The Omega class destroyer was an Earth Alliance warship, manufactured by Rocketdyne at the Neue Hanse Orbital Shipyard in Earth orbit. Following the Earth-Minbari War, it became the most powerful and ubiquitous capital ship of the Earth Alliance fleet and one of the strongest ships ever built by a single species among the younger races using only their own technology.
A continuation of many of the design elements from the Nova-class dreadnought, the Omega possessed a large rotating section, allowing the crew to operate in gravity, eliminating the constant need for handholds and straps that often hindered the older zero gravity warships. Ships of the Omega class were equipped with a DX-419 tracking system, supposedly an improvement over the standard XB7 units used during the war, though several officers have noted that they never worked right. By 2261, the system had at least begun to be upgraded.
The Omega class destroyer had more firepower than most imagine - it had launch bays that could launch gigaton class mines, as well as 72 red missile hatches. It has been said that if one of these ships appeared in your system, you were in serious trouble as this ship was one of the most powerful ever built by the younger races.
During the Earth-Minbari War, Earth did not have any ships that could lock onto Minbari vessels, due to the stealth technology the Minbari possessed. However, Earth ships still had the firepower to damage Minbari cruisers. The Omega Class Destroyer was the first Earth ship capable of locking onto a Minbari ship. Another lesson learned from the Earth-Minbari War was that the solid beam weapons used by the Minbari had proven to be deadly effective. Taking this lesson in hand, the Omega's cannons could fire both in pulse mode and in solid beam, allowing for more precise and accurate fire.
Production of these ships started during the Earth-Minbari War, where construction was carried out at a number of different locations to prevent them all being destroyed in one large attack. As with most older Earth designs, this type does not possess artificial gravity; instead it relies on a rotating section to simulate normal Earth gravity. The weapons systems on Omega-class destroyers are mostly directed either directly forward or back, requiring the destroyer to maneuver potential targets into those positions to do the greatest damage. Though none were completed before the Battle of the Line, the first of the new Omega-class began rolling off the construction lines shortly after the war's end.
Over the next ten years, Omega-Class Destroyers were mass-produced to replace Earthforce's losses suffered during the war. The Omegas quickly replaced the older Nova-class dreadnoughts and as the mainstream capital ships of the Earth Alliance.
During the Earth Alliance Civil War and under orders of the Clark administration, the design of the Omega-class destroyer was adapted with Shadow biotechnology to create the . Though it was later discovered, these were not the only product of Shadow tech developed by Earthforce.
Ships of the ClassEdit
Behind the ScenesEdit
The Omega Class Destroyer mesh was designed and built by Computer Imaging Supervisor and Foundation Imaging Co-founder Paul Bryant and had over 250,000 polygons, a huge model for its time. The distinctive front of the ship was inspired by the look of an old South African steam engine and was intended to make the ship look "as un-aerodynamic as possible".
The design of the ship itself included a number of features that were never seen utilised in the show. Due to the budget limitations of Babylon 5, the Omega class destroyer was never shown using its true firepower; rather it was only shown using its "light" weapons. The two very large forward cannons mounted under the forward docking bay were intended to launch "gigaton class mines" and in fact appear very similar, if not identical, to the energy mine launchers seen on the Narn Cruiser in ("The Long, Twilight Struggle"). There were also rows of Starfury launch bay hatches located along the sections of the rotating centrifuge. The idea was that the fighters would launch using the same principles of centrifugal force as Babylon 5's Cobra Bays. Finally, all along the sides of the ship's hull were rows of little round hatches that were intended to be missile silos, meant to evoke the look of the broadside cannons from a 19th Century sailing vessel. The engine section was originally a more complex, counter-intuitive affair designed to compensate for the rotating centrifugal section; however in the name of simplicity and expediency, the concept was pared down to just four large rear facing engines.
One thing that many Sci-fi fans instantly recognised was that the profile of the centrifuge itself bore an uncanny resemblance to the Alexei Leonov designed by Syd Mead for the 1984 film "2010". Though JMS has denied any intentional similarity, Paul Bryant has admitted that the shape was in fact "lifted" from the Syd Mead's ship as a mischievous nod to that design.
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