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The Battlestar

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"Launch Vipers!"

The flagship of the future that encompasses both artillery and piloting tropes: a hybrid carrier/battleship.

Let's backtrack a bit.

During World War II, the honored tradition of building more and more powerful gun-toting battleships came to an abrupt halt when naval artillery became largely supplanted by the aircraft carrier. It had none of the battleship's armament and durability, but it could project force hundreds of kilometers away, without ever endangering the ship itself — which made most WWII aerial/naval battles decidedly one-sided.

Modern warfare may eventually subvert this trend. Currently, major warships that aren't carriers or amphibious assault ships are missile ships, each capable of launching a relative Macross Missile Massacre, so the other side better hope it isn't Point Defenseless. As missile technology and remote piloting advance, the aircraft launched by the carrier may become unmanned smart munitions, blurring the line between missiles and attack craft.


However, warfare largely dominated by purely automated systems can take away from importance of human characters in a war story. Thus, authors are likely to explain that missile combat didn't take for various reasons, such as abundance of electronic countermeasures to disrupt missile guidance, accurate point defenses, or electronic warfare potentially compromising the effectiveness of remotely piloted (or automated) craft.

This progression takes us back to the battlestar: It has the heavy armor and big guns of a battleship, along with the fighters and point defense weapons of a carrier. This makes perfect sense, assuming carrying fighters in space makes sense, because:

  • A) Lack of gravity means you don't have to waste the entire top on runways and the entire bottom on being underwater.
  • B) The extremely thin atmosphere and the huge amount of free space means that the range of weapons is enormous (or it should, anyway).
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  • C) It's awesome.

This trope is named for the Battlestarnote  class of warships from Battlestar Galactica (1978), one of the first such depictions to reach widespread audiences. Often part of a Standard Sci-Fi Fleet. May also have a "little brother", the Airborne Aircraft Carrier. Naturally comes hand-in-hand with the Space Fighter; given that strikecraft are an important part of a Battlestar, see also their Analysis page for some arguments on their use or lack thereof, which may have knock-on effects on the feasibility of Battlestars.

As a general rule, the Battlestar is portrayed in one of three ways:

  • Battleship carrying fighters. This is essentially a capital ship with the primary offensive options being its own big guns, with the fighters to serve as interceptors against incoming enemy strikes or to provide utility and ability for surgical strikes when main cannons are too blunt of an instrument. The Battlestar Galactica is the epitome of this, along with the Space Battleship Yamato and Imperial Star Destroyers.
  • Carrier with extra guns and armor. This ship essentially behaves like a real life aircraft carrier, in that the primary offensive option is its embarked fighter wing, and the guns and armor lean more towards self defense options. The TCS Tiger's Claw is an excellent example of this subtype.
  • The ship is not a war vessel per se; rather, it is an exploration or colony craft, armed out of necessity to have the widest array of available options. Its guns and air wing may very well have applications outside of combat, such as exploration, landing and dealing with the occasional Negative Space Wedgie. The Sidonia matches this type, as does the Enterprise-D.

The largest ones may be examples of Mile-Long Ship or even Planet Spaceship.

Not to be confused with the 1981 game show Battlestars, the elite Autobot fighters from Transformers: Return of Convoy, or John Walker's former sidekick.

Compare/Contrast with its primary competing/companion trope, The Dreaded Dreadnought. Both fixtures of a Standard Sci-Fi Fleet, but both can and do appear in other settings. Both usually occupying the slot of "scariest thing around," but while the Battlestar is about the vessel's combined aircraft carrier/battleship nature, The Dreaded Dreadnought is about the tendency to call the scariest vehicle in a setting a "Dreadnought."


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    Anime & Manga 
  • From 1974, the Ur-Example is probably the Space Battleship Yamato. In 1979 the series was dubbed and broadcast in English as Star Blazers, with the ship renamed the Argo as a Shout-Out to a similar story from Greek Mythology.
    • Also more obviously the Lexington-class battleship carriers in the Comet empire series, which had two battleship turrets in front, and a carrier deck in the back.
      • The Lexington-class ships are based on the IJS Ise and Hyuga; see the Real Life section in the description.
      • Even further borne out by the fact that the American Lexington-class of carriers from World War II were originally built to be battlecruisers.
    • In the Rainbow Galaxy battle, the Gamilons had a battleship/carrier that had a runway deck that flipped over to reveal laser cannon turrets.
  • Subverted in Legend of Galactic Heroes. While carrier-type ships do have cannons for ship-to-ship combat, they are not primary fighting units and use cannons mostly in self-defense and to protect fighters docking for resupplying. Ship-to-ship combat is mostly handled by dedicated battleships, of which the command ships are the most powerful (including Yang Wen-li's Hyperion and Reinhard von Lohengramm's Brunhild).
  • There are, many, many examples in Gundam . Basically, any Cool Ship in the saga has to be a carrier to launch titular Humongous Mecha (and normal fighters) but, depending on the series, can have more or less firepower to make it a battleship.
    • The Universal Century Mobile Suit Gundam and its White Base although Zeon had been mass producing warships with MS hangers well before The Federation made the White Base. From the Musai-class light cruiser to the massive Gwazine-class. Initially the Federation followed the "you can only have one or the other" mentality, with older ships even being forced to carry Humongous Mecha strapped to their hulls when the latter were introduced. This was the primary reason they came so close to being trounced by Zeon early in the series. However during later series like the Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam the Alexandria-class cruisers and the Dogosse Giar-class battleships with Mobile Suit hangers have begun replacing older ships.
    • Both Archangel from Gundam SEED and Minerva from Gundam SEED Destiny pack a serious punch, complete with integrated Wave Motion Guns. However the Earth Alliance ships tend to have the same issue the Feds from UC faced but much worse. While the issue was kinda solved by adding MS catapaults the poor Drake-class still gets easily massacred while the Nelson only does slightly better. ZAFT and ORB ships tend to play the trope much better.
    • The Cool Ship Ptolemaios from Gundam 00 is clearly more of a carrier since it can barely defend itself without Gundams. But its replacement Ptolemaios Kai is massively up-armed and gets even further upgraded in the movie, pretty much making it an independant battleship. The spaceships used by the Earth nations in S1, the Virginia and Laohu-classes, were pretty much MS comtainers with thrusters but with the intrduction of GN Tau Drives, the Volga-class is created which can back up its own MS with beams and missiles.
  • The Dai-Gurren of Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann had twelve-inch guns as well as a hangar for Team Gurren's Gunmen.
    • The Chouginga Dai-Gurren used to be the fucking Moon, and did its job for a while before towing the original Moon back into orbit. It could also become an humanoid mecha that could shoot at all points of space and time. Simultaneously.
  • The eponymous-class ships of Macross. Especially later versions like Battle Frontier, which had all sorts of cannons and CIWS mounts as well as its Wave-Motion Gun.
    • The original SDF-1 even had a entire city in it, in addition to MORE guns on it than some of the later New Macross-class ships such as Battle 7. That said, the animation budget wasn't up to showing them traverse and fire like they do in the newer shows so they end up being largely static decorations. Those four massive railguns on the docking assembly (the 'shoulder' in battle mode) are never once shown firing, for instance.
      • While the SDF-1 itself was did carry a substantial air wing of its own, half of its actual effective air wing (and more than two thirds of it in the Do You Remember Love?/Post-Refit incarnation) comes from the two ships permanently docked as its "arms" — specifically the Prometheus aircraft carrier in the TV series and manga, and the two ARMD-class space carriers in the DYRL?/Refit version.
      • The redesign of the New Macross-class as shown by Battle 25 (AKA Battle Frontier) has restored the myriad smaller cannons and point-defense guns that marked the previous Macross-class Super-Dimensional Fortresses.
    • The expanded universe and Macross 7 show that the New UN Spacy essentially runs four (later five) types of carrier:
      • Northampton-class stealth frigates, small picket and escort ships with a heavy punch for their size and a small air wing of 24 Valkyries (up to 37 in special missions) for defense.
      • The stealth cruiser debuting in Frontier, slightly upscaled Northamptons with the same air wing and a much stronger punch.
      • Guantanamo-class stealth carriers, which are not that much different from WW2 escort carriers, being smallish ships built around a modest air wing with little else.
      • Uraga and Saratoga-class fleet carriers, which have a modest antiship weapons fit, and are built around their air wings as the primary striking option.
      • New Macross-class warships: they're primarily operated like fleet carriers, but carry a robust antiship weapons loadout, and have the Macross cannon, which is essentially a Wave-Motion Gun built into a frigate-sized ship, docked with them. Macross Quarter and its sister ships operate on essentially the same principle, but scaled down to escort carrier size.
  • The Emperor Machines from Getter Robo, three ships that can combine into a giant robot and are made from Mars and the dinosaurs. Really.
  • The eponymous starship in Knights of Sidonia is, at its core, a colonist ship designed to locate a new planet for humanity to call home after the Gauna destroyed Earth. It packs enough weaponry to hold its own against the Gauna, including dozens of Gardes, a Heavy Mass Cannon, Interplanetary Missles, and a Higgs Particle Cannon.
  • The Estanatreich from Starship Girl Yamamoto Yohko not only functions as this, it has an entire colony on its back. Justified as it is the one and only de facto territory of TERRA faction. Other ships exist as well, particularly the NESS carrierships.
  • The Exelion and Eltreum from Gunbuster are like this. Apart from the titular mecha, the former was equipped with a whole array of long-range lasers as well as a legion of Machine Weapons for self-defense. The latter went even beyond that in all kinds of ways.
  • The eponymous battleship of Martian Successor Nadesico.
  • The four (operational) Vaia Ships of Infinite Ryvius: the Black Ryvius, Blue Impulse, Crimson Dicastia and Grey Geshpenst. Each comes equipped with a Humongous Mecha capable of warping spatial reality, multiple MAC guns, and in the case of the Impulse a huge fuck-off Hyperion-destroying drill.
  • Heroic Age's Argonaut is a massive ship carrying numerous fighter and Humongous Mecha units, bristling with guns, and outfitted with entire orchards and other facilities to allow for it to support a rather large crew effectively indefinitely. Oh, and it can also turn into an enormous Wave-Motion Gun aptly named the "Star Blaster".
  • The Nirvana in Vandread relies mainly on the Dread fighters and the titular Combining Mecha for its offense. At least until Bart figured out how to work the guns...
  • The Arcadia from Captain Harlock carries a fair-sized fighter complement. In fact, it sometimes looks like at least half of her forty-one-man crew is out there.
  • The Iron Gear from Xabungle, in addition to packing an eight-inch gun, can just turn into a hundred-meter-tall robot and step on you.

