Galactica type battlestar

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Original Colonial Battlestar (credit: Zoic)

This article discusses the original battlestar class (of which Galactica is a member) found in the New Series. For information on the battlestars of the Original Series, see Battlestar (TOS). For information on the Mercury-class battlestar, see Mercury-class Battlestar (RDM).


The Original Battlestar is a capital Colonial warship that combines the functions of aircraft carrier and battleship. The name of this original class has not been provided.

Five original battlestars were laid down shortly before the start of the first Cylon War and saw action in the early years of the war (Mini-Series). Seven further battlestars were constructed during the war (Zoic), leading to a total fleet size of twelve, one battlestar representing each of the Twelve Colonies (Mini-Series).

All the original battlestar vessels deliberately avoided the use of highly-integrated or networked computer systems, as the Cylons were able to infiltrate and subvert such systems, disabling Colonial defensive capabilities (Mini-Series).

Following the end of the war, the original battlestars remained in service, and other battlestars were built. Their numbers steadily increased to a grand total of 120 ships in the Colonial Fleet. Unlike the original battlestars, later vessels did include networked systems (Mini-Series).

While the term "battlestar" was also used to describe these newer vessels, it is apparent that there are other battlestar classes with subtle or significant design or dimensional changes. While this article primarily discusses the original battlestar design like that of Galactica, there is at least one other battlestar class: The Mercury-class battlestar, of which Pegasus is a member.

Several of the original twelve vessels were also upgraded (Mini-Series), with the exception of battlestar Galactica, which retained its original command and control systems at the insistence of Commander William Adama, and presumably other commanders before him, since constant massive retrofitting and refitting would be detrimental to the ship's active status and mission.


Original battlestars are space-going leviathans. Some 4,640ft in length (Zoic), they combine the role of a modern airacraft carrier with that of a battle cruiser. Housing some 80 "Viper" space superiority fighters arranged in 4 squadrons of 20 apiece, a fully-armed battlestar is capable of a wide range of offensive actions, while her defensive armaments ensure she is fully capable of both protecting herself from attack, and of engaging an enemy at close quarters.

Despite their massive size, battlestars are extremely maneuverable (Mini-Series and can dock with space stations such as the Ragnar Anchorage depot. Battlestars are not designed for atmospheric flight, although their hulls can manage a tenuous upper atmospheric storm like that surrounding the gas giant Ragnar. A battlestar's FTL systems are capable of incredibly-accurate Jumps, able to place them precisely in synchronous orbit above any point on a planet (Mini-Series) and of placing them in the midst of debris fields, such as an asteroid belt, without risk of a devastating impact (The Hand of God) or dense fleet of ships (Scattered).

Battlestars are intended to operate for long periods without resupply. Their water purification capabilities alone are so efficient that, barring an emergency or unforeseen event, a battlestar can operate without re-tanking "for several years before replenishing" (Water). They also appear capable of undertaking large-scale repairs following battle damage (Mini-Series), and may well have small manufacturing/fabrication facilities on-board (Litmus).



  • Length (approx): (4,640ft) (1,414.2 meters)
  • Beam (approx): 1,820ft (554.736 meters) (flight pod to flight pod - extended)
  • Draft (approx): 585ft (178.308 meters)

Flight Pods:

  • Length (approx): 2,019ft (615.391 meters) HI
  • Beam (approx): 360ft (109.728 meters)
  • Draft (approx): 211ft (64.3128 meters)


  • 2 x FTL engines and drive coils (series)
  • 6 x sublight engines (observed - 33)
    • 2 x Hull-mounted
    • 4 x outrigger engine pods
  • 40 x manuevring engines (10 clusters of 4 apiece) (Zoic)

Aramaments - Defensive

  • 24 x primary railgun turrets (mounting 2 guns apiece)
  • 512 x point-defense turrets (mounting 2 guns apiece)

Armaments - Offensive

  • 4 squadrons of 20 Mark VII "Viper" atmosphere-capable space superiority fighters
  • 10 "Raptor" reconnaissance/assault vehicles (fan estimate).


  • Ship's company: 2,000 (series)
    • Officers (TBA)
    • Enlisted (TBA)


