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.

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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Large scale image

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2243 – Nelson

The Nelson class scout was primarily designed to act as a scout for Galaxy Exploration command, it had much in common with the Constitution class Cruisers and the other ships of the period. The class can be distinguished from the similar Hermes class scout by the V formation of the warp nacelle supports

Class: VI Year: 2243
Ship Source: FASA Ship Datasheet: Download PDF

 

 

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2241 – D7A ‘Painbringer’ Class

The Immortal D7 cruiser, which became an enduring symbol of Klingon military power in the second half of the 23rd century, was rushed into service in the early 2250s to fulfil roles of offense, defense, and diplomacy. The design was a scaled up version of the D-1 cruiser of almost 100 years earlier. The D-7A was the first of the lighter more agile family of D-7 variants that ultimately led to the D-7M k’t’inga.

  • Class:VIII
  • Year:2241
  • Ship Source:Paramount Pictures/ FASA
  • Ship Datasheet:Coming Soon

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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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