The Babylon Project
The Babylon Project

The Nial class heavy fighter was the primary fighter of the Minbari Federation. It was manufactured at the Valeria-On-High Orbital Shipyards over Minbar.


Nial cockpit

The Minbari Nial fighter is one of the strongest fighters among the younger races. It sports an array of advanced systems, firepower and manoeuvrability. Armament consists of three light neutron fusion cannons, similar to those found on a Sharlin class warcruiser, but much less powerful.

Defenses include a Minbari stealth system, making a weapons lock difficult for a lot of other races.[2][3] Due to the fact that the ship is designed primarily for hit-and-run attacks, it carries only a limited air supply and has no jump capability of its own.[4] It has higher speed and more armor than any other fighter among the younger races; it is outmatched in maneuverability only by the EarthForce Starfury. However, as a Nial's armor can absorb a large number of hits from Human weapons and the stealth system makes maintaining manual target lock difficult during high speed maneuvers, this was not a major detriment.

While in flight, the pilot operates the ship in the prone position, with their head tilted back 90 degrees to look out the front view port.[5] This proved problematic for non-Minbari Rangers, particularly Humans, as their physiology could not maintain such a head position for extended periods. Human rangers were thus in general forced to use alternative craft. Even after the founding of the Interstellar Alliance and the introduction of more races into the ranks of the Rangers, they continued to train recruits who were biologically compatible in the use of the Nial.

Having proven to be a dependable design for over a thousand years, the Nial has served in both the First and Second Shadow Wars and the Earth-Minbari War.  This fighter also continues to serve in the fleets of both the Federation and the Interstellar Alliance with a small contingent of Nials normally stationed aboard the Anla'Shok's Whitestar fleet.


TV Movies
TV Series


Other Sources