Dreadnought (Individual Dreadnought-class WarShip)
- This article is about the first WarShip of the Dreadnought-class. For the Dreadnought-class of WarShips, see Dreadnought (WarShip class).
The TAS Dreadnought was the first true combat WarShip in history. Its construction ordered by Admiral James McKenna, the Dreadnought-class WarShip is named after this vessel. The vessel served with the Terran Alliance, Terran Hegemony and Star League as the TAS, THS and SLS Dreadnought, respectively.
Construction and Terran Alliance Civil War
Upon his assumption of Alliance Global Navy command in 2295, Admiral James McKenna began a program of construction for true combat warships. It was the first of six similar vessels built at the orbiting shipyards of Terra, Mars and Venus.
The TAS Dreadnought was launched as the flagship of Admiral McKenna in 2300 and over a period of fourteen years led a fleet of at least twenty-six ships for the Alliance Navy. McKenna eventually transferred his flag to the Black Lion, another Dreadnought-class vessel, and which would later give its name to the Black Lion-class WarShip.
In response to the civil war on Terra between the Liberal and Expansionist factions of the Alliance, the Dreadnought was used to bombard the island of Strand Rock, Scotland and another island off the coast of Australia from orbit, completely destroying them. This action on June 2, 2315 focused the attention of Terra and effectively ended the major fighting, paving the way for the creation of the Terran Hegemony. 
Terran Hegemony era
The THS Dreadnought would serve as the lead ship in Director-General James McKenna's numerous Campaigns of Persuasion. Even after Director-General McKenna transferred his flag to the first Black Lion I-class battle cruiser, the Dreadnought would serve the Hegemony for more than two and half centuries, earning more battle stars and kill awards than any other WarShip in the Hegemony Armed Forces. Those awards were not earned without cost; the Dreadnought also suffered crippling damage in numerous battles as well as the highest number of crew casualties of any Hegemony ship, most notably a near-catastrophic fire during an early Age of War battle near Cylene after a disabled Draconis Combine Aerospace Fighter made a kamikaze run into the ship's port landing bay. In total the Dreadnought spent almost four decades in dock during her centuries of service life, repairing battle damage and undergoing service life extensions.
Star League era - Museum Ship
By the formation of the Star League in 2571, the Dreadnought was one of the last four remaining Dreadnought-class ships, with all nearing the end of their viable service lives. Though the other three ships received their last of dozen lifetime upgrades in the 2550s and 60s, Commanding General Shandra Noruff-Cameron of the newly formed Star League Defense Forces chose to cancel the scheduled upgrade for the Dreadnought and assign all four of the ships to the League's reserve fleet. Ultimately while the three other ships would be reactivated and see service during the Reunification War before their final retirements in 2602, the SLS Dreadnought instead became the cornerstone of the Luna Air, Space and Stars Museum.
In orbit around Luna above the sprawling museum complex, though designated a museum ship, the SLS Dreadnought remained active on the SLDF rolls. While many of her cargo bays were converted to showcases for notable artifacts from humanity's race to the stars, the Dreadnought retained a full crew of SLDF personnel, typically all on their final tours before retirement with her commanding officer always a retiring SLDF Rear Admiral. Thus the Dreadnought was maintained in pristine near-combat ready condition, as well as supporting a demonstration wing that flew a variety of vintage fighters during special shows and events. As of 27 December 2766, the ship was under the command of retiring Rear Admiral Martin Castillo.
Amaris Coup - Death of the Grand Old Queen
Considering the Dreadnought little more than a museum exhibit, Amaris' troops ignored it completely as they launched nuclear strikes against the two largest SLDF bases on Luna during the opening stages of Operation APOTHEOSIS. Rear Admiral Castillo ordered his crew to battle stations upon detecting the first explosions, but realized that with only limited fuel and ammunition that they could not make a viable contribution to the battle of Terra. Instead, the Dreadnought took aboard civilian refugees and survivors from the moon bases as the ship moved to dock with the orbiting Tranquility Base to refuel. Watching as the battle over Terra unfolded, Admiral Castillo broke orbit 18 hours after it began, escorting dozens of Civilian DropShips as the Dreadnought traveled to Jupiter, stopping at the Deep Range Gunnery Station to rearm before jumping out of the system at a Pirate Point, carrying thousands of passengers transferred from the civilian DropShips.
For the next three weeks, the venerable Dreadnought would jump from system to system, watching from the edges to gauge the strength of the Republican defenders before striking and eliminating the invaders at the least defended Jump Point, allowing numerous civilian ships to escape the Republican blockades. Castillo would slowly amass a civilian fleet of almost thirty JumpShips and over sixty DropShips saved by the Dreadnought, accompanying the WarShip as it attempted to make its way through the now hostile Hegemony to safety.
Unfortunately, the Dreadnought's luck finally ran out when Admiral Castillo's "fleet" reached the Hegemony border world of Wyatt. Ambushed by a heavy squadron of Republican ships, the Dreadnought held on for nearly thirty minutes of withering fire that crippled her engines, jump drive and most of her turrets, leaving her adrift. Seeking to deny the Republicans their prize, Admiral Castillo ordered the Dreadnought scuttled, the grand old ship destroyed and her surviving crew killed as her remaining ammunition magazines were detonated in unison. Watching from the safety of the other jump point, the civilian ships were finally able to jump to the safety of the Lyran Commonwealth, taking with them stories of the horrors Stefan Amaris was inflicting upon the Hegemony as well as the courage of the Dreadnought's crew.
The Dreadnought's role as a museum ship desperately reactivated and guarding a fleet of civilian ships trying to escape an overwhelming foe is acknowledged as a fairly overt homage to the modern Battlestar Galactica series, cemented by its captain sharing the same name as the character Edward James Olmos (who played the Galactica's commander in the reboot) played in Miami Vice.
The Dreadnought name itself is likely derived from HMS Dreadnought, a revolutionary warship design of the early 20th century that also was the first of its type, although unlike the BattleTech WarShip HMS Dreadnought was a one-off design rather than the first of a class.
- Historical: Liberation of Terra Volume 1, p. 78 "Conquering the Hegemony - Last Stand of the Grand Old Queen"