    Fan Works 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The eponymous ship of the 2010 Live-Action Adaptation of Space Battleship Yamato. Not only does the ship have enough conventional firepower to destroy an entire fleet and throw a wall of bullets around itself, it even has a BFG, the iconic Wave-Motion Gun. It also carries a squadron of marines and a top tier fighter squadron.
  • The Imperial Star Destroyers from Star Wars, and their Rebel Alliance counterparts, the Mon Calamari Star Cruisers. In fact, it could be argued that the main reason Star Destroyers are not considered the Trope Maker (despite making their screen debut two years before Battlestar Galactica) is that in their first appearance they were depicted more as The Dreaded Dreadnought, and came to embody characteristics of The Battlestar only later in the franchise.
    • The Prequels bring us the Acclamator-class and Venator-class vessels, which serve as army transports and spacecraft carriers respectively. Acclamators also end up as being used as floating carriers as well. Venators actually have a lot more fighter capacity than the bigger Imperial Star Destroyers and even the Super Star Destroyers (though that was later retconned to state that Super Star Destroyers can carry a lot more fighters, but it would be easier to load those fighters in the escort fleet that always accompanies it, and if necessary, be a mothership for those.
    • In the Star Wars Expanded Universe, it seems almost all large warships are designed this way. (See Babylon 5 below.) Fighters have little effectiveness against capital ships, unless they have some specific weakness or a lot of fighters get together and use obscene numbers of missiles. Going by X-Wing Series, Empire at War and X-Wing Rogue Squadron, bombers are effective, and many fighters' primary purpose is to deal with them. Some fighters have bombing capabilities, as well.
    • The Death Star also qualifies: it has FTL propulsion, carries countless smaller fighter craft, has surface-mounted turbolasers for enemy fighters that get too close (although the first DS's turbolasers are ineffective at this), and the superlaser itself can take out large craft, as shown in Return of the Jedi. And, you know, planets.
    • Ironically, because of how the various role-playing games and the XWing combat simulators made starfighters so important to both players and the overall mythos as a result, almost every significant capital ship in the franchise has became this to some degree. Even ships like the Corellian Corvette, which are physically incapable of carrying fighters at all.
  • The TCS Tiger Claw in the film version of Wing Commander can launch wings of fighters and several boarding shuttles. When entering battle, though, after the fighters launch, the ship closes and engages Deflector Shields. However, the only weapons the Tiger Claw has appears to have are anti-ship torpedoes (completely Point Defenseless). The Kilrathi have some sort of energy bolts as well as torpedoes.
  • The Project Insight Helicarriers in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, while atmospheric, are this as opposed to merely airborne aircraft carriers, as they also mount an impressive amount of guns intended to be the primary offensive measure.
  • Guardians of the Galaxy: The Dark Aster, Ronan The Accuser's thee-mile wide ship that houses hundreds of necrocraft.
    • Yondu's ship, The Elector would count as well.
  • The City Destroyers of Independence Day. They are primarily used to destroy enemy settlements and carry hundreds of fighters to take care of any potential counterattack.