Battlestar / CVN comparison (credit: Zoic / VF)
  • Commander Adama stated that he had close to 2,000 people on Galactica when he confronted Leoben Conoy on Ragnar station.
  • A Colonial fighter squadron is comprised of 20 Vipers and is generally supported by a single Raptor.
  • Raptors can also be used to deploy Colonial Marine detachments to the surface of planets or to storm other vessels. Raptors are equipped with a docking collar and accessway in their undersides for the latter. (Bastille Day)
  • Viper operations are overseen by the CAG - 'Commander, Air Group', the most senior pilot aboard a battlestar.
  • An appreciation of the size of an original battlestar can be gleaned from the following:
    • An original battlestar is over 4 times longer than a Nimitz-class US Navy nuclear-powered aircraft carrier
    • The flight pod of an original battlestar is almost twice the length of a Nimitz class carrier, is some 150ft wider and is approximately as tall as a Nimitz class carrier measured from the waterline to the top of the carrier's communications and ELINT tower
    • The beam of an original battlestar's "alligator head" is as broad as a Nimitz-class carrier's flight deck is long
    • Each of the nacelles of an original battlestar's outer four sublight engines is large enough to house a Nimitz-class carrier.
  • With 512 Point-Defense Turrets, thats 1024 PD Guns, and from onscreen evidence, the Rounds Per Minute is atleast 90 or more. (fan estimation.)
    • Assuming a firing rate of 2 rounds per second, thats 120 rounds per minute, and from all turrets equates to 122,880 rounds per minute. 2048 rounds per second. Thats alot. (fan estimation.)
    • Considering a raider has been shown to be destroyed with around 4-10 direct hits, this means that should raiders enter the firing solution, would take only a few seconds to get blown up. If targetted by the PD turrets, less then a second. It would take a single turret 1 second to destroy a raider. That isn't accounting for maneuverability of the raider however. (fan estimation.)
  • Also, with 24 Rail gun turrets, thats, 48 rail gun , Barrels, if you will. Atleast 960 Rounds per minute (1 round per 3 seconds)
    • Onscreen evidence shows around 1 round firing per 2-3 seconds (please correct if wrong). Going with the 1 round-2 seconds, you get a single turret firing in a minute, 60 rounds. times that by 24 and you come to 1,440 rounds per minute.
    • Due the turrets being "rail guns", the rounds go much faster then the rounds fired from the PD turrets. This means that a single hit to a raider should destroy it due to the kenetic energy imparted to the raider. If this is true, then a battlestar, with accurate aiming, could take out 1,440 raiders in a minute. Thats like, double the estimated capacity of a basestar! Thats if every shot is a direct hit.


Original Battlestar forward view (credit: Zoic)

The original battlestar design common to Galactica and her sister ships can be broken down into two main sections:

  • Main Hull
  • Flight Pods

Main Hull

This comprises the bulk of a battlestar, and can itself be divided into three sections:

  • "Alligator head", containing the primary living space for the crew, recreational facilities, mess halls, shipboard operations centres (such as the CIC and Situation Room); water storage tanks
  • Midships area: containing the pod retraction mechanisms, crossways linking the hanger pods for the transfer of equipment, Vipers, personnel, etc. All the necessary hoists for such transfers; main munitions stores and distribution mechnanisms to "local" munitions stores for main and secondary batteries; fabrication facilities; etc.
  • Stern section: sublight engines, FTL drive coils, etc. Note that 4 of the sublight engines are mounted in distinctive nacelles of their own, with 2 more mounted between the nacelles, in the stern of the battlestar. The FTL drive coils appear to be mounted between the drive pods and between the hull-mounted sublight engines and the midships section of a battlestar.

The main hull houses all of a battlestar's offensive railguns, and also has a number of point-defence batteries mounted around it.

The manoeuvring thruster packs are located in the port / starboard bows of the "alligator head" (4 thrusters apiece), and on the port / starboard extremities of the four sublight engine nacelles (2 "packs" of 4 thrusters per nacelles).

Flight Pods

The flight pods are mounted on either side of the hull and contain a battlestar's offensive Viper force. During normal operations, they are extended away from the main hull. During FTL jumps, the pods are retracted against the hull, to provide a smaller cross-section for the battlestar during the jump itself.

  • Each flight pod is approximately 2,000ft in length and has a maximum beam of some 360ft (fan estimates)
  • Each pod comprises two main decks for flight operations: the upper landing bay, which extends the full length of the pod; and the lower launch bays, which provide some 40 launch tubes per pod (Zoic)
  • The landing bay serves as a recovery area for incoming Vipers and Raptors, approaches are made from the stern. The preferred approach is a slow run into the hanger, prior to making a vertical landing on a defined landing area. However, in emergencies, "rolling" combat landings can be made, in which a Viper or Raptor approaches at speed and makes a running landing on its undercarriage
  • The forward end of the landing bay also serves as a launch area for Raptors and shuttles
  • Each hanger bay is large enough to accept a variety of other Colonial vessels, up to and including vessels classified as "heavy" (such as Colonial Heavy 798)
  • Docking collars are located throughout the upper sections of the landing bay in order to provide a pressurised connection between an docked vessel and the battlestar
  • Pods additionally contain a number of a battlestar's point-defence railguns - one turret being mounted above each Viper launch tube, and others being set along the length of the pod itself
  • The hanger bays in the pods are used as general dispersal areas for Vipers. The hangar bay runs the length of the flight pod, but can be divided and sealed off into five sections for damage control puroposes. Each hangar bay section has eight launch tubes, two launch control stations, and an elevator that leads to the landing bay above. The hanger bays are used for maintenance & repair of Vipers / Raptors, re-fuelling, re-arming and launch operations
  • Viper flight operations are overseen by a Landing Signal Officer LSO, with each launch supervisor being directly responsible for all launch operations for a group of four launch tubes each

Other facilities within the pods include fuel storage areas for the Vipers and Raptors (and potentially for refuelling large vessels docked within the landing bays); munitions stores for Viper weeaponry; munitions stores for the point-defence railguns; parts stores for maintaining Vipers and Raptors, etc.

List of Known Battlestars (RDM)

Of these ships, viewers have seen only Galactica and Pegasus thus far. The class or design of other mentioned battlestars has not yet aired in an episode. In the Mini-Series, as Helo and Sharon Valerii descend to Caprica for an emergency landing, they pass by a massive debris field orbiting the planet. In this debris is the wreck of a battlestar, its hull burning and back broken. The full design or name of this ship is not known. Names in bold are those seen on-screen, others are mentioned-only.