|Mercury class Battlestar|
|FTL||Yes (Celestus Class)|
|Crew||approx 2500 (Full crew)|
|Weapons||34 Primary Kinetic Energy Weapons (30 twin turrets, 4 fixed twin mounts) and point-defense guns, conventional missiles, nuclear warheads.|
|Small Craft||Vipers, Raptors, Landrams.|
|Status||Final known ship of this class active in Copernicus Defence Fleet.|
The Mercury class battlestar was an advanced Colonial capital warship/carrier that served as the mainstay of the Colonial Fleet. They served as front ships of the line as well as as command ships. Having been first introduced roughly twenty years following the end of the Cylon War, and while still considered top-of-the-line vessels, the fleet was just beginning the process of phasing the oldest examples out of service, in favour of the newer Block II's and the Nova Class, at the time of the Fall of the Twelve Colonies.
Introduced years after the First Cylon War, the structural design of the Mercury class differs significantly from the original Jupiter class battlestar. The "neck" section is smaller, and the Mercury class features eight sublight engine pods instead of the older class's six. Its edges are more angular, and the hull is more completely armoured (no exposed ribs). Each flight pod consists of two stacked landing bays with adjoined decks and hangars, which along with computer-assisted landings results in a faster Viper recovery rate. Each flight pod also has Raptor landing bays on the sides, allowing for rapid transfer of crew cargo when docked. These pods are fixed and do not retract when executing an FTL jump, suggesting advances in jump systems. Inside, the class features automated sliding doorways, basic computer recognition stations in vital areas, and networked computer systems.
They are fitted with heavy armament including bow mounted cannons and multiple heavy turrets spread throughout the hull and flightpods. Gun batteries on the Mercury class are distributed all over the ship, with the greatest concentration of large turrets found along the side of the ship, within the valley created by the upper and lower halves of the hull, and along the flight pods. Four are mounted on the underside of the upper hull on the ship's bow, below which sits four non-turreted large guns; these form the main forward batteries. Six turrets are mounted on each underside of the alligator head, grouped in pairs. There are also three turrets on the side of each flight pod along two more turrets are mounted on the front and back of each flight pod. This amounts to a total of thirty-four main gun batteries. The turreted guns of the Mercury class have a higher rate of fire than a Jupiter's turreted guns when operating in flak mode, demonstrated during the skirmish with the Cylon War-era Raiders in Razor.
There have been 3 production runs of the Mercury, each slightly different form the others.
The original production run. Entering commission 20 years after the end of the Cylon war, and representing a revolutionary shift in the design of colonial warship, the Mercury's were the most powerful warships ever created.
The Block 0 was the first production class of battlestar to feature non-retracting pods. Physically they were distinct from latter examples due to the completely overlapping flight pods. This also meant that they carried a smaller air-wing and had worse arks of fire, but did provide greater structural soundness.
Eventually the entire block underwent a massive refit that greatly improved the offensive capacity and saw many used to test experimental systems. The refit included the addition of spine mounted cannons and heavy missiles, both additions that would be incorporated in the Block II.
At the time of the second cylon war the Block 0's were being phased out and replaced with Block II's and in the case of the Atlantia, the Nova Class.
By far the most numerous production run. The Block 1 showed a massive upgrade on the block 0's. With slanted pods allowing Cannons better arks of fire and an increased air-wing the offensive power was much improved. In addition, the computer systems were far more advanced, and the Block 1's were the first Battlestars to be designed specifically to be operated using networks, unlike the Block 0's which had treated them as more of an added luxury. This meant the crew could be massively reduced.
The final rendition of the class the Block II was still in production at the time of the attack with only a few in active use. Much like the improvements of the Block I over the Block 0 the Block II featured updated and additional weapons, armor, and a much greater launch capacity. They also included many of the systems trialled in the refitted Block 0's. It is not known if any survived the attack.
The Mercury class is highly automated and features networked computer systems to allow rapid calculations and response time. They can also manufacture all the replacement parts needed for Raptors and Vipers, as well the frame and outer skin of these ships. This makes them completely self-sufficient in regards to fighter repair and replacement. They also have advanced food and water reclamation machinery, in addition to food production facilities making them able to be self-sufficient for five years before having to resupply and recharge their systems.
The Mercury Class held considuarbly more small craft the the Jupiter Class which had preceded it. Although the exact number varied with each successive block, and each vessel was able to handle significantly more then it's normal operational load out, even the smallest standard compliment of small craft was larger then any other class (until the introduction of the Nova) could operate. The war time air wing of a Mercury was twice the size of the peace time load. The number of shuttles carried is unknown.
When first conceived the Mercury Class was expected to have twice the capacity of a Jupiter. This was reflected in the air wing of the Block 0. Originally standing at 160 vipers divided between 8 squadrons and supported by 40 Raptors. However, overtime this has changed, with each individual ship being differently out fitted, to the point that only the Eternal retained the original air wing size at the time that the Atlantia was launched. Viper squadrons were coded blue, red, green, yellow, orange, purple, black and white.
A typical block one vessel, such as the Pegasus carried a peace time load of 200 vipers, 2.5 times that of the Jupiter. These were broken down into 10 squadrons of 20 vipers a peace, with two of these squadrons serving in a reserve role. In addition they carried around 50 Raptors. Squadrons were coded blue, red, green, yellow, orange, purple, black, white, and reserve squadrons gold and silver .
With hugely expanded hanger facilitys when compared to the Block I or 0 the Block II was able to carry an air wing almost as large as a Nova Class ship. The standard air wing was a hole 100 vipers more then the Block I. Split into 15 squadrons of 20 vipers, of which 4 were reserve squadrons, the standard air wing included an enormous 300 vipers. On top of this there were still 50 Raptors but also a squadron of 25 Scimitars rounded off the air wing. Viper squadrons were coded blue, red, green, yellow, orange, purple, violet, brown, black, white, grey, and reserve squadrons gold, silver, bronze and Platinum.
Known Mercury class battlestars Edit
- Battlestar Mercury, for which it is assumed the class is named. (Presumed Decommissioned or Destroyed)
- Battlestar Atlantia (Decommissioned)
- Battlestar Eternal (Active)
- Battlestar Pegasus (Destroyed)
- The visual effects artist of the Mercury, 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 has 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."
- The Block 0 and II do not exist in Battlestar Galactica Cannon.
- ↑ Intelligence Debrief: Cylon Basestar, "Battlestar Galactica: The Official Magazine," June/July 2006, page 56.