  • Ciaphas Cain: One series of footnotes has Vail try to make sense of Cain's self-centered writings where he doesn't bother to name the ship he's on: first he calls it a battleship (so Vail deduces he's on the flagship Throne Eternal), then mentions attached fighter squadrons that aren't on a battleship (so Vail guesses he's on a cruiser), then says there are no flight decks (so it might be the Throne Eternal after all).
    Vail: I give up.
  • A staple in the Perry Rhodan universe from the beginning, with large capital ships inevitably carrying their complement of fighters and larger small craft (often up to nominal "light cruiser" size themselves) in addition to heavy weapons of their own. Said secondary crafts' actual combat effectiveness in any area where the big ships are busy engaging each other seems to be mainly subject to the needs of the plot — sometimes they're a genuine threat in and of themselves, sometimes the larger unit's commander refuses to even let them launch because of the risk.
  • C. J. Cherryh's warships in her Alliance/Union 'verse do this in some cases, especially the Earth Company Fleet, whose main ships are "carriers", each of which has four "riders", smaller craft without FTL capability. They're not super-small, though, having a flight crew of four and the ability to carry some degree of cargo and passengers. They are atmosphere-capable, high-performance, and armed with powerful missiles and guns in combat. One book, Hellburner, covers events during the testing phase of these craft. The carriers themselves are heavily armed with guns and missiles, and do not rely on the riders for defense. Her earlier-written but much later in chronology The Faded Sun trilogy features a carrier that has a single, much larger rider, which is not atmosphere-capable but is effectively an in-system cruiser.
  • The various planetoid-class Ships-of-the-Line in David Weber's Empire from the Ashes trilogy count (except for the Trosan-class). Massive ships the size of the Moon, capable of ridiculous speed, mounting extensive energy and missile batteries, and carrying a complement of parasite craft. Said parasite craft consist of separate battleships, cruisers, and two-man fighters. And the Fourth Empire had almost a million of them. Just 70 of these almost completely annihilate a millions-strong Alien Invasion fleet.
  • Honor Harrington has the Minotaur class of LAC carrier ships, and their successors. Although not intended to get directly involved in combat, the CLACs do carry some of the more traditional naval weapons in an acknowledgment of Finagle's Law.
    • The Grayson Space Navy's version of the Minotaur, the Covington class, is an aversion, however. The GSN felt that a CLAC's odds of survival standing directly in the wall of battle were low enough that they chose to arm the Covingtons only with countermeasures and point-defence clusters, making them entirely dependent on their embarked LAC complement for offensive striking power, much like most Real Life aircraft carriers.
    • Prior to the creation of the CLACs, there are the Q-ships sent to the Silesian Confederacy under Honor's command. In fact, these new Q-ships not only carry dreadnought-level weapons but can also launch up to 12 LACs. For bonus points, the Q-ships can also launch missile pods (previously, they were always dragged into battle with Tractor Beams). So not only can the Q-ships be considered prototype CLACs but also prototype podnaughts.
  • In Andrey Livadny's The History of the Galaxy series, most large human ships are Battlestars, able to launch at least some number of fighters. Smaller ships, including dedicated missile frigates are unable to do that, fulfilling more specialized roles. While there are no dedicated carrier ships (probably because the writer is Russian and is, therefore, influenced by Russian naval mentality). The largest (and most powerful) human ships are the flagship cruisers, able to launch dozens of fighters, as well as being armed to the teeth (missiles, plasma throwers, lasers, mass drivers). The defenses include point-defense systems, EM shielding against energy weapons, thick armor, and anti-boarding shield generators.
    • And yes, the author is a bit off on the issues of size, crew, and the number of fighters. The ships are often ridiculously large (topping off at around 7 kilometers in length for flagship cruisers), with ridiculously small crews (justified with the ubiquitous use of Instant A.I.: Just Add Water!; in fact, ships can be fully automated) and much smaller number of fighters than you would expect for a ship this size. Slightly justified with flagship cruisers, which feature an anti-matter emitter which takes up a fifth of the ship. This is particularly egregious on the author's website, where he lists ship stats. The standard crew size for a cruiser is around 100, although one novel mentions a heavy cruiser with 2000 people on board (still low, but better).
    • Later novels mention a change in the Confederacy of Suns military docrine with the introduction of a new class of FTL-capable modular fighters for defending Periphery systems. A new class of carrying cruisers (Russian writers, as a rule, hate the word "carrier"), which will act as mobile bases for rapid reaction squadrons without the cruisers themselves engaging in battle.
  • Although it doesn't start out with them, the Beijing in Lacuna receives a small fighter wing by the middle of the book.
  • The titular Merrimack from the Tour of the Merrimack. It is armed with missile launchers, beam cannons, and projectile barrels, and carries several flights of Marine Swifts.
  • Unusually averted in the granddaddy of all technoporn space operas, Lensman. With the exception of some heavy cruisers and very fast scouts, virtually everything is a capital ship. There are no 'fighters' or light bombing craft at all. Probably because the series started in the 1930s, when few people realized the potential of carriers.
  • Troy Rising's titular battlestation and its fellows, when fully armed and operational, not only have enormous quantities of missiles and lasers available to them, but also can hold within them an entire fleet of escort vessels, assault shuttles, and extensive support facilities like entire fabbers to repair battle damage and create more equipment, including missiles and escorting warships.note 
  • Late in the Sten series, there's a newly built "battle cruiser" named Victory — which also carries a flotilla of twelve tacships (roughly equivalent to PT boats). Sten is dubious about this: he likes tacships, but carrying them makes the Victory vulnerable — lots of stuff that'll blow up; not enough space dedicated to armor to keep that stuff from blowing up; and having hangars at the rear of the ship interferes with placing sensors and weapons back there.
    Sten had experience with tools, vehicles, and ships that were ostensibly dual- or multiple-purpose. Almost without exception that meant that the tool did quite a number of things badly, and nothing well.
  • In the Legends of Dune prequel trilogy, the Ballista-class battleships are the main warships used by the League Armada. Besides formidable weaponry, they carry 20 troop transports, 15 shuttles, 50 patrol craft, and 200 Kindjal Space Fighters. Each one also has a crew of 1500. They are later equipped with Deflector Shields and Holtzmann drives in addition to their pre-fold FTL drives. Even then, many are still destroyed during the Robot War. After the defeat of Omnius, it can be assumed the Ballistae were retired.
    • About 80 years after the end of the Butlerian Jihad, 200 of these are given by a weak-willed Emperor to appease Manford Torondo, the leader of the anti-technological Butlerians. About half of these are destroyed during a space battle with Venport Holdings forces, not that Torondo cares about casualties. It's noted that, being 80-year-old mothballed relics, they are inferior to latest warships used by Venhold (just 20 Venhold ships are able to inflict massive damage to the Butlerian fleet) and, likely, the Emperor.
  • Animorphs had the Blade Ship of Visser Three, which carried a flotilla of Bug Fighters, and probably plenty of Dracon cannons, and the Andalite dome ships, which possibly doubled as The Mother Ship. They could split in two so that the front half could become the fighter ship, while the back contained crew living quarters in a dome.
  • In Dread Empire's Fall, there's essentially one kind of ship, and the only differences are the crew (max G's they can pull) and the number of missiles they have and the number of launchers they have for them. Apparently even the largest ships only need a single missile to gut them. That said, missiles are used to counter missiles in this setting, so more launchers can be more safety. All of these ships carry a crapton of missiles (but there are notable levels of "crapton"), defense lasers of various kinds, and small crafts called "pinnaces". A pinnace is meant to travel a safe distance behind the missiles and update their trajectories — the mothership cannot make tactical decisions from a light-minute away, after all! Those pinnace pilots have a notably low survival rate in combat, though a few have absurdly high kill-counts, mostly from single engagements. There is no dogfighting of any sort, because inertia in space. In a given battle, by the time the two sides have closed with each other, usually one or both sides are left with only destroyed, irradiated husks. In one battle in a gravity well, where the two factions made very close passes at each other, it was horribly messy and casualties were staggering.
  • CSS Invincible in the Flight Engineer trilogy is a prototype pocket carrier intended to be a Lightning Bruiser in comparison to the larger fleet carriers. Her primary armament is her fighter complement, but she's hardly lacking in other weapons and is very fast.
  • The TC/USNA America in the Star Carrier series is primarily used as a carrier with several ways of launching her grav-fighters (a single fighter is potentially capable of taking down several capital ships). When not launching fighters out of her spinal magnetic accelerators, those can be used to launch kinetic kill slugs instead. While they don't pack as much a punch as dedicated railgun battleships, the America can still pack quite a punch. Given the distances involved in space combat and the lack of FTL communication or sensors means that firing unguided munitions at a ship several light minutes away is useless, as your sensor data is that many minutes old. Standard tactics involve for the carrier dropping out of meta-space to launch fighters immediately for a near-c strike prior to the arrival of the (much slower) main fleet to the enemy. With any luck, the enemy will detect the arrival of the fleet only seconds before the near-c strike.
    • The nature of the grav-fighter propulsion (singularity projection) means that, for the most part, they really can maneuver like a jet fighter in air. Even better, in fact, as gravity forces acting on the fighter and the pilot are largely uniform, meaning a fighter can perform a tight turn at several hundred G-forces and not even feel it (beyond the normal sense of perpetual falling) by projecting a singularity to the side and slingshotting around it.
  • The Ark Royal is a supercarrier from an era when the predominant battle doctrine was that carriers should be able to hold their own on the front line. Thus, it's heavily armored and armed with powerful mass drivers and nuclear missiles in addition to launching fighters. At the start of the story, modern carriers are more specialised toward the carrier function; by the time of the Warspite sequel trilogy, new carriers are being built in a return to Ark Royal's specifications.
  • For a non-space example, the USS Maaka-Kakja in the latter Destroyermen books. The first purpose-build aircraft carrier (well, technically, seaplane tender) commissioned by The Alliance (all previous ones are converted Lemurian Homes). Sturdy in construction (despite being mostly wooden), she also bristles with the lower-caliber guns taken off the sunken IJN Amagi. In Straights of Hell, Admiral Lelaa-Tal-Cleraan takes the carrier into a point-blank confrontation with the Holy Dominion fleet in order to turn the tide. The massive ship survives but is damaged. For a time, the USS Salissa also counts, since she is fitted with some of Amagi's higher-caliber guns, although those end up being destroyed in battle, turning her back into a regular carrier/tender.
  • In Mikhail Akhmanov's Arrivals from the Dark books, most human capital ships carry a fighter complement in addition to their weapons. This even applies in the first novel Invasion, set during humanity's pre-interstellar years. A typical cruiser (since this is a Russian novel, a heavy cruiser is equivalent to what a Western sci-fi author would call a battleship) carries several dozen aerospace fighters, and even a frigate is expected to carry at least a pair of them (corvettes generally don't, but they're never actually described in detail). Since, at the time, the Space Navy's primary tasks include protecting Earth and the Solar System colonies from asteroids and act as a rapid reaction force against terrorists and rogue states on Earth, the fighters are very important. After the failed Faata invasion (whose own huge starship does not qualify, as it lacks weapons of its own, relying on its armada of Anti Matter-armed battle modules), humans study the remains of their craft and build their own starships, kilometer-long cruisers with powerful weapons (including a forward-mounted Anti Matter gun) and capable of launching over a hundred fighters each. The frigate commanded by the second novel's protagonist carries two fighters, which can also be piloted remotely.
  • The Nameless War A number of battleships and cruisers are hastily retrofitted to carry fighters to provide an additional layer of defense against enemy missiles. Not all officers look upon this with favor since until they are launched fueled and armed fighters are effectively bombs pressed up against their ships.
  • The Eldraeverse has carrier-battlecruisers that have both integral armaments and Autonomous Kill Vehicles (Attack Droness that can act as AI-guided kinetic missiles), but they're intended for independent operations such as anti-piracy patrols. For engagements that warrant multiple ships the Empire of the Star prefers fleets comprised of several types of specialist ship, heavily armored ships of the plane guarding carriers with tens of thousands of AKVs.
  • A Desolation Called Peace: The stars of the Teixcalaanli Galactic Superpower's navy are Eternal-class flagships. Each one carries huge numbers of "Shard" starfighters and also has more than enough heavy weaponry onboard to sterilize a planet.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The eponymous ships (as well as the one ship whose name is in the title) of the original series Battlestar Galactica (1978). No doubt the series, and its eponymous ships are the Trope Maker and Trope Codifier. Virtually every similar ship to come after in other fiction was inspired by some degree by the original Galactica and her fellow Battlestars.
  • Battlestar Galactica (2003):
    • The Colonial battlestars, of course. In the first Cylon War they were on the back foot the entire time, defending their homeworlds (in contrast to the Cylons, who had no fixed home to defend). The Battlestar is as much, if not more, geared towards defense as offense — hence the massive volume of armor and point defense systems, reflecting the fact that it might have to hold its ground and absorb everything thrown at it, in order to shield its protectees. The role Galactica played at Ragnar — throwing up a near-impenetrable barrier between the Cylons and the fleet — can probably be regarded as the exact job it was designed for. By the time of the Fall, the Colonials possessed various types of battlestars:
      • The Jupiter-class (Galactica's ship class) was big, armored and could lay down flak suppression barrages to defend itself from enemy missiles. A full-strength Jupiter-class battlestar had a crew of 5,000 plus onboard Marines and could carry around 80 Vipers. Due to Cylon infiltration of computer systems, Jupiter-class ships did not have networked computers and relied on manual operation for many ship functions, such as Viper landings and weapons control. Despite its age, Jupiter-class ships proved to be incredibly resilient and durable. Despite the fact that she was about to be decommissioned, the Galactica was able to hold the Colonial fleet together throughout the second war.
      • The Mercury-class (Pegasus's ship class) was the top of the line at the time of the Fall of the Twelve Colonies. Substantially larger than the Jupiter-class (coming in at 5780 feet long, while the Jupiter was 4700 feet long) but having half the crew at 2,500, the Mercury relied more heavily on automation and computer control than the earlier Jupiter classes, allowing for a smaller crew complement. It relied so much so that Mercury-class battlestars utilized ECM jamming to protect from missile attacks (as evidenced by the Pegasus lacking dorsal and ventral batteries like the Galactica) but made up for that with a far larger Viper complement of 200. The Pegasus survived the Fall mostly by pure luck, but was very powerful once they were ready for the Cylons' tactics again.
      • The Valkyrie-class battlestar was one of the smallest ship classes in Colonial service, yet made up the majority of the pre-Fall Colonial Fleet. One-third the size of a Jupiter-class, the Valkyrie-class nonetheless had significant firepower and could deploy Vipers at a far more rapid pace than other battlestars because their launch tubes faced forwards rather than to the sides as with the Mercury and Jupiter-classes.
