tech manual
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USS Swiftsure NCC - 75089

USS Swiftsure
NCC - 75089
Class: Sovereign (Swiftsure refit)

Length: 680m
Width: 240m
Height: 87m
Decks: 24
Crew: 700
Mass: 3,500,000 metric tons

18 Type XII phaser arrays
1 Rapid fire torpedo turret + 100 quantum torpedoes
5 Type IV burst fire torpedo tubes + 120 quantum torpedoes, 480 photon torpedoes
3 Pulse fire torpedo tubes + 180 photon torpedoes

Mark-8 regenerative shield system
14cm ablative armour

Normal cruise warp: 6
Maximum cruise warp: 9.9, boosted 9.96
Maximum warp: 9.99, boosted 9.9904 (twelve hours)

Normal impulse cruise: 0.125c (unseperated), 0.2c (saucer), 0.125c (stardrive)
Maximum cruise impulse: 0.29c (unseperated), 0.31c (saucer), 0.29c (stardrive)
Maxmium impulse (24 hours): 0.35c (unsperated), 0.42c (saucer), 0.35c (stardrive)

Expected hull life: 120 years
Refit cycle:
Minor 1 year
Standard 5 years
Major 10 years

1.0 USS Swiftsure Introduction
1.1 Design History and Overview

The Sovereign class came about due to a number of reasons, although one of them speeded up the design and construction process significantly - the Borg. The Borg has been cited as the single greatest threat to the Federation, ever encountered, and has affected starship production and design appropriately. While the Defiant class may be the most famous of the ‘Borg era’ ships, it is the Sovereign class which is undoubtedly the greatest.

The initial design process on the Nova project began in 2360, with plans for the ship to become the Galaxy’s replacement, entering service around 2385. Initial work proceeded smoothly, but with 20 years to get the design right, the design team wasn’t rushing. By 2366, the basic shape and sizes of the future explorer were confirmed, but not much else except for the usual work. The Borg, of course, changed all that. Starfleet were left hanging without a real frontline battleship, the closet being the capable Galaxy class, but combat was only a secondary objective of that class. Starfleet needed a similarly sized ship with combat being the main objective. The answer was obvious, and all eyes turned to the Nova project.

In less than a month, the Nova project, hurriedly renamed the Sovereign project was flooded with new design team members, effectively doubling the original team. Unsurprisingly, the majority of these new designers specialized in combat, although all over major systems received at least two extra designers. While the was of course friction at first between the old and the new designers, these personal problems all but vanished after another, smaller incident with the Borg, once again involving the Enterprise D.

With Starfleet unsure of when the next encounter would occur, work on the Sovereign class proceeded as quickly as possible. An exceptional work rate from the designers lead to the completion of the design in 2369, upon which construction of 4 space frames began immediately, with another 3 planned to begin in the next year, although more would of course follow.

Three years later, the USS Sovereign, NCC-75000 was completed, and after the shakedown cruise was commissioned, with the USS Enterprise, NCC-1701-E ready a month later after a hasty renaming ceremony due to the Enterprise D’s destruction. The USS Swiftsure herself was completed a year later, with the registry of NCC-75089.

1.2 Design Aims

Compared to the original Nova project, the Sovereign project had a considerably different set of design aims. Gone was the premier explorer design of the 2380s, the Galaxy class’s replacement, and in came was what was to be Starfleet’s greatest combat vessel for nearly 20 years.

Provide unparalleled defensive and counter-offensive ability for the defense and well being of the Federation and allied governments against Threat forces.

Provide a flexible platform for fleet operations, scientific, and cultural research projects.

Supplement and to a certain degree replace aging Excelsior class starships as key instruments in Starfleet's exploration programs.

Provide autonomous capabilities for the full execution and enforcement of Federation policy in inner and outer regions.

Incorporate recent advances in warp power plant technology, computer advancements and enhanced scientific instrumentation.

2.0 Propulsion Systems
2.1 Warp Drive

Warp propulsion is provided by a pair of retooled L-EVP (Large-Endurance Velocity Power) Mk. III nacelles fed from a single Vertical Cylinder Reactor Matter Anti-Matter core. (VCR M/AM warp core). While the warp core has undergone only minor modifications, the nacelles have undergone several enhancements.

Everyday performance is good, with the ship being able to reach a maximum Warp 9.99 (Boosted Warp 9.9904), and a Max Cruise of Warp 9.9 (Boosted Warp 9.96). Cruise speed is a respectable Warp 6.

