Mercury class Battlestars are advanced Colonial capital warships/carriers of the Colonial Fleet, top-of-the-line vessels at the time of the Fall of the Twelve Colonies Overview Apparently introduced some years after the First Cylon War, the Mercury class was designed to replace the aging Galactica type Battlestars. It featured newer technologies, more automation, and could carry more Viper and Raptor support ships than its older predecessors. Despite the increase in capabilities, the Colonials seem to have more interest in producing the smaller Valkyrie types over the Mercury class. Layout Generally speaking, this class compares to the older Galactica type Battlestars in terms of overall specifications. Main hull The fore section: Also known as the "alligator head", contains much of the living -and crew areas, including the CIC. The mid section: Contains the main flight decks, and aircraft service areas. The stern section: Contains the ship's engine pods, FTL drives, and engineering facilities needed to maintain the ship's propulsion. Flight pods The Mercury class sports four flight pods of a newer and more advanced design. Two dorsal, and two ventral pods, with advanced gravity systems keeping them in sync. Vipers and Raptors are able to land both "right side up" and "upside down" in relation to the ship. The dual pods allow for greater Viper recovery during combat. The ships' hangar deck and launch tubes are located in between the "right side up", and "upside down" flight decks, and feature the same layout and design as seen on the older Galactica type Battlestars. Despite advancements, these pods are still able to launch older Vipers, such as the Mk. II's. The pods are also kept stationary and do not retract into the hull, allowing these vessels to jump out of a battle zone faster than their older counterparts. Orthographics Specifications Propulsion Mercury class ships are equipped with 8 sublight engines attached to the outer hull, and group into clusters of four along the ventral and dorsal surfaces of the ship. These ships also feature maneuvering thrusters placed at key points on the ship, including two main thrusters on the forward section of the alligator head. Computer systems Unlike their older counterparts, the Mercury class features advanced computer systems, including the Command Navigation Program. Designed to assist in advanced navigation techniques, the program was uploaded to all ships of this class sometime before the Fall of The Colonies. During the attacks, the Cylons were able to gain command privileges over the Battlestar's functions and shut them down through a backdoor placed in this program. Armament The flak field. 34 automated antiship gun turrets (mounting 2 guns apiece). Gun batteries on the Mercury class are distributed all over the ship, with the greatest concentration of large turrets found along the side of the ship, within the valley created by the upper and lower halves of the hull, and along the flight pods. Four are mounted on the underside of the upper hull on the ship's bow, below which sits four non-turreted large guns; these form the main forward batteries. Six turrets are mounted on each underside of the alligator head, grouped in pairs. There are also three turrets on the side of each flight pod, and two more turrets are mounted on the front and back of each flight pod. This amounts to a total of thirty-four main gun batteries. The turreted guns of the Mercury class have a higher rate of fire than Galactica's main guns when operating in flak mode, as demonstrated during a skirmish with Cylon War-era raiders. Numerous smaller point-defense turrets, located in between hull plates. Numerous missile tubes. Numerous Viper space superiority fighters. An example of this class, Pegasus, carries a complement of 50 Raptors and 200 Viper Mark VII fighters (8 squadrons and two reserve squadrons color coded blue, red, green, yellow, orange, purple, black, white, and reserve squadrons gold and silver) . The Mercury class Battlestar has production facilities to build new Viper Mark VIIs from basic resources. Numerous Raptor multi-role vehicles. Crew The standard crew complement of a Mercury class Battlestar is in excess of 2,500. Advancement in Colonial technology have made many positions manned on older vessels (such as gun batteries) automated, increasing response time and efficiency. Mercury class ships may be bigger than these older vessels, but they only need half the crew to operate then the Galactica type Battlestars during the First Cylon War.