The Victory-I class Star Destroyer came off the drawing boards near the end of the Clone Wars, and as a consequence saw little action. These vessels would later form the core of the Imperial Fleet. This warship is considered an extension of the Acclamator-class Assault Ship, due to the elevated bridge structure and wedge-shaped hull. While this space fortress was incredibly expensive to construct, it at the time of its introduction was considered to be the ultimate instrument of war, or "peacekeeping battleship". Prior to the events of the "Galactic Civil War", VSDs were particularly heavily deployed. In Imperial service, the VSD has been mostly reassigned to planetary defence or placed into reserve fleets deep in the Core.
For a concise period it appeared that all Victory Star Destroyers would cease their venerable service, as the Empire was decommissioning a vast quantity of these vessels. For example, in order to make room for the newer ISD, the Empire decided to remove 520 of these ships from the 27th Denarian Fleet. A number of VSDs were sold to planetary defence forces and large corporate conglomerates, in which they became the prime components of those navies. However, the increasing actions of the loathed Rebellion and the CSA's purchase of 250 VSDs ensured their continued service. For those star destroyers operated by non-Imperial forces, it is common to find their flight decks mothballed. While remaining in Imperial service, VSDs soon proved their worth as an important component of the Imperial Navy, and thus still see extensive service.
Although, this ship was designed with planetary assault and ground troop support, planetary defence, and ship-to-ship combat in mind, its primary function in which it shines is that of the first two missions. The VSD is only moderately effective in space combat due to its excruciatingly low sublight speed and poor manoeuvrability. It is one of the largest warships capable of operating in the upper atmosphere of a planet. This capability affords this instrument of war the ability to bring the battle directly to surface foes by unleashing precision ground attacks, thereby giving it a tactical and psychological edge. Should the ship's captain opt for orbital bombardment, accurate and devastating bombardment can be delivered. Its ability to enter a planet's atmosphere affords another advantage, for it means that smaller craft hoping to escape pursuit by diving into planet cannot escape the VSD's grasp.
This design's primary ground attack armament is its 80 concussion missile tubes. Meanwhile, its turbolaser weaponry is intended for ship-to-ship combat, but can be employed in ground attack if needed. It must be noted that the missile tubes can also be employed in the anti-ship role. A single salvo from all 80 concussion missile launcher tubes is capable of taking down the shields of a Mon Calamari Cruiser (of course, after that the cruiser then uses its backup shields). Should the concussion missiles miss their specific target, they will course correct in order to get another opportunity to hit the target. Unfortunately, missile reloads are costly. Mounted on top of squat, durable towers in well-armoured pods and featuring incredibly clear lines of sight are the tractor beam projectors. Their positioning allows them to concentrate tractor beams on a single ship or against multiple ships. Effectively, the Victory maintains sufficient firepower that is equivalent to a typical Rebel attack squadron.
Mounted between the pair of shield generator domes is the communications tower and aft targeting systems (dome). The structure that juts out from the command tower, to the starboard side of the bridge is the forward observation module. Its main bridge is modeled like that found on the ISD; complete with command walkway, flanked by crew pits. Although, it must be noted that the bridge is considered cramped, but it does feature a chair for the ship's commander. Found in the aft neck is the systems control. Also found on the aft neck of the command tower are the turbolaser batteries and concussion missile launchers. This design includes main and auxiliary deflector screen generators.
Flanking the command tower are three power cells (six total) that are each encased in their own casing tubes which are twice as wide as the control core (somewhere around 30 metres diameter). A metre-wide ledge runs along the wall of the casing, which is accessible from two sides. Should the cells suffer the rare event of a power surge, they will overflow with energy, and inflict "energy storms" within its casing that can literally last for years. The only solution is to jettison the power cell, as it is irreparable. Along the ship's axis, at the area where the structure starts to rise up from the hull (around the midpoint of the VSD) are weapon targeting systems. The first raised structure from the bow on the dorsal surface is the sensor cluster. Flanking the ship are the atmospheric manoeuvring surfaces.
Like the Imperial Star Destroyer, the VSD maintains primary and secondary launch (fore of the primary) bays. Its docking bay is less than 100 metres long. VSDs come equipped with docking claws and umbilicals (with blast doors at either end) to allow docking between ships. The fore and aft of the main launch bay features a vehicle maintenance deck (the most ventral deck), with stacked hanger bays (three forward, two aft) above. Located above the entire launch bay area is vehicle storage. Its hanger bays are segmented into starfighter and shuttle bays. These various segments are connected to each other via enormous lift platforms and repulsorlift shafts.
