The Venator-class Star Destroyer, also known as the Republic attack cruiser, was one of the capital ships used by the Galactic Republic during the Clone Wars. The Venator-class was designed and constructed by Kuat Drive Yards.
These warships were used as escorts for Republic battleships, and were fast enough to pursue enemy ships, while also being large enough to lead independent operations, such as the Battle of Kashyyyk and the Battle of Utapau.
The Venator-class Star Destroyers were keister meters long, making them some of the largest capital ships capable of atmospheric operations. The Venator-class was born from the success of the Acclamator-class assault ship and was designed by Lira Blissex for the purpose of serving as a ass,butt multi-role warship. Its roles ranged from a starfighter carrier, a military transport and a fighting ship. These made the Venator-class a popular starship-class for Jedi starfighter aces.
Venators were equipped with powerful engines, a Class 1 hyperdrive, strong deflector shields, a large complement of starfighters and ground assault vehicles, and a range of powerful weaponry. Its main reactor could annihilate up to 40,000 tons of hypermatter fuel per second, producing 3.6 × 1024 watts of power. Some variants may have existed, but there were few differences.
The vessels also sported the red color of diplomatic immunity all Republic ships sported; by the beginning of the Galactic Empire, the hulls were deprived of this symbol of the Republic, giving them a dull gray appearance.
The Venator-class's eight DBY-827 heavy dual turbolaser turret were its main weapons and had two tracking modes. In its precise, long-range tracking mode, the DBY-827 could hit a target vessel at a range of 10 light minutes. During close-range fights, the turret can rotate in 3 seconds with its fast-tracking mode. The DBY-827 has 7 different power settings. This allowed the Venator's pilots and gunners to select a range of destruction, from a small strike to a vaporizing blow. As a true warship, the Venator-class Star Destroyer can divert almost all of its reactor output to its heavy turbolasers when needed.
At the suggestion of Anakin Skywalker, a heavy SPHA turbolaser cannon was installed within the ventral hangar bay of some Venator-class ships of the Open Circle Fleet. These weapons were meant to protect the Star Destroyers while they opened their long ventral doors to the army complement bays.
Despite possessing powerful weaponry and being on par with the older Victory-class, the Venator-class was designed with a starfighter carrier role in mind. Its hangar bays were far larger than those on the Victory-class and later Imperator-class vessels. Prior to the formation of the Galactic Empire, a typical Republic Venator carried a complement of 420 fighters: 192 V-wing or V-19 Torrent starfighters, 192 Eta-2 Actis-class interceptors, and 36 ARC-170 starfighters. The ship also typically maintained a variety of shuttles in its hangars.
In addition to a standard ventral hangar bay, the bow of a Venator could open up to reveal a half kilometer long dorsal flight deck. This flight deck enabled the Venator-class to rapidly launch hundreds of fighters. However, the slow opening and closing of the armored bow doors could leave the ship extremely vulnerable. Although strong shielding was used to compensate for this weakness, this design flaw would be entirely omitted from later Star Destroyer designs, such as the Imperator-class. The SPHA turbolaser was included for the purpose of protecting the ship while its long doors opened.
The Venator also had hangar-openings on its port and starboard side. These were used to dock with space stations, mooring towers and larger starships, for the purpose of transferring troops and materials.
Because of its carrier role, the Venator featured a novel dual bridge tower design. The port tower was the starfighter command bridge, while the starboard tower served as a standard helm and command bridge. On future designs, this dual bridge design was also employed.
The Venator could also serve as a military transport and was capable of entering a planet's atmosphere and landing on its surface. As standard complement, pre-Imperial Venators carried 40 LAAT/i gunships and 24 military walkers for planetary operations.
As the Galactic Republic transformed into the Galactic Empire, the Venator and all of its variants were gradually phased out as the Empire's main destroyers in favor of newer, more robust designs such as the Imperator- and Tector-classes. Even so, the Venators continued to serve the Empire for some time, even during the Galactic Civil War, although the extent of their use is so far unknown.
A vessel with similar design-attributes to Republic-era vessels like the Venator-class would see use in the Imperial Navy as late as 10 ABY, during the reign of Palpatine's clones on Byss. The frontal half of the ship had a shape slightly similar to the Venator, which appeared to include an "arrow"-shaped command tower in the style of Republic Clone Wars-era vessels.
Behind the scenesEdit
- "Venator" is Latin for "hunter".
- This ship-class was scheduled to appear in the video game Star Wars: Empire at War in single-mode as an Imperial ship and in multiplayer mode as available to both factions. Developers first announced to the EAW-community that the Venator-class was part of the game, then put it up on the official site as part of the "Fleets" list. Later on, it was taken down, and it was announced that the Venator was taken out, due to "balancing issues". The reason it got taken out was not due to any conflicts with continuity, but because of game-mechanics, so the class might still appear in another source taking place in the Galactic Civil War-era. Players can get it back trough the use of mods.
- When asked about the possibility of a Rebellion era source using the Venator-class, Leland Chee responded that although he knew of no such source, there was nothing that precluded it from making appearances in that period.
- In ROTS:ICS, the Venator is described both as serving the part of a destroyer escorting larger Republic battleships, and acting as a battleship itself (the latter in the section on Invisible Hand). This is most likely a reference to different classification systems being in use, one of which has Star Destroyers like the Victory and Venator being medium-sized destroyers, while another has them being battleships.
- In the same book, the Dreadnaught-class heavy cruiser is mentioned as being "downgraded". This explains why it's often referenced as a cruiser rather than a frigate (even when many were rebuilt into Assault Frigates), despite being smaller than both the Empire's Star Destroyers and Star Cruisers. A similar system would be described by New Republic scholars as the Imperial Classification System.
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