bays for its Vipers. These bays were eventually removed sometime before the close of the First Cylon War.[4]

It is possible for Galactica to jump without retracting her pods; however, heavy damage occurs the one time the ship is seen to jump this way.



Battlestars are generally covered in smooth armor plating. Pegasus is a clear example of this, being a newer Mercury-class battlestar. Throughout the series, Galactica is shown with large portions of her armor plate removed, exposing the splinter deck and main armor bulkhead as well as structural ribbing underneath. The miniseries shows Galactica withstanding a direct nuclear detonation with little apparent damage to its command structure and fighter bays.[3]

One of the main characteristics of a battlestar, as seen on many episodes, is its ability to absorb tremendous damage while withstanding a prolonged attack and survive. To accomplish this all the ships essential and systems needed to keep the ship combat effective such as magazines, engineering spaces, steering, plotting rooms, command & control, weapons, etc. are protected by heavy armour.

In season 1; episode 1; part 1 Galactica sustains a nuclear explosion following a nuclear missile strike. Galactica survives the detonation with what appears to be relatively minor damage. The newer Mercury class battlestar Pegasus was also attacked with nuclear weapons and withstood at least three nuclear hits during a Cylon ambush; not only did Pegasus remain operational, she inflicted heavy damage to a Cylon Basestar with her forward heavy batteries.[5]


Main batteries[edit]

At the time of the outbreak of the Cylon attack Galactica is fitted with 40 two-gun heavy batteries; 8 1x2 dorsal, 8 1x2 ventral, 4 1x2 bow, 4 1x2 starboard & port bow (8 total both sides), but lacks the 4 fixed bow mounted cannon in the 80cm (30-inch)range similar to Pegasus.[citation needed]

Battlestars rely almost exclusively on their main batteries to engage enemy capital ships. The barrels are housed in a very similar fashion to an oceangoing battleship's main batteries. The barrels are housed in a large armored turret sitting atop an armored barbette that extends below deck. They fire at least two types of ordnance: an anti-aircraft type munition where they fire explosive flak rounds,[6] and an anti ship ordnance kinetic penetrator , which demonstrated a high effectiveness against Cylon Basestars.[5][7]

Secondary batteries[edit]

In the series Blood & Chrome Galactica is shown fitted with 68 (34 port, 34 starboard) secondary batteries on her dorsal side to complement her main batteries.[citation needed]

Point-Defense Weapons Systems[edit]

Point-Defense is the defense of a single object or a limited area, e.g. a ship, building or an airfield, now usually against air attacks and guided missiles.[1] Point-defense weapons have a smaller range in contrast to area-defence systems and are placed near or on the object to be protected.

A battlestar is heavily dependent in combat on a Close-in weapon system (CIWS). CIWS is intended to provide a last ditch defense against enemy assets that are able to penetrate the multi-layered defense. It is intended to be the last line of defense should the battlestar's main weapons or deployed fighters fail to defeat an incoming threat.

The primary function of these guns was an anti-fighter/anti-missile role, such as destroying incoming ordnance or Cylon Raiders. Battlestars carry hundreds of them.[3] They also have a secondary role providing close tactical fire support to fighters.

Galactica and Pegasus are both seen using these systems in numerous episodes.

Missile systems[edit]

Nuclear warheads & Heavy missiles[edit]

Galactica has at least ten heavy missile launch tubes as seen in the episode "The Eye of Jupiter". Adama makes it clear they have air-to-ground capability as well as ship-to-ship capability as well as he says prior to the assault on the Colony that they will be too close for missiles.

Adama states there are five nuclear warheads aboard as of the outbreak of the war.[8] Adama gives Baltar one warhead for research purposes, and uses another to destroy a Cylon baseship orbiting Kolbol thereby reducing his inventory to three. By the time Galactica reaches the algae planet, her stockpile has increased to at least seven nuclear missiles, presumably more as Adama also states Galactica was resupplied by Pegasus when they first discovered each other .[9].

Ship to ship missiles[edit]

Both the Valkyrie and Pegasus are fitted with ship-to-ship missile.

Air Group[edit]

The battlestar Galactica was originally equipped with 80 Viper Mk. I fighters. During the First Cylon War these were replaced with the Mk. II, and later, the Mk. III versions. In addition to improved maneuverability, the Mk. II fighters are also equipped with two light missile racks.[2] At the time of the Cylon attack the starboard flight has been converted into a museum.

Before the destruction of the Twelve Colonies, Pegasus's fighter squadrons were flying the newer Mk. VII Vipers. Most of Galactica's Mk. VIIs had been reassigned with the battlestar's pending decommission; the Galactica's remaining squadron of Mk. VII fighters were destroyed by a pair of Raiders immediately after their avionic systems were incapacitated by the Cylon computer virus.

Following the outbreak of the Second Cylon War, the Vipers in the ship's starboard hangar museum were aging Mk. II's which were pressed back into service. These fighters, supplemented by a small number of retrofitted Mk. VII's, gave Galactica an effective air group of roughly forty Vipers. Attrition over the following months reduced this number as the ship and her fleet of civilian craft were pursued by the Cylons.[10] The arrival of Pegasus with her mostly intact squadrons and Viper production facilities were a huge boost to Galactica's dwindling air group. With the destruction of the Pegasus her squadrons were subsequently transferred to Galactica, giving the latter a full complement of fighters that were largely Mk VII Vipers.[11]

Galactica was also equipped with numerous FTL jump capable Raptors, tactical multi-role spacecraft used for transportation, reconnaissance, scouting, tactical bombing/attacking, refueling, and electronic countermeasures.


