battlestar Galactica (a tribute to the ship that started it all)Edit
The battlestar is distinguished from a gunstar (battlecruiser) in that it would have been expected to conduct fighter operations while being able to engage in and survive direct combat with heavy hostile enemy elements in sustained combat on at least equal terms. The requirement to deliver increased speed and maneuverability without compromising fire power, fighting ability or protection was the principal challenge of battlestar design. While increasing size was the most direct method of attaining these desired assets, one principal problem of larger size was speed, especially at hyper light speeds (as dictated by E=MC2), this meant a bigger ship that was considerably more costly and/or could exceed practical size applications. It took technological advancements in power plants, propulsion, and light high-strength armor plating, along with advancements in other forms of defensive shielding, and armament, in order to make the battlestar feasible.
The colonial battlestar represents the backbone of the Colonial fleet. The battlestar is official designated a fast heavy battle carrier [BSG]. Initially before the onset of the Cylon wars there were twelve battlestars, one for each of the twelve colonies. However, during the Cylon wars the number of battlestars grew to over 120. There were many classes [designs], from the lightstar, a small battlestar designed to operate in groups of three or more or as LRRP (Long Range Recon Patrol); the gunstar, a battlestar with massive firepower and heavy armor, essential a battle cruiser, but no fighters; to the massive warstar, a huge battlestar designed as command and siege ship. However, it was the Jupiter class battlestar which came to epitomize the concept of the battlestar and form the core of the Colonial fleet.
The Jupiter class was built before the onset of the Cylon wars, and came to represent the quintessential battlestar design and concept, though it did not start out that way. During the Cylon Wars and after the Jupiter class underwent many design changes and rebuilds. The Jupiter class was built in response to the increasing size and firepower of Cylon baseships and their massive arsenal of long range standoff weapons.
The Colonial response to this threat was a capital ship that could not only stand toe-to-toe with not just a single baseship, but several baseships at once, while conducting fighter operations, and at least fight the enemy to a stalemate. But also a capital ship that could take advantage of that massive firepower by coupling it with speed and stealth, and attack the enemy when and where they least expected it.
In order to make this idea a reality the Colonial Admiralty adopted the All-or-Nothing policy. This meant exactly that, that either the Jupiter class would have the maximum in whatever was deemed necessary or none at all. Though they were always referred to as battlestars, many considered the Jupiter class in a league of their own. In fact, the Jupiter class so was over-the-top in almost category, that the Admiralty considered redesignating them as "strikestars". (Similar to the US Navy's proposed designation of a strike cruise for the Iowa class battleship (BB)). The strikestar was an untested concept in battlestar design. The strikestars greatest asset was its speed and maneuverability coupled with its heavy armor and armament all of which allowed it to project a killing force far greater than its size would indicate possible.
To make this idea a reality the Admiralty turned to the legendary Third Lord of the Admiralty, Admiral Tanner who's very unconventional approach to “modern” warfare made him the perfect man for designing the new battlestar class, though he was often criticized for his “out if the box” methods and guerrilla tactics. Tanner had been a proponent of the strikestar concept. The strikestar was a type of battlestar. It was smaller than a battlestar but carried heavy armament and armor. It was had longer FTL range and better sublight performance than a battlestar. The strikestar reflected his belief that a battlestar should not only be able to directly engage the enemy but be able to outrun and outgun them as as well, as well as operate independently for protracted periods without aid form other warships. He envisioned the battlestar not as a massive juggernaut, but as a smaller mid-size fast baseship-hunter/killer, that would stalk and approach its target with stealth, attack with a massive and violent, merciless, barrage of heavy gun and missile fire, while aided by its complement of fighters and tactical bombers, and then quickly retreat leaving the enemy stunned and utterly devastated. This design favored indestructible ships with massive firepower, heavy armor, and top of the line performance. Though this meant that the new battlestars were substantially more costly to build, and therefore fewer could be built. The Admiralty believed that their survivability and flexibility as well as their ability to operate unaided for extended periods would more than compensate for their lack of numbers and smaller size.
However, the Admiralty was not completely convinced that the strikestar concept was the ticket to superiority over the Cylons. They wanted a classic battlestar that would be a ship of the line, a true juggernaut. Ultimately both Admiral Tanner and Lords of the Admiralty would compromise. Though Tanner didn’t get his strikestar, he got a large portion of it, and the Admiralty was satisfied that the new battlestar had more than enough firepower to go toe-to-toe if need be.
To this end the Jupiter class was designed around an all encompassing “All or Nothing” philosophy. They employed speed as thier greatest weapon, and an arsenal of hard hitting weapons designed to pulverize and drive off enemy capital ships in direct engagements, and utterly obliterate them otherwise, and it was a Jupiter class battlestar, Galactica, which came to epitomize the class itself.
