Confederation Gettysburg class Battle Cruiser (Wing Commander):

In actuality, the Gettysburg class was not developed from previous battleship designs and might more appropriately be considered a "Super Cruiser" due to having been developed from the basic cruiser design. As first commissioned, the Gettysburg class battlecruisers were large and imposing vessels. Their primary role was to act as flagships and command and control vessels. Often they were assigned to carrier battle fleets as the command ship for the escort group.

The Battlecruisers were constructed in the mid Twenty-Six Forties as a solution to the Confederation's need for a large ship to fill the role originally performed by battleships but able to keep up with the carrier battle groups which were becoming the mainstay of the Confederation forces. The Gettysburg class is just slightly slower than a Bengal class carrier. The ships were built with extremely heavy shielding similar to battleships but sacrificed armor to be able to keep up with the carriers they were designed to escort.

These fine ships were larger in length than the Bengal class carriers and in addition to the ship’s own weaponry, the Gettysburg carries a pair of fighter squadrons. Normally these ships carried a squadron of Hornet light fighters and a light squadron of Scimitar class medium fighters. In the last years of service, some of the battlecruisers had their Scimitar class fighters replaced by the much more capable Rapier fighters. When carrying pure medium class fighters, the battlecruiser is limited to sixteen fighters. Raptor class heavy fighters were not carried on the battlecruisers due to size limitations. If carrying heavy fighters, the ship would be limited to a single squadron.

For the main weaponry, the Gettysburg class carries a battery of four triple-mounted heavy neutron cannons for twelve main guns total. The ship also carries eight heavy lasers and twenty point defense lasers. The ships were excellent in the role of a heavy defense escort for carriers. Finally, the battlecruiser mounts a cruise missile launcher and carries thirty anti-ship missiles.

In combat, these ships were greatly feared and many Kilrathi Fralthi cruisers and Ralari destroyers met their fate under the guns of these battleships. Famous ships of the class include the Vicksburg, the Austin, and the Houston. The TCS Austin, a Gettysburg-class ship, served as Vice Admiral Tolwyn's flagship during the defense of Firekka and the First Enigma Campaigns. It returned surviving pilots from the TCS Tiger's Claw home after the loss of that carrier.

Production of the battlecruiser class stopped in the late part of the Twenty-Six Fifties. The surviving members of the class were retired and put into mothball status. The official reason was that it would be too expensive to upgrade the class fully to modern standards but several senior fleet officers continue to push for the reactivation and upgrade of these battlecruisers. Upgrades would include replacing the neutron cannons with anti-matter cannons like was done with Waterloo class cruisers and the upgrading of the shields to modern standards. A possible upgrade is the replacement of the engines with more powerful engines. Unfortunately, it is unlikely that these upgrade will ever take place due to cost considerations.

Notes of game conversion:

Because of the nature of the Video Game / Novel series “Wing Commander” and the needs to put the starship into game mechanics, the starship has several modification compared to the Video Game and Novels. The most important change it to change top speed to acceleration. Like fighters in Star Wars and original Battlestar Galactica, the fighters appear to act as if they are in the atmosphere even when they operating in space. This is incorrect. The Television series Babylon 5 and the new Battlestar Galactic are good series to watch to get a clearer idea on how space vehicles would probably maneuver although still not a perfect perspective. The starship has been modified to uses my revised phase world starship rules and can hold their own against most C.A.F and Kreeghor starships. See Revised Starship Rules for Phase World / Three Galaxies for more details.

Model Type: CB-22 Gettysburg class Battle Cruiser
Vehicle Type: Battlecruiser
Crew: 2350 (125 Officers, 165 Chief Petty Officers, and 2060 Enlisted)
Troops / Passengers: 40 fighter pilots. Has flag facilities for up to 200 additional personnel

Fighter Compliment (Can be replaced by 16 medium fighters):

12Light Starfighters (F-36 Hornet Light Fighters)
8Medium Starfighters (F-32 Scimitar Medium Fighters or F-44 Rapier Medium Fighters)
Other vehicles:
2General Purpose Shuttles

M.D.C. By Location:

Triple Heavy Neutron Cannon Turrets (4):800 each
Heavy Laser Cannon Turrets (8):250 each
Light Point Defense Laser Cannon mounts (20):100 each
Cruise Missile Launchers (1):400
Hanger Bay (1):1,200 each
[1] Bridge:6,000
[1] Auxiliary Bridge:6,000
[2] Engineering section:8,500
Main Engines (2):4,200 each
[3] Main Body:26,400
[4] Variable Force Field:4,000 per side (24,000 Total)

[1] In reality this is how much damage needs to be done for a weapon to hit the bridge through the ship’s armor. This ship also has an auxiliary bridge. Even if both bridges are destroyed, the ship can still be piloted from engineering but ship is -3 to dodge and all weapon systems will be at local control. Weapon hits near the bridge that do not penetrate the ships integrity can injure crew members on or near the bridge.
[2] Destroying the engineering section means that ship FTL propulsion systems are destroyed and maximum sublight acceleration is reduced to ten percent of normal (using navigational thrusters).
[3] Depleting the M.D.C. of the main body will put the carrier out of commission. All internal systems will shut down, including life support and internal gravity. The ship itself will be an unsalvageable floating wreck.
[4] Shields positions can be varied and all could be combined in one shield. Shields regenerate at the rate of 5% (1,200 M.D.C.) per melee.