    • The Cylon Basestars, on the other hand, are a subversion. Although they're not dedicated missile/fighter carriers, they tend much more towards carriers than battleships, being thin-skinned and reliant on standoff missiles and Raiders to do damage. In terms of sheer firepower and survivability in a ship-to-ship engagement, battlestars are consistently depicted as superior, with even the obsolete Galactica being able to outfight them. This is most likely due to differing design philosophies: The Cylons had the initiative in both wars, plus had the advantage of having no fixed home to defend. As a result, the basestar is a purely offensive platform, designed to support the raiders that are its primary weapons — much like an aircraft carrier. Cylon raiders are FTL-capable, so basestars can lurk well behind the front lines, and just jump to a new rendezvous point if they are threatened. Battlestars have to go right to the front, and stay there, in order to support their STL Vipers. This leaves them vulnerable, since FTL allows an enemy to launch a point-blank range attack without warning. Consequently, battlestars have to have armor and lots of point defenses, and have the ability to fight back in the event that its Vipers are otherwise engaged.
    • The novel The Cylons' Secret gives the following explanation: Because of Cylons overtaking computers, fighters had to be piloted by humans, but there were not enough pilots to match the numbers of Cylons. Thus the battlestar was born, which could assist fighters with its firepower. Standard tactics were for Vipers to provide cover against Raiders until the battlestar got in close range with the basestar, which could then be obliterated in a short-range slugging match.
  • Babylon 5:
    • Most ships have at least some fighter complement, and have a large array of beam weapons. In general, the fighters primarily attack other fighters, and get in damage on the capital warships where they can to make it easier for the bigger ships to win the fight, as fighter weaponry really isn't powerful enough to outright kill capital warships on their own.
    • The Excalibur in the spin-off Crusade implements a new design that reduces the ship's vulnerability. This is especially evident with the Omega-class destroyers, whose hangar is at the front of the ship, giving the enemy a clear shot at the vulnerable innards. The Excalibur launches fighters by extending a crane of sorts that has StarFuries attached to it. The ship also has the hangar at the front, but it is normally closed during battle, only opening to receive the fighters after the end of the fight.
    • The Expanded Universe adds both dedicated carriers, as some fighter-using races tend to have their carriers (in addition to the fighters of the larger ships) too small to carry offensive weaponry, and a few battlestars:
      • Earth's Avenger's Alpha version had both a 48 Starfuries wing and an impressive suite of plasma and laser weapons to jump in the fray and wreck enemy ships alongside its 'furies. As exercises and a bit of battle experience suggested otherwise, it was quickly replaced by the Beta version that replaced the lasers with more Interceptors defense guns, and as soon as they were developed the Gamma version replaced the light plasma cannons with pulse cannons (packing less of a punch but able to serve as point defense weapons) and only keeping the medium ones as a cost-cutting measure, with the two that survived the Earth-Minbari War and the brief period of overuse that followed it being upgraded to the Delta version that, among other things, completed the transition to pulse cannons.
      • The Poseidon-class supercarrier carries a gigantic 96 fighters and having weapons mostly suited for defense.
      • The Omega Delta, a variant of the Omega-class destroyer trading guns for doubling the fighter wing, is built specifically to replace the Avenger, as the Poseidon was just too large to be practical in most situations.
      • The Cascor have the habit of putting fighters in any combat-capable ships as the main combat arm, so every single one of their ships. They had the largest carriers in the setting until Earth built the Poseidon.
  • The Saratoga of Space: Above and Beyond. As the series centers around the pilots of an embarked fighter squadron, the Saratoga and its sister ships tend towards the "up-gunned carrier" end of this trope, though with their ability to also embark and deploy ground troops, perhaps the closest analogy is to a modern day amphibious assault ship.
  • This is a staple of the Stargate-verse:
    • The Goa'uld Ha'tak motherships carrying Death Gliders in Stargate SG-1.
    • The Wraith Hiveships carrying Wraith Darts in Stargate Atlantis.
    • For the Tau'ri, the X-303 Prometheus, first of the line, and the the BC-304 class, like the Daedalus and Odyssey, carry a contingent of F-302 fighters.
    • The Ancients' City Ships (i.e. Atlantis) also qualify with their Gateships/Puddle Jumpers. Interestingly, their Aurora-class battleships don't fit this trope, as they don't carry Puddle Jumpers. However, given that their primary weapons are swarms of guided drones, this makes sense.
    • Replicator ships go whole hog on this as they are made entirely of Replicators, as are all weapons they use — so their missiles are basically fighters.
    • The Ori Warships also carry small fighters.
    • Of the frequently seen ships, the only ones that do not seem to follow the trope are the Asgard ships. (That's probably got something to do with the fact that the Asgard don't have the manpower for combat pilots.)
    • The Destiny from Stargate Universe. It had (at least) one armed and operational shuttle, and looks to be overloaded with guns including a giant triple-barreled main gun... good luck getting any of them to fire though.
    • The Naka'i, also from SG-U, have ships that fall into this trope. Their big blocky destroyers appear to be capable of launching fighter craft that swarm and overwhelm enemy ships with their sheer numbers rather than out-and-out firepower.
    • The Berserk Drone command ships also carry (and control) a bunch of drones.
  • The title ship from Andromeda. While the slipfighters (you can guess by the name that they're FTL-capable) are designed to be piloted by living beings, there's nothing stopping them from being piloted remotely using VR goggles, as Tyr often does in the first season. Of course, when you send a single slipfighter to hold off dozens of enemy fighters, you're probably better off being inside Andromeda's thick armor than in a flimsy fighter cockpit. This has more to do with the fact that the Andromeda, for most of the series, is operating with a crew that doesn't even qualify as a "skeleton crew". Though since there's no Subspace Ansible in the series fighters need to stick close to the Andromeda while under remote control, and combat usually takes place at distances of several light-minutes.
  • Largely avoided in Star Trek. While many ships carry a small contingent of shuttlecraft which are the same size as small fighters, there are few ships that even resemble dedicated battlecarriers. Those few include the Scimitar in Star Trek: Nemesis, the Akira-Class, and the non-existent "Warship Voyager". Some ships that are called fighters are more akin to corvettes. (The shuttlecraft themselves often became Forgotten Phlebotinum.)
    • That being said, as mentioned above, the Enterprise-D would fit the exploratory type of battlestar. The Galaxy-class is designed to be Starfleet's most formidable Starship class, with a full 360 degree arc of fire for its phaser banks and is capable of firing salvos of photon torpedoes. In addition, it carries a large complement of shuttles for transporting VIPs and conducting away missions.
    • The lack of "space fighters" in Star Trek is mainly due to production costs and the laws of physics. In TOS, it was hard enough to afford the SFX for phasers, photon torpedoes, and a single shuttlecraft. In the movies, the reason was science advisor (and NASA engineer) Jesco von Puttkamer, who pointed out that physics doesn't allow fighters to maneuver in vacuum the way they do in atmosphere, never mind That Other Sci-Fi Movie Franchise over at 20th Century-Fox. To put it simply, anything a "space fighter" can do in an actual space battle, a guided missile can probably do better, not to mention cheaper. (It doesn't need a pilot, it can be stored in a magazine, and you don't have to worry about recovering it after you've used it.) Starships in ST, TV or movies, are basically the space-going equivalent of modern guided-missile cruisers, like the U.S. Ticonderoga class or the Russian Kirov class. Their job is to use long-range, precision-guided missiles (the photon torpedoes) to achieve "stand-off kills". Their phaser banks are technically secondary weapons, roughly equivalent to the cruisers' 5" (or in the Kirov's case, 100mm) turret guns, or their rapid-fire Close-In Weapon Systems for defense against the other side's anti-ship missiles. (It's interesting that only the Star Fleet Battles game ever picked up on this point.) The fact that they tend to end up in point-blank phaser duels more often than not is mainly due to Rule of Cool plus, frankly, writers who Did Not Read The Manual. (Yes, the Writer's Guide for The Original Series explains all this.)
    • The Federation actually does have dedicated starfighters, but they've only been seen in passing during huge fleet battle scenes in Deep Space Nine. Part of this may be due to the fact that Starfleet, philosophically, is not a pure military but a hybrid military/science/exploration/diplomacy organization. Starfighters would be used primarily in full warfare situations. Even making the USS Defiant as a dedicated warship was a controversial choice — though it shows what Starfleet can make when they set their mind to it. The Defiant is officially classed as an "Escort" (in the Destroyer sense), but is capable of engaging ships well above its size class: it can fight enemy Cruisers and Battleships on a near-even footing (successfully fighting off an Excelsior-class that was trying to capture it), and its high maneuverability can even give it a fair chance against enemy Dreadnaughts. And it's only got four decks and a crew of about fifty people. Of course, it was designed as a next-generation Borg-buster, filled with cutting edge technology — imagine what Starfleet could do if they tried to build a battleship at these specs.
    • The new Star Trek movies do pick up on this, however. The scene at the beginning with the Kelvin and the Narada shows the use of phaser turrets to act as a point-defense weapon. Torpedoes are the main artillery for both the Kelvin and the Enterprise.
    • Screenwriter and sci-fi author David Gerrold also stated in his standalone works that the distances involved in real space warfare would be too great for the idea to work, and consequently submarine warfare was a more accurate analogy.
  • Ultraman Tiga has the Artdessei, a carrier battleship capable of carrying three GUTS Wing fighters and packing a Wave-Motion Gun. It's a relatively small example of the trope, but since it's 20 Minutes into the Future...
  • The Alliance "city-cruisers" in Firefly appear to be these, carrying a large number of "gunship" fighters and also some heavy energy weapons. In Serenity, we also encounter another, fairly Standard Sci-Fi Fleet.
  • In Farscape the Peacekeeper Command Carriers belong in this category, being armed with batteries of anti-ship Frag Cannons and possessing a large complement of Prowler fighters and Marauder troop transports.
    • The mini-series Peacekeeper Wars starts with a Space Battle showing two Standard Sci Fi Fleets clash, sparking off the Peacekeeper-Scarran conflict, which has been brewing for years.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Traveller had several "carrier" starships with spinal mount weapons and fighters or gunboat/corvette-style "Battle Riders". This was also true of the Tigress-class dreadnought, and indeed most Imperial cruisers and battleships.
  • Battlefleet Gothic, space part of Warhammer 40,000 universe, is all about it.
    • Imperial and Chaos ships that can mount launch bays actually put them in place of main gun decks. Since heavy cruiser/battlecruiser hulls have two gun decks per side, and battleships have three, there are plenty of classes that replace some of them with launch bays, while still possessing formidable firepower. This practice helps to deal with enemies that hide behind the ship, in the blind spot of its guns.
    • Space marines are very fond of their Thunderhawks - a fighter-assault boat hybrid, so any battle barge or strike cruiser is capable of launching several squadrons of them. The other thing that space marines are also very fond of? Bombardment cannons - a BFG even among other ship-mounted BFGs.
    • Eldar ships are unique in that they mount their launch bays in place of their torpedoes, so their more conventional weaponry is not affected by this choise at all. There are also their Craftworlds - planetoid-sized Battlestars, capable of launching fleets of "ordinary" Battlestars.
    • Orks, meanwhile, make little use of small crafts, but when they do, their fighters double as bombers. Naturally, these "carriers" also carry as much dakka as possible.
    • Tyranid hive ships can grow launch bays, although they are best used for boarding actions, not space combat.
    • Tau ships carry the usual fighters and bombers, but can also bring several non-FTL-capable escort ships with their gravity hooks.
      • Tau's allies, the Demiurg, can launch repurposed mining crafts.
    • Necrons are the only race to avert this. They prefer to teleport directly at the enemy ship instead.
  • BattleTech has its WarShips. Where plain old JumpShips are essentially immobile and unarmed targets only capable of ferrying DropShips from one star to the next due to about 95% of their mass being dedicated to their K-F drive alone, WarShips employ special "compact" cores that only weigh up about half as much and thus leave plenty of tonnage free to fill with maneuvering drives, guns, cargo, an organic fighter wing or two, more guns...and they can still carry DropShips with their own weapons and potential fighter assets just the same. (Just don't try to maneuver with the droppers still docked. You don't have magic "inertia dampeners" in this universe, so trying to accelerate at even 1G would basically turn your WarShip into a skyscraper with thousands-of-tons weights hanging from its sides by their docking collars...if your fleet is to go anywhere in-system, the DropShips will have to fly side-by-side with their big brother under their own power.) They're pretty rare in most eras of the game: they're flat out extinct through the Succession Wars in the Inner Sphere and post-Word of Blake Jihad era they've been relegated to Too Awesome to Use status because only a couple of the major factions have more than one or two and nobody still has the technical ability to easily build replacement parts, much less new warships. This was because the game's lead developer considered them to be GameBreakers.
  • One of the sample ships in GURPS: Spaceships is a massive dreadnought that carry 100,000 tons of other ships inside, the idea being that it can carry its own escort fleet from place to place.
  • Jovian Chronicles: The Jovian Godsfire-class super carrier and the CEGA Poseidon-class battleship. Somewhat justified that both were originally designed as battleships, but had exo and fighter bays added later on. The later Valiant and Majestic carriers qualify due to their spinal lasers.
  • The battleships of Star Fleet Battles exemplify this trope, with the greatest firepower in the game and large (for the game — around a dozen) fighter contingents. "Historically" only the Klingons built them and they aren't very successful, but they're just so cool that every race gets a conjectural battleship and the Klingons get a conjectural super-battleship in one of the expansions.
    • Many of the larger Hydran ships also fit the model, as the Hydrans are very fighter-happy and include them on most ships (even their tiny police ship carries fighters and launch tubes to get them out there fast).
    • Also Space Control Ships, with their battleship level firepower and the ability to launch both fighters and "Fast Patrol Ships" (basically PT boats). One even includes a sensor scout in the mashup to be a SUPER Space Control Ship. Of course, it still only carries a dozen fighters and six P Fs.
    • Star Trek: Starfleet Command, being based on Star Fleet Battles has these too.
  • Crimson Skies has Zeppelins that carry from 6 to 12 planes and 4 to 6 12-inch naval guns (basically battleship guns from 1900-1912), making them both the Battlestar and an Airborne Aircraft Carrier.
  • In Twilight Imperium War Suns both pack a lot of firepower and can carry fighters. Though they look like Death Stars. The cruiser unit looks suspiciously like the Trope Namer but can't carry fighters.
  • In Hc Svnt Dracones Destroyers, Cruisers, and Dreadnaughts have a mix of drones and weapons arrays. While Carriers have no weapons and Battleships have no drones by default, but they have a couple Omni-Slots that can be upgraded with either.
  • The Spelljammer: Beyond the Moons fan expansion for Dungeons & Dragons' space setting has the Eagle Carrier, a huge bird-shaped vessel of the human Space Fleet, whose flat wings serve as a landing area for smaller craft, and which bristles with ballistae and catapults.

