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|First appearance||Babylon 5: A Call to Arms|
|Armaments||Quantum discharge cannons
Heavy neutron cannons
Fusion beam cannons
Anti-Fighter pulse cannons
Minbari stealth device
|Power||Quantum Gravimetric reactor|
The IAS Excalibur is a starship in the fictional Babylon 5 / Crusade universe. First seen in the Babylon 5 movie A Call to Arms, the ship is a Victory-class destroyer. The ship combines human, Minbari, and Vorlon technology.
The Excalibur is one of two prototype ships built by Edgar Industries for the Interstellar Alliance. The other ship was the Victory. The two ships were intended to be the first in a fleet of Victory-class heavy destroyer vessels. Despite being built for the Interstellar Alliance the ship is crewed by Earth Force personnel and not rangers during A Call to Arms and Crusade.
The Excalibur was enormous in size, [a mile and a quarter long (6,600 feet), 2012 meters (stated in the 1st. episode of the Crusade)] (2990) in length and was one of the first ships built by humans to use artificial gravity technology provided by the Minbari. The gravity field provides workable gravity just under that found on Earth. A human would weigh slightly less on the ship than they would on Earth.
Excalibur features energy and particle beam weapons. The main guns operate at two main power levels. "Level One" provides beams with little more firepower than a White Star. "Level Two" is much more powerful weapon, reverse engineered from Vorlon lightning cannon technology. The discharge is a pulse which originates from three emitters mounted on large "fin" structures at the ship's stern; the beams converge just forward of the bow into a single ravening blast that can destroy nearly anything in its path. The weapon is capable of destroying ground installations through the atmosphere of a planet. Firing this titanic weapon drains all the ship's power and the "Excalibur" is unable to maneuver, fire weapons or use long-range scanners for approximately one minute afterward.
The first commander of the Excalibur was President John Sheridan. Along with Captain Leonard Anderson, who commanded the Victory, the two ships were instrumental in discovering Drakh plans to destroy Earth with the Shadow Planet Killer left behind by the Shadows when they left the galaxy. Captain Elizabeth Lochley of Babylon 5 was able to convince Earth's government to mobilize a large fleet to protect Earth, Excalibur and Victory were able to join this fleet. Sheridan and Anderson were able to destroy the planet killer, however Victory was destroyed in the process. Destroying the planet killer distracted the fleet, and the Drakh were able to get close enough to seed Earth's atmosphere with a plague. On their withdrawal, the Drakh destroyed the construction dock - which prevented any further Victory type ships from being built in the near future.
The Interstellar Alliance turned the Excalibur into a research ship, loaning it to Earthforce in the process. Captain Matthew Gideon took command of the ship, and with his crew set out to find a cure to the plague before the plague activated five years later. The beginning of this quest to discover a cure was shown on the Crusade television series.
It is known from other Babylon 5 episodes set further along the time-line than Crusade, that Excalibur succeeds after around 18 months (halfway through what would have been the second season) in finding a cure to the plague. This discovery would lead to the grand revelation of a deeper story line in classic Babylon 5 style: the attack on Earth is just a single battle in a larger war. The ship's future has not been documented.
Only 13 episodes of Crusade were shown - creative differences between the series creator and TNT led to the show being canceled. The Sci Fi Channel had expressed interest in continuing the show, but did not have the budget to do so.