Sunday, May 16, 2010

Supportstar Profile 19 : Seaba Class Tanker Thebes

The Seaba is a large tanker designed to support Battlestar Groups, providing them with extensive Tylium fuel reserves.

Built halfway through the Cylon War, the Seaba class replaced a hodgepodge of different designs, many of them predating the Colonial Fleet.  With the emphasis on the rapid production of Battlestars, the Service found itself handicapped by the lack of suitable support vessels and a crash program to build a more capable tanker was issued, especially when the Colonials began offensive operations deep inside Cylon space.

The Original design for the Seaba was to include a cargo capable version, but this was scrapped.  The only prototype was put into service and served as a fighter tender for Battlestars and was also used to ferry ground troops for the liberation of Aerilon.  It was scrapped after the war.

The Seaba Tanker proved to be a successful design with seven large Tylium tanks and complete refining facilities.  It has four fuel booms allowing it to service up to four vessels at one time, greatly reducing refueling time.  The original design featured landing bays for craft carrying raw Tylium, but these were abondoned for fear that a crash might have catastrophic results.

Thanks to its refining capabilities the Seaba is nearly completely self-sufficient, relying only on small mining craft to transfer the ore onto the ship.  Accompanied by a tender, the Seaba can support up to a dozen or more Battlestars nearly indefinitely as long as it has access to Tylium ore.

Designed to operate alongside Battlestars the Seaba is equipped with powerful engines and can keep up with all but the fastest ships in the fleet.  Despite a good defensive array of some 300 CWIS the Seaba proved vulnerable to attack, especially when the Cylons began to single them out because of their strategic importance.  In order to avoid attack the Seaba's are often lightly escorted to avoid drawing attention and follow a special procedure that allows them to escape detection.  Using a complex coded system the Seaba will often jump to a specific meeting point and wait for a limited amount of time.  If the expected vessel is late the Seaba will jump to new coordinates.  In order to avoid being tracked the Seaba has four drives and keeps them nearly permanently spinning, being able to jump in seconds.  Great care is taken to establish jumping coordinates as quickly as possible, several jumps in advance.  Seaba crews are famed for their navigational skills.

The standard procedure would be to plot several jump points before making the actual jump.  In case of trouble the Seaba can nearly instantly jump to an alternative jump point and then proceeds to another jump point, sometime even jumping to a third jump point, which should allow the Seaba to escape most tracking vessels.

The Thebes was built shortly after the Armistice and is still in service today.  Unlike many ships in the fleet she was never updgraded with networked computers and plots jump points using dozens of computers and nearly 60 crew, working a breakneck speeds to plot jump points.  As a result navigators that have served on the Thebes are considered to be among the most reliable and efficient bridge officers in the Service.

No comments:

Post a Comment