Traditional improvements have improved endurance and speed slightly. However, the addition of secondary Impulse engines generates extra power that, through the use of heavy-strain shunts and conduits, can force feed the engines to produce higher warp velocities. The main deflector consumes additional power in this configuration, and extra structural integrity power must also be diverted. However, this capability gives the Swiftsure extra speed in emergency situations, a strength that cannot be overlooked.

A tremendous amount of extra heat is produced, especially when in the 'super cruise' stage. Toward this end, cooling vents on the side of the nacelles allow the cold vacuum of space to enter the nacelles directly. Conversely, these vents can also be used to eject excess plasma, though this usually results in minor damage and is not recommended. Six coolant hoses also provide an emergency safety feature; warp coolant can be pumped into the nacelles and their actuating systems if absolutely necessary. This is also not recommended, but may be necessary in some situations. Starfleet engineers felt it better to damage the nacelles rather and avoid a catastrophic situation than preserve the nacelles but face disaster. A failsafe warp field destabilization pulse is pre-programmed into the ship's main computer, and, if necessary, the deflectors can counter-fire, slamming the ship to an emergency halt. This is only to be used in situations where the guidance systems and Warp propulsion systems ar not responding, as severe structural damage can ensue, and immense power is consumed.

2.2 Impulse Drive

The USS Swiftsure mounts four HE/O (High Efficiency/Output) Impulse engines. The primary pair are placed on the aft edge of the saucer and are roughly square in shape. As part of the ship's refitting, they have been retooled as to produce 17% additional thrust, a marked improvement over the stock Sovereign. This improvement comes without cost, save for slightly higher power consumption at the new top speeds.

A less powerful Impulse engine occupies the trailing edge of each nacelle pylon. Essentially a smaller, downsized version of the main Impulse engines, these are used to supplement its main engines and increase overall efficiency. When both are activated to full power, the Swiftsure can, for limited periods of time, reach speeds a full 38.7% faster than a stock Sovereign, a truly remarkable feat, especially considering the size of the craft.

In the event of a saucer separation, the main engines draw power from the saucer's fusion reactors, while the secondary set takes power directly from the warp core. Each pair of engines propels their respective sections. When separated, the saucer section is significantly faster. However, in emergency combat maneuvers, the warp core's massive power can be used to "over feed" the secondary Impulse engines to produce a much higher amount of thrust. This tactic is not advised, as it drastically increases wear-and-tear of engine components, along with increasing the risk of a catastrophic failure.

2.3 RCS Thrusters

The USS Swiftsure is the first to make use to the Omni Directional Thrust Mk. 5 system. This new ODT system mounted four rotating main thruster nozzles and eight smaller ones in a square configuration, with a strip of four small size nozzles in a rectangular strip below. The ODT Mk.5 assemblies take the place of the ODT Mk.4 units mounted on the saucer, and provide maximum versatility and, more importantly, maneuverability.

Besides improved power and sustained use than the previous model, the ODT Mk.5 system features heavy duty power shunts, and is capable of bleeding off any power from system overloads into the engines or harmlessly into batteries. In this manner, power can be saved for the thrusters BEFORE the ship enters a situation where main power or auxiliaries could of offline, or power overloads from heavy damage or severe malfunction can be harmlessly absorbed.

The thrusters themselves are mounted in a heavy duty duranium composite. They are NOT coated with ablative armor, as the vaporizing effect of the armor interferes with proper exhaust flow and could clog or reduce the performance of the engines.

The Swiftsure also features a more unconventional set of thrusters; at least, unconventional in their positioning. A smaller set of thrusters featuring eight smaller thrusters and over a dozen modified Runabout thrusters are clustered together in thruster packages at the tips of the nacelles. These thrusters help aid in severe twists and turns, and, when used in conjunction with the main thruster packages, can reduce stress on the nacelle pylons and structural integrity field by firing simultaneously.

In addition, the Swiftsure mounts several standard sets of CA-P/YA-22 Course Adjustment - Pitch/yaw Adjustment 22 thrusters, each mounting a single large thruster and a pair of thrusters in triangular arrangements. These thrusters are used for minor course adjustments, and, when used simultaneously with the main thruster packages, provide a degree of maneuverability matched by few starships of the Swiftsure' s size range.

