Recent Star Fleet Design Improvements and Variations in modern full production large star ship class vessels.
The SOVEREIGN class Starship. NCC-1701-E Enterprise used as example.
By David Hochesier, Lt. Commander Star Fleet Engineering Command, FSE
HOLOGRAPHIC CAMERA VIEW
Introduced into active service barely one year ago in 2372, the new class of Star Fleet registered Starships identified as the Sovereign class of warp capable cruisers include a wide range of new or improved technologies for UFP space craft. In light of recent activities to combat the threat of Borg and Dominion incursions into UFP and other Alpha Quadrant territories, the need for additional technologies specifically designed to defend the established borders of Star Fleet and its allies against these formidable threats.
For the purposes of this article, the USS Enterprise, registry NCC-1707-E, is the space system used as the example of the Sovereign class series.
This craft exhibits the so called "traditional" design elements of the previous larger Star Fleet Star Ships. This includes the oppositional twin warp nacelles, the separate engineering/battle section and the saucer section as evidenced in previous incarnations of the renown USS Enterprise. However the overall shape of the craft is far sleeker than any previous flagship class vessel manufactured in Star Fleet shipyards. In addition, advanced warp and impulse engine design, high speed non isolinear neural capacitance sequenced organic based IS technologies and advanced defensive and offensive military technologies make this starship class the most advanced of its kind in Star Fleet and the UFP.
The vessel itself is 685 meters in length, it carries a crew of 1600 to 1800 crew members, with an emergency capacity of just under 8,500 humanoid class T type individuals (SF Class. Sys F-7660079.9-Khitomer). Comprising 24 separate decks, the hull design includes the use of highly ablative, high tensile strength materials including the still classified composite coded TenziteÔ and other newly developed composites and alloys developed from both captured Dominion and Borg technologies, as well as recently introduced technologies from other Delta and Gamma Quadrant species.
As with the last three incarnations of the Enterprise series, the Galaxy class, the Ambassador class and the Excelsior class; the Enterprise E has a vertically aligned ejectable warp core and multi-level engineering section to match [as is becoming most common in current design large Star Fleet vessels]. However, as per edict 75C-G-UFP/Andora 2369 (New Warp Engine Design Edict for preservation of space-time fabric as per SF multi-species science study 7600983.33 2366) the Sovereign class series is equipped with new hyper-trionic photon muffled warp engines capable of sustained speeds of warp factor 9.99998867, with a maximum cruise speed of warp 8.792 and an optimum warp factor of 8.201.
Design elements have been included with the expected retrofit of trans-warp technologies and other Borg and Dominion Alliance based technologies in mind. As recently as two months ago the ship was retrofitted with technologies to make it impervious to the Breen multi-modal energy dampening weapon encountered just prior to the cessation of hostilities in Dominion conflict. The class is also equipped with enhanced multi-phase harmonic shield technologies for tactical Borg encounters. The ship has been designed in such a way as to allow the rapid retrofit of new and anticipated technologies in weapons, IS, propulsion and communications advances.
The sickbay, located in the saucer section of the vessel, is staffed by a combination of both organic humanoids and Star Fleet advanced EMH attendants. Further, special portable holographic projectors, recently developed from the Delta Quadrant technologies introduced to the Federation as a result of the communications received from the still missing Intrepid class starship Voyager (SF registry NCC-74656) over the past four years.
In terms of weaponry, the new Enterprise is equipped with enhanced multi-modal automated phaser systems, in seven separate banks, along with a classified number of new quantum technologies based photon torpedoes. Further, for non-transporter strategic operation, the vessel also houses a number of newest type 14 shuttle craft, 16 meters in length, each armed with phasers, quantum torpedoes and tachyon burst emitters. In addition, the type 14 is capable of sustained speeds in excess of warp factor 8.6998 with a sustained cruise warp factor of 6.611. Further, each shuttle can provide multi-craft shielding and structural integrity field support as well as the ability to transfer power in a variety of forms including anti-matter and electrolytic plasma. The type 14 is also designed to physically dock with other space systems, manned and fully automated.
