Based on the older and highly popular Colonial Clipper Liner, the Heavy Liner is a common sight across the Colonies. The second generation multi-deck widebody allows it to transport large numbers of passengers cheaply and effectively.
A versatile design, the Heavy Liner can be found in a nearly unlimited range of configurations, ranging from hyper-luxurious private yachts and low-cost carriers to military transports and science exploration vessels. Primarily designed for rapid passenger transit (usually under 24 hours) between planets, the Heavy Liner is much smaller than most passenger cruisers, and usually lacks private cabins though sleeping seating is usually provided.
Though referred to as a Liner, this vessel is technically an FTL passenger transport and the designation Heavy comes from the fact that it can land on a Battlestar's flight pods and being the largest craft capable of doing so rather than dock with it, as would be the case with larger vessels .
The multi-deck configuration allows for a maximum range of options between passenger and cargo transport. The private yachts often include swimming pools, pyramid courts and even zero-g rooms. Many can dock with small craft such as shuttles to transport passengers and goods.
More than seven thousand Heavy Liners have been built to this day, making it one of the most profitable ventures by Colonial Shipyards and making it one of the most familiar spacecraft commonly seen.
The Military version includes improved wireless and electronics and are most commonly used as personnel transports and to transfer light cargo. Though not designed for combat use, a number have been equipped with CWIS turrets for defence against enemy craft. Because it can make planetfall, the Liner is also used by the Colonial Marines as a transorbital transport capable of delivering 250 troops and up to six light vehicles. The gunship configuration, carrying an impressive arsenal of guns in its cargo bays and capable of laying down a withering barrage of firepower against ground targets. The current version mounts 12 x 23mm rotary cannons, 6 x 40mm cannons and 4 x 105mm cannons and are capable of concentrating this firepower into an area the size of a Pyramid field. Because these weapons use ordinary propellant they cannot be used in space.
Originally the Colonial Government had a fleet of eight Heavy Liners to be used by the President and Cabinet Members, in recent years all but two have been retired by President Adar to distance himself from his predecessor's spendthrift. Chartered Liners are used when the need arises. The Liner carrying the President is always referred to as Colonial One even as a charter. The remaining Liners currently in service include extensive cargo and passenger space in addition to offices, sleeping quarters and a fully staffed kitchen.