2253 – Osprey

The Osprey class was an escort design created by Chandley Works, and put into mass production during the Four Years War in 2253. As with other wartime builds the class was built to mercantile hull standards, but it was so successful that postwar another batch built to Starfleet standards was ordered to replace the war weary escort fleet.

To maximise production, the Mk1 retained the tried and trusted L14 computer, and used a mix of FL5 and FL6 lasers. At a cost of 261 MCr the Osprey Mk1 was arguably one of the most cost effective combat vessels produced during the war. The Mk1 continued in production alongside the Phaser armed Mk2 which commenced construction in 2255, the Mk1 was actually better armed than the later model and also was only slightly less combat efficient – but two Mk1s could be produced for the cost of a single Mk2 and wartime economics and limits on the production of the new phasers ensured the older model continued in production until 2259, while the Mk2 ceased production in 2258.

2261 saw the definitive Mk3 enter service, equipped with the M1 computer and much enhanced weaponry and shields, the Mk3 soon became the standard escort version. A number of older vessels were refitted to this standard.

Many of the early Ospreys have been sold on to act as Police and Customs vessels, or to allied powers were they are frequently used in a light destroyer role.

The success of the Mk1 Osprey and its survival in production after the Mk2 is clear testimony to the well balanced and cost effective nature of the earlier version – traits which served the beleaguered Starfleet of the four years war very well.

Class: IV
Year: 2253
Ship Source: Based on early concept for Kiaga class PA
Ship Datasheet: Download PDF

2261 – Blade

The Blade class entered service in 2261 addressing concerns around the Signal intelligence (SIGINT) capabilities of the fleet, the name derived from the bladeship nickname that the design earned.

Bladeships are fully equipped with sensors and receivers for use in reconnaissance and surveillance, the huge blade housing massive arrays for monitoring communications and providing SIGINT.

Although the Bladeship design had some weaponry, the design as drafted was meant to fight running away (unusually it had two torpedo tubes firing aft but only one firing forward).

The designer of the bladeship, Commander Deitrick (unusually an operational intelligence office) based the design on his own experience of what was required in the role. After submitting the design to his superiors as part of a post mission debrief he was soon informed that a prototype would be built.

The first ship, USS Dagger, was built by Chandley Works and commissioned in 2261. The speed and intelligence gathering capabilities of the design impressed Intelligence command and series production was ordered.

The Mk1 mounted standard Starfleet systems and was intended for use on the UFP side of border areas.

The Mk2 swapped standard systems for an exotic blend of Orion and federation technology, partly for the cover story that those ships were not UFP, and partly for the opportunity to use the Orion systems that were well talilored for small craft. Use of an Orion computer system   was controversial, but it worked well. Also questioned was the choice of the higher efficiency but lower powered OSI shield generator compared to the FSH of the Mk1, however given the limited power of the single FWC-1 it and the intention of the class to use speed as it’s main defence this was deemed a sensible tradeoff.

For its size the Blade was the fastest ship in known space (indeed it was unmatched until the Enterprise class entered service), but couldn’t take a whole lot of damage the best defence the class had was that sheer speed – and its parting gift of twin torpedoed!

The Mk2 Blade also had stealth-shields that were the closest thing Starfleet had to a cloaking device. The Mk3 which entered service in2271 continued the mixed technology from the Mk2, while mounting three of the more potent FP-7 torpedoes to replace the earlier FP-2.

 

Although not meant for combat, the Blade when handled well can be deadly. In 2265 the USS Claymore was intercepted in disputed space by three IKS cruisers. The Claymore’s captain, realising that his direct escape route was cut off by IKS space, chose to engage his opponents by reversing into combat at full reverse speed with only shields covering those arcs raised. The manoeuvre surprised his opponents, and the Claymore managed to score direct hits on the warp drives of two of the IKS ships. Then taking advantage of the confusion the Claymore warped to safety.