3.0 Tactical Systems
3.1 Phaser Operations

For over a hundred years, phasers have been the primary defensive and offensive weapons of Starfleet. Standing for Phased Energy Rectification, phasers are reliable, low maintaince and power efficient. Coming in many forms and models, the heaviest phaser weapons are the capital grade phasers. Originally, this was the Type VII phasers of the famous Constitution class through to the Type X phaser arrays on the Galaxy class. Typically, phaser models have increased singularly between the Constitution and the Galaxy, in the Excelsior class (Type VIII) and the Ambassador class (Type IX). In keeping with this, the phasers on the Sovereign class originally were intended to be Type XI phaser arrays, essentially a faster-firing version of the Galaxy class’ Type X. This, however, all changed with First Contact with the Borg.

The USS Enterprise-D had first contact with the Borg in system J25 and later at the end of 2366. This forced a radical re-thought towards phasers in general and the Sovereign class in particular. Starfleet’s latest battle cruiser, which was now hoped could provide more effective defense against the Borg than previous ships, was basically armed with the same phasers on the Enterprise-D that had proved almost ineffective against the Borg after adaptation. It was decided that a completely new phaser would be built; only keeping in common the phased energy rectification process inherent in all phasers. This new phaser had to be able to auto-modulate through computer control, and offer significant increases over the Type X (which was basically a modified Type IX) considering the amount of resources being assigned to the project. Starfleet R&D, who had been asking for the resources for a project just like this, got to work immediately, and manage to complete the new phaser within two years. This phaser, previously dubbed the Type X+ during development, was renamed to Type XII.

The Type XII phaser exceeded its design objectives, to the surprise and delight of the people in Starfleet waiting for the Borg’s next attack. The Type XII had a staggering increase of 68% in firepower over the Type X, and a 33% increase in rate of fire over the Type XI, while having superior cooling systems, allowing much longer durations of heavy phaser fire. These improvements did come at a price though; power consumption was up by 45%, preventing its installation on most Starfleet vessels (considering their size) through refits unless a more powerful replacement for the M/AM reactor was found. This dashed hopes of one day installing it on the Galaxy and Nebula classes (except through a refit covering three years, but Starfleet chiefs refused to allow one of the primary exploration and defense vessels to put out of service for that long for the next 15 years at the least, given the general expectation that the Federation would soon be defending against a new number of threats), but fortunately, the Sovereign class’s M/AM reactor was large enough and efficient enough to provide the power needed for the ship to run at normal Starfleet operating principles during Red Alert mode, when in other ships, this would result in having shields reach a maximum of 40% if not less. Later starships however, could be designed with Type XII phasers from the start, allowing the power systems to be correctly manufactured to provide the needed output.

Overall, the Type XII phaser offered a 72% increase over the Type X in terms of overall firepower, but only a 23% increase in efficiency, this mark being lowered by the high increase in power consumption.

The Type XII phaser arrays were successfully installed aboard the Sovereign class ships under construction and were incorporated into all the future vessel of that class.

Originally, the USS Swiftsure had 12 phaser arrays, but after just a couple of years, she received a small refit, during which another 4 Type XII phasers were installed, along with other, important parts, such as two new impulse engines. The Swiftsure also had two phaser arrays installed on the hull of the Stardrive hull which were hidden while the ship was docked together, and were only powered up when the Swiftsure was operating in Saucer-Separation mode.

3.2 Torpedo Operations

The Swiftsure is fitted with one of the most formidable torpedo armaments in the Federation, that of the Sovereign class refit. This allows the shi to exceed even the Akira when firing a maximum salvo from her numerous torpedo tubes. This, along with a torpedo compliment including large numbers of both photon and quantum torpedoes, makes the Swiftsure a deadly opponent in combat when the order is given to fire her heavy weapons.

The main tube on the Swiftsure is the rapid fire tube, located on a rotatable platform in her torpedo turret on the ventral surface of the saucer. This tube is capable of 8 seconds of fully sustained torpedo fire before overheating requires the turret to stop use and activate its cooling systems, although this can be over-ruled on the direct orders of the Commanding Officer. The turret is loaded by racks, which is fed through a rotary system, also rotating with the tube. This rotary ‘belt’ is made up of 8 torpedo racks, although empty ones can be swapped out with full racks after rack four is fired, or the belt is ordered to be fully loaded. Each rack holds five quantum torpedoes, and there are 20 fully-loaded racks available for the turret, with 10 empty racks incase of faults or a need for extra weapons.

