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Construction of first-of-class Jupiter was undertaken at the Hargrove Shipyard above Picon while Hermes was built at the Wilkins Yard above Scorpia. Hermes was completed a full eight months after her sister in order to incorporate the lessons learned from Jupiter’s shakedown cruise. The genesis of the Jupiter-class came about as a result of the radical change in military thinking that was taking place at the time that called for greater automation amongst Battlestars in order to reduce crew size and increase space for transporting equipment and personnel en masse. Hence the Jupiter-class featured a Barrack Section that could home 1500 marines thus giving the type a limited assault ship capacity.
Defensive SystemsEditIn terms of armament the Jupiter-class was revolutionary in that it actually featured fewer weapons. The designers took on the idea that ‘less-was-more’ and they relied on the greater accuracy of the targeting systems. Thus the ships had 40 primary kinetic energy weapons mounted in twin turrets as well as closely coupled point defence weapons. This arrangement was hated from the start but the designers forged ahead with the belief that the system was as capable as twice as many standard weapon systems. The class featured a heavy missile armament compared to previous Battlestars and had both conventional and nuclear warheads varying in size for use against Raiders to Capitol ships. A unique feature that was revolutionised in the class was its advanced networking system that essentially allowed the ship to be controlled from several other stations should the CIC or engine room be damaged or destroyed. This effectively gave the ship unlimited back ups and was followed on in the Mercury-class. Again there was some concerns that the Cylons may use this to their advantage and so a number of safety features were added. The safety features would actually prove quite a nuisance in service since inexperienced crewman would often get confused at its complexity and shut down several compartments thinking Cylons had infiltrated the ship. To avoid this the system was only made active when the ship went to condition 2 or above.
Ships of the ClassEdit
Both Jupiter and Hermes had quite colourful careers before the Cylon attack. Jupiter would suffer a catastrophic accident at Scorpion Fleet Shipyards nine years before the fall of the colonies when a power surge in one of her engines threw the ship into its moorings severely damaging the forward section of the ship. For two years the ship was in dry-dock under repair but the work was botched by Hargrove’s engineers who were trying to cut costs as per the request of the military and the ship was dogged with mechanical problems for the rest of its life. She ended her days on the Active Reserve list being tied to the place where her troubles began – the Scorpion shipyards – where she was destroyed by the Cylons.
While her sister was constantly running up repair bills Hermes was making the headlines for all the wrong reasons. While attached to the Sagittaron fleet a splinter group of the Sagittaron Liberation Army (SLA) rammed a shuttle filled with explosives into the port Hangar Pod. The pilot was killed and while the damage was light the political fallout from the incident was immense. Just a week after her final CO, Artimus Bowman, took command an apparent suicide aboard the ship turned out in fact to be a crime of passion when it was discovered that the person in question was sleeping with another crewman’s wife! Following a six month refit Hermes undertook a weapons test at the Pendyne test range where an explosion caused the entire networked computer system to overload. During reconstruction of the computers the Cylon virus was discovered but it was too late to warn the fleet for the Cylons were already attacking.
While the Jupiter-class can hardly be described as an overwhelming success they did lay down the ground work for the superlative Mercury- and Illustrious-classes. More importantly however the contribution the Hermes made to the survival of the human race cannot be overstated.
Jupiter Class Battlestar's Image is created by CanisD and modited by Allen Knott.