Bulging from its ventral surface is its solar ionization reactor. Above that is the engine control core (which appears very much like the Death Star's tractor beam power column). Inside the large vertical tube is the power core column (that pulsates dizzying light), which is ringed by maintenance ledges at various levels that are accessible by retractable one-metre wide catwalks. Control stations are found at the catwalk access points. On the walls of the power column shaft are the power conductors. The power column is split in half. Between this split is a solid beam of energy that sparkles with unimaginable colours. All the energy generated by the engines and power cells pass through this juncture (core) to other power stations within the ship for consumption. Surrounding the tip of the lower power column is the central control console (also known as the engine control core). Should the core's criss-crossing beams be altered in a certain fashion, this in effect creates a repulsorlift field in the lower levels of the power column shaft. Areas surrounding the engines and power cells are irregularly designed with many hidden corners, passageways, crawl spaces and compartments.
The ship's self destruct is achieved by overloading the main and auxiliary hyperdrives and sublight engines. Alterations to the self-destruct sequence can be made at the central control console. These alterations require a six step process. Interestingly, the traitor Walex Blissex designed a failsafe self-destruct feature into the vessel, but never revealed its existence, save one person, his daughter. Should the failsafe be invoked, any attempted to tamper with it would result in the ship's immediate destruction.
Located above the engines in almost the stern of the VSD is the detention centre. Emanating from the central hexagonal hub (detention block control room) are three cell rows (hallways) which are lined with cells on either side. Each of these rows are connected by cell lined corridors. The configuration appears to be a half of a paddle wheel. In all there are 88 cells in one detention block. Connected to each block via a short hallway is the turbolift bank. Six blocks for a total of 528 cells make up this arrangement. Total prisoner cells maintained on this design is not clear. The detention centre spans several decks. At least four maintenance chutes can be found within a block. Only magnetic seals keep the cell doors locked; in the event of a power failure, the seal fails. Also in the event of a power failure the detention block's air-circulation system shuts down. Should anyone input incorrect security codes to access any work station, the security officer onboard the bridge becomes immediately aware of the transgression. Blast doors if locked can be opened via the control panel next to the door, provided that the user knows the access codes.
This design features service levels and droid access chutes, and maintenance chutes. Cramped droid access corridors, for use by maintenance, servant and common labour droids can be found in the ventral portion of the VSD. Retractable ceiling mounted automated defence lasers were added to the droid tunnels, sometime after the VSD's construction. On each side of the turbolift shaft walls (which employs repulsorlifts) are ladders. Medical stations that contain a dozen bacta tanks, plus numerous beds and examination tables are scattered throughout the design. Found in generous numbers, hanging on the outer decks' walls are breath masks, for use in the event of a hull breach. Officer quarters consist of either spacious three-person chambers or large single-person studios.
The main exhaust nacelles (which are connected to the turbodrive generators) are large enough to fit a YT-1300 Transport. Connected to the turbodrive generators is the fission chamber, which is capable of reflecting IFFs and jamming signals (should a craft inside the chamber decides to active these electronic measures - such as the Millennium Falcon did).
Unfortunately, the VSD's three LF9 Ion Engines which were manufactured by the Alderaan Royal Engineers produce insufficient sublight speed for deep-space combat, and due to this shortcoming, most contemporary combat vessels can outrun the VSD. This limits its utility in fleet and pursuit actions. In order to address this design flaw, the VSD carries a pair of fighter squadrons, high-intensity tractor beam generators to slow or capture fleeing craft (or to gain an advantage in combat), and a powerful (but power-consuming) hyperdrive of Corellian manufacture, that is capable of very rapid hyperspace jumps. Operationally, VSDs first must establish a superior position, for example by pinning its target in a planet's gravity well to prevent its escape. Being assigned Interdictor Cruisers, escort frigates or light cruisers for support is the best means to overcome this warship's weaknesses.
In the tragedy of the Battle of Denab, where the Imperial Forth Attack Squadron, which was composed almost entirely of VSDs suffered a brutal rout. It demonstrated that the VSD's lack of sublight speed led to the squadron's defeat. If the VSD possessed greater speed, the squadron would have been able to join forces in which their superior combined firepower would have defeated the Rebels.
Besides its lack of sublight speed, it appears that its computers are vulnerable. A prototype Rebel Sensor Chip able to grab computer codes should it be brought onboard a ship was developed. An incident occurred when the Rebel pleasure yacht Starcrossed attempted to garner the surrender of the VSD Imperial Hazard. In that incident the Rebel Sensor Chip grabbed the codes for the detention cells and tractor beam projectors, and caused a communications loop (sending and receiving information too quickly for the VSD's computers to keep pace) which spread from the detention computers to the rest of the ship, effectively crippling it. These loops however, were causing overloads within the VSD's computer and power systems that could have destroyed it. In the end, the sensor chip also affected the Rebel ship, but both the Imperial and Rebel ships were able to escape a fiery fate.
