2141 – Cavalry

“The Cavalry Class entered service in 2151, and was the main Destroyer class in service until the advent of the Marshall Class. These ships gave sterling service, but have been overshadowed in history by the prolific Marshall Class. In terms of basic layout, these ships can be considered the precursor of later Destroyers and Scouts of the Saladin Class family.”

The Cavalry Class entered service in 2141 as the UESN’s primary destroyer type. Visually very distinctive with its boat like hull and single underslung warp nacelle, the class was a very familiar site throughout the period 2140s and 50s. The Class did have some notable advances, it was one of the first designed to have routinely jettisonable/reattachable warp nacelle, which meant that major work on the nacelle could be undertaken by simply swapping the nacelle assembly. As a design created during the ‘peaceful’ 2140s, despite its destroyer nomenclature, the class was used primarily for policing and customs work.

A limited upgrade in 2151, following encounters with the Klingons, equipped the ships with a lighter improved warp drive (still fusion based) and a modest increase in weapon capacity. The main improvement resulting from these changes was 50% reduction in energy cost during manouevering, allowing more power to be used for shields and weapons.

Heightening tensions with the Romulans led to a final upgrade in 2156, when one of the first mass produced M/AM powerplants replaced the fusion systems. This gave the ships space for further weapons upgrades, and a another 50% cut in maneouevering energy costs. The downside of the changes was that the shield had to be downgraded to an EDS-M to keep the class in its mass limits, however given the limited power available for shields, the effect of this change was minimal.

During the war, these ships were employed in second line roles, given the emergence of the far more powerful Torsk and Marshall clases, but they did as a result provide a valuable role in allowing the more modern classes to be directed to the front lines. All Cavalry class ships were retired at the end of the war, and as such none saw service in the UFP Starfleet.

Class: II Year: 2141
Ship Source: Image based on FASA design  (labelled as Marshall Class).
Stats by David Gaba
Ship Datasheet: Download PDF

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2150 – U15 stelal’deletham (Defender of Stars) Class

The U-15A entered service in 2150 and the U-15B in 2151. In appearance, it was combination of the sleek hull of the U-9 and the wide wing of the U-13. Powered by the latest RFTL-4 warp nacelles it was the fastest ship in the fleet when it commissioned.

The ship was produced in two variants, the U-15A mounted twin plasma cannons, and the U-15B mounted cluster missiles instead. Both variants could carry a single star bomb for additional anti-ship punch. Generally, the ships were deployed in threes, with two U-15Bs to each U-15A.

On 14 October 2157 , a U-15 fired the first shot of the declared war, when it fired a single SB-2 star bomb into the UES Patton near Eta Leonis VI. The Patton had been assigned to await the response to the ultimatum delivered four months previously to the Romulan Star Empire by Admiral Gunther. Three U-15s closed in on the Patton, and it got only one message off before it was destroyed, but that message was War!

Most Romulan fleet actions in the war used U-15s as the main ship; on 17 March 2158 , two squadrons of U-15s fought an earth Alliance force of similar numbers to a tactical draw at Prantares, the Romulan fleet had been headed to Rigel to trade for urgently needed technical supplies.

U-15s made up a large part of the fleet that engaged the Earth forces near Gamma Hydra, which then engaged further forces under Admiral Larson on 02 May 2159 .

In all some 575 U-15s were built, 160 U-15As and, 340 U-15Bs, and 75 U-15Cs.

The U-15C first entered service in 2155. It was a squadron command ship, which mounted a smaller missile system to allow more room for command and control facilities. It was not successful in service, and was generally used as a standard cruiser instead as the flag bridge was too small to carry a coordinating staff of sufficient size.

A number of U-15s were later converted to U-21 configuration.

Class: VII Year: 2150
Ship Source: Steve Bacon/FASA Ship Datasheet: Coming Soon

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2146 – U13 vastagor vastarum (Death Flyer) Class

The U-13, which entered fleet service in 2146, was one of the heaviest designs to see service in the Romulan fleet. It mated a hull based on that of the early U-7 class to a new wing structure mounting the new RFTL-3 warp nacelle. The U-13 was designed for a specific purpose; it was intended as a long-range patrol cruiser. The re-adoption of the large hull form allowed a bay to be fitted that carried one of the immense SB-2 star bombs and sufficient fuel for an extended individual patrol. 120 of the U-13As were built, and it performed sterling work in this role. Additionally, these ships carried out deep penetration raids with some success. While on patrol near Eta Leonis VI on 16 June 2156 , a U-13A received the ultimatum calling for the Romulan Government to stop the piratical attacks from Admiral Gunther.