    Puppet Shows 
  • The Supermarionation show Star Fleet gives a two-step variant: the huge alien mothership launches smaller carriers (looking like skeletal beasts) which then carry imperial fighters under their "ribcage" for deployment in battle.

    Video Games 
  • All M1 carrier class ships in the X-Universe games are armed to the teeth, and carry dozens of fighters. They'll still be eaten alive by M2 destroyers (sometimes even by M7 frigates!) if the fighters aren't launched or get gunned down by flak arrays. This is largely because they lack the shielding and laser generator capacity of M2s. But the Split M7 Panther introduced in X3: Terran Conflict is a classic (if miniaturized) battlestar: it carries 32 fighters (much higher than ships of its class) while still being fast and fairly heavily armed.
    • X Rebirth eschews the traditional ship classification of previous games, but most combat capital ships are battlestars to varying degrees, albeit using Drone Deployers rather than Space Fighters. The ultimate battlestar is the Arawn, a multi-kilometer long carrier, can carry several hundred drones and has mounting points for seventy turrets, several of which are within its cavernous interior. Cheaper, specialized ships like the Taranis eschew some drone carrying capacity in favor of bigger guns.
  • Call Of Duty Infinite Warfare features several examples, since all destroyers carry small fighting craft for self-defense or to launch limited assaults. The Olympus Mons is the only ship actually designated as a carrier, and is easily the most dangerous combat spacecraft in the game.
  • Carrier Command: Gaea Mission shows a seabourne version, with both sets of MANTA aerial and WALRUS amphibious craft, and flak and plasma cannons (as well as the Hammerhead missile). Notably, it can't entirely hold its own in close combat, needing to deploy WALRUS' in order to counter hostile WALRUS' since its guns can't aim down at the water.
  • Halo: The Covenant assault carrier (a 5.3-kilometer behemoth), as well as the 29km supercarrier revealed in Reach. Most human ships can do both jobs as well — but they are usually called "cruisers" or "frigates", and are tiny in comparison (1,191 and 490 meters respectively, though actual human carriers are larger at three kilometers).
    • In Halo 4, the 5.7-kilometer UNSC Infinity is a fully-fledged Battlestar. Armed to the teeth with four mass drivers, twenty-six thousand missiles and hundreds of fighter escorts, the ship is so big that it can carry ten frigates internally. The Infinity is essentially a small fleet of its own, capable of smashing a Covenant fleet with laughable ease — in one case, quite literally.
    • And then there is Mantle's Approach, the Didact's personal flagship. At its longest, the Approach is a staggering three hundred seventy-one kilometers, matched only by the Covenant holy city High Charity in scope and grandeur. The Word of God also insists that Mantle's Approach is nowhere close to being the largest warship in the Forerunners' arsenal. The only thing it's missing are the space fighters, but this is compensated for by the fact that the Approach is carrying a Forerunner superweapon and has a minimum crew requirement of one Forerunner to fly the damn thing.
  • Mostly Averted in Homeworld, as Mothership and carrier-type vessels have only a few small point defense weapons (though they compensate with the ability to quickly build their own fighters and even warships). That said, a few non-playable factions do in fact use these:
    • The "Needle" motherships of the Kadeshi are capable of spewing hordes of fighters and firing at least two or more higher end Ion Beams each. They're also among the few ships in the game you can't capture and incorporate into your own fleet.
    • In the first game the Bentusi Tradeships show powerful and fast-firing ion cannons that easily outclass anything in the games, and in the semi-sequel, Homeworld: Cataclysm, they turn out to carry frighteningly powerful fighters to boot. And this is the demilitarized version.
    • The first time you encounter the Turanic Raiders their carrier only launches fighters and corvettes and retreats after you finished destroying them, only using her point defense guns if you attack her with your own corvettes. When you meet her again, she attacks the Mothership with two ion cannons, and if you didn't build or capture a few frigates before the battle you're toast.
    • Homeworld: Cataclysm also features this for the player faction's mothership Kuun Lan: it's got six heavy mass drivers that are about equivalent to a heavy cruiser's gun armament, and it later upgrades them to energy cannons and acquires the Siege Cannon. This goes some way towards balancing the fact that you can't manufacture frigates or capital ships until quite late in the campaign compared to the previous installment.
    • Much to the players' trouble, the Beast Mothership from Cataclysm is based on the Kuun Lan (specifically, it started out as its original hangar module infected by the Beast, and still carried the original schematics and was upgraded first to match them and then on its own way). It doesn't have a siege cannon, only an infection beam that subvert enemy ships.
    • In Homeworld 2 battlecruisers can't manufacture fighters like Carriers or the Mothership, but they do have facilities where fighters can dock and repair.
  • Wing Commander had this in several games, including the second game's TCS Concordia, armed with a full carrier wing, the Phase Transit Cannon which would kill other ships in a single shot no matter their size, and eight Antimatter cannons.
    • Many warships of destroyer size and larger also have integral fighter wings, albeit with rather fewer fighters than dedicated carriers.
    • Wing Commander III introduces the Kilrathi dreadnaught, an enormous (22 km) warship with a carrier's complement of fighters and numerous weapons, including anti-ship missiles.
    • Wing Commander IV features super-carriers, the Vesuvius class, absolutely humongous ships (e.g. your base ship, the Intrepid, is absolutely dwarfed by them) designed to carry ten fighter wings, with a large number of point-defense weapons and anti-capship guns (in the novelization), and such tough armor that to destroy one requires flying into the fight deck and trashing its innards. Oh and to add, these behemoths can turn on a dime. There are no super-weapons incorporated in the design... fortunately, since it's used against you.
    • Although it doesn't start off as such by design, after the TCS Midway acquires the fleet-killing plasma cannon from an alien ship in Prophecy, it fits this trope. Too bad that in one later mission, it becomes a one-use-only weapon after it fires the first time, which ends up cruelly subverting the trope. In one "You've lost the game" scenario during the final mission, the Midway fires its cannon in an attempt to destroy the alien fleet warping through a gate, but ends up destroying itself in the process thanks to a power overload.
  • Pretty much anything Destroyer-class or bigger in the FreeSpace series comes with a bunch of fighters (it's never specified exactly how many, but pretty much "lots"; probably hundreds) plus beam cannons to take on other enemy warships.
    • There is a few hints here and there that some of the larger of the smaller-than-Destroyer ship-classes can carry fighters. Considering the Terrans and Vasudans have no ships larger than a Destroyer in the first game, and that Destroyers explicitly can carry several wings of fighters...
      • The GTVA Colossus is explicitly 12 times the volume of a Shivan Lucifer-class destroyer, (the in-game model is about 3 times the size of the GTD Orion) and carries 240 fighters and bombers in total.
  • Pointedly avoided in the Wings of Dawn mod, where almost all capital ships are either a carrier that carries a lot of fighters, but not many guns, or a battleship with lots of guns and no fighter bay. The only true battlestars are the Nordera Battleaxe cruiser and the Hertak Armageddon dreadnought.
  • All ships with fighter complements in the Escape Velocity series have more firepower than other ships their faction has access to. This is probably because fighter bays can be installed on any ship with enough room, and anything big enough to carry much heavy firepower tends to be enormous anyways.
    • The be-all and end-all of the EV Nova battlestars is the Polaris Raven, a 1.2 km, vaguely butterfly-shaped ship literally built around its Wave-Motion Gun and a fighter bay with greater capacity than anything else in the game. For the most part, it's weirdly subverted in Nova since space fighters are fairly useless: at best, you use them as a distraction for the AI and make the kill yourself. The exception is with the Polaris, whose Manta fighter mounts a main gun worthy of a destroyer, making it a credible threat to enemy capital ships in numbers.
    • Override breaks somewhat from the designs of the game before and after, but still has more than a few Battlestars: most fighter bays can not be bought (only two, and one of them carries what in and out of universe is considered a candidate for worst fighter around), and not every faction have a large enough ship of their own to install even one. Additionally, one of the candidatesnote  for largest, most powerful warship you can buy, the Igazra, doesn't come with any fighters in its stock configuration. On the other hand, other large warships, and some medium warships, do come with fighter bays, and the way fighter bays not being possible to buy is implemented means they also can't be sold.
  • The Great Fox from the Star Fox games. Albeit smaller than most examples, but it has the same philosophy; houses a squadron of four fighters, and has some pretty big anti-starship guns.
  • Every Super Robot Wars game, virtually every mission, has you launching from some battleship or other. They both join in the fray as lumbering, slow (but rather durable) ships of the line, and provide a place for weakened mechs to dock and repair/refuel, but being shot down will cause an instant Game Over. The overwhelming majority of these ships come from the anime entries in the game, such as the examples from Gundam and Macross. On occasion, however, the games will include an original ship of their own:
    • The Hagane, Shirogane, and Kurogane are a series of ships loosely based on Space Battleship Yamato, with swappable bow modules for mounting different superweapons on the front. The Kurogane is the most exotic in this regard, featuring a giant drill on the front to ram things.
    • The Hiryu Kai is similar, but it's a loose copy of the main ship from Martian Successor Nadesico.
    • Super Robot Wars W makes its battleship, the Valstork, the main character unit. It can connect its escort craft the Valhawk to its Wave-Motion Gun to amplify its power, and later actually combining with the Valhawk to form the giant ship-robot Valguard, which can then combine with another battleship into the even bigger Valzacard.
    • Super Robot Wars Z3 features the Solarian, a battleship shaped like a giant fox and piloted by most of the returning cast from Z2.
    • Super Robot Wars 30 centers around the Dreisstrager, which is not only five times the size of a normal battleship, but packed with a plethora of upgrades the player can make to it between stages to make it even more of a Cool Ship.
  • Played with a little in EVE Online; many ships of all sizes and shapes are capable of launching and operating unmanned combat or utility drones, whether those ships are frigate-sized asteroid miners or kilometer-long warships packing high-powered beam lasers. But only true carriers (which cannot carry any ballistic, beam, or missile weaponry) can launch manned fighters, which are significantly more powerful than the unmanned drones and can maneuver freely whilst carriers sit far away from trouble.
    • Then there's the Mothership/Supercarrier. In addition to carrying fighters and bombers, friendly players killed in combat can be recloned in supercarriers and return to the fight with a ship from the supercarrier's bay.
    • While Titans in general are dedicated weapons platforms, the Guristas Komodo has fighter bays in addition to the more conventional missile banks.
  • In the Naval Ops series, there is a class of ship called the Battlecarrier. It can mount a moderate number of battleship-class guns and has a flight deck to allow a likewise moderate amount of planes (or ducks) to be deployed in battle.
    • These ships are based off the converted Ise-class battleships; desperately short of carriers, the IJN converted Ise and Hyuga into battlecarriers. Battlecarriers ingame are a lot more successful than their real life counterparts ever were (see Real Life for further details), but are outmatched by properly outfitted battleships, in part because aircraft in the Naval Ops series aren't as powerful as their real life counterparts.
  • Averted by default in O-Game. Small fighters do exist but they are implied to fly alongside all the others ships in an attack fleet rather than in carriers which raises serious logistical questions.
  • In the Star Control series, the Ur-Quan Dreadnought can launch swarms of fighters to pick apart any ships its main gun can't obliterate. It's obviously meant to look almost exactly like the original Battlestar Galactica... well, if it were green, and crewed by Scary Dogmatic Aliens who are the antagonists rather than the heroes.
    • To a lesser extent, the Orz Nemesis (with its Space Marines) and Chenjesu Broodhome (with remote-controlled drones) also qualify.
  • In Sins of a Solar Empire, as capital ships level up, they gain the ability to house squadrons of fighters or bombers. Even the capital ships labeled as "carriers" still have enough firepower to, at least, fight off frigates and cruisers, although another capital ship will outgun it. The Advent Halcyon-class carriers are armed with powerful beam weapons, allowing them to Beam Spam on par with the other Advent ships.
    • Averted with the cruiser-type escort carriers, which have no weapons beyond their ability to construct and launch 1-3 wings of fighters or bombers.
    • It should be pointed out, though, that the Advent use Attack Drones instead of actual Space Fighters.
  • Sword of the Stars plays with this extensively:
    • There are no true fighters or bombers, only assault shuttles, planetary bombers, and unmanned Attack Drones. Most of these are riders mounted outside the ship rather than launched from an internal hangar or bay.
    • Destroyer or cruiser carriers lack the firepower to be true line combatants. The closest are dreadnought carriers. The Morrigi (who else) flagship exemplifies this trope.
    • One twist comes from the Morrigi, who mount drones on more ship types than other races that need special drone carrier sections.
    • Another comes from the Tarka, whose admittedly late-game Hunter Battle Riders are cruiser-sized — normal riders are dwarfed by destroyers — with the attendant firepower that implies.
    • Sequel Escalation is in effect for the sequel, where all the races have destroyer-sized riders inspired by Traveller, while the Liir-Zuul alliance has gone up to dreadnought riders on Leviathans. Also, with Kingfisher modules, all dreadnoughts can carry some riders, though the dedicated carriers naturally do better.
  • Military starships are divided into four main types in Mass Effect:
    • Dreadnoughts, are behemoths averaging over a kilometer long. Like all ships in this universe, they have a lot of broadside batteries (the Kilimanjaro-class, for example, has 26 broadside guns per deck, in three decks, on either side, for a total of 156 guns), point-defense laser turrets (GARDIAN), and torpedo tubes, but their main weapons are spinal mass accelerators running 90% of the ship's length. They're capable of taking down the shields (it spam projectiles hitting with double-digit kilotons every two seconds) of any ship in Citadel space.
      • As revealed in Mass Effect 3, any ship can be classified as a dreadnought if it's fitted with powerful enough guns. Outfitting all civilian ships (including 3 massive liveships used for all food production) with the powerful Thanix cannons counts, although the quarians claim that Citadel Law doesn't apply to them since they were effectively kicked out of Citadel Space centuries ago. Joker, normally a very light-hearted Comic Relief character, angrily points out how irresponsible it is to put such powerful weapons on otherwise defenseless civilian ships, making them irresistible (and indefensible) targets rather than noncombatants.
    • Carriers, similar in size to Dreadnoughts but without the spinal guns, instead making room for more hangar bays for fighters (they presumably do still have the broadside guns, point-defense turrets, and torpedo tubes though). Similar to modern aircraft carriers (a well-placed shot will gut the carriers, and general strategy is to defend them at all costs). An entirely human innovation and one of many examples of Humans Are Special. Because Carrier construction is not limited by the Treaty of Farixen (see the Washington Naval Treaty), the human Systems Alliance builds as many of them as it can. In this case it's more of "only Humanity Is Insane enough to Zerg Rush a ship with anti-fighter lasers to a point were they overheat allowing heavy bombers to come in".
    • Cruisers, mid-sized ships. They're basically just dreadnoughts, except volumetrically scaled down to 1/2 to 1/8 the average size (i.e. they have the same dimensions and average 500-700 meters instead of 900-1,000+). They have smaller versions of the same weapons, including the spinal gun, and also carry a small number of fighters, but not as much as a carrier. They lack a dedicated hangar and therefore fit them into the spaces between layers of armor. This is the closest that Citadel Space has to the Battlestar, although the in-game codex calls them "the poor bloody infantry" of space warfare...
    • Frigates, which carry no fighters and instead operate in "wolf-pack" flotillas. They lack batteries of broadside guns and, while they do possess a spinal gun, they're too small (on average 200-ish meters) for said guns to have either the length or power generation to penetrate the shielding of bigger ships (per the codex, all ships including frigates have spinal guns that can spam the equivalent of nukes every two seconds, it's just that "nuke" is a rather broad range). As a result, their main weapons are their point-defense lasers (frigates are often deployed as anti-fighter escorts for the more heavily armed cruisers) and their torpedo tubes (which launch masses of "disruptor torpedoes", which tear apart targets on a space time molecular level via Minovsky Physics).