Design on the Jupiter class began and it was decided that the overall function of the new class should be that of a "baseship-killer". Designers drew up plans for ships with 100 40cm (16-inch) in 50 turrets and 400 12.7cm (5-inch) secondary guns in 200 turrets, unlimited displacement, a top sublight speed of 800km/sec, and a cruising speed of 300km/sec and a FTL range of an unprecidented 20,000 light years. But Tanner believed more could be done with the new class.
Three improved plans—"A", "B", and "C"—were designed. An increase in heavy guns, vast additions to the armor, and the substitution of 52 40cm (16 inch) guns for a new yet undeveloped larger gun in the 80cm (32 inch) range. Though the new design would lose almost half of its heavy batteries the new 80cm batteries would provide the muscle required to make the new class a true baseship killer. Secondary batteries were reduced from 200 to 100 to make room for more 40mm suppression batteries, and VLS.
The General Board followed the recommendations of the Battlestar Design Advisory Board and admiral Tanner. The board, however, requested an entirely new design study, focusing on admiral Tanner’s idea of the strikestar concept. These designs were able to convince the General Board that a very well-designed and balanced 600km/sec battlestar with an FTL range of 20,000LY was possible within the proposed budget. However, further studies revealed major problems with the estimates. The high top end speed of the ships meant that larger untested power plants would be needed. Then testing revealed the realization that a 20,000LY FTL range was not practical. The increase in size that the Admiralty wanted meant that even more additional armor was needed as well. Along with this came the associated weight in supporting these new strains: the structure of the ship had to be reinforced and the power plants enlarged to avoid a drop in speed.
The other concern was that of the large amount of fighters and tactical bombers carried by Cylon baseships. The stirlkestar concept had originally called for a single built in light facility to house small fighter and tactical bomber squadrons to act as reconnaissance and close in defense against Cylon fighters and bombers who managed to get through the onslaught of suppression fire from the numerous 40mm and 12.7cm (5 inch) guns. However, with the reports that the new Cylon baseships carried even more fighters and bombers than its predecessor the decision was made to design the Jupiters' with two full sized flight pods.
Flight operations were conducted within two flight pods located on either side of the ship. The flight pods were entirely self sufficient with launch tubes, landing bays, maintenance facilities, fabrications shops, munitions depots, ETC. Each of the pods house a complete Air wing of 75-80 craft. Each Air wing is comprised of six squadrons of twelve craft. Thus a Jupiter carried two full strike wings of roughly 150-160 craft. There was central gangway designed to connect the two pods so that in the event one of the pods is damaged or otherwise inoperable supplies and craft can be transferred to the other and flight operations can continue.
With the additions the General Board was satisfied with the design but had not addressed the new 80cm gun. Some argued against the new guns entirely believing that that the Mk-5 40cm/50cal guns traditional used by Colonial capital ships were more than sufficient to deal with Cylon baseships. However, intelligence reported that the Cylons had developed a new “advanced” baseship. Not knowing much beyond that the Board decided to go with Admiral Tanner’s recommendations and went ahead with the development of a new 81cm gun.
Intelligence on the new Cylon advanced baseships was becoming more concerning. In response to the new threat the Board mandated a 20% increase in strength of the Colonial Fleet. The Fleet could not meet this requirement in the time allotted to contend with the new Cylon threat. It was decided that development of the Jupiter class had to be accelerated and that the battlestars would have to hold the line until a new class of battlestar, the Mercury class, could be designed and constructed. These would be true juggernauts. They would be larger than the Jupiter class and able to operate for vast stretches of time. However, they would not be built using the same “all or nothing” policy. They would not have that same heavy armor, armament, or top of the line performance as the Jupiter class. Their greatest asset and survivability was in their immense size.
Confusion about how to use these new battlestar-size armored stirkestars set in almost immediately. Because of the Jupiters size and heavy armor and armament, Colonial authorities considered them capital ships almost from their inception—an assumption that might have been inevitable. Colonial memorandums refered to "large armored cruisers" meaning both battlestar and strikestar (fast-heavy battle cruiser). Along with questions over the new ships' nomenclature came uncertainty about their actual role in the Colonial fleet. Some argued they were primarily to act as fast-heavy scouts for a potential battle fleet and hunter-killers of enemy basehips and cruisers and commerce raiders. But others argued their massive firepower was intended to directly engage enemy battle fleets. If, on the other hand, they were expected to participate directly as a ship of the line with other dreadnoughts with their own heavy guns, they could do that as well. The Jupiter’s were essentially extremely large, heavily armed, fast armored cruisers.
When completed the Jupiter’s entirely fulfilled the Admiralties vision of being able to destroy any ship fast enough for them to catch, and outrun from any ship capable of destroying them. And a Jupiter would also in almost all circumstances, be able to take on any enemy capital ship/s it might encounter. Colonial military circles concurred that the hybrid battlestar-strikestar concept in its current form had come to the logical end of its development and the Jupiters were so far ahead of any enemy capital ship in firepower, speed and technology that it proved difficult to justify building more or bigger battlestars. This lead was extended by the surprise that the new advanced baseship was not a ship of the line but rather an auxiliary ship designed to support massive fighter and tactical bombers compliments, and further serve as massive guided missile cruisers. This meant that the Jupiters had been designed to engage and destroy an enemy that never actually existed.
