The Providence-class carrier/destroyer, additionally designated as the Dreadnaught-class command ship and also known as the Trade Federation cruiser, the Separatist Star Destroyer, or the Separatist dreadnought, was a series of capital ship models fielded by the Confederate Navy during the Clone Wars. It was originally produced and used by the Trade Federation, hence the nickname.
Designed by the Quarren Free Dac Volunteers Engineering Corps, the rounded, pseudo-organic aesthetic capital ships, influenced by the planet Dac, would be echoed in the design of the later Mon Calamari Star Cruisers. The ships were operated by 600 droids, but commanded by sentient officers.
Providence-class ships were massive, cylindrical 1,088-meter-long warships with a pointed nose that tapered towards the superstructure. Some Providence-class vessels were longer, measuring 2,177.35 meters. These ships were said to be some of the biggest in the Separatist fleet and were capable of holding a planetary blockade almost by themselves. This enlarged model was billed as the "Separatist Dreadnought". Rising from the stern portion of the vessel, was an elongated main communications and sensor pod. The ships, like all Mon Calamari and Quarren designs, were designed to be capable of landing on water in case of emergencies.
Providence-class ships featured modular compartments which made the vessels very easy to modify. This made it possible to easily upgrade the propulsion systems or weaponry of a given ship, as well as making it possible to convert the ships into starfighter carriers, or other variations. The Invisible Hand was one example of a heavily modified Providence-class ship.
Offensive and defensive systems
The surface of Providence-class ships were covered with numerous heavy weapons emplacements. Modified vessels such as the Invisible Hand included a number of turret-mounted quad turbolasers, thirty-four dual laser cannons, two capital-scale ion cannons, twelve point-defense ion cannons, and 102 proton torpedo batteries.
The reactors on-board each vessel produced so much power that even their point-defense ion cannons were each capable of delivering enough heat per shot to rival a 4.8 megaton bomb. This weaponry and armor made them capable of taking on Victory and Venator-class Star Destroyers.
Along with thick and extensive hull plating unusual for most small-and medium-sized CIS warships, and a network of heavy combat shield generators, the ships relied on three Creveld-4 radial ion drive units for sublight propulsion and featured an advanced Class 1.5 hyperdrive. Standard vessels had their sterns filled with reactors and thrusters, while some ships were modified to allow for bigger hangar space.
The thrusters could be arranged to provide different emergency settings, the main one using blast shields to redirect the ion particles exiting the thrusters, and provide a breaking thrust which slowed the ship's movement during an atmospheric descent. A similar setting utilized emergency booster engines to slow the ship. In addition to thrusters, a Providence-class ship could utilize airbrake panels that lined the ship to slow descent in an atmosphere.
The Providence-class command center was located at the front of the vessel, in a forward facing tower similar to the Recusant-class light destroyer; this setup made the Providence-class slightly more maneuverable than its Republic counterparts particularly in atmospheres. The ship's commander was seated in the middle of the bridge, surrounded by control stations on all sides, manned by OOM pilot battle droids or living crew members. In case of a breach in the bridge transparisteel windows, shield doors could be activated to seal off the affected area.
The Providence-class came about as an updated model of Rendili StarDrive's Dreadnaught-class heavy cruiser. Quarren manufacturers, originally working on license for Rendili, improved on the design and enlarged it several times to create new models for the Confederacy of Independent Systems. The Providence-class destroyers were built on the Quarren-colonized world of Pammant. Their construction served to hide the more secretive building of the massive Subjugator-class heavy cruisers.
When the Quarren allied with the Confederacy, Providence-class ships became the heart of the Separatist starfleet, using their firepower to combat Republic cruisers and acting as point ships for planetary blockades, bombardments, and invasions. They proved problematic to other Republic capital ships, such as the Venator and Victory-class Star Destroyers.
