Many designs in the fleet are derivatives of Battlestar hulls, the Heracles, which was built shortly before the end of the Cylon War, was actually based on the Charybdis class Gunstar. Superficially the Heracles resembles the Columbia class, but it is much larger and has six main engines instead of the four seen on the Columbias.
A very potent design, the Heracles was built on the frame of what would originally be the Gunstar Keres. The modified hull included two retractable flight pods, replacing the two broadside turret galleries, typical of the Charybdis.
The Heracles was in its day, the most heavily armed and armoured Battlestar in service during the Cylon War. She was paired with Battlestars Thera and Aurora in BG 101. She fought the Picon rearguard campaign and at one point single-handedly engaged five Cylon Basestars destroying three and damaging two. She received 3 campaign stars and is still in service today.
Unfortunately the Heracles was an outdated design. Her huge size meant that she had the second largest crew of any Battlestar save the Titans with up to 9000 crew. Maintenance is a logistical nightmare and until a complete refit was done after the war, the flight pods were prone to malfunctions and could not always be retracted, though the Battlestar could jump with them extended, they were often damaged in the process. Attempts to rebuild the Heracles class with fixed pods and reduce the crew requirements were considered, but never implemented.
Plans had been drafted to build twelve Heracles class Battlestars, only four were built, a fifth was laid down, but scrapped when the War ended. The Delphis and Nike were ultimately scrapped after the war and only the Heracles and Colchys survive to this day. Some improvements were made over the years and despite their shortcomings the Heracles and her sister have taken a place of pride in the Fleet often acting as ambassadors on goodwill missions.
Heracles has recently been refitted with new computers running the CNP navigation software. It is expected that this will add at least another decade to her active service. The Colchys is currently laid up at the Scorpia shipyards awaiting a decision from Colonial Headquarters to upgrade her. Some have speculated that the Colchys will not be refitted and join the reserve or may even be scrapped.
Commander : Commander James Delos
XO : Colonel Risza Theremin
CAG : Captain Lyta Feros
Complement : 12-14 squadrons of fighters, up to 40 Raptors
Armament : 2 Mjolnir Two heavy forward batteries, 46 Thunderbolt-10 twin turrets, 1180 Artemis CIWS. 14 missile bays.