The success of these penetration missions prompted the adoption of the U-13B. The U-13B (60 built) first commissioned in 2148. It carried three SB-2 star bombs in the weapons bay, but carried only half the fuel of the U-13A. These ships were employed as strike cruisers and as heavy weapon platforms alongside more conventionally armed lighter cruisers.

Desperate for a way to strike back at the Earth Forces the U-13C and U-13D were conceived in 2157. The U-13C carried no star bombs (but retained conventional weapons); the U-13D carried five star bombs, at the expense of a reduced range. The plan was to employ the U-13Cs as tankers to allow the U-13D to reach deep inside Allied territory. It was planned that two U-13Cs would support each U-13D. In total 50 U-13Cs and 24 U-13Ds were converted (40 U-13Cs and 6 U-13Ds were converted from U-13As, 10 U-13Cs and 18 U-13Ds were converted from U-13Bs).

The first mission of the U-13C/D combination saw 48 U-13Cs stage the fleet to a safe distance from Alpha Omega B. The 24 U-13Ds and 24 escorting U-13As proceeded to that planet and attacked on 25 July 2159 . The ensuing raid saw the fleet bombard the planet with 120 star bombs from the U-13Ds (and a further 24 from the U-13As in a diversionary attack). The Diversionary U-13As went in first and were wiped out by local defences, but the U-13Ds went into the gap left in the defences and struck. Over 20,000 military and civilian personnel were killed, and the planet was rendered uninhabitable. This proved to be the deepest incursion into Allied space.

The raiding force suffered a major loss while returning to base, during an in flight  refuelling operation one of the U-13Ds exploded, destroying the U-13C it was linked to, and taking a further 12 U-13Cs with it in the explosion that resulted. Fortunately, all but one of these had already dispensed their fuel loads, allowing the surviving ships to return to base. A raid on Earth was in preparation, when on 25 November 2159 an Allied force raided the Romulan shipyards at Manaraam, this was the deepest Allied incursion of the war, and was in response to the attack on Alpha Omega B. Ironically 18 of the ships destroyed in the raid were U-13Ds. This attack and the loss of the 13 tankers in one accident was effectively the death knell for the program, as insufficient numbers of U-13s remained to convert to U-13C or D standards. The remaining U-13Cs were later modified to carry two externally mounted Star bombs as U-13Es, but the war ended before they could be perfected.

Class: IX Year: 2146
Ship Source: Steve Bacon Ship Datasheet: Coming Soon

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2144 – U11 “Greater Bird” Class

The first U-11 commissioned in 2144. It was a standard U-9 with a stretched hull. The hull extension allowed the fitment of weapon bay that allowed the internal storage of two star-bomb missiles.

Internally the U-11A mounted the same systems as the U-9A, and the warp drive system was the same as the earlier vessel (RFTL-2). The additional weight of the star-bomb missile launch system meant that the U-11A was slower and less efficient than its smaller cousin was.

Production of the U-11A was limited, as the U-13B introduced in 2148 did the same role much more effectively. In all just 40 ships were built. In 2157, the surviving 21 ships were fitted with RFTL-5 engines and became U-11B in a program that ran alongside the U-9B program.

The U-11 was employed mainly to interdict Allied Capital ships on penetration raids. The firepower given by the Starbombs made it devastating for a single salvo, but woefully under armed as soon as the two missiles had been fired if the target was not crippled or destroyed. Operation experience led to the ships being deployed in packs of three of four vessels to ensure a killer blow could be swiftly struck. Against individual targets this worked, but if engaging a capital ship with escorts, the end result was normally the loss of the pack.

The U-11B is notable for being the first ship class to use the then experimental R2L-1, a year before it’s formal acceptance into service.

Class: VII Year: 2144
Ship Source: Steve Bacon Ship Datasheet: Download PDF

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2142 – U9 vas’rosvlai (Silver Bird) Class

The U-9 class started to commission in 2142 the ship soon gained a fearsome reputation, but despite this the Earth crews dubbed it the flying peanut.