The Jupiter class’s main assignment was never exactly defined. But because of their hybrid design they seemed to cover all areas of fleet function. The nature of their design made them extremely flexible. It was generally decided that the Jupiters main assignments in supporting the fleet were:
- Heavy Reconnaissance. Because of their power, the Jupiters could sweep away the screen of enemy battlegroup to close with and observe an enemy battlefleet and attack if need be to slow it or remove high priority assets, before using their superior speed to retire.
- Close and direct support for the battle fleet. The Jupiters because of their first strike capability could be deployed in advance of a larger battle group to probe enemy positions and attack high priority enemy assets. They could also directly engage Cylon baseships, and harass the enemy's supply lines if they weren’t busy fighting baseships. Also, the Jupiters could operate as the fast wing of the battlefleet and try to outmanouevre the enemy, and thus flank them.
- Pursuit. If an enemy fleet ran, then the Jupiters would use their superior speed to pursue, and their guns, tactical bombers, and fighters, to damage or slow enemy ships. Then either fight to destroy the enemy, or fight to delay them until reinforcements could arrive.
- Commerce protection. The Jupiter's would hunt down enemy baseships and cruisers and commerce raiders and destroy them. They could also engage in commerce raiding themselves.
At the core of the Jupiter class battlestar, was an array of hard hitting weapons and heavy armor, that allowed the Galactica and her sister battlestars to directly engage heavy enemy elements and survive. The Galactica and her sister ships were designed to survive direct engagement with the heaviest enemy elements in service.
At the heart of Galatica’s arsenal was 48 MK-5 40cm (16 inch)/50cal heavy rail guns mounted in 24 MK-8 MOD-2 guns mounts in superfire layout (The idea of superfire is to locate two turrets in a row, one behind the other, or side-by-side, but with the second turret located above (super/superior), or able to elevate above, to the one in front or to its side so that the second turret can fire over the first. The configuration also means that both turrets can fire together at all targets in their sectors, rather than only one when the turrets were on the same plane (such as the Mercury or Nova class) and the target was before or aft of them. This allows the ship to concentrate its fire on a target and more than doubles the firepower) to increase their effectiveness and efficiency. These mounts housed 20 meter (66 feet) guns which fired a 7,900lb+ depleted uranium armor piercing kinetic energy heavy ordnance penetrator, or HOP for short, as well as thermonuclear projectiles, at more than 15,500km/sec (34,672,512mph/MACH 45,549). These 40cm guns delivered 12.5 megatons (52,435TJ) of firepower. They were mounted in 24 MK-8 MOD 2 turrets. These were arranged in 2 batteries of four turrets dorsal (8 turrets), 2 batteries of four turrets ventral (eight turrets), 4 batteries forward (2 batteries of 2 turrets in the bow, and 2 batteries of 2 turrets along the port bow and starboard bow).
The heavy 40cm (16 inch) guns and their ordance were specially designed for “cracking open” the hulls of heavily armored Cylon warships including the new "advanced" baseship. All of the KEPs/KEWs were ASMAVs (Advanced Self Autonomous Maneuverable Vehicles) and had advanced onbaord targeting and guidance computers as well as maneuvering thrusters.
To compliment these powerful cannons the Galactica had 100 secondary batteries of 12.7cm (5 inch)/50cal rail cannons. These guns were 6.4 meters (21 feet) long and fired 223.5cm (88 inch/7.3ft) long, 54kg (120lb.) depleted uranium ASMAV sabot KEP at more than 15,500km/sec (34,672,512mph). These 12.7cm javelins delivered 70 kilotons (1.16TJ) of energy. These guns were mounted in standard Mk-8 MOD 2-gun turrets and had a higher rate of fire than their 40cm counterparts. They fired at 80rds/min/gun, or 160rds/min/turret. The guns were organized in batteries of five turrets (10 guns) per battery in superfire layout (three turrets inferrior and two turrets superior). This allowed the batteries to operate and be targeted together so as to mass their firepower on a target. A single 12.7cm battery had 10 12.7cm guns, and could fire 800rds/min/battery, and deliver 700kT/salvo/battery or 5.6MT/battery in a one minute barrage. The 12.7cm batteries were distributed 20 dorsal, 20 ventral (10 batteries along both the outboard starboard and port), 20 port bow (10 batteries along the upper and lower sections), 20 starboard bow (10 batteries along the upper and lower sections), and 20 in the bow (10 batteries on both forward upper and lower sections). The batteries were all independent and could target up to 20 independent targets.