The Sovereign class starship also houses a specially designed "captains yacht", attached to the base of the lower side of the ships Saucer section. This is the largest of the ships auxiliary vessels, with a length of 33.53 meters, making it even larger than a Danube class runabout. Capable of accommodating fairly large parties, the ship is nonetheless piloted by a single individual. Equipped with advanced warp and impulse propulsion, a supply of quantum torpedoes and a powerful phaser bank, the yacht is also capable of most sub-oceanic, atmospheric and surface operations not unlike type 14 shuttles.
CUTAWAY VIEW OF SOVEREIGN CLASS STARSHIP
To date, the Sovereign class has encountered and persevered in several tactical ship-to-ship combat situations involving the Sona, the Borg and in a very recent and highly classified incident- The Dominion. In the case of the Sona, the Enterprise just managed to escape destruction in the face of the Sona isolytic technology based subspace weapons, banned in the Khitomer Treaty of 2366. The highly unusual tactic of using warp engine plasma to ignite the unstable pockets of Sona space known as the Briar Patch. Along with the unstable nature of the areas physical and subspace composition, this is the same Alpha Quadrant deep space area recently studied for the age-reversing effects of its unique metaphasic radiation on most humanoid species and other carbon and silica based life forms.
In the encounter with the Borg, (approximately six months prior to the writing of this paper) the Sovereign class ship Norfolk was severely damaged in an encounter with a Borg cube accompanied by two smaller Borg craft (SF designation Shatter class Borg light cruisers). However, the element of surprise may have greatly aided the Norfolks survival and tactical victory. Based on intercepted Borg subspace communications, these Borg craft did not anticipate encountering any Star Fleet vessels at the event horizon of their trans-warp conduit. It has been proposed that the new warp engine technologies employed on the Sovereign class vessels might have interfered with the Borg sensor studies that take place moments before a trans-warp conduit opens into normal space-time.
In a very recent encounter with a Jem Hadar (SF classification F8.09, designated as Hippo class) cruiser that suddenly came through the stable wormhole at the Bajor/Federation manned DS9 complex. Again, since the cruiser was apparently on a failed stealth or surprise attack mission, it could not use the Federation developed communications array deployed at the start of the Dominion/Federation conflict. Unable to determine the nature of traffic at the Deep Space station built by the Cardassian occupying forces, they had no way of knowing that the new Sovereign class ship Princeton and a Romulan D-7G Battle Cruiser (the Benmeth) has just separated from their moorings on DS9s large vessel docking pylons when the stations sensors detected the unauthorized transit of the wormhole.
In this incident, the Jem Hadar Hippo class was no match for the combined firepower of the Romulan G class cruiser, the Sovereign class vessel and the powerful namesake of the Defiant class warships, Defiant; which finished off the Hippo joining in at the end of the tactical encounter.
In addition to above noted tactical, Is and other multi role systems, the Sovereign class series of starships has a wide variety of scientific and bio-medical laboratories; several aboreum; advanced performance multi redundant transporter systems for both organic and non-organic (cargo) medium range transport; holographic decks for recreational, training, military, and diplomatic purposes; educational facilities, as well as superior crew and guest accommodations. The latter is clearly in response to the Sovereign class vessels multi-mission role for exploration, diplomatic and tactical scenarios.
Finally, in response to a worst case scenario, the ship employs redundant enhanced automated self destruct systems and a more than sufficient number of deep space lifeboats, capable of holding up to 15 humanoids comfortably for period of up to 30 days. Each lifeboat has full impulse engine propulsion and powerful subspace communications capabilities unusual until now for small emergency support pods of this type.
Sovereign Class Star Ship
Recently released real-time image of a Sovereign Class Starship (USS Norfolk)
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