The first confirmed action involving U-9s against an Earth ship came on 18 October 2144, when two U-9s attacked the SS Amaretto within Earth controlled space. The U-9s broke off when a patrol of four Cavalry class destroyers appeared on the scene.

09 June 2148 saw a major reversal of fortune for the Romulan fleet, when the Earth’s Twenty Fourth Tactical Anti-Piracy Group cornered a U-9. This group consisted of eight Messier class cruisers and a Cavalry class destroyer. The U-9 exchanged fire with the ships, damaging the UES Oort. After sustaining substantial damage from a missile strike from the UES Hubbell the U-9, following standard Romulan policy, self-destructed to avoid capture.

On 04 May 2150, three U-9 class cruisers attacked a liner as part of the ongoing series of ‘pirate’ attacks. Almost 600 crew and passengers lost their lives in the raid, and the removal of the cargo completed the impression of piracy. The Romulans retained only the strategic materials and equipment from the cargo; they simply destroyed the remainder of it, as they had no need for it. The liner in question was the SS Diana.

The U-9 was also involved on 21 November 2151 when a mixed squadron of U-7s and U-9s destroyed eleven ships at Outer System Defence Outpost 4. The same squadron, still with U-9s in service scored a further triumph on 02 November 2154, when it attacked and destroyed Outer Sector Defence Outpost One.

Two U-9s attacked and destroyed a series of mining outposts near Sigma Canori on 16 August 2155, these ships then confronted two Horizon class cruisers of the Earth Starfleet. The U-9s managed to damage severely the UES Matador, but the UES Excelsior (commanded by Captain William Gustavus Larson) destroyed one of the U-9s and managed to drive away the other one.

The loss of the U-9 to the inferior Horizon class ship prompted an upgrade to U-9B standards. 96 ships were upgraded to U-9B standards (of 120 U-9s built). The basic U-9 had mounted the same engine system as the U-7 (RFTL-2), the lighter hull structure giving increased speed and enhanced manoeuvrability. The U-9B adopted the new RFTL-4 as used on the U-15. This engine gave the same power levels and performance, but was 20% lighter, carrying an enhanced weapons load. By January 2157, only the U-9B was in service following completion of the upgrade program. The U-9 adopted a destroyer role, acting as escorts to the larger cruisers then entering service.

Class: VI Year: 2142
Ship Source: Steve Bacon Ship Datasheet: Download PDF

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2140 – U7 vastari sanalam (Wing of Doom) Class

The first known combat between the U-7 and Earth forces came in July 2150; when two U-7As ambushed a convoy of a dozen Vanguard class Transports and an escort of five destroyers and corvettes. The first cruiser (U-07-101) destroyed two destroyers from the escort force with a combination of cluster missiles and drill beams; the second cruiser (U-07-133) destroyed a corvette and five transports. The remaining escorts managed to damage 133, and the two U-7s withdrew.

The U-7 class cruiser was involved in one of the most notorious incidents of the pre-war era. On 21 November 2151, a mixed squadron of five U-7 and two U-9 class cruisers attacked an Allied base. The base in question was Outer System Defence Outpost 4; the crews of the 155th Combat Squadron were enjoying rest and recreation at the incomplete base, knowing that the long-range sensors of the base would give sufficient warning of any raid to allow them to return to their vessels. Unfortunately, for the Allied crews, and fortunately for the Romulans, a circuit overload caused a failure of lights and other non-essential systems. Although repaired quickly, it was not realised that the overload had damaged the sensors and rendered them inoperative. The Romulan squadron struck, destroying four Taholsin class cruisers, three Thofsin class destroyers, two Cavalry class destroyers, an Assist class warp tender and a G’buqoff class armed transport. The Romulan fleet did not attack the base, mistaking storage bins outside the incomplete base for anti ship missile emplacements. The crews survived the initial attack, but almost all were dead when reinforcements arrived two weeks later, as the base’s life support system was unable to support that many people for a prolonged period.

The mission was a complete success, with the destruction of the allied ships for no losses and the subsequent loss of life at the base. However, the Tal’shiar checked the sensor logs as normal after the raid, and noticed the cocky exchanges between the ships after the raid, which breached strict communications protocols. They also noticed something the commander had not noticed. At extreme sensor range, the UES Carronade, a Cavalry class destroyer from the 155th, had monitored the transmissions between the ships after the raid. This intelligence provided the allies with valuable information, including the name of their enemy, the Rom’lnz.  The execution of the squadron’s Commander followed immediately.

