From FreeSpace Wiki
The SJ Sathanas is the most powerful space-faring warship ever encountered by the GTVA. It is comparable in size to and perhaps more than a match for the GTVA Colossus.
- Not to be confused with the SJD Sathanas.
A debris chunk of the Sathanas is also included as an individual model and ship, known as the SpaceHunk.
With four ultra-heavy beam cannons concentrated in the bow, a Sathanas outstrips even a Colossus-class vessel in terms of raw firepower that it can project at one target. Like other Shivan capital ships, the Sathanas has an attack-oriented design that makes use of the known Shivan superiority at subspace jumping to deal devastating first-strike blows. The Sathanas best exemplifies the Shivan war machine, which is dependent on continually being on the attack to keep its flaws from being exposed. On the defensive it can still deal out heavy blows, but ultimately it is not prepared for the role.
The only apparent weakness of the Shivan juggernaut is that the massive beam cannons are concentrated at the bow, and aside from a comparatively diminutive anti-warship beam cannon at the stern, the other flanks of the massive warship are covered only by point-defense weapons. The main armament is also not well defended against fighters compared to the Colossus. Nonetheless, a Sathanas is still more than able to defend itself and project offensive power via the many hundreds of fighters and bombers it carries in its cavernous hangar. Thus, stopping a juggernaut is almost impossible.
Even the "expedient" of disabling the massive warship is hardly worth considering, due to the numerous redundant engines found on the hull. In essence, any attack on a Sathanas-class juggernaut can be considered almost suicidal. Only the Colossus demonstrated enough firepower to take on a Sathanas.
The first combat appearance of a Shivan Juggernaut was in the nebula theater, beyond the first Knossos portal in Gamma Draconis, when the warship destroyed a Vasudan task force assaulting a Shivan gas mining operation. The GTVA immediately began to withdraw from the nebula, though not before sending a pilot in the new Ptah-class stealth fighter to scan the vessel. Based on this information, the Alliance launched a targeted bombing mission to eliminate several of the forward beam cannons (there is no canon consensus concerning exactly how many were destroyed, but at least two were taken out) in the Gamma Draconis system, and the GTVA Colossus engaged and destroyed the weakened juggernaut after it jumped to the Capella system.
After that victory, the GTVA were confident they could eliminate any threats the Shivans could present, and returned to the nebula with the objective of locating and capturing Admiral Aken Bosch. However, that goal failed to be achieved as GTVA forces discovered that multiple Sathanas-class juggernauts were en route to GTVA space. Gamma Draconis was quickly overrun by the swift advance of the juggernaut fleet, which shortly entered Capella. In a desperate gamble, the GTVA fleet held the Shivans at bay while civilians were evacuated to Epsilon Pegasi and Vega. During the closing stages of the battle, the GTVA Colossus was destroyed in Capella by a Shivan juggernaut while providing a diversion for the GTD Bastion, which was tasked with collapsing the jump corridor to Epsilon Pegasi. In a final startling turn of events, the Shivan juggernauts instigated the supernova of the Capella star as the jump corridor to Vega was destroyed.
The Shivan juggernaut fleet is the single most serious threat to the survival of the Terran and Vasudan species. The prowess of this class was tragically demonstrated when a Sathanas juggernaut destroyed the GTVA Colossus in the Capella system. The GTVA barely managed to stop one Sathanas, and even then it was with a warship that took two decades and enormous amounts of resources to construct. An encounter with any more Shivan juggernauts will only be able to be stopped with extreme difficulty.
FS2 Tech Room Description
Very little is known about the SJ Sathanas class. This juggernaut seems comparable in strength to the GTVA Colossus. All intelligence concerning the Sathanas has been classified level Upsilon.
In the Inferno campaign, the Sathanas makes use of a subspace weapon based on the one seen in FreeSpace 2's penultimate cutscene. Several other mods including the Scroll of Atankharzim and Inferno-based campaigns also make use of this addition.
Unfortunately, currently the pincer movements and other cosmetic effects have not been reproduced in-game, though it would theoretically be possible to do so using the Animation Code and major modifications to the model.
The supreme forward firepower of the Sathanas against the GTVA Colossus.
The SJ Sathanas in FS2_Open 3.6.10
A potential SJ Sathanas for the next MediaVPs by Rga_Noris
A potential SJ Sathanas for the next MediaVPs by bobbtmann
The main beam weaponry in the Inferno mod.
A texture redux from Rga_Noris on his take of the Sathanas.