After the turret, the Swiftsure is fitted with 5 Type IV burst-fire torpedoes tubes. 2 are located below the main deflector dish, firing forward, 1 is placed in the Bridge superstructure, also firing forward, and the final 2 are located at the base of the engineering hull, firing aft. Each of these tubes can fire up 12 torpedoes in single burst, with a five second reload time, or 16 torpedoes in quick succession. At all times, these tubes are prepped for the immediate launch of three torpedoes. These tubes each have a compliment of three full quantum torpedo bursts and five full photon torpedo bursts.

The remaining three pulse-fire torpedo tubes are all located in the aft of the ship, two in the Bridge superstructure and one directly above and behind Shuttlebay 2. Each of these tubes can fire up to three torpedoes in a burst, with a 3 second reload time. These are the only tubes of the Swiftsure to be solely armed with photon torpedoes, although they are capable of firing quantum torpedoes if need be.

3.3 Defensive Shield System

To compliment her excellent firepower, the Swiftsure is also outfitted with the latest regenerative shield grid model, the Mark-8. These are the most advanced shield grids currently used in Starfleet, and require enough energy that once again, it is only the Class-XXV/G and XXV/X (Sovereign and Prometheus cores, respectively) warp cores that can effectively run these shields at 100% while still performing normal Red Alert operations.

Originally, it was the Mark-7 that was installed on the Sovereign class (and the Prometheus class), but during the Swiftsure's first refit, the brand new Mark-8 shield grid was installed, giving a 41% overall increase from the Mark-7.

The upgrades and modifications from the Mark-7 include protection against the Breen Dampening Weapon (old model and some protection against the new model), auto-modulating frequencies for enhanced protection against Borg weapons and to prevent their beaming through, two layer systems for increased recharging raging rates and of course the regenerative effect, which takes some of the energy from the weapon impacts and uses it to strengthen the shield.

In severe emergencies, the shield strength to the forward arc can be improved by 20% by rerouting it through the secondary navigational deflector array, but this will burn out the array after five minutes and is only for times when there is no other choice open to the Commanding Officer. While this can also be performed through the main navigational deflector, at an estimated 48% increase, this would render the primary navigational deflector systems inoperable after only ten minutes, leaving the ship open to damage from natural hazards.

In the next starship class, the deflector dish will become an integrated part of the shield grid, due to the recent breakthroughs guided by data provided by the original Enterprise-D (as its shields had been temporarily boosted to 300% strength by Lt. Barclay). Current estimates suggest that the finalized Mark-9 shield grid will offer a 375% increase in shield effectiveness, making Starfleet the most advanced naval power to date. The only drawback is that this gird is still in the test stages, and final implementation will only be possible in 4 years.

Although the Mark-8 is only available to the Sovereign class and Prometheus class, a slightly powered down model, known as the Mark-8A is being developed, which is superior to the Mark-7 and will be capable of being installed on some of the other classes in Starfleet, such as the Galaxy, Nebula, Akira and Ambassador classes.

3.4 Ablative Armour

Although the primary defense of the Swiftsure is her regenerative shields as with most Federation ships she is also equipped with layers of ablative armour in the event of total shield failure. When the ablative armour is hit it vaporizes at that point and the energy from the weapon dissipates, leaving the hull undamaged. Each layer of armour is around 2cm thick which can withstand a blast from a low powered disrupter, a more powerful weapon such as torpedoes can vaporize more layers or even all of them whilst also damaging the hull beneath. Providing that the same section of hull is not hit again the missing layers of ablative armour can easily by new panels, ablative armour is easy to produce and install. The main reason that stops all Federation vessels using ablative armour is because of its mass, 10cm of ablative armour increases a ships total mass by 10%, preventing many existing hulls from being fitted with it.

There are few ships with an excess of 10 centimetres of ablative armour, these being the Defiant class who carries 20cm, the Prometheus class who has 16cm and lastly the Sovereign class with 14cm. These three classes are the most combat-capable in the Federation so it is no surprise that they carry so much armour, especially in the case of the Defiant which was one of the first to have the ablative armour fitted.

On several occasions has the ablative armour of the Swiftsure proved invaluable when her shields have failed, in most cases preventing heavier damage from occurring on her hull, and shall continue to do so throughout her many years service ahead unless a replacement defense systems enters service...

