Sunday, August 8, 2010

Battlestar Profile 019 : BSG 175 Pandemonium Class Battlestar Pandemonium

Designed at the height of the Cylon War the Titan Class Battlestars are the largest and most powerful ships in the Colonial Fleet.  Completed after the Armistice they have often been criticized for being too big and costly, lingering fear of renewed hostilities with the Cylons saved them from the scrapheap, but as time moves on, rising costs and budget cuts are increasingly threatening the Titans.

The immediate post-war trend of increased ship size was reversed nearly three decades ago with a return to  Battlestars of a more moderate size, incorporating advanced technology making them just as potent as their larger counterparts, it seemed it would only be a matter of time before the larger vessels would be a thing of the past, until the introduction of the Nova Class.  Designed as Fleet command ships, the Nova Class, while not as massive as the Titans, it is significantly larger than the Mercury Class, long considered to be the modern mainstay of the Colonial Fleet.

With an eye on the impending demise of the Titans and the need to replace their massive firepower, a new Novastar, the Pandemonium was recently launched for trials.  This highly unusual Battlestar mounts three separate flight pods, allowing the Pandemonium to handle 16 Squadrons of Vipers with room to spare and up to 20+ in wartime conditions.

Another unusual feature is the lack of turrets.  The Pandemonium relies on its fighters and massive forward battery to deal with any threat, backed up by an impressive CWIS array.  The theory being that the forward battery allows the Pandemonium to stand off enemy vessels while offering a lower target profile.  A number of turrets are mounted in the flight pods.

Despite being nearly as long as a Titan, the Pandemonium is much lighter and requires a much smaller crew of around 3500, comparable to the original crew complement of an Atlantia Class Battlestar.

Fleet headquarters are reluctant to give this class the go-ahead, hoping to retain the Titans as long as possible, but they are facing increased political pressure to yield to the Pandemonium.

The Pandemonium has performed well on its initial trial runs.  The flight pod array has been described as unusual, but elegant, giving the Pandemonium a fast, sleek and menacing appearance.  There are some concerns that the relatively limited number of turrets might put the Pandemonium at a disadvantage should enemy ships attack from the sides and rear.  A change in armament is being studied and could be implemented on the next vessel, possibly leading to a completely new class and leaving the Pandemonium as the sole example of her class.

Commander : Commander Warren Langley
XO : Colonel Jordan Vallenor
CAG : Captain Sam Tipper
Complement :  16-20 Viper Squadrons and up to 50 Raptors
Armament : 5 Deathbolt XXX Forward batteries, 3 Starfire rapid fire forward batteries, 2 Broadsword heavy forward batteries.  16 double turrets, 980 Derlam Shield II heavy quad CWIS, 1240 Derlam Shield III heavy double CWIS.  28 missile bays.

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