Driving on the Ground: Not Possible.
Sublight: Has a special sublight engine that allows the ship to travel up to 60 percent of the speed of light. Star Ship can accelerate/decelerate at the rate of 0.32 percent of light per melee.
Atmospheric Propulsion: The fleet carrier cannot operate within an atmosphere. If the ship enters an atmosphere, it will crash.
Stardrive: The fleet carrier mounts a jump drive which is capable of jumping instantly from a fixed point in a system to another fixed point in a system. These points are weaknesses in the fabric of space and have been mapped in most cases. Fuel is hydrogen which the battlecruiser scoops from space to fuel the jump engine.
Maximum Range: Effectively Unlimited by either drive system. The battlecruiser has about four years worth of supplies on board.

Statistical Data:
Length: 2,460.6 feet (750 meters)
Height: 656.8 feet (200.2 meters) for hull and 707.7 feet (215.7 meters) including antenna
Width: 1,049.9 feet (320 meters)
Weight: 68,340 Tons (62,000 metric tons) fully loaded
Power System: Fusion with a 20 year life span. The ship normally only goes 5 years between refueling.
Cargo: Cargo holds are scattered about the ship that allows for carrying up to 5,000 tons of cargo in addition to standard compliment of supplies and ammunition. Each enlisted crew member has a small locker for personal items and uniforms. Ships officers have more space for personal items. Most of the ships spaces are take up by extra ammunition, armor, troops, weapons, engine, and other equipment.
Market Cost: The Gettysburg class Battlecruiser costs around 45 billion credits to manufacture not including fighter compliment. Fighter compliment cost approximately 380 million credits.


  1. Four (4) Triple Heavy Neutron Cannon Turret: This is a heavy mount which is larger than the standard mount carried on fighters and are longer ranged. On later generation vessels, such as the Gilgamesh class destroyers, these are replaced by anti-matter guns. The weapons are mounted near the nose of the destroyer and are the main anti-capital ship weapon of the vessel. They are shorter ranged than the anti-matter guns on later vessels but are longer ranged than standard neutron cannons. Weapons system has half the normal penalties to hit fighters and small targets as standard heavy anti-ship mounts.
    Maximum Effective Range: 6,213.7 miles (10,000 km) in space. and 31.07 miles (50 km) in an atmosphere.
    Mega Damage: 3D6x10+40 per cannon, 6D6x10+40 for two cannons, and 1D6x100+100 for all three cannons
    Rate of Fire: Equal to gunners hand to hand (Usually 4 or 5).
    Payload: Effectively Unlimited.
  2. Eight (8) Heavy Point Defense Lasers in Dual Mounts: Eight total on top, bottom, port, and starboard side. All can fire forward and aft. Both can fire forward and aft. Each Turret can rotate 360 and has a 180 arc of fire. Individually more powerful than the lasers mounted on fighters and have a longer range. Compared to point defense weaponry carried on most starships within the Three Galaxies, the weapon mounts have a longer range.
    Maximum Effective Range: 4,971 miles (8,000 km) in space and 24.85 miles (40 km) in an atmosphere.
    Mega-Damage: 4D6x10 M.D.
    Rate of Fire: Equal to the combined hand to hand attacks of the Gunner (usually 4 or 5).
    Payload: Effectively Unlimited
  3. Twenty (20) Light Point Defense Lasers in Single Mounts: Twenty total on top, bottom, port, and starboard side. All can fire forward and aft. Each Turret can rotate 360 and has a 180 arc of fire. Weapon is equal to standard fighter laser mounts. Compared to most point defense weaponry carried on most starships within the Three Galaxies, the weapon mounts have a longer range.
    Maximum Effective Range: 3,106.8 miles (5,000 km) in space and 15.5 miles (25 km) in an atmosphere.
    Mega-Damage: 1D6x10 M.D.
    Rate of Fire: Equal to the combined hand to hand attacks of the Gunner (usually 4 or 5).
    Payload: Effectively Unlimited
  4. One (1) Cruise Missile Launcher: Missile has a top speed of Mach 25 in an atmosphere and in space has an acceleration of 10% of light per turn (far faster than any starship). Since star ships will no longer engage at rock throwing distances, whether weapons can be shot down is calculated from the speed of target, launcher, and missile. When drive goes dead, missile will continue to travel in a straight line unless set to self destruct but has very low odds of hitting star ships (Great for hitting bases and planets because target does not move and missile, when unpowered, is at -25% to be detected.) Cruise missiles have penalties to hit small targets but are all considered smart missiles.
    Maximum Effective Range: Missile range is 8,000 miles (12,875 km) in an atmosphere and 4,000,000 miles (6,437,376 km/ 21.5 light seconds) in space.
    Mega-Damage & Properties: See revised Phase World / Three Galaxies missile tables for details (Anti-Matter does 4D6x100 M.D.C.).
    Rate of Fire: One per launcher per melee attack
    Payload: 20 cruise missiles total.

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CGI / Artwork of starship created by Light. Picture taken from Hard Light Productions.

Writeup by Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune).

Rifts Conversion Copyright © 2005 & 2013, Kitsune. All rights reserved.