Galactica's crew complement prior to its scheduled decommissioning was around 2,000.[2] After the Cylon attack, Galactica's crew complement rose to over 2,500 as civilians joined the service.

In the pilot part-1 we are told that Galactica's first CO was Cmdr. Nash. Galactica's last CO is of course Cmdr. Adama (soon to Adm. Adama) who has been the CO for the past 3-years.

After the settlement of New Caprica, Galactica's crew was gradually reduced as personnel left the ship to join the civilians on the planet surface.[12] When the Cylons returned after the colonization of New Caprica, Galactica was manned by a skeleton crew.[12]

After the rescue of the civilian population from New Caprica, Galactica's crew was bolstered by the return of the retired crew members from the planet as well as the survivors of Pegasus.

A battlestar's crew, aside from the Colonial Marines component present aboard the vessel, consisted of Colonial Fleet personnel. As such, the crew falls into a common, hierarchical, military rank structure. This hierarchy was divided into two broad groups: commissioned officers who exercise command oversight; and enlisted personnel (including non-commissioned officers) who performed technical duties or exercise first line supervisory authority.

List of battlestars[edit]

Four classes of battlestars are portrayed in detail in the reimagined series. The Galactica-type is the only class shown for the first season and a half; appearing later are the Mercury class and the Valkyrie-type, while the Orion class appears in Blood & Chrome.

Jupiter class

Battlestar Atlantia 
Became the flagship of Admiral Nagala and the surviving Colonial Fleet after Picon Fleet Headquarters and much of the fleet are destroyed during the first wave of the Cylon assault. Like almost all of its sister ships, Atlantia was subsequently destroyed.[2]
Battlestar Archeron 
Destroyed soon after construction ten years into the First Cylon War in an ambush attack by Cylons.The Archeron was referred to as a "heavy cruiser".[13]
Battlestar Columbia
The first battlestar Columbia served during the First Cylon War and was destroyed during Operation Raptor Talon, the last battle of that conflict. William Adama was involved in this action on his first mission as a Viper pilot, and witnessed the ship's destruction. This Columbia appears to belong to the same ship class as Galactica.[14]
The second battlestar Columbia was destroyed along with the Atlantia during the destruction of the twelve colonies. Columbia's executive officer some time before the events depicted in the show was William Adama, before becoming the commanding officer of the Valkyrie.[2]
Battlestar Galactica 
The Galactica survived the Cylon attack on the Colonies. During its service in the original Cylon war, the Galactica was a part of Battlestar Group 75 (BSG 75). At the time of the attack, Galactica was the last ship of its class, undergoing formal decommissioning and slated to be converted into a museum. The Galactica was commanded by William Adama.[2] It became the protector of a fleet of civilian ships carrying the last remnants of humanity. For the next four years Galactica served as the fleet's primary (and for the most part only) capital ship, holding off Cylon attacks during the long journey from the Colonies. In concert with Cylon rebels it inflicted a crippling defeat on the Cylons at the Battle of the Colony, and following the settlement of Earth, Galactica was flown into Sol with the rest of the fleet.
Battlestar Solaria 
Destroyed along with the Atlantia.[2]
Battlestar Triton 
Destroyed along with the Atlantia.[2] Triton was part of Battlestar Group 39 (BSG-39) and she was Crashdown's original posting.[15] Starbuck also served on the battlestar Triton once.[16]
Battlestar Valkyrie 
Commanded by William Adama three years prior to the fall of the Twelve Colonies. Valkyrie was ordered by Admiral Corman to launch a black operation to penetrate the Cylon Armistice Zone to gather intelligence on Cylon battle readiness. The operation ended in disaster, and Adama was 'downgraded' to command of Galactica to oversee that ship's retirement (and his own). Battlestar Valkyrie was assigned to Battlestar Group 41 (BSG-41). The Valkyrie was destroyed over Caprica just prior to the fall of the Twelve Colonies, as seen in Battlestar Galactica: The Plan.[17]
Battlestar Yashuman 
Destroyed along with battlestar Valkyrie over the planet Caprica just prior to the fall of the Twelve Colonies. Yashuman initially detects the Cylon assault force on DRADIS during the engagement, and launches its Vipers. However, after being scanned by Cylon raiders, CNP backdoors are activated and Yashuman's systems are shut down, paving the way for the Cylons to destroy her without a shot fired in return.[17]

All other battlestars except Galactica and Pegasus fell prey to the Cylon virus. The virus disabled the battlestars, making them vulnerable to attack.

Mercury class

Battlestar Pegasus 
The battlestar Pegasus also survived the Cylon attack, and later joined Galactica and her civilian fleet for a time. It was more advanced (a Mercury class battlestar) than Galactica and was part of Battlestar Group 62 (BSG-62). Originally commanded by Rear Admiral Cain, her former Executive Officer, Colonel Fisk became commander of Pegasus following her death. Commander Fisk was murdered in a conflict related to his illegal black market trading activities and was replaced by Chief Engineer Garner. Garner himself was killed in action shortly thereafter, sacrificing his life to save Pegasus from a Cylon ambush. Under its final commander, Lee Adama, Pegasus intentionally rammed a Cylon Basestar, being destroyed in the process, although the crew escaped before the collision.[18]


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