But by far the most devastating weapons Galactica, and her sister battlestars of the Jupiter class, employed for “gutting” baseships was 24 32 inch (81cm) built-up ultra heavy rail cannons firing both 10 ton massive ordnance penetrators (MOP) at over 15,500km/sec, and the awesome 35 ton (35,000kg) Robust Ultra Massive Ordnance Penetrator (RUMOP) at the same muzzle velocity. The massive 10 ton MOPs were 3.2 meters in length and 81cm (32 inch) in diameter and could deliver 28 megatons (120,125TJ) of firepower. While the 35 ton RUMOP was 13.4 meters (41 feet) in length and delivered 100 megatons (420,437) of energy .
While the MOP was designed especially for ship-to-ship engagement, the RUMOP was designed for planetary orbital kinetic bombardment, specifically to put deeply buried terrestrial Cylon structures at risk. However, the RUMOP could be employed in ship-to-ship engagements as well.
The development of the ultra/super heavy 81cm (32 inch)/62cal Devastator gun was in response to the Admiralties concern over the growing size and firepower of Cylon captial ships. The "All or Nothing" philosophy dictated that to not only counter the Cylon threat, but to dovetail with the Jupiter class’s overall strategy of delivering a decisively utterly debilitating first strike, a weapons system should be developed that could not only deliver unmatched firepower and performance, but could quite literally tear a baseship to pieces with the first few salvos fired. What designers settled on was to simply take the already deadly and efficient 40cm (16 inch) heavy gun and "build it up" to twice its size.
Though there were many difficulties in accelerating a 10 ton and 35 ton KEP to 15,500km/sec designers eventually concluded that not only would each turret mount have to have its own individual power plant in order to generate the power needed to achieve the performance standards laid out by the Admiralty, but that the length of the barrels would need to be increased from the standard 50 calibers to 62 calibers to allow for more acceleration of the projectile. This meant that the new 62cal barrels were 50.2 meters (165 feet) in length, as opposed to 40.5 meters (133 feet) for the 50 caliber barrels. The extra 9.7 meters (32 feet) allowed the projectiles to be accelerated to the desired velocity.
The result was the utterly devastating 81cm/62cal ultra heavy high velocity gun. Testing showed that an 81cm gun could by itself destroy a baseship with only five rounds when using the 35 ton RUMOP (a total yield of 500 megatons/ 2,092,000TJ). The slight recoil and vibration that occurred when the big guns fired proved the Jupiter class was the perfect gun platform. In fact, though the 81cm gun was officially designated the devastator, the unique thumping noise that resonated throughout the ship as they fired earned them the nickname "thumpers". These massive guns were mounted in eight MK-8 MOD-2 armored gun mounts in superfire layout, four ventral, four dorsal, while the four in the bow were fixed, four mounted in the upper section and four in the lower section.
The effective range of the all of guns was limited only by time-to-target detection. That is, the longer the projectile is in flight the better chance it has of being detected. It was generally considered that 2-3 minutes flight time was the practical range, which translated into roughly 1,860,000-2,790,000km (1,155,750- 1,733,625 miles). However, since KEPs employ stealth technologies it was generally accepted that the maximum flight time before 50% detection was 15 minutes or 13,950,000km (8,668,128 miles).
These massive 81cm guns were designed specifically for the Jupiter class. And were fitted only to the Jupiter class, no other battlestar would employ the 81cm/62cal ultra heavy gun. The reason the Admiralty gave was that although the 81cm gun was truly devastating, the enormous internal space required to house the massive guns could not be justified. As a result of the space requirement of the 81cm gun, Jupiter class battlestars lacked other standard facilities such as flight simulators, fabrication shops, Ect. However, the 81cm gun was mounted to orbiting planetary defense platforms, and was one of the most feared weapons in the Colonial Defense Force.
The field of fire (FOF) of the Jupiter class was also superior in many respects to other battlestar designs. The dorsal and ventral turrets had a full 360 degree FOF. The bow turrets had a 180 degree FOF. The bow turrets had a unique design advantage over other battlestars due to the fact that the lower section was mounted further back. This allowed the outboard (away from the centerline) turret a FOF of 90 degrees inboard (toward the centerline), and a outboard FOF of almost 180 degrees for “over the shoulder” firing almost directly down the horizontal long axis. While the inboard turret had a inboard FOF of 110 degree and an outboard FOF of nearly 160 degrees, again almost directly down the horizontal long axis. This allowed the Jupiter class to bring almost all its heavy batteries to bear on a target if it was broadside to them.
