The Siva class destroyer mounted the best in Federation technology for its size at the time it was built. First commissioned in 2243, it mounted the M-1 computer, FWB-1 warp engine, FIC-1 impulse engine and FSA shield generator. A controversial military design due to its accelerator cannon arrangement, the Siva was unique in that it possessed only one laser cannon mounted aft purely for defensive purposes.
The Siva was assigned to Military Operations as a light missile destroyer to be used offensively with fleet support. The ships were designed to work together in groups of three. In these squadrons, they were to attack an enemy vessel while it was engaged in combat with a larger friendly vessel.
Until the Four Years War, the Siva class did not see any combat action. However, at the outbreak of the war, Sivas were some of the first vessels deployed in combat. Starfleet was conscious of the limited combat mission the Siva could perform and did not dispatch Sivas alone. Starfleet deployed them as designed when suitable capital vessels could be mustered (which proved quite a chore in the early days of the war).
As the war stabilized and the urgency of ship allocation lessened, the Siva class came into its own. Working mainly with Coventry class frigates and Heston class cruisers, a squadron of Sivas would be assigned to a single larger vessel. After a space battle had occurred in which a Klingon task force had been splintered or largely destroyed, a single Heston or Coventry would engage any lone, surviving Klingon capital ships. Staying well away from the larger Starfleet vessel so as not to be detected, the Sivas would lie in wait until the capital vessels engaged in combat. The Sivas would fly in a perpendicular path to the enemy vessel, avoiding any hostile forward weapons. The Sivas would fire their forward accelerator cannons at optimum range and then fly-by their target. Then, they would release their aft cannons and keep on going until out of range of the enemy vessel. Here they would turn around and line up for another attack. It took great skill and power management to perform the maneuver safely and effectively.
Usually captained by young Lieutenant Commanders, these ships and their crews were especially noted for their “e’sprit de corp”. This was especially the case with the Siva crews, since the entire complement of ten vessels were always assigned to the same fleet. Since their combat duties were limited by their design, they often served as scouts, pairing up with one another for safety.
It was no secret that the Siva was severely under-powered. Due to the limitations of its design and the technology of the era, no additional models of the ship were constructed and no other builds took place. The power limitations also left Sivas vulnerable, especially to Klingon gunboats and escorts that protected capital ships. Of the ten Siva class destroyers built, four were destroyed in the Four Years War. Two were damaged beyond repair and scrapped. The surviving four were assigned to Starfleet Training Command after the war where they served until being scrapped in 2269. One vessel, the USS William Howe, NCC 3216, participated in the evacuation of the Alerian homeworld in 2268 (2/11).
The USS Siva was amongst amongst those severely damaged, and the hulk was used as the prototype for the more conventional Siva subclass of the Saladin class in 2248. Upon the recommissioning of the Siva in this new configuration the former class was renamed the William Howe class.
- Class: V
- Year: 2243
- Ship Source: FASA
- Ship Datasheet: Download PDF