The Imperial I-class Star Destroyer was a monumental starship designed by Lira Wessex and built by Kuat Drive Yards. They were massive, powerful warships capable of laying waste to entire worlds (provided those worlds did not have planetary shields). The Imperial-class became infamous as the prime enforcer of Imperial rule.
It belonged to the Star Destroyer family of warship, exemplified by its dagger/arrowhead design. A single Imperial-class vessel cost the Empire at least 3.88 billion Imperial credits — the equivalent of several star systems' annual economic output.
This entry covers the definitive version of the type, the Imperial-class Star Destroyer. It was the premier starship class in the Imperial Starfleet. All known variants were 1,609 meters long (approximately one mile) and had three large and four small engines capable of accelerating the ship with a force of several thousand g.
Star Destroyers of this class took part in the three major engagements that towards the end of the Galactic Civil War; the Battle of Yavin, the Battle of Hoth, and the Battle of Endor. A progenitor of the Imperator/Imperial class, the Acclamator I-class assault ship, saw service during the early days of the Clone Wars; another progenitor, the Venator-class Star Destroyer, was in use by the war's end.
According to officially available statistics, Imperial-class Star Destroyers have at least 37,000 officers and crew. Counting the stormtrooper complement (one "division" or "legion", 9,700 men) would total 46,700. This would include a stormtrooper detachment, fighter pilots, and support craft pilots.
When serving as a flagship, 900 additional personnel were stationed onboard. The Star Destroyer could accommodate up to 1,800 passengers.
For those vessels that entered New Republic service, the New Republic reduced the crew requirements by 8,000, to about 28,000 men.
The crew requirements of the Imperial are extraordinarily high. New Republic ships of the closest size tend to have a small fraction of the crew. It is also interesting to note the ISD'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 enabled ongoing, intensive recruitment
- Multiple or redundant onboard crews
- Allowed for easy placement of ISB or COMPNOR agents
- The ISD'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 latter warships, especially those fielded by the New Republic.
- Multiple shifts, enabling the ISD to be capable of sustaining days of heavy space combat without suffering from crew fatigue.
The command bridge tower of the Imperial-class Star Destroyer was massive. The command bridge of the ship was much like that of the Executor. The difference between the deck and the ceiling was 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 was somewhere between 20 to 30, with the average spacing of 3 meters. At a few areas there were portals that appeared at intervals halfway between the main decks. These corresponded to inhabited chambers, rooms, or shafts spanning more than one level.
For sublight propulsion, the Imperator class relied on an array of three primary ion engines produced by KDY specifically for the vessels. For emergency situations requiring additional thrust, the Imperial-class could use its four Gemon-4 ion engines.
The first flight of ships (generally known as the Imperator or Imperial I) possessed a main battery of 60 turbolasers and 60 ion cannons for disabling enemy warships. Those heavy guns were set in twin mounts flanking the tower structure. The second flight of ships, Imperial II-class Star Destroyer (generally known as the Imperial II), possessed a main battery of 100 heavy turbolasers in eight octuple mounts flanking the tower structure. Furthermore, each brim notch in the trench could be fitted with a quadruple heavy turbolaser.
Strangely, the Imperials in either subclass did not choose to give their turrets superfiring ability from a level position, either by superelevating the aft turrets or merely by spacing them out over a longer distance and letting the natural wedge shape provide the ability. Perhaps superelevation proved impossible with the immense recoils involved (official estimates imply yields so great that the momentum of the fired bolts, and the associated recoil, would be comparable to a large asteroid impact), and perhaps spacing the turrets out proved too great a compromise in terms of power distribution.
Mounted just beyond the forward tip of the attack hangar (see fighter compliment), were two large ventral turbolasers, which sat near the corners of the massive hangar. The primary function of the turbolasers was to defend the vulnerable docking facilities, but could also be used for planetary bombardment.
There were entire planets that, throughout their history, did not expend as much power as an Imperial-class ship did in one hyperspace jump. A massive solar ionization reactor bulged from the ventral spine, annihilating hypermatter as fuel to power the ship.
Imperial-class Star Destroyers typically carried a standard Imperial wing of 6 TIE squadrons, for a total of 72 starfighters. The standard wing included two squadrons of TIE Interceptors, two squadrons of TIE Interceptor Mark 2s, and two squadrons of Scimitar Assault Bombers.
The attack hangar was guarded by a set of armored doors. TIE fighter service and refueling bays, and TIE launch hangars surround the main hangar. TIEs were launched from cycling racks and pilots boarded from overhead gantries and were released into space as they disengaged from the front position in the racks. Returning fighters landed in separate hangars and then were guided by small tractor beams into receiver-carriers. The receivers carried the TIE to a debarkation station where the pilot would exit. Once moved through the transfer tunnels to a launch hangar, the fighter could be serviced and refueled in a separate bay. In the hangar the TIEs were cycled through a launch rack and ready for the next launch.
The small forward hangar was for shuttle craft carrying high-ranking officials. The forward hangar was also used as a back-up to the main hangar.
Ground assault capabilityEdit
These ships carried 9,700 troops, as well as massive war vehicles such as AT-AT and AT-ST walkers. AT-AT barges and other landing craft were used to deliver ground assault forces to a planet's surface. The Star Destroyer could use its guns and TIE starfighters to support any surface action. If a planet required a lasting presence, a Star Destroyer could quickly deploy a prefabricated garrison base.
Areas of serviceEdit
Imperial-class Star Destroyers had a distinguished career in the Imperial Starfleet, where they symbolized the Empire's military might (for better or worse). The Imperial-class was known to be in service as early as 19 BBY, a month after the first Empire Day. The second ship of the class was the Exactor, the personal ship of Darth Vader.
According to official records, over 25,000 were eventually procured.
Within Sector-level and many Regional-level fleets, the ISD serves a central role, being the flagship of the unit known as the "Battle Squadron." It has also been observed to operate more or less independently.
More controversial is its role on higher levels. In some reliable records as well as in several others, the ISD was shown to be a mere support ship— chasing down corvettes and providing escort to Darth Vader's Executor. Arguably it is only fit to be a support ship— at the Battle of Hoth the Rebellion's heavy ion cannon was able to easily overwhelm a Star Destroyer's shield and disable the ship. At the Battle of Endor, at least one ship was an intermediary between Star Dreadnoughts like Executor and lesser ships like Imperial. Further information also indicates many other types of ships larger than Imperial yet smaller than Executor.
This has led some to conclude that there is a higher level of Fleet than Sectorial and Regional, with the ISD finally able to revert to its role as destroyer and with ships like the Executor taking the role of dreadnought. Others conclude the ships shown in these visual records are either indistinct blops or poorly drawn ISDs, that there are no intermediate ship types between ISD and the Executor and that Executors are an unusual aberration.
|Imperator-class Star Destroyer|
|HIMS Sanguinary | HIMS Tyrant | CSAV Corporate Takeover|
|Imperator II-class Star Destroyer|
| HIMS Death's Hand | HIMS Emperor Valak II | HIMS Inquisitor | HIMS Malevolent | HIMS Predator | HIMS Sovereign | HIMS Tormentor
Ships listed here are those in active service and excludes those vessels decommissioned or destroyed.