This gave the Jupiter class an unprecedented advantage in offensive fire distribution (OFD). Because the Jupiter class had the majority of their main batteries mounted dorsal and ventral this meant they had 16 heavy guns and 8 ultra heavy guns that could be brought to bear on any target above or below them. It also meant that the Jupiter class had a 100% Density of Fire (DOF) on her dorsal and ventral sides, and a Saturation of Fire (SOF) of 320rds/min of heavy 40cm (16 inch) KEPs and 160 81cm (32 inch) ultra heavy KEPs for a total FSP of 480rds/min. However, if a Jupiter class was to turn full broadside, that is full port or starboard along the horzontal long axis, then all the ventral and dorsal guns could be brought to bear, as well as bow guns and half the foward bow guns. This meant that 32 heavy 40cm guns could be brought to bear with a SOF of 640rds/min. As well as 16 81cm ultra heavy guns (ventral and dorsal) with a SOF 320rds/min; for a combined total SOF of 960rds/min.
A Jupiter class battlestar, taking advantage of its best OFD (which is a combination of DOF, SOF, and FOF), could deliver a broadside weight of a staggering 249,600lbs (106 tons) of 40cm ordnance per salvo for a total of 384MT of firepower. The 81cm guns could deliver 160 tons of ordnance per salvo or 448MT. This equaled a total broadside weight of 266 tons or 832MT of firepower for the heavy batteries alone. The secondary 12.7cm (5 inch)batteries could deliver 4.5 tons of ordance for 5.6MT of firepower in a single barrage. (the DOF of the 12.7cm guns was 75% to either side). The result of which should be obvious to anyone – whatever the Jupiter's fired at they destroyed with the first salvo. Given that a single best case salvo could deliver a lethal barrage, a one minute barrage, by which the lethality and effectiveness of most capital ships is judged, is truly awesome.
This massive amount of firepower far exceeded the new battlestars such as the Mercury and Nova class whose heavy guns were mounted chiefly along the horizontal midline of the ship. This layout greatly minimized the OFD (FOF, DOF, and SOF) that these battlestars could employ. The layout of the Jupiter class’s main dorsal and ventral batteries was a clear indicator of their design purpose – direct engagement and destruction of heavy enemy assets. While the new battlestars heavy battery layout, their FOF, SOF, ETC reflected their design purpose – perimeter defense.
This meant the best a Mercury or Nova class battlestar could do (these ships are used an example simply because the specs of Cylon baseships was unknown to the Admiralty) against a Jupiter class; with both ships taking advantage of their best OFD was 440rds/min for the Mercury/Nova versus 960rds/min for the Jupiter. In other words, a Jupiter class could out-shoot the newer and larger battlestars by 520rds/min. Though smaller, this simple difference in design and function meant that a Jupiter class battlestar could out run and out-shoot and literally cut to pieces the new more advanced battlestars in just a few seconds.
The antiaircraft and close in suppression was just as extensive and was provided by 300 Sentenil Blk-2 20mm gun mounts in 1x2 configuration equaling 600 guns; and 125 Orion 40mm gun mounts in 2x5 configuration equaling 1,250 cannons (that is - 10 guns per mount). This again showed the emphasis on close-range engagements. The Admirty was well aware that the Cylons preferred to overwhelm their adversaries with massive numbers of Raiders. Therefore the Jupiter’s were designed to deal with this treat as well.
In order to deal with Cylon's favorite tactic, saturation missile, fighter, and tactical bomber strikes Admiral Tanner decided to sacrifice 100 12.7cm guns for VLS. The Jupiter’s were equipped with 24 MK-55 Vertical Launch Systems. The (VLS) is a system for holding and firing missiles on Colonial ships. Each VLS system consists of a number of cells, which can hold one or more missiles ready for firing. Typically, each cell can hold a number of different types of missiles, allowing the ship flexibility to load the best set for any given mission. Further, when new missiles are developed, they are typically fitted to the existing VLS systems, allowing existing ships to use new types of missiles without expensive rework. When the command is given, the missile fires straight up long enough to clear the cell and the ship, and then turns on course. The missile is constantly fed information from the ships powerful onboard computers before switching to its internal computers for the final terminal phase before impact.
A VLS allows Colonial warships to have a greater number of weapons ready for firing at any given time. In addition to greater firepower, VLS is much more damage tolerant and reliable than the previous systems, and has a lower radar cross-section (RCS).
The Jupiter’s were fitted with the new advanced Mk 57 VLS system. This VLS system consists of cells with a variety of missiles that can be pre loaded and fired, plus a larger magazine that allows for up to 6 reloads per cell. This means that a 100 cell MK-57 has 100 missiles at the ready, and 600 more in waiting.
The Jupiter’s carry 24 Mk-57 VLS, 6 ventral, 6 dorsal, 6 in bow (3 dorsal, 3 ventral). This gives the Jupiter’s a total of 2,400 missiles at the ready, and 14,400 in waiting held in the magazines. Though this may seem like a lot, given the vast amount of fighters, tactical bombers, and missiles carried by Cylon baseships, plus the requirement to be able to provide orbital ground support a battlestar could very quickly exhaust its compliment of missiles.
