|Manufacturer||Pranthe Drive Yards|
|Cost||3.88 billion Imperial credits|
|First Production date|
|Primary Power Plant|
|Secondary Power Plant|
|Primary Propulsion Type|
|Secondary Propulsion Type|
|Affiliation||Valcarian Imperial Navy|
They are massive, powerful warships capable of laying waste to entire worlds (provided those worlds did not have planetary shields). The Altharra-class became infamous as the prime enforcer of Imperial rule. It belongs to the Destroyer family of warship. A single Altharra-class vessel costs the Empire at least 3.88 billion Imperial credits — the equivalent of several star systems' annual economic output. Even so, it is the premier starship class in the Imperial Navy. All known variants are 1,600 meters long (one mile) and have three large and four small engines capable of accelerating the ship with a force of several thousand g.
According to officially available statistics, Altharra-class Destroyers have at least 37,000 officers and crew. Counting the Etrooper complement (one "division" or "legion", 9,700 men) would total 46,700. This would include an Etrooper detachment, fighter pilots, and support craft pilots. When serving as a flagship, 900 additional personnel are stationed onboard. The Destroyer can accommodate up to 1,800 passengers.
The crew requirements of the Altharra-class are extraordinarily high. Other sparcefaring powers' ships of the closest size tend to have a small fraction of the crew. It is also interesting to note the Destoyer's high ratio (over 7:1) between full and skeleton complement — a more usual ratio seems to be 4:1 or 5:1 in large vessels.
Possible reasons include:
- Large crew requirements enable ongoing, intensive recruitment.
- Multiple or redundant onboard crews.
- The Destroyer's six-year endurance requirement passes a certain limit beyond which maintenance requirements greatly increase; large crews of technicians are thus embarked.
- Inferior automation compared to that of later warships.
- Multiple shifts, enabling the Altharra-class Destroyer to be capable of sustaining days of heavy space combat without suffering from crew fatigue.
The command bridge tower of the Altharra-class Destroyer is massive. The difference between the deck and the ceiling is three to four meters for the command walkways and one and a half meters more for the control pits. The total number of decks on the bridge tower is somewhere between 20 to 30, with the average spacing of 3 meters.
At a few areas there are portals that appear at intervals halfway between the main decks. These correspond to inhabited chambers, rooms, or shafts spanning more than one level.
The sensor array on top of the tower has support beams running diagonally across it. These would later be substituted for vertical ones during minor refits.
For sublight propulsion, the Altharra-class relies on an array of three primary Destroyer-I ion engines produced by PDY specifically for the vessels. For emergency situations requiring additional thrust, the Altharra-class can use its four Kemin-4 ion engines.
Strangely, the Destroyer's designers did not give these heavy cannons the ability to focus on targets in the forward firing arc that were level with the ship. This could have been accomplished either by super-elevating the aft turrets, or merely by spacing the turrets apart over a longer distance of the ship's length.
Possible explanations for this are that super-elevation was impossible due to the immense recoils involved (yields are so great that the momentum of the fired bolts and the associated recoil are in the gigaton range), or that spacing the turrets further apart was too great a compromise in terms of power distribution. In any case, the Destroyer can bring all its heavy guns to bear only by dipping its bow downward.
Numerous smaller and medium guns are mounted around the ship to ward off attacks against lesser ships not capable of being targeted by the main battery. They vary in size; some were designed as point-defense cannon to destroy incoming missiles and starfighters while others engage lesser capital ships. Several examples have been explicitly equipped with torpedoes. However, it is not known if they were refit additions.
The Destroyer's weapons are designed to make the vessel a long range warship. The weapons systems are not very capable of targeting at point-blank range.
Axial defense turrets
Three triple-gun turrets are mounted on the ridge of the ship, just forward of the lowest, forwardmost terrace of the dorsal superstructure.
Mounted just beyond the forward tip of the attack hangar (see fighter compliment), are two large ventral turbolasers, which sit near the corners of the massive hangar. The primary function of the turbolasers is to defend the vulnerable docking facilities, but can also be used for planetary bombardment.
There are entire planets that, throughout their history, did not expend as much power as an Altharra-class ship does in one Metaplane jump. A massive eicharon particle reactor bulges from the ventral spine, catching random deuterium particles as fuel to power the ship.
Altharra-class Destroyers typically carry a standard Imperial wing of 6 SIRC squadrons, for a total of 72 starfighters. Sometimes, one of the fighter squadrons is used for training purposes.
The attack hangar is guarded by a set of armored doors. SIRC fighter service and refueling bays, and SIRC launch hangars surround the main hangar. SIRCs are launched from cycling racks and pilots board from overhead gantries and are released into space as they disengage from the front position in the racks. Returning fighters land in separate hangars and then are guided by small tractor beams into receiver-carriers. The receivers carry the SIRC to a debarkation station where the pilot can exit. Once moved through the transfer tunnels to a launch hangar, the fighter can be serviced and refueled in a separate bay. In the hangar the SIRCs are cycled through a launch rack and readied for the next launch.
The small forward hangar is for shuttle craft carrying high-ranking officials. The forward hangar is also used as a back-up to the main hangar.
Ground assault capability
These ships carry 9,700 troops, as well as massive war vehicles such as MT-APC and MT-AS walkers. MT-APC barges and other landing craft are used to deliver ground assault forces to a planet's surface.
The Destroyer can use its guns and SIRC starfighters to support any surface action. If a planet requires a lasting presence, a Destroyer can quickly deploy a prefabricated garrison base.