A battlestar is a Colonial capital warship that serves primarily as a starfighter carrier but also has heavy weapons for directly engaging other capital ships. They are the featured warships of the Battlestar Galactica series.
Battlestars in the Original Series
The original series battlestars served primarily as starfighter carriers. The actual number of Viper fighters carried isn't clear. The hangars were in the pilons to the port and starboard sides of the main hull.
In addition to fighter squadrons, a battlestar has beam weapons in twin turrets distributed around the hull. They seem to serve primarily as defenses against fighter attack. The ship also carries heavy missiles of some type that can destroy Cylon basestars with a few direct hits.
Battlestars appear to be limited to lightspeed or slower; interstellar journeys are presumably possible because the crews experience relativistic time dilation.
Battlestars in Neo Battlestar Galactica
As in the original series, a battlestar serves primarily as a starfighter carrier. The ship also has nuclear missiles (used extremely rarely) and kinetic energy weapon main batteries for directly engaging Cylon capital ships. A battlestar is also capable of producing an obscene amount of point defense fire, creating a "flak wall" that protects the ship. They are also sufficiently armored to withstand multiple nuclear blasts without being crippled. Battlestars in the new series have FTL engines capable of jumping light years in a few seconds.
Two classes of battlestars are given detail in Neo Battlestar Galactica: the unnamed class of the Galactica, and the Mercury-class, such as the Pegasus. Galactica is 1438.64 meters long with 14 main KEW batteries, while the Mercury-class is 1789.8 meters long with 4 stationary frontal KEW batteries and 30 side KEW turret batteries, along with a compliment of 200 Viper Mark VII fighters.
List of Known Battlestars
- Night Flight