The same squadron (albeit with a new commander) continued to operate, and scored another notable triumph on 02 November 2154, when it attacked and destroyed Outer Sector Defence Outpost One without loss on its part. After this, the newer Allied ships started to outclass the U-7, but it remained in service until the end of the war, although often in peripheral areas. Physically the U-7 was an enlarged U-4 hull mated to a new wing structure, which gave far better warp dynamics and fuel efficiency; this wing mounted the improved RFTL-2 warp nacelle system. Production of the U-7 totalled 140 ships, composed of 105 U-7As with Cluster Missiles, and 35 of the U-7Bs, the first Romulan ship to mount a plasma weapon. In 2158, because of lessons learnt in the conflict the 30 ships were refitted to U-7C standards, with upgraded shields, and t mixed armament of RPC-3 Plasma cannon and cluster missiles, it was intended to refit more vessels, but the shortage of frontline ships prevented this.  Only 32 ships, of all marks survived the war in a serviceable condition, and all were soon retired.

Class: VI Year: 2140
Ship Source: Paramount Pictures Ship Datasheet: Download PDF

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2130 – U4 vas’maklaram (Shrieking Bird) Class

First commissioned in 2130, the U-4 class was the first successful Romulan Warp engine Cruiser design. Although primitive by modern standards, the design was superior to any ship in the Earth Starfleet at that time.

Powered by a Fusion Reactor, linked to twin RFTL-1 warp nacelles, the design exhibited many of the traits of later Romulan designs. It had a bird wing like shape to the nacelle supports, and stressed manoeuvrability over power generation.  In all 30 U-4 class cruisers were built between 2130 and 2137. The 28 of these still in service were upgraded to U-4B standards from 2144 onwards, with enhanced RM-C2 cluster missiles and RDB-2 Drill beams.

The U-4 was one of the first designs positively identified by the Allies, when on 01 January 2152 U-04-026 engaged the ACS Runemark near Canis Minoris 12. The Runemark (an Alpha Centaurian Zoenamy class Corvette) was destroyed in the long running skirmish, and the U-4 escaped with minor damage.

Three U-4Bs attacked an escorted Convoy of Tellarite G’buqoff class transports in sector 10E on 10 September 2153. Three U-4s (013,020,025) attacked the convoy and inflicted some losses before retreating after the destruction of 020. On 08 January 2157 U-04-005 (the oldest still in service, known as ‘Lucky Lucius’) entered into combat with the Thara, an Andorian Tanathooef class Cruiser near the Pretoric system. Despite the experience of her crew, 005 was destroyed in the battle, although it did destroy the Thara in a battle to the death.

The loss of 005, against a far smaller vessel, prompted the Romulan high command to withdraw the 18 surviving U-4Bs from frontline service in February 2157 and redeploy the ships on training duties and lower risk tasks. On 30 July 2158, three U-4Bs on a low risk mission destroying Earth sensor probes encountered two Tellarite Dagbaxis class Frigates. The three U-4s crippled one frigate, and forced the other to retreat, showing that the old ship still had life in it., although one U-4 was lost in the encounter.

The desperate shortage of ships in September 2159 prompted the return of the15 surviving ships to frontline service, after being modified to U-4C standards with RM-C4 Cluster missiles replacing the C-2s. However, six of these vessels (008,009,016,019,025,028) were lost almost immediately in the raid by Earth Alliance forces against the fleet base at Manaraam on 25 November 2159, this raid destroyed over 30 cruisers and gunboats before they could fire a shot in return.

A further 5 ships were lost in the Cheron campaign (008,011,017,026,021), and after other losses only 4 U-4C class cruisers survived to the truce in September 2160 (007,013,022,030). Ship 013, preserved in orbit around Romulus, serves as a monument to the sacrifice of her class.

The class, despite the appalling losses suffered, was highly successful; it suffered from the problem of continuing in service in a fleet role when it had been outclassed. The U-4’s return to service in 2159 was a desperate measure forced by the turning tides of the war

Class: VI Year: 2130
Ship Source: Paramount Pictures Ship Datasheet: Download PDF

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