    • Minor military ship types include corvettes (slightly smaller frigates, mostly used for patrol and enforcement instead of fleet combat) and destroyers (only referenced once in a couple novels), but we get little information on them. The smaller Reaper varieties are classed as "destroyers", but it's unknown whether the Citadel races classed them that way because of their size (at 160 meters in length and fairly bulky, they're about the same mass as a frigate) or because of their firepower (they're noted to have cruiser-level main guns and shielding disproportionately tough for their size, but seem to lack any sort of torpedo tubes or broadsides). Or both.
    • The Reapers themselves are classified as "dreadnoughts", and are absolute monsters in space combat... or ground combat, for that matter. They average over two kilometers long and lack both the broadside batteries and torpedo tubes of "regular" dreadnoughts, but their point-defense turrets are even more potent and their spinal gun is so much more powerful that it hardly matters. More than just taking shields down, any ship, no matter how armored or shielded or powerful, that is hit by the main spinal gun of a Reaper capital ship will be destroyed almost instantly. Each of them also carries a swarm of Oculus drones for anti-fighter defenses as well, technically making them a battlestar. Given their sheer size they can likely carry more than a one-kilometer carrier too. It helps that the Reapers' "spinal guns" do not run 90% of the ship's length thanks to their Thanix technology, which has their main guns working more like coilguns (main limit is power generation) than railguns (main limit is length).
    • In Mass Effect: Andromeda, every Kett Empire ship seen is a Battlestar: like other non-humans, kett seem to have no carrier equivalent, so squadrons simply dock in the decks of other ship types. You can see fighters deploying from those ships in the final space battle. Averaging around a kilometer long, kett ships appear to be cruiser equivalents, but are nowhere near as well-protected (no shielding) or heavily armed (no spinal gun, little to no point-defense, far fewer broadsides) as their smaller equivalents back in Citadel Space. Still, a kilometer-long, heavily-armored, FTL-capable vessel with torpedo tubes (each capable of launching dozens of tactical nuke-scale torpedoes in mere seconds) and sixteen tactical nuke scale broadside cannons (eight per side in batteries of four) is still far more than what the Initiative or angara can handle, and seems to have served them well in Andromeda considering they're the local Galactic Superpower.
  • In the Star Wars game Empire at War, this is The Empire's hat: Any Imperial ship bigger than a corvette has several free fighter compliments. The logical conclusion is the Executor, from the expansion, which can launch a squadron every few seconds, on top of being the biggest ship in the game.
  • The Behemoth-class battlecruisers in StarCraft in Expanded Universe act as carriers for Wraith-class fighters, dropships, and other small craft. This is not, however, shown in the game, probably because the game unit scaling is way off, showing the fighters to be a third of the size of the battlecruisers.
    • In the campaign of Starcraft II Raynor's Raiders use a battlecruiser as their base of operations, it's shown to have at least one hangar that fits nearly every other unit in the game and is apparently where the mobile starting structures for each mission deploy from.
      • In one mission of "Heart of the Swarm" the Hyperion is capable of launching "tac fighters" to help deal with swarms of enemies too numerous for just the main guns.
    • Protoss carriers are mostly not examples; they carry fighter-bomber drones called Interceptors (that are also built within the carrier's decks) and a Wave-Motion Gun for Orbital Bombardment, but according to various EU materials like the Field Manual, they can't use that weapon against other ships and have no armaments for "standard combat." However, Tassadar's flagship Ganthritor plays it straight, being a "super-carrier" with extra weapon emplacements that allows it to engage enemy ships without relying solely on Interceptors. It destroyed an entire squadron of terran battlecruisers single-handedly during the Great War.
    • Starcraft II Legacy Of The Void adds the arkships. Three arkships were created by the Protoss at the height of their civilization as safeguards against extinction. An arkship contains the following: a Protoss Grand Preserver who has the memories of nearly every generation of Protoss before them, an army of Templar warriors kept in stasis, factories capable of producing advanced war machines, weapons capable of cleansing life from planets, and a miniature sun to power it all. By the time Legacy rolls around, only one arkship is left, the Spear of Adun, and the process used to create them is Lost Technology that baffles even the current protoss. This ship serves as the mobile base of operations during the game. By they way, these ships are 74 kilometers long, and it dwarfs even a Zerg Leviathan.
  • Star Patrol in Tachyon: The Fringe have cruisers which appear to combine the characteristics of several different classes: speed/maneuverability of a frigate, firepower of a cruiser, and fighter-carrying capability of a carrier. Unfortunately, their capabilities are never shown in the game, which is focused on fighter combat. However, even dedicated carriers appear to have enough firepower to take out frigates with their turrets. During the final Bora mission, GalSpan Regional Director Atkins's flagship Zeus, a carrier, blows away the latest Bora frigate with a single volley.
  • The Durandal of the Xenosaga trilogy, a 4,000m-long penis extension sword-shaped battleship belonging to the Kukai Foundation. It possesses advanced weaponry that outstrips even the Federation's special forces and is regularly seen kicking the crap out of fleets of enemy ships. It made its debut in Episode I by ramming an enemy vessel, for crying out loud. It serves as home base for the protagonists for much of the series until its absorbed by the Eldritch Abomination Abel's Ark and is turned into a twisted and grisly Nightmare Fuel-providing wreck.
  • Star Trek Online has two carriers for the Klingon side — the Vo'Quv and the Kar'fi; both are battle-stars as the Vo'Quv carries 6 guns, and the Kar'fi 7. The main 'battleship' types in the game carry 8, so they aren't far behind at all, and the Vo'Quv is exceptionally tough. As the updates have passed, more carriers have been added — all of which can carry some guns.
  • Infinite Space has several classes of battleship that have catapults and so can be equipped with fighters. Some cruisers have them as well, but equipping them with fighters is usually less efficient as they have less space to spare.
  • All battleships in Freelancer are implied to be Battlestars (at the very least, you can land on them, and I think other fighters do as well). However, fighters are so independent in the game (capable of their own hyperjumps, and often seen prowling on their own all over the Sirius sector) that it's more likely that a battleship is supposed to be escorted into battle by fighters, rather than launch fighters upon entering battle, therefore staying on the very edge of this trope.
    • The fighters also tend to be incredibly overpowered compared to capital ships. During the campaign, there are plenty of missions where you have to take out cruisers and battleships almost all by yourself. Better hope you packed your torpedo launcher this morning.
  • The largest ships in the Space Empires games are baseships, quite literally moving starbases. Being so spacious, they can accommodate lots of fighters as well as standard ship weaponry.
  • If you've researched or otherwise acquired fighters in Master of Orion, you can put them on just about any ship. Since fighters can take quite some time to get to their targets and can be shot down on the way, Battlestars may be more viable than true carriers.
  • In Star Ruler you can tack ship bays together with guns on any spacecraft you design, as well as construction bays to add Mobile Factory ability if you wish. However, since capacity scales with ship size, you will only get useful strikecraft complements with big capships. It helps to use Quantum Compressors to make Clown Cars. Then you get into ever-larger supercapital craft that use capitals for parasite complements... Behold. The famous Galactic Armory mod adds two hulls meant for this; the Carrier Hull, like the name suggests, leans more to normal carriers in being relatively thin-skinned and trades some space away for having strikecraft bays integrated right into the hull, while the Mothership Hull is closer to a Battlestar, trading out some space and not having the option of extra ship bays in order to accommodate more weapons and stuff.
  • Averted for the players in Battlestar Galactica Online. Escorts and Lines are pure combatants while Carriers have no business being at the front.
  • Strange Adventures In Infinite Space and its sequel have several alien races with carriers, although not all could classify as Battlestars. The Garthan have Light Carriers that periodically launch fighters but are only armed with a pair of fairly weak missile launchers — definitely not suited for close combat. The Urluquai have much heavier carriers that not only launch fighters but can also hold their own with their powerful beam cannons (they're also cloaked until they're right on top of you). The Ravians also have such ships.
  • The Starlancer-verse doesn't even have battleships, carriers are the biggest badasses in the fleet with the most weapons and shields. The next ship in line, the cruisers, are just mini-carriers that have less weapons and still carry fighters.
  • The strategy portion of Mission Critical has capital ships that have 2 types of weapons: anti-ship missiles and Point Defenseless lasers. Main combat is done by Attack Drones, which intercept enemy missiles and are too fast and maneuverable for the PD lasers to track. Until the events of the game, the UN has been dominating the war thanks to their better drones (humans are too slow to match them). That is why The Alliance has developed Hype, a mix of drugs and nanotech that temporarily boosts the brain's processing power to allow a human to control drones, allowing the Alliance to win despite the enemy's superiority.
  • The Bengal-class carrier in Star Citizen. To give you an idea of the Beam Spam involved, Roberts Space Industries had to reduce the number of guns firing by over half, or else the battle in the promo video would have been over in seconds.
    • Ships like the Idris-class corvette and destroyers have hangar space for a small number of fighters, but primarily rely on their guns for their offensive punch.
  • The aircraft carrier from Advance Wars: Dual Strike could carry two air units and had a formidable arsenal of anti-aircraft missiles (as well as the longest reach of any indirect attacker). In Days of Ruin/Dark Conflict, the carrier was reworked, replacing the menacing missile battery with a weaker close-range anti-aircraft gun, but also giving it the ability to resupply and repair air units as well as build a short range multi-role plane. Cruisers have extended into quasi-Battlestar status: initially they were an anti-submarine, anti-aircraft ship capable of transporting two helicopters, but as of Dual Strike gained the ability to attack other naval units as well.
  • Sunrider:
    • The titular Sunrider is a heavily-armed prototype assault carrier, specifically designed to combine the firepower of a battleship with the carrying capacity of a carrier. Its armaments include banks of laser cannons, smaller pulse lasers, numerous anti-Ryder flak guns, missile and torpedo launchers, heavy kinetic guns and a Wave-Motion Gun called the Vanguard Cannon. It can also carry up to twelve Ryders, though only six (or seven, depending on your choices) are available to the player.
    • Late in the game, PACT starts mass-producing its own Assault Carriers based on the Sunrider’s design. While they lack the Sunrider’s Vanguard Cannon and torpedoes, PACT Assault Carriers are otherwise just as heavily-armed and each one can deploy up to ten Ryders in a single battle, making them some of the most dangerous enemy units in the game.
  • Warcraft III has a biological example with the Crypt Lord, an enormous, heavily armored zombie spider-beetle-mantis... thing, that can release locusts from its body to attack nearby enemies, make mooks from nearby corpses, and even has an equivalent of a Wave-Motion Gun with its Impale spell, which damages and stuns enemies in a line.
  • From the Depths: The various Airborne Aircraft Carriers are also potent warships in their own right not completely reliant on the fighters they release for projecting firepower.
  • The ending animation in Enigma: Rising Tide shows the Bismarck and the Tirpitz being converted into battlecarriers after this 'verse's equivalent of the attack on Pearl Harbor (except here, it's the US Navy performing a sneak attack on the Imperial German fleet at Scapa Flow in occupied Britain with Chancellor Manfred von Richthofen making a speech eerily similar to FDR's and declaring an end to the age of the battleship). The photo shows the Bismarck with an aft flight deck but still having her two forward 14.96" turrets.
  • All carriers in Battlestation Harbinger have at least a few normal weapon hardpoints besides their Space Fighter/Attack Drone bays. Since the game doesn't limit what weapon scan be mounted onto a hardpoint, there's nothing wrong with flying a light carrier with two squadrons of fighters/drones/bombers, while also mounting a nuclear missile launcher and a death ray. True, such a ship would likely not have good survivability in close combat due to low HP and shield strength, but she might make for a good mid-range combatant, especially with the fighters keeping the enemy busy. Heavier carriers are more in line with this, featuring tougher ships with more weapon hardpoints and, possibly, more bays.
  • In Stellaris, Strikecraft hangars are special weapons slots only available to cruisers and battleships. They can be pretty well-armed, and armor and shields take up different slots, but still not to the same degree as purely weapons-carrying ships.
    • The Federations DLC introduces the Juggernaut class, which has six hangars and two X-sized weapon slots as well as two shipyards capable of building independent ships.
  • KanColle:
    • Ise and Hyuuga, can be remodeled into Aviation Battleships, just like their Real Life counterparts. Additionally, their predecessors Fusou and Yamashiro can also be remodeled in this fashion. Historical note  They lose some firepower (until Fusou and Yamashiro get their second remodel) in exchange for being able to carry seaplane fighter-bombers and anti-submarine auto-gyros. This makes them useful for providing air superiority in situations where a carrier can't be brought, and for fighting submarines where other battleships would be floating targets.
    • Graf Zeppelin and Saratoga (before her remodel) carry heavy cruiser-sized guns, allowing them to attack at night when other carriers cannot.
    • The Abyssals' Re-class battleship one-ups everything with battleship cannons and armor, a torpedo cruiser's complement of torpedoes and at least 140 fighter-bombers. The elite version has a torpedo launcher that works in the opening torpedo phase, allowing her to attack in every phase of the battle. The Armored Carrier Demon/Princess' major focus is fighters and dive bombers, with only a single slot for battleship guns. The Southern Demon/War Demon/War Princess only carries fighters, except in her Southern War Demon form where she swaps out one of her guns for a bomber complement.
  • Carriers in Starlight Tactics are this, such as the Yangtze River or Xerxes classes. While they can launch a number of fighters, they primarily deal damage with their powerful main guns. They are also heavily armored, allowing them to go toe-to-toe with dedicated battleships.
  • Sid Meier's Starships allows you to upgrade systems on the ships of your fleet, which means there's nothing (except cash flow) preventing you from upgrading a ship's fighter bays, as well as the ship's weapons and defenses in order to fit the trope. So, eventually you can have a powerful front-line battleship that can also launch a fighter wing every turn up to a max of 9.
  • In Crying Suns, all battleships pull double-duty as carriers. How many guns a battleship can mount, and how many squadrons it can deploy at once, varies by class: the Kaos class deploys the most squadrons but has the least guns, the Jericho class has the most guns but deploys the fewest squadrons, and the rest fall somewhere in the middle.
  • The Equinox from Starlink: Battle for Atlas houses and transports the player's various space fighters.
  • In DarkSpace, this trope is zigzagged.
    • "Tier 1" ships only have a single role battle role, and "Carrier" is a battle role, so a Tier 1 Carrier is always purely a carrier, with only a few point defense beams of its own.
    • However, Tier 2 ships have two battle roles at once, so most Tier 2 Carriers - such as the UGTO's Assault Carrier, which packs Torpedo Launchers - are examples.
    • The Tier 3 ICC Dreadnought, the Strike Carrier, may be the Most Triumphant Example for this game. With its three battle roles being Carrier, ECM, and Cannons, it's a low-profile sustained damage-dealer carrier-gunboat, with a uniquely powerful shield layout giving it even more enhanced staying power and recoverability in return for the loss of any meaningful armor-based defenses.
    • The iconic UGTO Agincourt Supercarrier, however, is a subversion, as it has more fighter bays than any other ship in space - even more than Command Stations! - but despite being Tier 2, its secondary role is... point defense, meaning it offers incredible coverage, but no additional offensive ability.

