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In the science fiction television series Stargate SG-1 and its sequels, several types of starships are introduced in the later seasons. In the series, they are the product of several years' worth of research into alien technologies discovered on off-world missions to other planets visited via the stargate. The stargate is an alien device discovered on Earth that allows near instantaneous travel to other planets via a controlled wormhole across a network of similar gates. The stargate was created by an extinct race called the Ancients, but are in use by aliens, some of which use both stargate and starship travel. Some of these alien races are hostile to Earth and bent on galaxy-wide domination, so Earth starships are built by the US military through billions of dollars in secret funding to respond to the threat.
After several prototype models, including some failures, Earth begins constructing its own space-capable fighters and larger, mothership-style vessels. The primary source of inspiration for the early models is scavenged Goa'uld technology, which is later replaced with entirely Earth-made components as they gain the expertise to fabricate the materials. The plans for these vessels are shared with the Russians as part of the deal to use their Stargate.
The first successful ship fielded by Earth is the F-302, a small, two-man craft somewhat similar to a traditional human fighter aircraft, but capable of spaceflight and interstellar travel. F-302s are the standard dogfighting attacker used by the Stargate Program. Later on, Earth begins creating interstellar battlecruisers, the first of which is the Prometheus. While the F-302 is generally a match for a Goa'uld Death Glider (and in some ways is superior), Earth battlecruisers are at first inferior to the equivalent vessels of other races. In the SG-1 finale, "Unending", the Asgard provide Earth with technology that closes this gap, making Earth ships some of the most powerful vessels in the series.
The X-301 fighter-interceptor is Earth's first attempt at building a fighter capable of space travel and orbital defense against the Goa'uld. It is featured in the episode "Tangent". The X-301 is constructed in Area 51 from a combination of Earth components and parts salvaged from two Goa'uld death gliders from the Apophis motherships. The X-301 is equipped with a Goa'uld inertial propulsion system capable of nullifying any g-force on pilot, stealth technology that hides it from radar, and two naqahdah-enhanced AIM-120 AMRAAM air-to-air missiles. It was mentioned that they would be effective against the Goa'uld Motherships if armed with shield modulators, however, no missiles fired by Earth ships were ever seen to penetrate through Goa'uld shields, so they may never have had that form of technology (working), and it was only mentioned in reference to the X-301, not the 302.
The first test flight is conducted by Jack O'Neill and Teal'c, with the callsign "Digger One". The test almost proves fatal when an undiscovered booby trap planted by Apophis activates and launches the ship towards open space and towards Chulak, the home world of Apophis. O'Neill and Teal'c are rescued just before their life support runs out by Jacob Carter in a Goa'uld cargo ship.
The F-302 multi-role fighter is the production model of the X-302 experimental fighter, first seen in the season 6 premiere "Redemption". Based on the X-301 but entirely human-built, the F-302 is a multi-role two-person craft with four sets of engines: two traditional jet engines, two aerospike engines, one rocket motor, and a naqahdriah-based hyperspace window generator. Due to the instability of the naqahdriah, the ship's hyperspace generator is only capable of short, unguided jumps. The craft is fitted with an inertial damping system that allows it to achieve orbit, although they are only 90% effective when pulling negative Gs. F-302s are evidently capable of V/STOL, as demonstrated by two F-302s escorting a Wraith scout ship to a landing pad on Atlantis in the Stargate Atlantis episode "Allies". The F-302's main armaments are modified naqahdah-enhanced AIM-120 AMRAAM air-to-air missiles. They are also armed with railguns.
The X-302 prototype is used in "Redemption" to carry the Stargate a safe distance away from Earth before it explodes. The first F-302 combat mission takes place in "Fallen", where one is flown by Colonel Jack O'Neill and Major Samantha Carter in a strike against Anubis' mothership. In the episode "Lost City", several squadrons of F-302s commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Cameron Mitchell accompany the Prometheus in defending SG-1's cargo ship against Anubis' force of Al'kesh and death gliders. F-302 squadrons are assigned to almost all of Earth's outposts, as well as Earth itself. The Prometheus can carry eight F-302s, while its successor, the Daedalus class, can carry 16. F-302s have had various call signs, including "Airstrike", "Flight", "Blue leader", "Delta 1-4", and "Dagger 1-2". The 1st SFW "Snakeskinners" is a wing of F-302s in the Milky Way, and the 1st TFW "Wraithwaxers" is based on the Daedalus, The X-302s have had the callsigns "Abydos One" and "Starflight".
In season 8, Martin Wood and Brad Wright accepted an invitation by the United States Air Force to go on a test ride in the trainer jets. Set designer Peter Bodnarus based the design of the F-302 on the F-117A U.S. Air Force stealth fighter and the HL-10 aircraft from the 1970s, while still leaving the Goa'uld glider origins of the design recognizable. He and his team focused on creating a realistic-looking cockpit interior for the X-302 in terms of the headrest with overhead ejection handles and emergency systems.
Prometheus, also known as the BC-303 or the X-303 early in development, is Earth's first capital starship, introduced in the season 6 episode "Prometheus". The original concept for the look of the Prometheus in season 6 was an aircraft carrier. The producers wanted to build something that was exactly the opposite of Goa'uld ships, which according to Paul Mullie are basically big empty rooms with nowhere to sit, no screens, and no buttons to press. Andy Mikita thought the Prometheus was a fun set to shoot in because "there's lots of layers and textures and flashing lights". Much of the inspiration for the X-303's interior came from contemporary American aircraft carriers. Bridget McGuire developed the initial concept based on pictures. Peter Bodnarus developed the blueprints of the X-303 that were shown in "Nightwalkers" before the X-303 made its first appearance in "Prometheus". Art director James Robbins developed the interior schematics and interior workings, while Bodnarus developed the actual set interiors including the bridge, corridors, engine room and air lock.