The Sathanas, like most FS2 Shivan capital craft, has an attack-oriented design that makes use of the known Shivan superiority at subspace jumping (at least in capital craft) to deal devastating first-strike blows. If itself attacked, it has problems. It has a single other anti-capital beam, an LRed in a "stinger" position aft and below; this weapon is not sufficent to prevent the Sathanas from being flanked. The Sathanas' defenses against fightercraft assault are respectable, but poorly sited to defend against an attack on its main armament. (The Colossus is notably superior in this regard.) In a way the Sathanas is a microcosm of the Shivan war machine, which is dependent on continually being on the assault to keep its flaws from being exposed. On the defensive it can still deal out heavy blows, but ultimately it is not prepared for the role. It is worth noting that the only time ingame the Sathanas was actually attacked, by a Vasudan corvette in A Monster in the Mist, it was unable to come to grips with its opponent. Additionally, in High Noon, the main challenge was to survive a head-on exchange with the Sathanas; once the Colossus got past that and both ships switched to a broadside confrontation, the Colossus started turning the tables against the Shivan juggernaut, which had virtually no long-range weaponry on its sides and flank to fight back save the LRed and SAAAs.
It is also vulnerable to fighters and bombers if they attack near enough to the weapons subsystem, making it impossible for the anti-fighter beams to reach.
It's not clear if the Sathanas is a warship at all, or some kind of colonization vessel or Shivan living quarters fitted with heavy weaponry. It certainly has some kind of secondary non-combat capabilites, such as the bizarre equipment that the Shivans used to destroy the Capella star. Via Petrarch's statements in the end cutscenes, Volition seems to imply that the Shivans destroyed Capella to create subspace access to their homeworld and used the Sathanses as glorified personnel transports for their journey.
This giant warship is curious, neither the Colossus nor the Sathanas have very good anti-fighter defenses. A squadron of Helios-capable bombers can take out all of its main beam cannons, leaving it vulnerable to attack. If it wasn't for the "supercap" flag, the Sathanas in such a state would be vulnerable to attacks by destroyers.
This is one bigass mother of a ship. However, its defensive capabilities against fighters and bombers are far below par, so you can easily see why I disagree with the first comment. A quick salvo of Helios missiles should take care of the four front beams. The only annoying thing one should be warned about this is the forward flak cannon constantly bombarding your ship. If you can get rid of that, the ship is easily fried into helpless cap-ship fodder. Given an endless amount of time, enough missiles, and enough patience, it's possible that a single fighter or bomber could take down this juggernaut, as the Shivans apparently weren't planning on engineering defenses into their cap-ship destroyer. Unless its forward beam turrets are intact, it's as harmless as a fly (although not easily as squashed). Just be warned not to sit in front of it as it jumps out.
It is true that a Sathanas CAN be flanked by a smaller warship, but do not underestimate the strength of its rear-facing LRed. Without any fighters or bombers to disable it, even a Hatshepsut-class destroyer may not be able to survive attacking it from behind. If that single turret is destroyed, however, it will change the outcome.
It is also interesting to note that the Sathanas has basic AWACS capabilities, meaning that it can occasionally target and open fire on hostile stealth fighters in addition to relaying the enemy stealth fighter's targeting data to all nearby friendly ships.
A note about the ship's turn radius: if ordered to attack a nearby target, the AI code will tell the Sathanas to move forward while turning (rather than just pivot in place), so a warship placed to the side of the Sathanas in the right "sweet spot" can harass the juggernaut while remaining out of range of the short-range anti-fighter beams and blobs guarding the Sath's flanks. The Sath will turn in a wide circle and will never bring its main guns to bear. In this way a Fenris can defeat a Sathanas over the course of an hour, assuming that the latter's fighterbays are empty, and that the person who FREDded the mission didn't simply give the Shivan vessel a decent waypoint path to follow. For example, telling the Sath to head for a distant waypoint will cause it to pivot tightly, in which case the Fenris is screwed.
Despite all this, remember that the Sathanas is not meant to be left immobile and unescorted. If you create a mission, make sure that the ship turns to face the opponent, or at least move to evade. Also, the Sath's presumably very large fighter complement should be enough to overwhelm GTVA bombers and warships. Consider these factors when designing a strike against a Sathanas.
I find that as long as you're nowhere near any flak cannons, staying low and close to the hull like you're walking on it is a method that can allow you to effectively neutralize every one of its turrets. Of course it'll take a while, since you're certainly not going to get your wingmen to follow you in your plan. The Sathanas in my opinion really only poses a threat to big ships. (A really, really big threat.)