    Web Comics 
  • Schlock Mercenary:
    • Battlestars show up on practically all major sides. With the advent of advanced gravity control and AI present in the series, capital ship battles appear to be decided by who is able to project the most force in as many different ways as possible, with one-trick ponies giving way to ships that can do many things at the same time. The second ship of the protagonists is a decommissioned Tausennigan Thunderhead Superfortress named the Post-Dated Check Loan, which fits the trope.
    • Later we get introduced to the human battleplates, which are equally well-fitting. They are in fact rather large mobile cities, with not just fleets of fighters and frigates but also room for thousands of crew members and self-grown food stores that will last indefinitely. They were originally designed to prevent Colony Drops, but could still be used for military defense in their home systems (they were too big for wormgates). With the advent of the teraport, battleplates could escape their home system, putting them at the front line of most major conflicts. All human battleplates are named for major asteroid impacts, since those were the events they were designed to prevent. The Tunguska was the first one shown in the series.
    • Petey, of course, has his own battleplates. Except since he's a Hive Mind AI, he doesn't need to bother with crew space; he has rooms on his ships for visiting guests, but the vast majority of the ship is dedicated to weapons. The pleasantly-named Plaited Daisies has an annie-plant larger than the entire battleplate Popigai. Annie-plants get better the bigger they are. The Popigai meekly agrees to hand over some prisoners.
    • The (probable) crowning example would be the so-far only seen Tausennigan "plate-class" ships, which includes the species (apparent) flagship Cloak of Untrammelled Dignity. At little over one thousand kilometres in length and a total size of five hundred thousand cubic kilometres, it is roughly about five thousand times larger than the human battleplate Morokweng, one of the larger human battleplates.
  • The eponymously named "Moonhawk" in Starship Moonhawk is a prime example of both a Battlestar and a Wave-Motion Gun. However, the latter has (thus far) only appeared in bonus art.
  • The Sabrosa in Among the Chosen is this as well as a training vessel.

