The Orbital Guard has long provided support and assistance to the Colonial Fleet in addition to their patrolling duties. Often equipped with a mix of cheap cutters and castoffs from the Fleet, the Orbital Guard was long the red-headed stepchild as far as Colonial budgets were concerned.
This hodgepodge of vessels did little to help the task of the Orbital Guard and the need for their own class of vessels became pressing.
With the pressure of the Cylon war abated, budgets rose and the Orbital Guard was able to commission several new ships. The largest were the Skei class patrol ships that were suitable for operations against anything short of a Colonial Strikestar.
Because there was little need for heavy armour and weaponry, the Skei was built in modules, connected through a long spinal mount. The forward section held most of the crew and navigation areas, as well as security forces and hospital facilities. The central module was designed to carry cargo and hold the CWIS batteries, a landing bay for raptors and other patrol craft as well as one of the ship's two jump drives. Finally the rear engine compartment held the second jump drive.
The Skei's simple, but efficient design drew the attention of the Colonial Fleet and a Skei was loaned to the fleet for testing purposes. It was soon found to be a highly suitable light Strikestar with room for major improvements.
The resulting redesign was an advanced, but very powerful ship much closer in design to the fast Battlestar originally envisioned by the designers of the Avalon Class. The design was so different from the Skei, that it received a new designation as the Berzerk.
The Berzerk is a highly efficient and versatile package of firepower, speed and combat capability. The ship carries a powerful forward KEW gun for direct firepower. It mounts 10 dual-purpose quad turrets and 10 heavy rapid Fire CWIS turrets all mounted on the central section as well as 120 light CWIS scattered all over the ship for added protection. An array of forward firing 32 light missiles and a landing bay capable of handling up to two squadrons of Vipers in addition to four Raptors.
Despite this impressive arsenal the Berzerk lacks armour. The main sections have been reinforced, but the ship's spine is vulnerable to attack. The spinal mount and missiles give the Berzerk the ability to stand off larger, more powerful enemy ships in most cases. In order to boost the defensive capabilities, a number of Berzerks have been upgraded with launchers capable of releasing a fast expanding gel that acts as a screen against hypervelocity weapons, capable of reducing their impact significantly. The system is still imperfect, but as research continues it is believed it may one day become a substantial extra protective measure for Colonial ships.
Even with these limitations the Berzerk is often commanded by younger fleet officers selected for their aggressive style of command, favouring their firepower to strike hard blows, acting as shock troops, much like their ancient namesake, while the larger Battlestars and Gunstars bear the brunt of the fighting,
The Hrothgar is one of the few Berzerks to serve in action, helping to subdue the rebellious factions on Aerilon and the Stygian asteroid belt. Although the President was accused of gunboat policy, it stopped the movement from spreading to other planets and prevent a potential Civil War.
Commander : Commander Tiera Deagan
XO : Colonel Helena Cain
CAG : Captain Philip Ducros
Complement : Up to 2 squadrons of fighters in cramped conditions, up to 4 Raptors, up to 2 shuttles.
Armament : 1 Mjolnir 400 forward battery, 10 Tauria Alpha Quad medium turrets, 10 Kurtmann HV rapid fire twin CWIS. 104 Tauria Lightning 4 CIWS, 32 medium missile bays.