3.5 Personal Phasers

Type III-D Phaser

Phaser Carbine
Commissioned: 2378
Length: ~55cm
Weight: 3kg
Rate of fire: 180ppm (Pulses per Minute)
Fire modes: Beam
Single Pulse
Three Pulse Burst
Power capacity: 15000 pulses

Notes: Introduced in 2378, the Phaser Carbine was originally meant for service in the Starfleet Marine Corps only but the weapon soon found its way onto starships and starbases as security personnel found it more appropriate for intra-ship conflicts. The popular weapon soon officially became in use around the Federation, supplementing the various phaser rifle models in almost equal numbers. In many cases, it was left up to individual captains as to whether they stayed with only the rifles, or included the carbines in their ship’s inventory.

Developed by in Tokyo R&D, the much more successful facility out of the two Starfleet weapon R&D’s on Earth, Tokyo and Baghdad, the weapon was call by Starfleet Marines in particular and Starfleet ground troops in general for a new weapon more suited to short-medium ranged firefights, with a higher rate of fire than normal.

What Tokyo turned out in response was exactly what the Marines were looking for. The weapon was relatively light, not too long, not too short, had three firing modes, plus the standard multiple settings. It also featured a power pack providing an extensive ammo supply before recharging, and a snap up/down handle, to give the wielder the choice between a two-handed grip and the more usual horizontal grip.

The Swiftsure carries 150 of the Phaser carbines, along with 150 phaser rifles (various models) and Type II phasers for each crewmember.

4.0 Auxiliary Spacecraft Systems

The USS Swiftsure is equipped with a number of auxiliary shuttlecraft, which are available to supplement and support mission objectives, amongst other possible uses.

4.1 Shuttlecraft Operations

Her standard complement of shuttlecraft consists of 20 standard personnel shuttlecraft, 4 cargo shuttles, 12 shuttlepods and 14 special purpose craft. The Swiftsure can also carry increased numbers of shuttlecraft in emergencies by using the shuttlecraft repair bays to store extra shuttlecraft.

Operating rules require that at least 23 shuttlecraft be maintained at operational status at all times. Cruise Mode operating rules require 2 standard shuttlecraft and 2 shuttlepods to be at urgent standby at all times, available for launch at five minutes’ notice. 8 additional shuttlecraft are always available on immediate standby (thirty minutes to launch) and an additional 11 shuttlecraft are maintained for launch with twelve hours notice. Red Alert Mode operating rules require 6 additional shuttlecraft to be brought to urgent standby and all 14 remaining operational shuttlecraft to be maintained at immediate standby.

In emergency situations, the Swiftsure’s shuttlecraft can also be used to assist in the evacuation of the Swiftsure’s crew, by providing an alternative to the escape pods. These are often preferred by the crew as they have the option of the escaping the battlefield through there higher impulse speeds or even warp drive, while the EEVs are limited to relatively low impulse speeds around 1/3 impulse.

In these instances, the Shuttlebay doors can be explosively removed through a series of explosive clamps, after which the doors are forcibly blown away by a small pocket of air between them and the emergency force field. After this has happened the, shuttles can simply be flown through the force field at will, although if the speed is too high, the shuttlecraft may suffer damage. This, however, is rarely performed, and the doors are usually opened normally.

4.2 Shuttlebays

Shuttlebay 1 of the USS Swiftsure is the largest on the ship, more than double the overall size of Shuttlebay 2. While nowhere near the magnitude of the Galaxy class’ Main Shuttlebay, the Swiftsure’s is larger than average and most befitting of her size, allowing her to carry out extensive shuttle operations. To prevent the hanger deck from becoming cluttered, during repair work, each shuttlecraft sits on a landing pad/elevator combination, allowing individual ships to be lowered the repair deck below, even if its engines are damaged or unworkable.

This two-deck system allows Shuttlebay 1 to house a fairly large complement of shuttlecraft, while still maintaining plenty of space for manoeuvring. The standard compliment of shuttlecraft and shuttlepods is as follows:

2 Argo class Groundship
6 Type 11 Long-range shuttlecraft
6 Type 8 Medium-range shuttlecraft
6 Type 12 Short-range shuttlecraft
4 Type 18 Shuttlepods
4 Type 9A Cargo shuttlecraft

The Shuttlebay 1 Control room is situated on the deck above the hanger and ends with a large set of panoramic windows to allow visual inspection of shuttlecraft entering and leaving the hanger. This room also includes the control of tractor beams if needed and emergency decompression of the hanger, amongst other functions.

