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
- Ship Source:Space Flight Chronology
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