A hybrid of human and alien technologies, the Prometheus is the product of two years and several billion dollars' worth of development by the United States Air Force. The ship originally features mostly reverse-engineered Goa'uld technologies, including ring transporters and crystal-based control systems. It is also equipped with artificial gravity generators and an inertial dampening system. The corridors are constructed of the fictional metal trinium. Substantial amounts of naqahdah are also used in its construction. In "Disclosure", the Asgard install advanced shields and weapons (though the latter are withheld) on the unfinished Prometheus as thanks for SG-1's help against the Replicators. In "Covenant", Jack O'Neill asks Thor for a new hyperdrive for the Prometheus, which is installed by the Asgard in "Endgame" along with beaming technology. However, since the Prometheus lacks advanced Asgard sensors, locator beacons are required to lock onto targets.
The sublight engines of the Prometheus have a top speed of 110,000 miles per second (59% light speed) and can attain orbit from Earth's surface in under thirty seconds. Its original hyperdrive cost $2 billion in research and development and uses naqahdriah as a power source. A buffer was installed to manage the unstable power stream from the naqahdriah, but it is overloaded by an unexpected gravity wave on the Prometheus' shakedown cruise. The ship is then fitted with a hyperdrive salvaged from a Goa'uld Al'kesh, but as that engine is designed for a much smaller ship, the Prometheus can only make short jumps with time in between for the drive to cool down. With the new Asgard hyperdrive installed in "Endgame", the Prometheus is able to reach other galaxies. The Prometheus is armed with 24 railguns, a close-in weapons system, and 16 missile batteries. It carries eight F-302s for fighter support.
In its first appearance, the incomplete Prometheus is hijacked by rogue NID agents and subsequently called upon by the Asgard for a mission against the Replicators. In "Memento", the Prometheus, commanded by Colonel William Ronson, is temporarily stranded near Tagrea after its hyperdrive overloads. In "Grace", the Prometheus is attacked by an unknown enemy warship and almost becomes trapped after hiding in an unusual nebula. Under the command of General George Hammond, the Prometheus defends Earth against Anubis' armada in "Lost City". The ship is subsequently commanded by Colonel Lionel Pendergast, except in "Prometheus Unbound" when Hammond briefly reassumes command. In that episode, Vala Mal Doran hijacks the Prometheus, stranding the crew in a disabled Al'kesh. Under Pendergast, the Prometheus conducts missions against Ba'al and the Trust, and against the Ori. In "Ethon", the Prometheus is destroyed by a satellite weapon of Ori design over Tegalus. The last appearance of the ship is in an alternate universe in "The Road Not Taken", where it serves as the equivalent of Air Force One for President Hank Landry.
The Daedalus-class battlecruiser, also called a Deep Space Carrier and a 304, is the second generation of Earth battlecruiser, designed to fully integrate the various alien technologies that were "tacked on" to the Prometheus over its life. The first ship of this class, the Daedalus, appears in the Stargate Atlantis episode "The Siege, Part 3". The construction of Daedalus-class ships is a top priority for the United States; in the episode "The Ties That Bind", the Senate Appropriations Committee diverts 70% of the SGC's funding to 304 construction.
The bridge of the Daedalus class is at the rear of the ship along the top of the hull. There are two hangar bays, each with room to accommodate eight F-302s. The hangars have force shields to prevent decompression when the doors are open. The Daedalus class contains technology reverse-engineered from the Goa'uld, such as ring transporters. It also has beaming technology, shields, and intergalactic hyperdrives provided by the Asgard. The hyperdrive of the Daedalus-class allows it to cross the three million light-years between Earth and Atlantis in 18 days; if powered by a ZPM, it can cover the same distance in four days. The ship carries Mark III and Mark VIII tactical nuclear warheads and 32 railguns. The Daedalus and the Apollo have only been depicted to launch missiles dorsally, while the Odyssey is shown with ventral emplacements in "Family Ties". In "The Siege, Part 3", Hermiod overrides the safeguards on the Daedalus' beaming technology, allowing it to be used as a weapons delivery system.
In "Unending", the Asgard, about to become extinct, install their most powerful technologies on the Odyssey. Chief among these enhancements are powerful plasma beam weapons, stronger shields, and an advanced self-powered computer core. The other 304s are eventually equipped with these technologies. A computer core was installed on Daedalus and the Phoenix (on the bridge) and possibly the other 304's, as well. With these enhancements, the Daedalus class is shown to be a match for Ancient, Wraith and Ori warships.
During the run of Stargate SG-1, Stargate Atlantis and Stargate Universe, six Daedalus-class ships are known to have been built (not including two alternate-timeline ships). They are distinguishable by their distinctive interior lighting, notably the lighting of the bridge and the back-lighting for the tactical map behind the commander's chair. The Prometheus and Korolev are white and purple, respectively. The Odyssey is orange, and the Apollo is blue. While the Daedalus is green, its counterpart from "The Daedalus Variations" has a distinctive orange map (a deliberate ploy according to Alan McCullough). As featured in the alternative timeline "The Last Man", the Phoenix has no map and has an Asgard console in its place.
|This article relies on references to primary sources. (January 2010)|