Design and function
Designed by Olanji/Charubah, Battle Dragons became the primary capital ships of the Hapan Royal Navy, supported by Nova-class battle cruisers. The Hapan fleet, led by Prince Isolder's oversized Battle Dragon Song of War, contained at least 63 Battle Dragons, each representing one of the Consortium's worlds.
Battle Dragons featured a unique dual saucer-shaped hull 500 meters in diameter with a central core connected by sixteen rotation support struts. The ships were armed with forty ion cannons and forty turbolaser batteries affixed to rotating circular sections on the top and bottom hull plates. To compensate for slowly recharging weaponry, the disc would rotate to bring fresh guns to an enemy while the previously used guns recharged their capacitors, which the Hapans viewed as a more efficient use of firepower.
In addition to the rotating weapon emplacements, Battle Dragons were armed with ten proton torpedo tubes, tractor beam projectors, dorsal- and ventral-mounted heavy triple ion cannon batteries and sixteen pulsemass mine launchers. Each Battle Dragon carried three squadrons of Miy'til starfighters or T-65 X-wing starfighters in onboard hangars and a battalion of 500 troops. The ships required a crew of 1,200 and 190 gunners.
Battle Dragons were discovered in battle to have had two serious flaws: firstly, the drive system could be damaged, crippling the vessel. Secondly, the designers intended for the Battle Dragon to be used en masse, against very few targets. With that end in mind, they skimped on targeting computers, putting in only four of them.
The effect was to offer outstanding performance against a single target but was useless against a group of targets. Tactics for a lone Battle Dragon against a group were little more than the Dragon choosing a vector and throwing a wall of energy in that direction, hoping that random hits would allow the Dragon to escape, so poor were the few targeting computers' performance against a mass of targets.
The Hapans used ion cannons to disable the deflector shields of another capital ship, such as an Imperial-class Star Destroyer, and then fired salvos of proton torpedoes. This was found to be extremely effective, especially when the Hapans attacked with multiple Battle Dragons, as witnessed during the Battle of Dathomir.
The pulse-mass mines simulated a mass shadow in space to prevented jumps into hyperspace by enemy ships. It was impossible to shut down the mines until their power was depleted, so launching them could be as great a risk to a Battle Dragon as to the ships it was attempting to trap. The three squadrons of Miy'tils were deployed as a fighter screen to prevent heavy bombers penetrating the ion cannon defense. The ion cannon-based design is unique in capital ship design; but the design was a realistic response to the Hapes Cluster's level of advancement - their isolationist stance had resulted in their ion cannon technology being on par with, and perhaps even exceeding, the standard galactic level of achievement, but their turbolaser technology had lagged considerably. After joining the New Republic in their battle against the Yuuzhan Vong, the New Republic updated the Hapan fleet with modern turbolaser technology. Gilad Pellaeon also helped upgrade several Battle Dragons with new Galactic Alliance technology in 40 ABY.
Behind the scenes
When the Hapan Battle Dragons were introduced in The Courtship of Princess Leia, their weapons rotation system was described as simply a means of increasing their rate of fire. In the novel, it was indicated that this allowed Battle Dragons to fire three times more quickly than could Imperial starships. No mention was made of Hapan turbolasers recharging more slowly than their Imperial and New Republic counterparts until RPG material introduced the concept.
- The Courtship of Princess Leia (First appearance)
- The New Jedi Order: Agents of Chaos II: Jedi Eclipse
- The New Jedi Order: Dark Journey
- The New Jedi Order: Destiny's Way
- The New Jedi Order: The Unifying Force
- Dark Nest I: The Joiner King
- Legacy of the Force: Tempest
- Legacy of the Force: Exile (Mentioned only)
- Legacy of the Force: Inferno
- Legacy of the Force: Fury (Mentioned only)
- Legacy of the Force: Invincible
- Fate of the Jedi: Backlash (Mentioned only)
- Fate of the Jedi: Backlash audiobook (Mentioned only)
- Fate of the Jedi: Conviction
- Fate of the Jedi: Conviction audiobook
- Fate of the Jedi: Apocalypse
- Fate of the Jedi: Apocalypse audiobook
- Crucible (Mentioned only)
- Crucible audiobook (Mentioned only)
- The Essential Guide to Vehicles and Vessels
- Cracken's Threat Dossier
- Star Wars Encyclopedia
- Starships of the Galaxy
- The New Jedi Order Sourcebook
- The Official Star Wars Fact File 90 (HAP1-2, Hapan Battle Dragon)
- The Official Star Wars Fact File 91 (MIY1, Miy'til Starfighter)
- The New Essential Guide to Vehicles and Vessels
- Starships of the Galaxy, Saga Edition
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia
- Galaxy of Intrigue
- The Essential Guide to Warfare
- Star Wars: The Card Game – Balance of the Force (Card: Destroyer Defense Fleet) (Picture only)
- Star Wars: The Card Game – Balance of the Force (Card: Strategic Command Center) (Picture only)