Class: VI
Year: 2261
Ship Source: FASA Starfleet Intelligence Manual
Ship Datasheet: Download PDF

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The Blade write up is based on the background provided on David Deitrick’s (the ship’s designer) blog.

2265 – Archer

The Archer class scout was designed for use as an independent light scout/explorer in contested areas. Capable of landing on planets as part of its role, the Archer was notable for packing a considerable punch in its small size, with the Mk1 mounting an FP2 photon system in its nimble class II hull (although only 12 reloads can be carried). Three single FH4s were mounted (1FS,1FP and 1A) covering all arcs of fire.

The Mk2 mounted the FSD shield giving a marginal improvement over the Mk1. The later Mk3 offered much enhanced Photon torpedoes, with the new FP7 fitted, although this was at the expense of the rear phaser owing to limits imposed by the L14 computer. In compensation though another four reloads are now carried in the former phaser bay, although these have to be carried through the ship by hand for loading into the forward launcher.

The Archer is not designed as a combat ship, but as an independent scout it is capable of an extremely robust defence.

Class: III Year: 2265
Ship Source: Star Trek Vanguard Ship Datasheet: Download PDF

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Commissioned Ships include

  • USS Archer
  • USS Arjuna
  • USS Artemis
  • USS Bowman (NCC 1968)
  • USS Kyudo
  • USS Locksley
  • USS Longbow
  • USS Sagitarrius (NCC 1894)

2253 – Searay

The Searay class was born out of wartime need. Starfleet needed a fast scout to act as they eyes and ears of its advance battle fleets, as such a ship that was faster than the Heston and Constitution classes was required.

The Searay added a pair of nacelles to the basic Hermes class scout design, the resulting ship was immensely fast for short periods, but notoriously short ranged. Given the mission profile intended for the class, this trade off was deemed acceptable.

The 12 ships built performed well, but were not retained postwar in operational service as the short range handicapped their performance in most peacetime roles

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2261 – Karekh

The Karekh class scout/explorer is a Vulcan-designed and manufactured exploration vessel. This class was designed specifically for mapping space and performing related duties. As a result, the Karekh has an unusually powerful computer for a starship of its size. It is not a particularly well-known class, but it is very well suited for its mission. The vessel’s overall reliability is one of its greatest strengths. The interior configuration is similar to the more common Mission class, except that the Karekh has two decks instead of three.

As part of its mapping and patrol procedures, the Karekh locates new planetary systems. After detecting a new system, the explorer investigates further and determines whether the planet is suitable for colonization, or needs further evaluation by a more fully-equipped starship. Karekhs have made a great deal of celestial discoveries and first contacts, a source of satisfaction to Starfleet and the ship’s Vulcan builders.

The Mk I Karekh is totally unarmed. This makes the Mk I very popular with Vulcan crews (for whom it was originally designed) and less popular with most other races. In particular, no Andorians will serve willingly aboard a Karekh.

The Karekh marked a return to smaller cheaper scouts, and in many ways reflected the return of Starfleet to a peacetime footing.

Class: II Year: 2261
Ship Source: FASA/Lee Wood Ship Datasheet: Download PDF

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2242 – Sawyer

The Sawyer class Scout entered service in 2242. Designed as a fast scout for use in non combat areas, a total of 69 were built.

On paper, the Sawyer was an excellent vessel, being both efficient and fast.  The class was however always mistrusted by crews as it had earned an unenviable reputation as a result of a number of ships being lost. The USS Gulliver, destroyed at Axanar earned the class another unwanted footnote in history as being the first ship to be destroyed in the Four Years War in 2252.

The growing area of hostilities meant that few areas could really be deemed as being ‘non combat’ and during 2253 losses of the Sawyer Class mounted to an alarming extent. The situation came to a head in November 2253 when three of the surviving 40 ships of the class were lost with all hands. Starfleet Command immediately ordered that the ships be withdrawn from active service.

