The K’Kmarak class was developed as a research ship only. It was never intended for combat and only carries weapons for defense. When the Mk I was commissioned, the need for a research vessel in the rimward areas of the Federation was greatest. As each ship in this class was completed, it was sent to this area to aid in the expansion of the territory. The K’Kmarak was instrumental in mapping this great expanse of space and in establishing contact with heretofore unknown races.
All ships in this class are designed for extended stays and therefore have large living quarters and working areas. Also, ships of this type have some of the most extensive laboratory facilities aboard any Starfleet ship. They are capable of performing the most intricate of planetary studies and have monitored and recorded several novas. It was during one of these investigations that a K’Kmarak class vessel the USS T’Pool (NCC 24307) was engulfed by a stellar explosion that covered 1200 A.U.s in 20 hours. Luckily for the crew aboard, their ship was caught up in a solar wind of phenomenal proportions which pushed away the T’Pool from the main thrust of the radiation. When all had settled, the T’Pool was still intact and flight worthy. The crew, however, had begun to suffer from radiation poisoning within a few days. The ship wandered about for several weeks until it was discovered by the USS Agincourt (NCC 4314), a Larson class destroyer. The crew was beamed aboard the Agincourt and the T’Pool was left adrift with marker beacons on, warning any approaching vessels to stay away. When ships were dispatched to recover the hull, the T’Pool was no where to be found and has not been seen or heard from since.
The Mk II version of this ship mounted the more powerful FWC-2, although maximum warp speed was slightly decreased. The Mk III version has improved firing arcs for its defensive FH-2 phasers. This upgrade was in response to the destruction of the research vessel USS Grissom in 2285 (2/22). After the Grissoms’ destruction, Starfleet reevaluated its research fleet and began a program to upgrade their defensive capabilities.
The K’Kmarak vessels were not built in substantial numbers, but the class is a capable one. All in all, the K’Kmarak class has served its purpose well and is still in service today. It should be noted that all K’Kmarak class ships are crewed by Vulcans.
Of the 14 K’Kmaraks built, 11 remain in active service. One Mk I is listed as missing. One Mk I and 1 Mk II have been scrapped. All remaining vessels have been upgraded to Mk IIIs. The K’Kmarak is no longer in production.
The K’Kmarak class has been named in honor of an early Vulcan scientist and explorer. K’Kmarak vessels carry on in the tradition of their namesake.
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