The Jupiter’s also carry 50 large 2.2 meter (88 inch) VLS tubes for firing heavy missiles. These are mounted in the bow, 25 dorsal, 25 ventral, in a 5 x 5 block. They are generally loaded with advanced heavy ship-to-ship or advanced heavy ship-to-ground missiles. The missiles are 13.4 meters (41 feet) in length and 2.1 meters (83 inches) in diameter. They can carry a variety of payloads. They have the advantage speed being able to accelerate to 13,800km/sec. They are primarily KEWs using their mass and velocity to destroy their targets with their kientic energy. With a weight of 65,000kg they can deliver 1,149MT (6,189,300TJ) of firepower on impact. They can also carry up to 24 KEPs, warheads, or submunitions. The KEPs weight is about 800kg (1,760lbs) with an equal velocity as the delivery vehicle at seperation. They can deliver 18.2MT (76,176TJ) of firepower on impact. All 24 KEPs can deliver 437MT (1,828,408TJ) of firepower on impact. The advantage of the KEPs is they are able to cover a larger area, though they inflict less overall damage. The delivery vehicle either then impacts the target as well adding to the overall destructive potential, or it can be detonated with a base charge such as enhanced radiation weapon (ERW, a.k.a. neutron bomb), or high yield nuclear.
As impressive as the armament was, the real emphasis was on performance. Though the power plants of all Colonial ships is classified what is known is that the Jupiter class battlestar had a top sublight speed of roughly 600km/sec (380miles/sec or 1,368,000mph.) and was able to accelertae from a dead stop to full speed in 0.03 miilseconds. Even at full speed the Jupiter's could pivot completely around on point (meaning that it could turn 180 degrees in a single ship’s length at full speed).
The Jupiter’s were substantially faster and subluminal speeds than any other battlestar. And it brought them closer to being able to provide tactical support for their vipers which had a top speed of 8,300km/sec some 16.5 times faster. But this was a huge jump in speed from any other battlestar that was, or would be built, which usually had a lag in speed of a factor of 40 times or more.
The FTL (Faster than Light) capability of the Jupiter class was unprecidented. The Jupiter class had originally been designed for a FTL max jump range of 20,000LY. This in theory would allow it to jump far behind into enemy territory and carry out recconassiance or strikes on high priority enemy assests then jump back to saftey. Before the development of the revolutionary FTL drives on the Jupiter's Colonial warships would have had to make dozens of shorter FTL jumps putting them at greater risk of detection by the Cylons. But complications and limitations with the navigational computers put the practical operable max FTL range of roughly 14,800 light years. Though FTL range was technically 20,000LY, the accuracy of the navigational computers dropped off sharply beyond 16,000LY range. At 16,000LY accuracey fell to 90%, and at 20,000LY it was down to only 65%. This made jumping at distances beyond 16,000LY distances problematic sense as colonel Tigh said in the pilot episode, “If we’re off even half a degree we could wind up in the sun.”, in essence they were jumping blind. Though 14,800 LY was the practitical maximum operational FTL jump distance at 99.99...% accuracy, 11,400LY was the standard at 100% accuracy. Nonetheless the 11,400LY operational FTL and 14,800LY FTL limit range still put the Jupiter's well ahead of any other Colonial ship in terms of FTL ability. And they still had to potential for 20,000LY as FTL navigational technology caught up.
The exact origins of Hyperion are a mystery. There were rumors that it was discovered at an ancient ruin on a planet by a team of Colonial archeologist. After its discovery it was, they say, reverse engineered and made operational. However, only one working prototype was ever produced. And that was fitted to Galactica for experimental FTL. Other Colonial sources say it was developed in secret by the Admiralty and then fitted to Galactica. Whatever the origins of Hyperion FTL what is known is that one operational prototype was built, and fitted to Galactica for testing. It was reported that it had been “decommissioned” but was still aboard prior to the outbreak of the Cylon attack that spawned the second great Cylon war.
Not much is known about Hyperion. It is believed it was based around wormhole technology. This allowed the vessel to open a worm hole and jump through it to the other side. The range of Hyperion was rumored to be within the megalight-years (a megalight-year is one million light years or 307 megaparces). Although it was reported by some in the Admiralty that it had to potential for gigalight-year (a gigalight-year is one billion light years or 307 gigaparsecs) travel. What was known is that continued problems with the FTL navigational computers put serious limitations on its ability and reduced it to kilolight-years (A kilolight-year is one thousand light-years or 307 parsecs) in practical range.
However, Galactica was fitted with a prototype FTL navigational computer developed just for Hyperion. This new FTL Nav computer allowed Galactica to jump in the high kilolight-year range with excellent accuracy. The other down side to Hyperion was that it required an enormous power source. Galactica had a classified power source slaved and designated solely to Hyperion.