Shuttlebay 2 of the USS Swiftsure is at the rear of the ship’s engineering hull, and is much smaller than Shuttlebay 1. Considering more of an enhancement to Shuttlebay 1, this bay has its hanger and repair decks as per normal, with the repair equipment brought to the shuttles, not visa-versa. However, Shuttlebay 2 does have one unique feature from Shuttlebay 1, apart from the Swiftsure’s workbees - the captain’s yacht. This is located near the rear of the bay, and has a tight fit. The standard compliment of shuttlecraft and shuttlepods is as follows:

1 Captain’s Yacht
Argo class Groundship
Type 11 Long-range shuttlecraft
Type 8 Medium-range shuttlecraft
Type 12 Short-range shuttlecraft
Type 18 Shuttlepods
Type 9A Cargo shuttlecraft

The Shuttlebay 2 Control room is situated inside the Shuttlebay itself, running along the top centre span off the roof, with an open railing on both sides and multiple lifts. This allows visual inspection of shuttlecraft entering and leaving the hanger. This room also includes the control of tractor beams if needed and emergency decompression of the hanger, amongst other functions.

4.3 Shuttlecraft

Type 11 Shuttlecraft
Long range
Cruise warp: 5.5
Maximum cruise warp: 6
Maximum warp: 6.4 (6 Hours)
Armaments: 5 Type IV Phaser arrays
2 Micro photon/quantum torpedo tubes + 60 micro torpedoes
Defense: Shield system

Type 12 Shuttlecraft
Medium range
Cruise warp: 4
Maximum cruise warp: 5.8
Maximum warp: 6.1 (6 hours)
Armaments: 4 Type IV phaser arrays
2 Micro photon torpedo tube + 40 micro torpedoes
Defense: Shield system

Type 8 Shuttlecraft
Short range
Cruise warp: 4
Maximum cruise warp: 4.6
Maximum warp: 4.9 (6 hours)
Armaments: 2 Type IV phaser emitters
Defense: Shield system

Type 9A Shuttlecraft
Cargo shuttlecraft
Cruise warp: 4
Maximum cruise warp: 4.6
Maximum warp: 4.8 (6 hours)
Armaments: 2 Type IV phaser emitters
Defense: Shield system

Type 18 Shuttlepod
Short range
Cruise warp: N/A
Maximum cruise warp: N/A
Maximum warp: N/A
Armaments: N/A
Defense: Shield system

Very short range
Cruise warp: N/A
Maximum cruise warp: N/A
Maximum warp: N/A
Armaments: N/A
Defense: Low level deflector grid

4.4 Captains Yacht
Sovereign class Captain’s Yacht

The Swiftsure carries a standard Sovereign-class Captain's Yacht, the Resplendent. The modified structure of the Quantum torpedo turret necessitates this yacht be launched from the aft Shuttlebay and not its usual ventral position.

The ship is larger than a Runabout, measuring over 30m in length. Impulse speed is acceptable, and warp performance is above average. The Yacht is intended for short trips from its parent ships to planets, and is often used for diplomatic functions, especially the ferrying of ambassadors or entourages. Inside is a pair of small staterooms, along with several other cabins for crew and attendants, a bridge, a transporter room, and a small engine room for maintenance on the warp core.

The ship mounts a decent shield system and a tachyon burst emitter, along with a trio of Type-VI phaser arrays. Owing to its diplomatic and peaceful nature, the yacht carries no torpedoes or other weaponry, and must rely on heavier shuttles like Danube’s and Scouts or larger starships for defense. This, however, is not typically a problem, given the limited and usually light use of the yacht.

A deflector mounted in the sleek nose provides above average performance and facilitates the high Warp speeds the craft is capable of, while a pair of aft Impulse engines provides sub light propulsion.

4.5 Emergency Escape Vehicles

In the event of an unstoppable, catastrophic failure of ship's systems, the crew can escape via use of several emergency escape vehicles. First among these is the Type-C Mk. XI escape pod, instantly recognizable by its trapezoidal shape. The ship carries a total of 194 of these escape pods, which are each capable of holding 6 evacuees in relative comfort. Each is fitted with three small sets of twin thruster systems and the necessary provisions for the occupants to survive a week. Special equipment includes phasers, a small, collapsible tent, a small heater, and a tiny stove.

