The five Andor Class Pathfinders entered service in 2266, and were intended to demonstrate the viability of a modern photon torpedo armed missile cruiser following concerns about the performance of earlier missile armed ships.
All five ships were built at the Andor shipyards and commissioned into Military Operations Command, and were the subject of intense scrutiny prior to the production order being placed for the linear warp drive equipped Andor class.
The five pathfinders were used as training ships to support the build up of the Andor class following the end of their short active service careers, all five ships were sold on, three joining the Andorian Planetary Guard, and the other two to the AOFW.
Andor’s Pride – Commissioned 2266, Training Ship 2273, Sold to Andor 2280
Andor’s Vengeance – Commissioned 2266, Training Ship 2273, Sold to Andor 2280
Andor’s Courage Commissioned 2267, Training Ship 2273, Sold to Andor 2280
Andor’s Retribution Commissioned 2267, Training Ship 2274, Sold to AOFW 2284
Andor’s Bravery Commissioned 2267, Training Ship 2274, Sold to AOFW 2284
The Brenton class cruiser was designed as a complement to the Constitution class vessels and a replacement for the ageing Baton Rouge class ships in front line areas. An excellent example of Starfleet’s multi-mission design philosophy, the Brenton can readily serve under Galaxy Exploration Command or Military Operations Command. It also serves as a command ship for Starfleet operations.
The Brenton is economical to build and cheaper to operate than most other similar sized cruisers. It has a smaller crew than Constitution or later Enterprise class heavy cruisers, but can serve in similar roles as the heavy cruisers. The Brenton was designed more for combat than research, although it does have adequate facilities on board for research and exploration. It is not classed as a heavy cruiser due to lack of a secondary hull, however due to the immense width of the class it does not lack internal space.
The Brenton was designed for the older style warp nacelles from the Constitution class era, but after the first five units this was changed during construction when the newer design became standard usage. Its aft-firing torpedo has caused many an opponent to think twice before attacking from the rear. In fact, when the Brenton class first saw combat with the Klingons, the Klingons were allowed to approach from the rear. The Klingons, seeing the perfect chance to attack, were annihilated at close range by the “stupid, crippled Federation captains”, as was quoted by one captured Klingon commander after the engagement. This action has caused the Klingons to treat Brentons with respect.
By the mid-2190s, transtator based subspace transmitters were compact enough to be suitable for fitment to Starfleet vessels other than specialized communications ships. The first ships to carry the new compact transmitters were the Hyperion Class Cruisers launched in 2194. The class had initially been designed as a exploratory follow-up to the Moskva class of 2179. However, when the Mercury subspace communication and sensor system became available, the Hyperion class was seen as an ideal platform. The Mercury system was mounted in a specially shielded housing on the primary hull. The Mark 2 features new more efficient and faster warp engines.
Early Federation exploration efforts were hampered by the lack of effective communication between command and distant ships, all long range communication required the user of booster buoys. By the mid-2190s, transtator based subspace transmitters were compact enough to be suitable for fitment to Starfleet vessels other than specialized communications ships. The first ships to carry the new compact transmitters were the Hyperion Class Cruisers launched in 2194. The class had initially been designed as a exploratory follow-up to the Moskva class of 2179. However, when the Mercury subspace communication and sensor system became ravailable, the Hyperion class was seen as an ideal platform. The Mercury system was mounted in a specially shielded housing on the primary hull.
The Hyperion class design’s basic structure and equipment were otherwise generally similar to the Moskva class, with eolutionary improvements to ship’s systems. The primary hull had become a flatter biconvex disc that was raised above the longitudinal axis of the secondary hull. The warp drive system comprised the FFTL-3B matter/antimatter reactor powering twin warp nacelles.
A dividend of the long-range subspace sensor was higher starship speeds, and the Hyperion was one of the first classes equipped with the new ‘B’ series warp drives. Earlier ships were limited to speeds less than warp 5 because their short-range navigational sensors gave at most a few seconds’ warning to avoid objects in their paths. The new sensors linked to the L series computers allowed Warp 5 to be reached safely for the first time since the NX class with its experimental Vulcan sensor suite.
Perhaps the most famous ship of the class was USS Triton, which had an unfortunate contact with the Klingon Empire while attempting to establish diplomatic and commercial relations. As modern diplomatic protocols had not yet been introduced, Triton’s captain, Natalia Thibodeaux, decide to beam herself and a diplomatic team into the Great Hall on Qo’onoS on October 11, 2218. Unfortunately, the Klingons had assembled in the Great Hall to celebrate their “expulsion” of the H’urq 11 centuries earlier and killed 7 members of the first-contact team. Thibodeaux and the survivors of the team managed to beam back safely, but USS Triton was severely damaged and nearly brought out of orbit by Klingon attacks. A total of 32 crew members were killed. By the time Triton limped back to Starstation McCall, the Federation was on the verve of war with the Klingon Empire. These hostilities led to the four years war some 40 years later were unremitting for the next 80 years until the signing of the Khitomer accords.
Ships of the Hyperion class served in a wide range of roles, including long-range explorers, command ships, border-patrol ships, and escort/sentries. Several ships also served with civilian agencies, such as the UFP Institute of Science. However the class was relatively lightly armed and rarely used in a front line role The last ship was retired from active service in 2229.
USS Pacatrix, which saw extensive service as a long-range explorer both inside and outside Federation space, is now on display at the Starfleet Museum.