Mercury class battlestar
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Apparently introduced some years after the First Cylon War, the Mercury class was designed to replace the aging Galactica type battlestars. It featured newer technologies, more automation, and could carry more Viper and Raptor support ships than its older predecessors. Despite the increase in capabilities, the Colonials seem to have more interest in producing the smaller Valkyrie types over the Mercury class.
Generally speaking, this class compares to the older Galactica type battlestars in terms of overall specifications.
The Mercury class sports four flight pods of a newer and more advanced design. Two dorsal, and two ventral pods, with advanced gravity systems keeping them in sync. Vipers and Raptors are able to land both "right side up" and "upside down" in relation to the ship. The dual pods allow for greater Viper recovery during combat. The ships' hangar deck and launch tubes are located in between the "right side up", and "upside down" flight decks, and feature the same layout and design as seen on the older Galactica type battlestars. Despite advancements, these pods are still able to launch older Vipers, such as the Mk. II's.
Mercury class ships are equipped with 8 sublight engines attached to the outer hull, and group into clusters of four along the ventral and dorsal surfaces of the ship. These ships also feature maneuvering thrusters placed at key points on the ship, including two main thrusters on the forward section of the alligator head.
Unlike their older counterparts, the Mercury class features advanced computer systems, including the Command Navigation Program developed by computer scientist Dr. Gaius Baltar. Designed to assist in advanced navigation techniques, the program was uploaded to all ships of this class sometime before the Fall of The Colonies. During the attacks, the Cylons were able to gain command privileges over the battlestar's functions and shut them down through a backdoor placed in this program.
The standard crew complement of a Mercury class battlestar is in excess of 2,500 (TRS: "Pegasus," "Razor"). Advancement in Colonial technology have made many positions manned on older vessels (such as gun batteries) automated, increasing response time and efficiency. Mercury class ships may be bigger than these older vessels, but they only need half the crew to operate then the Galactica type battlestars during the First Cylon War.
Ships In Class
The shape of the Mercury class resembles the Original Series battlestar closer than the Re-imagined Series' Galactica. It has eight engine pods, compared to Galactica's six. The pods aboard the Mercury class battlestar appear more directly integrated with its rear section, and its flight pods share the original angular shape.
The visual effects artist of the re-imagined Pegasus, Jose A. Perez, has commented that, "The new design was somewhat of a cross between the look of the original-series battlestars, and yet with elements of the new one. Aside from that, it has mostly hull plating (to absorb more damage), as opposed to the Galactica which shows more ribbing." Mr. Perez also commented that, "The harder edges (of the Pegasus) were intentional as well, to match the interior style of the sets more."