    Western Animation 
  • From Exo Squad we have the Resolute and Resolute II which are cool starships. They double as Exo-Frame Carriers and both carried huge guns into battle, making them Battlestars.

    Real Life 
  • The ''Ise''-class battleships Ise and Hyuga were converted into hybrid battleship-carriers (航空戦艦, Kōkū Senkan or Aviation Battleship, USN Classification: BBV) during World War Two, removing two of their rear turrets in exchange for small flight decks and a capacity of 22 seaplanes and divebombers. The small size of the flight deck meant that their utility as carriers are comparable to that of an escort carrier at best, and due to the lack of both planes and flight crews, their operational use ended up rather unsuccessful, to the point where the ships continued to be employed as pure battleships right up until their career as warships effectively ended during the Battle off Cape Engaño, where they as part of the pitiful remnants of Japanese aircraft carrier forces were overwhelmed by swarms of American fighter-bombers, and suffered the indignity of being reduced to floating anti-aircraft batteries for the remainder of their lives. In retrospect, their seaplanes would have been useful as scouts and anti-submarine patrols (both of which the Japanese desperately needed in order to make up for the US Navy's superior radar technology and extensive use of submarines), scenarios where the battleships' guns would be tucked away and therefore not interfere with aircraft operations. But then again, by the time the battleship-carriers came on-line, Japan already had trouble building enough of any plane.note 
    • The Imperial Japanese Navy operated also two heavy cruisers of the Tone-class, that had all their main guns mounted forward while their stern was designed to have facilities for launching seaplanes.note  In 1943 the cruiser Mogami was modified for a similar role, removing her aft guns in exchange for a deck with rails to operate floatplanes, and there were even plans in the IJN to give another old pair of battleships of theirs an Ise-like configuration.
    • Earlier aircraft carriers did approach a "cruiserstar" configuration — American carriers Lexington and Saratoga and the Japanese carriers Akagi and Kaga (all four were converted from capital ships under construction in the wake of the London Naval Treaty: the first three from battlecruisers and Kaga from a battleship) were all fitted with heavy cruiser-caliber big guns and could theoretically fight on equal terms with anything smaller than a battleship or battlecruiser. In reality, the guns were often positioned where they were either of little use or actually detrimental to their aviation facilitiesnote  and the huge, unarmored flight decks made them vulnerable in a gun fight. The two Japanese carriers went down without any enemy ship getting anywhere near firing distance, while their American counterparts had their big guns removed and replaced with far more useful anti-aircraft or dual-purpose weapons).
    • It is worth noting that defensive armament on late-war aircraft carriers such as the American Essex class would include a battery of 5-inch guns in so-called "Dual Purpose" mounts — designed to engage either attacking aircraft or any smaller enemy ships that got inside their fighter screen. This is, however, more of a result of unified logistics (the Dual Purpose mounts in question are standardized on all new-constructions and extensive reconstructions of frontline warships in the US) than anything else. In practice, it was almost impossible for enemy surface combatants to get close enough to engage an aircraft carrier, due to their combination of being very fast and having dozens of planes on board to spot enemy ships miles away,note  making these guns' anti-ship capability merely academic in nature. Dual purpose mounts on carriers were used against surface ships in only one engagement: the Battle off Samar, and only because the escort carriers of Taffy 3 were unable to outrun the Center Force.
    • During the course of World War One a number of Royal Navy capital ships were fitted with flying off platforms mounted on the roofs and gun barrels of the main turrets. These allowed the ships to both carry and launch fighters or scouts. The obvious limitation of this system being that there was nowhere for the aircraft to land, necessitating ditching and the possible loss of the pilot.
    • Similarly to the above example, many interwar and WWII warships larger than a destroyer had equipment to transport and launch seaplanes to be used mainly for scouting and fire control purposes.
      • They could also be equipped with special fighters fittingly dubbed "catapult fighters". These notably played a role in the attack on Pearl Harbor where they were the only planes America could launch fast enough against the Japanese.
      • As well as catapult bombers, or alternatively equip one of the above with depth charges or bombs. This was actually surprisingly successful, as it allowed battleships and cruisers to score a number of sub kills. While a sub could normally try and fight off a lone plane, in this case surfacing in range of a battleship or cruiser with spotting assistance would be suicidal.
    • The US Navy successfully adapted a number of Fletcher and Gearing class destroyers to carry a single aircraft catapult in place of one torpedo launcher. This was mostly intended for recon purposes, but the spotting aircraft could carry depth charges to hunt subs without aid of the mother ship. Other nations tried this with destroyers but the experiments mostly went nowhere. Oddly though, there were some successful corvettes and frigates with aircraft catapults, most notably the preserved Thai corvette HTMS Maeklong.
    • The British warship HMS Furious also went through a rather impractical phase with a launching deck at the front and a battleship-grade gun at the back, before being eventually fully converted to a flush-deck aircraft carrier that would actually be useful for aircraft operations. Despite her armament, she was very lightly armoured. Along with her sister ships, Glorious and Courageous which also underwent numerous major refits, their designs were not considered a success and earned them the nicknames Curious, Spurious and Outrageous.
    • The first experiments in landing and launching aircraft from ships involved temporary wooden decks being placed across the aft of a battleship or armoured cruiser, which at the time was sufficient due to the aircraft of the time being slow enough to take off and (with assistance of arrestor wires) land on such a short runway. The aft turret wasn't removed, so in theory it could have still been used in an emergency (destroying the flight deck in the process), but since no ships ever went to war in this configuration that wasn't an issue.
    • USS Midway was initially armed was enough secondary guns to repulse destroyer and torpedo boat attacks in addition to her formidable armor. She was initially designed with more than twice the amount she was launched with too. This unusual choice was because it was thought that she would conduct bombing runs deep into mainland Japan to support an invasion, potentially bringing her into the range of the Japanese navy.
  • USS White Plains is the only aircraft carrier to have scored a kill with its guns. Well, gun. Ironically, it was very poorly armed compared to any of the above examples, only boasting a single five-inch gun. Luckily for the carrier, said five-inch gun landed a hit on the torpedo tubes of the heavy cruiser Chokai. And since Japanese torpedoes were powered by ethanol mixed with compressed oxygen and were right next to the engines... boom. She also survived a shelling from the battleship Yamato, despite her nonexistent armor, prior to doing this. This would have been an amazing result for most classes of battleships under similar situations.note 
    • HMS Unicorn A support carrier, has the distinction of being the only other carrier to carry out an artillery strike, this time on shore targets. Again the irony here is that she was poorly armed compared to many of the other examples on this page. A broadside of four four inch guns, better than "White Planes" but only equivalent to an older model destroyer.
  • Also from the IJN, the I-400-class submarine aircraft carrier. Well armed for a submarine with torpedoes and a deck gun, it also carried a full squadron of three float planes. Given the late nature of the war, it was speculated they would instead execute Kamikaze attack, making it closer to a modern ballistic missile submarine. Alternatively, the planes could carry bombs with biological weapons and use them against population centres such as Los Angeles but thankfully, they never got to this point.
    • Most other IJN submarines had an hangar to carry one or even two floatplanes for reconnaissance too. Launching procedures were, however, slow consisting of surfacing, opening the hangar's doors, assembling the aircraft(s), moving it outside to take-off, and after returning and retrieving the plane with a crane repeating the process on inverse order once the job was done.
    • Before the I-400 class was commissioned, the I-25 made history by launching the only two airstrikes of the war against the continental United States, sending its floatplane to attack targets in Oregon. On the same patrol, the sub also torpedoed three transport shipsnote  and a submarine, as well as using its deck gun to shell a fort on the Oregon coast. So in a single mission the I-25 functioned as a submarine, aircraft carrier, and surface combatant.
  • Similar to the I-400, but early, the French submarine-cruiser Surcouf. It carried 2 floatplanes, 10 torpedo tubes (6 forward, 4 aft), and 2 8-inch turreted guns. And it was commissioned in 1934!
  • The Admiral Kuznetsov is known for being built with a dramatically different approach in mind compared to US aircraft carriers. Unlike these, it carries primary offensive armament in form of ship-to-ship missiles and the fighters it has on board serve defensive rather than power projection purposes. Although it carries a very Cool Plane (the Sukhoi [Su]-33), the ski ramp used for takeoffs seriously limits the loads that they can carry (a trade-off for being less expensive to build and operate than steam catapults), leaving the aircraft limited to air defense rather than offense. However, the design has proved Awesome, but Impractical in the post-Cold War environment (as Russia, like the US, finds herself in conflicts against countries with no capability nor desire for sea control), and the ship is slated for a refit in which its anti-ship missile launchers will be replaced with a larger hangar to carry more aircraft (mirroring the alterations China made in completing the Kuznetsov's sister ship Varyag as the Liaoning), while the Sukhois will be swapped for the lighter MiG-29Ks. It will likely keep its full load of anti-aircraft missiles, though, so it probably will retain its "battlestar" status. Or at least, it would likely have. As of the end of 2018, the Kuznetsov is no longer seaworthy following a crane collapse in drydock that tore several gaping holes in her superstructure. The Russian Navy declared her a total loss as restoring her to a seaworthy state would cost far, far more than they could afford. Ironically, she had put to port in order to carry out the aforementioned refits and upgrades, as well as desperately needed repairs to her ancient powerplant.
    • Also worthy of mention are their smaller and less capable predecessors, the Kiev-class carriers. These carried a battery of very powerful anti-ship missiles and a varying fit of anti-aircraft missiles, and operated an air wing of helicopters and V/STOL aircraft. Their missiles made them formidable as missile cruisers but the very troublesome Yak-38 fighters curtailed their effectiveness as a carrier. Those were supposed to be replaced by the significantly more capable Yak-141, but only two protoypes were ever built before the Soviet Union ceased to exist and funding collapsed. The last of the Kievs, the Admiral Gorshkov, was built with Even More Dakka than the first three ships, but has since been stripped of its "battlestar" status after being sold to India as the INS Vikramaditya and converted into a full-length aircraft carrier with only short-range defensive armament.
    • In the case of both classes, the Soviets had sound technical, doctrinal, and political reasons for building them the way they did. The Montreux Convention, which governs transit of warships through the Bosporus, allowed the transit of capital ships but sets restrictions on other types of ships, including aircraft carriers. As the largest Soviet shipyards, and the ones building the Kiev and Kuznetsov classes, were located on the Black Sea, the heavy anti-ship missiles allowed the Soviets to call them capital ships and transit them through the straits. This was necessary due to the doctrinal reasons: namely, that the ships were intended to provide air cover for the forces covering Soviet SSBN bastions from American attack, rather than the strike-oriented expeditionary role of American carriers. This also required them to operate in Arctic waters, hence the prior Loophole Abuse. And finally, the Soviets were learning how to build carriers at all; carrying the missile armament they did still gave them some use if their aviation facilities failed.
  • During the Cold War, there were suggestions to convert the Iowa-class battleships into hybrid battleship carriers like the Ise and Hyuga above; the conversion concept called for removal of the aft 16-inch turret and installing a ski jump and hangar facilities to support Harrier jump jets. Cost and practicality issues (among other things, the resulting ship would've been rather topheavy, to the point that capsizing in heavy seas would be a legitimate danger) meant that the concept never gained serious traction within the US Navy.
    • However they did have a blacktop capable of serving a limited number of VTOLs installed aft of the battery.
  • On the subject of never built desighns, one plan by France was to convert the the nearly complete battle ship Jean Bart into a hybrid. Since this class of battleship featured all the guns at the front, she would have had a light carriers worth of aircraft and been able to keep all her big guns. Ultimatly she was completed as a battleship post war.
  • Another never finished project was Nazi Germany's Graf Zeppelin. Like other World War II German surface ships, all their carrier designs were focused on hunting merchant ships. For some reason though, it was thought that carrier itself should engage merchant vessels and keep the bulk of it's airwing spotting and ready to attack any warships that might intervene. As a result, Graf Zeppelin would have had a pretty substantial array of guns if completed.
    • Specifically, the Graf Zeppelin would have carried sixteen 15 cm guns. Each of these guns was the same model that comprised the secondary armament of both the Bismarck- and Scharnhorst-class battleships, neither of which mounted more than twelve such weapons. Similar guns were used as the main armament of the Königsberg- and Leipzig-class light cruisers - with a total of nine guns per ship. Yes, Nazi Germany's aircraft carriers would have had a larger secondary armamentnote  than its battleships... and nearly twice the firepower of its light cruisers!
  • The British Invincible-class aircraft carriers were called "Through-Deck Cruisers" and equipped with the Sea Dart SAM system in order to sell the ships to a Parliament that had just recently forced retirement of the Royal Navy's last conventional carriers. Ultimately averted, as the development of the Sea Harrier gave the ships fixed-wing capability, and the Sea Dart system was eventually removed in favor of a CIWS gun.
  • Much like seaplanes in World War II, most warships today carry, in addition to their gun and missile systems, at least one helicopter. Many classes took this a step further, ships like the Japanese Shirane class or Soviet Moskva class dedicating a good half the ship to helicopter facilities aft, in addition to respectable missile armament forward. In most cases, these vessels are heavily focused on ASW, which helicopters are very good at.
  • Most modern carriers have at least a few "dual-purpose" missiles among their anti-air armament. These anti-air missiles can also track and hit small watercraft and function as part of the ships point-defense system.
  • With experiments in naval rail guns, the idea of fitting these weapons to aircraft carriers has come up. Aircraft carriers often already have a gigantic power supply in the form of nuclear reactors. It wouldn't' affect the flight operations much to add such weapons (theoretically) and it would be chaper long term than launching planes and using missiles on low threat targets. Less a battleship and carrier in one than a monitor and a carrier in one.

Alternative Title(s): Carrier Battleship, Battle Star