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

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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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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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2253 – Shanks

The Shanks class light cruiser was an emergency design created during the four years war, the design was the simplest possible using a Class I primary hull coupled to a pair of warp nacelles.

Despite it’s rushed beginnings, the class was very successful and many of the ships were later refitted with Linear warp drives and served into the 24th Century.

Class: TBC Year: 2253
Ship Source: Chris Cornelius/Jackills Ship Datasheet: Coming Soon

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2253 – V5 Ralaaram Ocala (Skyfire)

The V-5 Class, apparently brought into service to supplement the V-2 Class, combines the need for a military vessel with that of a research vessel.  Though it reportedly is quite capable for combat roles in which the V-2 is a failure, it fills its research roles less well.  The Type 1 mounted an impressive array of disruptors with very good fields of fire.  The Type 2, introduced about Stardate 2/00, saw the removal of the forward firing disruptors in favor of a bow-mounted plasma weapon, but this version did not prove to be as combat efficient as the earlier model and has not been reported in any great numbers.

Of the approximately 80 built, about 50 are assigned to reserve fleets.  Several are used as training vessels, and eight are reported to be in use as private research vessels or cruisers.

The class is named from the RomuIan ralaaram ocala (fire from the sky), in reference to its military capabilities.

2253 – Achernar

The Four Years War saw the need for large number of escort cruisers to be quickly commissioned. The Achernar and Tikopai classes of supplemental cruisers met this need. The Achernar class was adapted from the mark two versions of the standard Ptolemy (Achernar Mark 1) and Keppler (Achernar Mark 2) classes of Transport Tug. The Tikopai class was adapted from the mark two versions of the Dollond (Tikopai Mark 1) and Doppler (Tikopai Mark 2) classes. All four of these tug classes were in both Starfleet and Civilian service, and ships originally destined for civilian lines were diverted to this program.

The supplemental cruisers were created by the addition of a specialist pod with a hanger, enhanced sensors and weapons. The mother ship itself was unchanged, except for the impulse drive if it required upgrading and retained its own light weapons fit. This solution meant large numbers of the supplemental cruisers could be built quickly, as the Tugs were already mass produced in civil yards, and the weapons hull could be easily built by the smaller warship builders. These ships, although underpowered, were an invaluable asset in convoy escort duties throughout the war. Post-war these ships were all swiftly de-commisioned and converted to standard tug configuration, and then either sold off for commercial transport use, or used to replace wartime tug losses in the fleet.

The weapon pod contained 8 FL-4 Lasers in 4 banks, with 2 banks covering each arc of fire, a pair of FAC-3 accelerator cannons was positioned on the sides of the pod to fire forward. These ships provided a valuable role escorting convoys, often hiding amongst innocent looking standard configuration tugs to lure attackers in. The main criticism that could be levelled at both of the classes was the weak shielding systems, but the adoption of more advanced shielding systems would have prevented the construction of the ships in civilian yards.

Class: V-VI Year: 2253
Ship Source: Franz Joseph Designs/FASA Ship Datasheet: Download PDF
 The design is based on the FJ tugs, the name is from FASA to provide a way for these classes to serve in the four years war prior to the commissioning of the heavy cruisers.

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2253 – Baton Rouge Refit

“The USS Moscow and the other ships of this class were the one of the last major classes without dilithium. The immediate predecessor to the Constitution class, the Baton Rouge class exhibited the distinct separated living disc and engine modules so familiar now. Up-rated in the 2250s, these ships have only recently completed their commissioned usefulness as interstellar carriers.”

The uprating was due to delays in the Constitution program, and introduced new warp engines, impulse engines, weapons and shields. In this configuration the ships gave valuable service in the four years war.

The Mark 1 Baton Rouge class entered UFP service in 2225 and were the last major cruiser class built with non dilithium energised engines, in total an impressive 86 Mk1 ships was built over 18 years. A modification program in the 2240’s saw 40 of these ships re-equipped with new M- 1 computers, enhanced weaponry and unary shield generators to become Mk2s, a further 14 ships were built as new to compensate for delays in the Constitution programme. This modification meant that the ships remained a useful element of the fleet despite their low top speed compared to newer designs

In 2249 the availability of suitable dilithium based engines in the form of FWE-1 meant that these ships could again be modified to Mk3 standards. This refit was controversial as although speed increased from Warp 4.2 to Warp 8.7, available power dropped by more than 33%. At the outbreak of the four years war in 2253 the New New Aberdeen shipyards in the AOFW were contracted to refit existing UFP Baton Rouge class ships with these new systems due to the Yard’s recent experience with the class (it had license built ships for the AOFW). The refit they designed was based upon the Mk3, but made use of the new FWE-2 warp drive, this however required a change of main computer. The desperate need for ships meant that refits to both Mk3 and Mk4 were carried out during the war . The Mark 4 being a more capable vessel, but the refit took six months compared to three for the Mk3. Mk 3 production totalled 26 ships (12 converted Mk2s and 14 Converted Mk1s), while Mk4 production totalled 25 ships (9 converted Mk2s and 16 Converted Mk1s).

Some unmodified Mk2 ships also served throughout the war as convoy escorts, it being felt that their low speed was not an issue when escorting slow moving freighters, indeed the additional power was seen as an asset. In one famous incident, a trio of 30-year-old Baton Rouges fought off a squadron of D7As without a single ship being lost in the convoy they were escorting.

12 Mk2s survived the war, and 6 of these were later converted to Mk5 standards, along with 12 each of the Mk3 and Mk4 ships making 30 in total. Mk5 introduced photon torpedoes and phasers to the venerable design, the first ship commissioned in 2260, and it is intended that these ships will serve in some capacity until the 2280s.

21 ships of various marks have been donated to, or purchased by friendly powers. Chief amongst these is the AOFW which has acquired 10 ships over the years, and built under license an additional four ships in the shipyard at New New Aberdeen. Currently the AOFW retains 6 ships in operation, in a version corresponding to the UFP Mk5. The former USS Aberdeen is currently being refitted to a more advanced standard with FP4 torpedoes in an installation based upon that on the late USS Britannia.

A number of Baton Rouge class ships are preserved at various sites around the Federation, as well as a single vessel preserved in the AOFW, but the ships that are still in service some 60 years after the design was conceived are the most telling proof of the excellence of the design and memorial to those who have gone before.

Class: IX Year: 2253
Ship Source: Space Flight Chronology/ FASA Ship Datasheet: Download PDF

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