Wraith Hive Ships are colossal biomechanical
warships that serve as the central support structure of Wraith Society. As well as hosting
Wraith Queens and serving as miniature nations within the Wraith Dominion, Hive Ships are
also the means by which human settlements are attacked and culled to provide a continuous
food supply for the Wraith. At approximately 6,750 meters in length, Hive
Ships are unshielded, but layered with nearly impenetrable organic armor, able to briefly
resist even Asgard Plasma weapons. Each ship carries tens of thousands of Wraith, but can
be operated by as little as a single individual should the situation demand it. Wraith vessels
use neural interface systems for fine control in combat, and make use of advanced jamming
codes to disable enemy missiles and Asgard transport systems.
The primary armament of a Wraith Hive Ship consists of many single-fire ship-to-ship
particle cannons. These weapons are able to sustain a high firing rate, creating a cone
of fire that can overwhelm almost any target. The cannons are also valuable as orbital bombardment
weapons and have been known to pierce even Lantean shield systems given sufficient time.
Though the hive’s regenerative hull plating is impressive, the ship’s lack of true energy
shields does result in a vulnerability to sustained fire, railgun barrages targeted
at sensitive areas have been known to cause critical damage, and attacks by Lantean drone
weapons are practically impossible for the Hive to endure.
Each Hive carries an extensive complement of auxiliary craft, useful for planetary cullings
and fleet escort assignments. A single hive is able to moor three full-sized Wraith Cruisers
to its hull, as well as carrying hundreds of Wraith Darts inside cavernous hanger bays.
Hyperdrive-equipped scout ships are also carried by most hives, and are often used to perform
reconnaissance or to serve as executive shuttlecraft. A Hive’s contingent of Darts is perhaps
its most lethal attribute, drastically increasing the speed of most planetary cullings through
the use of fighter-mounted culling beams, and providing a lethal defensive swarm in
heavy combat. Unlike Asgard and Lantean FTL systems, Wraith
hyperdrives are incapable of intergalactic travel, and suffer from certain deficiencies
even during interstellar flight. The organic hull structure of a Wraith Hive is vulnerable
to critical damage from radiation, and continuous use of hyperdrive engines can place the ship
in serious jeopardy. As a result of this, Wraith vessels are limited to 50-lightyear
hyperspace jumps, punctuated by fifteen-hour break periods between jumps to allow for hull
regeneration. The predictable nature of these breaks has often placed Wraith fleets at risk
of ambush, and allowed their course to be more easily calculated by hostile observers.
In spite of their vulnerabilities and limitations, the sheer scale and firepower of Wraith Hive
Ships has made them into one of the most fearsome vessels encountered by the Tau’ri. The strength
and resilience of these vessels has allowed the Wraith to drive even the ancient Lanteans
to defeat, and to maintain a cycle of unchallenged cullings across the Pegasus Galaxy for millennia.