The reason for the failure of the class is hard to pinpoint, for their time they were not too badly armed or shielded, and they had a fair turn of speed and good manoeuvrability. In all 36 ships survived to be withdrawn from service, but they were soon pressed back into service as Trainers for Starfleet Academy . It was while serving in this role that a potential cause of the losses was found. It was discovered that the warp nacelle assembly, although rated for landing operations was in fact susceptible to stress damage, examination of the service history of the lost vessels showed that many were among the fleet leaders for number of landings.

As a result of this discovery all Sawyer class ships were withdrawn from any use in 2261, and were subsequently sold for scrap.

The lessons learned from the Sawyer debacle were implemented on all subsequent designs that had landing capability, and were retrofitted to existing designs. Chief among these improvements was an early type of structural reinforcement field that was used during take off and landing, as well during atmospheric operations to reduce stress on the hull and warp nacelle assembly.

Class: III Year: 2242
Ship Source: Space Flight Chronology Ship Datasheet: Download PDF

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2253 – Bode Refit

The Bode Class entered Starfleet service in 2236. This large (for its time) scout was one of the last major warship classes built without the benefit of dilithium moderated warp drives.  The Bode class was designed to act as a Battlefleet Scout, and quite often was deployed in task forces alongside a Baton Rouge Class Cruiser. The Baton Rouge Class ship being the flagship of the force, and the Bode it’s eyes and ears.  

The Mk1 Bode class featured protected warp nacelle bussards, on an engine that in terms of design owed much to the design used on the Mann class cruiser. Initially the protective ring only enclosed half of the bussard, but later this ring was extended around the whole circumference of the bussard scoop to try to boost efficiency.   The Bode was popular with its crews, as although only lightly armed with lasers, it did include a single FAC2 accelerator cannon, which meant that the Bode could easily damage then evade a more powerful opponent. The ample power of the engines and excellent maneuverability of the design allowed the Bode to choose its combats.

The Class was later supplanted in its fleet role by Hermes, Monoceros and Nelson class scouts, but it was retained in use supporting second line fleets. With the outbreak of the Four Years War, many Bode class vessels were pressed into service scouting ahead of convoys.   The failure of the diminutive Hale class in service, and its withdrawal from operational use in early 2253, meant that the Bode assumed greater importance. The other common scout class, the Sawyer, was deemed to be too small for the role, and production of Hermes and Nelson class vessels was being deferred in favour of Destroyers of the Larson and Saladin classes instead.  

Accordingly 20 Bodes were quickly re-equipped with Dilithium moderated warp drive, which gave a maximum speed of warp 8, however this was at the expense of a 20% loss of installed power. To compensate for this loss of available power, the shields were upgraded to the FSD binary system, which more than made up for the loss. As part of the upgrade the L14 computer replaced the old L3, but uniquely the class retained the old FNSP-5B impulse drive as it was felt that the operational profile of the class did not suffer from the lower maximum speed (0.25c) of the engine compared to the newer generation of impulse drives (0.5c).  Following the withdrawal of the Sawyer Class scout from service in late 2253 the Bode was for a short time the main fleet scout. When sufficient numbers of Nelson and Hermes class scouts became available in 2254 the Bode was withdrawn from operational service, as although it was a capable vessel problems with maintenance meant that the class was very man power intensive to maintain in service.  

Additionally, as with the experience with the Sawyer and Hale classes, Starfleet was uncomfortable with the level of losses that these light scouts were suffering given the crew shortages that Starfleet was suffering as a result of the war.  Most surviving Bodes were mothballed at the Morena Yards, and would have been recalled to service if the strategic  situation had deteriorated further, but in the event this was not required. Four Bode class ships remained in limited service attached to the Academy.  A proposal to refit the Bodes with Phasers, Photon Torpedoes and new impulse drives was made after the end of the war to allow a return to service, but it was felt that refitting newer classes was far more cost effective.  The Bodes attached to the Academy survived in service until 2262.  Most of the Bodes that had been stored at Morena were later expended in trials of the new FP4 torpedo system

  • Class:V
  • Year:2253
  • Ship Source:Space Flight Chronology
  • Ship Datasheet:Download PDF

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