Battlestars in the Original Series
The original series battlestars served primarily as starfighter carriers. The actual number of Viper squadrons 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. This seem to serve primarily as defenses against fighter attack. The ship also carries heavy missiles of some type that can destroy Cylon base stars with a few direct hits.
The speed of a battlestar isn't clear. They are clearly capable of undertaking interstellar journeys in a reasonably short time, but their method of FTL propulsion was never stated. Combat speeds appear to be entirely sublight, although the captain of the Pegasus once boasted that he would try to "bring it up to lightspeed" to execute a flanking maneuver against a Cylon attack.
Battlestars in Neo Battlestar Galactica
As in the original series, a battlestar serves primarily as a starfighter carrier. The ship also has nuclear missiles and railguns for directly engaging Cylon capital ships. A battlestar is also capable of producing an obscene amount of point defense fire.
List of Known Battlestars
- Night Flight