The Al'kesh is a Goa'uld ship designed for medium-range bombing of ground targets from air or space. Its primary purpose is to remove aerial defenses and to cover Goa'uld ground troops during invasion. Due to its relatively large size, the Al'kesh is also used for cargo and troop transport. The ship has been co-opted for uses by humans, as well. In comparison with other Goa'uld spacecraft, an Al'kesh is larger than a Tel'tak and smaller than a Ha'tak. The Al'kesh was first encountered in 4.22 "Exodus Part 1".
The Al'kesh is the Goa'uld mid-range bomber and troop carrier, designed to support invasions of planets by System Lords. It is larger than the Tel'tak scout ship and Death Glider, yet much smaller than the Ha'tak mothership. It has about one-tenth the mass of the Earth ship Prometheus (7.13 "Grace").
Offensively, the Al'kesh is equipped with two staff cannons mounted on the ventral side (4.22 "Exodus Part 1", 5.14 "48 Hours"). It also has energy weapons, sometimes called plasma bombs, that are fired one at a time and are powerful enough to destroy underground structures (5.15 "Summit Part 1"). It was noted by Teal'c to have more armaments than a Death Glider (4.22 "Exodus Part 1").
Defensively, the Al'kesh is equipped with a cloak (4.22 "Exodus Part 1", 8.14 "Full Alert"). Al'kesh do not seem to have operational shields (5.14 "48 Hours"), except in the alternate timeline created by Ba'al ("Stargate: Continuum").
The Al'kesh is capable of both sub-light travel and travel through hyperspace via a hyperdrive (7.13 "Grace"). The engine controls use the typical Goa'uld crystals, and externally it has four engine nacelles (8.10 "End Game"). For movement of troops and equipment, it is equipped with a ring transporter, which sits in a large room that can also be used for storage (8.10 "End Game", 8.12 "Prometheus Unbound"). Some have been modified to use an Asgard-type beaming transporter (8.10 "End Game").
In terms of strategy, the Al'kesh can be used alone to take out ground defenses, but they are often see attacking in tandem with Death Gliders, who concentrate on the air-to-air component of the combat. (10.07 "Counterstrike", 7.22 "Lost City Part 2").
The ship is capable of transporting loads via a suspended sling, over the surface of a planet (9.02 "Avalon Part 2"). It has also been adapted to tow cargo vessels in space (10.15 "Bounty).
The bridge of the Al'kesh has a control station and two pilot chairs, one with a spherical control interface. It also has an engine room, a ring transporter room that can also be used to store cargo, and no doubt other rooms never shown, such as quarters. (8.10 "End Game", 10.03 "The Pegasus Project")
Important Al'kesh appearances in Stargate SG-1.
Teal'c disabled the Al'kesh Tanith was commanding with a staff canon. The Al'kesh crashed into the Stargate and exploded, killing Tanith and trapping Teal'c temporarily in the wormhole matter stream. (5.14 "48 Hours")
Al'kesh used their plasma weapons to destroy Tok'ra tunnels that were buried deep underground on Ravanna, showing the weapon's power and killing many Tok'ra, and leading to the death of Lantash and his host, Lt. Elliot. (5.15 "Summit Part 1")
Al'kesh bombers fired on SGC personnel on P3X-666, using especially their plasma bombs. O'Niell was nearly killed by one passing overhead after he had been felled by a staff weapon blast. (7.18 "Heroes Part 2")
Al'kesh and Death Gliders cooperated in their attack of Antarctica and the Earth defensive forces; in the chaos, there was air-to-air engagement between the Al'kesh and Earth's F-302s. (7.22 "Lost City Part 2")
When Osiris came to Earth the second time, she came in an Al'kesh (7.15 "Chimera"). When she was killed and her host rescued, her Al'kesh remained cloaked in orbit. The anti-government organization The Trust took control of it using Osiris's wrist device to activate its Asgard beam and used it to steal Earth's Stargate. Earth managed to get back the Stargate and SG-1, but The Trust got away with the ship. (8.10 "Endgame"). The Trust members on the Al'kesh were captured by the Goa'uld and implanted with symbiotes themselves. Presumably the Al'kesh went back into the Goa'uld fleet. (8.14 "Full Alert")
Vala Mal Doran used a human distress signal on an Al'kesh she had overtaken to lure the Prometheus to her aid. She used the rings to transport everyone by Daniel to the Al'kesh and left them trapped there. Hammond and the crew managed to make the ship operational again, and met up with Prometheus. Vala then escaped on the repaired Al'kesh. (8.12 "Prometheus Unbound")
With the demise of the Goa'uld System Lords, the Lucian Alliance rose to some prominence. It acquired a fleet of Al'kesh, which it used for ship-to-ship combat in space, such as when Alliance members tried to stop the cargo ship SG-1 was on. Perhaps its design as a bomber impaired its ability to fight other ships (9.04 "The Ties That Bind"). The Lucian Alliance also adapted the ships, improbably, to tow cargo containers full of the precious grain Kassa (10.15 "Bounty").
An Al'kesh captured by Earth came in very handy when Teal'c used it on the mission to lock up the Ori Supergate by connecting it to a black hole in Pegasus. He watched the destruction of an Ori ship as well as the Supergate activation from the cockpit of the Al'kesh. (10.03 "The Pegasus Project")
In an alternate timeline, Ba'al included Al'kesh in his invasion fleet to Earth. Teal'c took one of the Al'kesh to find the Russian Stargate on Earth. Once there, he extended the Al'kesh shield around the Russian facility. No Al'kesh had ever shown evidence of a shield before, and perhaps in this timeline they still don't have them. ("Stargate: Continuum")
- 4.22 "Exodus Part 1"
- 5.14 "48 Hours"
- 5.15 "Summit Part 1"
- 7.15 "Chimera"
- 7.18 "Heroes Part 2"
- 7.22 "Lost City Part 2"
- 8.10 "Endgame"
- 8.12 "Prometheus Unbound"
- 8.14 "Full Alert"
- 9.04 "The Ties That Bind"
- 10.03 "The Pegasus Project"
- 10.07 "Counterstrike"
- 10.15 "Bounty"
- Stargate: Continuum
- Col. Jack O'Neill
- Dr. Daniel Jackson
- Capt./Maj./Col. Samantha Carter
- Vala Mal Doran
- Gen. George Hammond
- Death Glider
- Lucian Alliance
- Ring Transporter
- Super Stargate
- System Lord
- The Trust
--Michelle 22:03, 22 November 2008 (PST)