Providence-class ships would be used extensively in Confederate offensives in the late Clone Wars, and would be present at several Separatist conquests. During this time, the most famous vessel of the Providence-class was a modified specimen named Invisible Hand, which served as flagship for General Grievous. Some commanders used the larger Providence-class variant exemplified by the Separatist dreadnought Invincible, famously used by Admiral Trench.
Post-Clone Wars service
At least one Providence-class ship was used by Gizor Dellso's navy against an Imperial invasion force during the Battle of Mustafar. Several were used by the Alliance to Restore the Republic. A heavily modified Providence-class vessel known as Rebel One would later be operated in the Rebel Alliance Fleet. The Rebel One later took part in the battle of Deepspace Besh after the Rebel Fleet was ambushed.
Behind the scenes
On the commentary track for Revenge of the Sith, Lucas refers to Grievous's ship as a "Star Destroyer". This might be an indication that the distinction between destroyers in the Galactic Republic/Empire and similar ships in other fleets is simply a case of semantics.
The craft loosely resembles the shape of real-life zeppelins and other airships. This is further brought out during one transition scene in Episode III when the Invisible Hand passes, as the sound effect for its motors resemble the engines on some airships.
In Star Wars: Battlefront II and Star Wars: The Clone Wars, the ship is depicted as having 2 thrusters, but in Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith and Star Wars: Clone Wars, the ship has 3 thrusters. In addition to this the ship does not feature the bridge tower and instead places the command bridge to be near the center of the ship in a rise, somewhat similar to the bridge of the Separatist supership Malevolence. Star Wars Battlefront: Renegade Squadron and Star Wars Battlefront: Elite Squadron depict the bridge at the top of the large communications array fin.
The Essential Guide to Warfare was the first source to state Mon Calamari involvement in the design of the ship. In part 12 of Jason Fry's endnotes for the book, Paul Urquhart mentioned that he mentioned the Mon Calamari involvement in the design due to the front of the vessels being similar. He also mentioned that he suspected that the similar design in Star Wars: The Clone Wars was deliberate.
- Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith The Visual Dictionary
- Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith Incredible Cross-Sections
- Episode III: Revenge of the Sith: Prima Official Game Guide
- Star Wars: Complete Locations
- Star Wars: The Complete Visual Dictionary
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia
- The Clone Wars Campaign Guide
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars Official Episode Guide Series 1 & 2
- The Essential Guide to Warfare
- Star Wars: The Card Game – Balance of the Force (Card: Fleet Ambush) (Picture only)
- Star Wars: X-Wing Miniatures Game – TIE Defender Expansion Pack (Card: Predator) (Picture only)
- Strongholds of Resistance
Notes and references
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 The Essential Guide to Warfare
- ↑ 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 2.12
- ↑ 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 3.11 3.12 3.13 3.14 3.15 The Clone Wars Campaign Guide
- ↑ Star Wars: The Clone Wars Official Episode Guide Series 1 & 2
- ↑ 6.00 6.01 6.02 6.03 6.04 6.05 6.06 6.07 6.08 6.09 6.10 6.11 6.12 6.13 6.14 6.15 6.16 6.17 6.18
- ↑ 7.00 7.01 7.02 7.03 7.04 7.05 7.06 7.07 7.08 7.09 7.10 7.11 7.12 7.13 7.14 7.15 7.16 7.17 7.18 7.19 7.20 7.21 7.22 7.23 7.24 7.25 7.26 Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith Incredible Cross-Sections
- ↑ 8.0 8.1
- ↑ 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Cat and Mouse"
- ↑ 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 10.4 10.5 Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith
- ↑ Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith The Visual Dictionary
- ↑ 12.0 12.1 12.2 Star Wars: Rebellion: My Brother, My Enemy
- ↑ 13.0 13.1 Star Wars: Battlefront II
- ↑ Star Wars: Clone Wars
- ↑ Star Wars: The Clone Wars Official Episode Guide Series 1 & 2
- ↑ Jason Fry's Endnotes for The Essential Guide to Warfare: Part 12