The reason/s why Hyperion was decommissioned is unknown. There were rumors it created an unstable wormhole, while other leaked reports claim it operated at such extreme energy levels that it made using unsafe and unpredictable. Whatever the reason it was believed it was deactivated shortly after being installed on Galactica some 30 years before the second Cylon war. However, it was rumored that Galactica continued to secretly test Hyperion up until her deactivation and eventual decommissioning.Hyperion showed its ability shortly after the outbreak of the first Cylon. With the outbreak of the first Cylon war Galactica was ordered to attack Cylon command assets located deep in Cylon space. Galactica had just undergone an FTL refit and received a new one-of-a-kind advanced prototype FTL navigational computer as well as the new Hyperion FTL drive with a potential range of 60,000LYS. The new computer allowed Galactica to fully utilize her new awesome FTL potential and the Admiralty was eager to put it to the test.
Galactica started on the first leg of her journey, departing from her patrol area she initiated a cascade FTL jump sequence that would cover 125,326LYS in just 5 jumps. The first FTL jump covered 16,675LYS. Galactica paused briefly to reset her FTL computers and get a fix on her location. Her commander then decided to press on. Galactica then entered Cylon space where she encountered a severe ion storm. She was forced to wait out the storm and proceed the next day through a narrow passage in Cylon space to her next jump location. After reaching the jump location Galactica executed another remarkable 18,737LY jump. Again Galactica stopped very briefly to verify her position and plot her next FTL jump. Her commander then pressed on with yet another remarkable record setting 23,676LY jump. Again her commander paused only long enough to calculate his position and plot the next record setting FTL jump. The next 2 FTL jumps would cover an awesome 66,238LYS. Galactica executed a shorter 14,877LY jump that positioned her for the last and most incredible FTL jump ever by a Colonial warship. The last FTL jump covered an amazing 54,361LYS. Upon completing the last leg of her FTL cascade jump sequence Galactica proceeded by stealth to the target area. After 3 days of careful maneuvering to avoid detection Galactica valiantly attacked and destroyed key Cylon command assests and then proceeded to a nearby Cylon shipyard and destoyed it as well, adding insult to injury. And then, as though her first feat was not enough, she withdrew in the same FTL jump sequense but in reverse. Galactica arrived safely back behind Colonial space. Her crew and command were awarded several citations of gallantry for their mission. A mission which has become legend, and an accomplishment of the highest magnitude and a testament to crews bravery.
The Jupiter class also had a unique feature of its new advanced FTL computer that gave it a decidedly sharp edge over its enemies, and allowed it to fight circles around them. The Jupiter class employed a cutting edge FTL program that allowed for hyper accurate short range combat jumps. This allowed the Jupiter class to jump in right n top of unsuspecting baseships and outposts, fire several salvos and quickly relocate and fire again before then enemy could get a fix.
The armor protection of the Jupiter was just as legendary as their awesome and still unmatched firepower. Not knowing the destructive potential of Cylon weapons, the Colonial Service adopted an “All or Nothing” policy with armor as well. The policy dictated that only the most vital areas of the ship receive maximum armor protection and had to defeat their own heavy weapons. This radical new approach meant that entirely new armors and methods of protection had to be developed.
The armors and armor schemes that were developed exclusively for the Jupiter class were second to none. They had unparalleled heat dissipation and energy absorption rates, and as well elastic and shape memory properties. They were the first of the new ultra advanced shape memory positive feedback semi regenerative armors that were able to increase their rigidity as force was applied to them to a degree greater than the opposing force. They were also able to regenerate to certain degree if they were damaged. This meant in theory the armor belt could not be penetrated. However, it could fracture if its rigidity overcame the elastic properties, or if any portion of it was removed or destroyed.
Designers adoted the citadel scheme for armor protection. The armored honey comb-citadel concept was to place fully armored citadels or boxes inside the ship inside in which would be placed vital systems and ship functions. These armored citadels were further compartmentalized and subdivisionsectioned into smaller compartments in a honey comb fashion by armored flame proof-airtight bulkheads sealed with the same armored flame proof-airtight blast doors. The citadels were designed to be "hardened beyond all precedence" meaning they could withstand a direct hit form the most powerful weapon in their arsenal and remain intact and operational. They were then connected with armored bulkheads to form passageways that were sealed by airtight blast doors. The armored skeleton was wrapped and encased by within the armored hull, or primary armor bulkhead, around which the skin was wrapped.The result was the honey comb-citadel concept. This design favored indestructible ships who had had armor superior to – though not in terms of comprehensiveness – to the newer battlestars of the Mercury and Nova class. The Jupiter class ships had better internal subdivision and had fewer doors and other weak points in their bulkheads when compared to their modren counterparts.
The extensive use of the citadel honeycomb design earned the Jupiter class the nickname "buckets" after one admiral described them as,
"Thick, squat, over powered, over gunned, over armored, over manned, and under automated. They are essentially indestructible armored buckets with a whole bunch of big guns sticking out in all directions. They are unquestionably the archetypal battlestar."