Several Victory Star Destroyers are assigned to permanent customs blockade of the Sevarcos System. These ships have been completely overhauled, and sporting improved shields and longer-ranged gunnery. However, several exploitable weaknesses of these overhauled ships remain, particularly around their sensor and tractor beam packages. Unfortunately, a few veteran blockade runners are aware of these exploits. VSDs such as the Scourge, commanded by Vice Admiral Alpiett Gredge patrol the restricted space around the planet of Ralltiir at least shortly after the Battle of Yavin. In the case of the VSD Dominator, it was overhauled with the latest hyperdrives and powerful thrusters, as it was redesigned to take on the role of supporting task forces hunting down Rebel starfighters.
Just after the Battle of Yavin, 100 VSDs were sent to Kuat Drive Yards for refitting and extensive system upgrades, and were scheduled for completion within a year. However, due to doonium shortages, the hull plates originally slated for these warships were transferred to waiting nearby Imperial Star Destroyers that were undergoing servicing. This effectively kept the 100 VSDs in dry dock for two years (after the Battle of Yavin). For nearly five months, complete with TIE hangers, new engines, weapon systems, and increased shielding these VSDs languished in their dry docks as they lacked their primary hull plating. In order to clear the dry docks, Admiral Kendel specially ordered an alternative; havod metal alloy hull plates were processed and welded to the ships' frames. While havod metal alloy completely meets all military specifications, it is deemed too arduous for standard processing.
Unlike doonium which is white-grey in appearance, havod is crimson. Due to the very thought of crimson coloured warships, crews who were to serve aboard them inundated Admiral Kendel with transfer requests, while the Historical Battleship Preservation Association voiced its objections. Nevertheless, nearly two years after being sent in for refit, these crimson VSDs were beginning to clear the dry docks. It was expected that these particular VSDs would be ready for space trials by the end of the year.
*After Endor* Imperial tacticians continued to put these warships to good use. VSDs, such as the Aspiration were being reactivated for service with the Imperial Fleet immediately after the Battle of Endor. Some VSDs under Warlord Zsinj's command had Z-95 Headhunters as part of their starfighter complements. Shortly before Warlord Zsinj's death, a salvage gutted Victory Star Destroyer could be found floating in a junkyard near Coruscant's smallest moon. Realizing the potential of these warships, and the Empire's shortage, Grand Admiral Thrawn initiated a systematic program to refit and recommission mothballed VSDs. The vile New Republic, as of Grand Admiral Thrawn's campaigns, employs VSDs, with examples being the Selonian Fire and Corusca Fire. Eight years after the Battle of Endor, High Admiral Teradoc managed to obtain a fleet of 73 crimson alloyed VSDs. It is highly probable that these Victories were part of the original 100 havod metal alloy warships. These rebuilt VSDs were quick, agile, and armed-to-the-teeth.
|Sources: AGSWU2***Pg 464, 465 / AJ2***Pg 65 / AJ7***Pg 35 / AJ10***Pg 167, 169, 172, 175, 176, 178-180, 186, 231-233 / AJ11***Pg 47 / BAJ1-4***Pg 47 / BTM+Technology+Vehicles+Capital Ships+Star Destroyer & BTM+Glossary of Terms+Victory-class Star Destroyer / CA-V5***Pg 6, 10 , 11, 13, 15, 17, 18, 20-23, 26, 28-35 / D***Pg 70, 79, 80, 82, 344 / EGVV***Pg 188, 189 / GMSR***Pg 39 / HSCSSB***Pg 91 / ICS***Pg 6 / ISB***Pg 59, 60 / NEGVV***Pg 143 / R (Galactic Encyclopedia+Ship Database+Victory Star Destroyer) / S***Pg 2, 6-10, 12, 13, 15, 23, 26, 28-34, (Pullout Section - TeeThreepio), (Victory-class Star Destroyer Technical Readout) / SOTG***Pg 103, 104 / SWE+Victory-class Star Destroyer***Pg 327, 328 / SWSB***Pg 31, 32 / SWSB2***Pg 32-34 / TCOPL***Pg 138 / TFOP***Pg 61, 62 / TTSB***Pg 223 / XA (TEch Library) / XvsT (Craft Database) / XWS#8***Pg 163, 286, 309 / CCG=A New Hope Expansion Set+Dark Side+Victory-Class Star Destroyer / CCG=Death Star II Cards+Dark Side+Dominator|