If necessary, these pods can be reinserted into the ship by tractor beaming them into position and reengaging their secure docking clamps. Most escape pods are accessed via fold-down doors that blend seamlessly into the walls. These doors often lead to small corridors which branch off into access hatches for several escape pods, but sometimes simply a single escape pod.

The secondary emergency escape vehicles are the ship's complement of shuttlecraft. These vessels, placed in either of the ship's Shuttlebays, take longer to launch, but are much more capable than the escape pods, capable of flying at high Impulse or even Warp. In the case of the Captain's Yacht or the larger shuttles, more occupants than a mere escape pod can be held.

5.0 Saucer Separation

In the original design o the Sovereign class, once again saucer separation was incorporated into the design, but differently than the Galaxy class separation. The Sovereign’s saucer separation would be the ultimate emergency, as once separated, the stardrive had no sub light propulsion, and the two hulls were only reconnectable in a dry dock.

When the Swiftsure refit was planned, the changes included a radical upgrade of the Swiftsure’s saucer separation. New docking clamps were designed and fitted, allowing reconnection without a starbase, and the stardrive hull was fitted with a pair of impulse engines for sub light travel. These upgrades brought the Swiftsure’s saucer separation abilities on par with the Galaxy class, a move that many wondered why it had not taken place before hand.

5.1 Saucer Section

Thanks too the Swiftsure saucer’s larger impulse engines than in the Galaxy saucer, plus the lower mass needed to be propelled by the engines, the fusion reactors in the saucer provide much more power for the saucer systems than in the Galaxy class. This ‘excess’ power allows the phasers and shields of the saucer section to be operated at near normal levels while separated, a fact welcomed by the Sovereign class captain’s. Internal space was also saved, as no new torpedo tubes facing aft were required, the saucer section already have two pulse tubes in that arc.

5.2 Stardrive Section

Unlike the Galaxy class, when separated, the engineering hull of the Swiftsure is not referred to as the Battle drive, as its combat capabilities are actually somewhat reduced by the removal of the saucer, which contains three of the Swiftsure’s torpedo tubes and a large number of the Type XII phaser arrays. However, with the warp core now having a smaller shield area to power, shield effectiveness is raised to 120% without problems. Warp capabilities remain virtually unchanged, the lighter mass being offset by the nacelles raised so far above the rest of the hull.

6.0 Looking Ahead

As with all major ship classes that enter service, Starfleet requires that their designers give some thoughts to the replacement vessel that will one day be placed in service. The Sovereign class Development Team was no different. Over a period of two weeks, they came up with three basic concept designs for this ship, all of which were missing the final weapons, defenses, sensors and engines and other assorted equipment, with placeholder designs added instead, to allow for easier continuation of these design ideas if wished.

The three concepts that were chosen by the S.C.D.T. were all unique from each other. Some built of previous starships, another was brand new. All however were in the 500-700m design size bracket specified by Starfleet, their enforced maximum length on Starfleet vessels except in unusual circumstances.

Concept 1

This design was the most original of them all, with virtually no engineering hull, and four nacelles attached directly to the saucer. The saucer was a mixture between the Galaxy class and the Sovereign class, and is thought to be highly maneuverable. The shortest design, at 502m

Concept 2

This design was inspired by the Sabre class frigate from the mid 24th century, of which the saucer and engineering hulls bear the most resemblance. However, the impulse engines are now attached to the saucer edges, while the nacelles trail out from the engineering hull, on short pylons. This was the longest of the designs, at 693m

Concept 3

While #2 was reminiscent of the Sabre class, this concept bears more in common with the Akira class, keeping the same general shape, but much flatter. The torpedo pod and impressive shuttle capacity was retained, in the respectable length of 621m.

While it as unlikely that these designs will be used for the Sovereign's replacement, the chance remains that another Starfleet design team may be able utilize these concepts, as has happened in the past on a few occasions.

7.0 Credits

Greg MacDonald: Design history and Overview, Design Aims (revision), Phaser Operations, Torpedo Operations, Defensive Shield System (original version), Ablative Armour (original version), Personal Phasers, Auxiliary Spacecraft Operations, Shuttlecraft Operations, Shuttlebays, Shuttlecraft, Saucer Separation, Saucer section, Stardrive section, Looking Ahead. "USS Paladin": Warp Drive, Impulse Drive, RCS Thrusters, Sovereign class Captain’s yacht, EEVs. Nicholas Martinelli: Design Aims (original version), Defensive Shield System (revision). Allan Todd: Ablative Armour (revision).

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