The hull of the Jupiter class was triple hull construction, with each hull being constructed of a separate armor bulkhead, with large vacuum spaces between hulls 1-2, and 2-3. This was meant to ensure that no shock or heat could be transmitted across the void from bulkhead to bulkhead and into the livable areas of the ship. The theory of the citadel was that even if the hulls or citadel were breached, as long as half of the ship's livable atmosphere, and the vital structures of the ship remained intact, then the rest of the ship could be riddle to pieces and it would still remain operational. This is in stark contrast to traditional armor schemes where the armor is placed roughly evenly around the ship to ensure uniform protection of all areas, and the number of individual secure airtight compartments is substantially less. Powerful electromagnetic shielding helped ensure that in the event of nuclear attack virtually no radiation would enter into the ship unless the hull was breached. The Jupiter class was known as the battlestar that would bend, but never break.
The Jupiter class also employed state of the art ECM (Electronic Countermeasures) and EW (Electronic Warfare). The Jupiter class employed numerous stealth technologies that not only rendered it almost completely invisible to enemy detection, but also powerful ECM such as jammers, burners, EMP, ETC. to "fry" enemy computer systems. This allowed them to approach their targets undetected so as to close the range and ensure they could deliver the first several salvos uncontested; which was all that was needed given their lethal firepower.
The Jupiter class’s design incorporates a combination of stealth, advanced electronic-warfare capabilities, reduced ballistic vulnerability, advanced armor, the use of standoff weapons (KEPs/KEWs. missiles), and innovative tactics that cumulatively and collectively dramatically enhance the safety of the ship and crew. The Jupiters employs the most extensive radar cross section reduction and advanced electronic countermeasures measures of any battlestar.
This design made the Jupiter class by far the most heavily armed, armored, and electronically defended battlestars ever designed, and nearly impervious to attack of any kind. They were the first and only battlestatrs to fully incorporate the All or Nothing philosophy in all aspects of design from weaponry, armor protection, defense, power plant, and performance. Future battlestar designs would focus on different aspects and concepts but no design which proceeded the Jupiter class ever came close to overall adaptability, ability, and unprecedented survivability. The Jupiter class, especially the Galactica, stands as the apex of battlestar design.
Tactics & StrategyEdit
The general strategy of the Jupiter class was to stalk by stealth a Cylon battle group, and when appropriate attack with little or no warning with massive barrage of warheads and either outright destroy the enemy, or at the very least disable and incapacitate them all the while removing the enemy’s ability to conduct fighter operations with their fighters and tactical bombers. Like a shark hitting a seal, they would then quickly relocate and with the enemy disoriented and badly wounded , attack again by employing a host of weapons and PenAids (Penetrator Aids), including tactical bombers and fighters, to compliment her main ultra heavy 32 inch (81cm) cannons and heavy 16 inch (40cm) guns supported by the smaller 5 inch gun batteries and crack open the hull of a Cylon baseship, and then disembowel the wounded ship by delivering a salvo of tactical nuclear projectiles and missiles into the guts of the enemy ship.
Following the end of the Cylon Wars the Galactica and her sister Jupiter class battlestars were slowly decommissioned in favor of new battlestar designs, such as the massive Mercury class, of which the battlestar Pegasus was the third of the line. These new battlestars lacked the hard hitting firepower and heavy armor of the Jupiter class; they relied instead on their compliment of fighters and support ships, such as the gunstar, to hold off the enemy. The Colonial Service had concluded that toe-to-toe slugging matches between capital ships were a thing of the past, and that battlestars would never again be expected to go into battle by themselves. New technologies, weapons, and tactics they said had rendered the old juggernauts of the Jupiter class obsolete. Galactica and the other old veterans of war were seen as archaic, painful, reminders of the horrors of war.
Galactica was the most decorated warship in the Colonial fleet. She entered the war on the eve of the first Cylon war when her patrol fighters encountered Cylon Raiders attacking the Colonies. Not until 5 years and 3 months later when a Cylon saturation tactical nuclear (SatTac Nuke) strike left a gaping hole in her hull was she forced out of action for repairs. But even then she got back into action at the end of the war.
Of the more than twenty major actions of the first Cylon war Galactica engaged in all but two. Her fighters downed 1,911 enemy fighters, her tactical bombers destroyed 71 enemy ships, and damaged another 192 more. Her big guns destroyed 22 enemy ships, including 7 baseships. Her presence inspired pride, fear, and respect: pride in her still unmatched combat record; fear in the knowledge that Galactica and her gallant command and crew and the hard fighting they brought with them were never apart; respect in the hard and well earned reputation that Galactica and her crew would never run or back down from a fight. The most decorated warship of the First Cylon war, Galactica changed the very course of war she seemed to have been built for.
Thirty years later she would go into action again when the Cylons again attacked the colonies. And to no one’s surprise it would be Galactica that the peoples of the 12 Colonies looked to to defend them.