|A team in the past blaze a trail into uncharted territory in a struggle to protect the galaxy's future from itself.|
The Foundation class was an experimental design using the latest technology available at the time. Its diminutive size was envisaged as an ideal test-bed for new engineering concepts that Starfleet engineering teams were anxious to try in practice. The small vessel’s design foreshadows many enduring vessels that came on the scene many years later. Indeed the sweeping shape was considered such a success in absorbing stresses that the Constitution refit project took many lessons from the experience learnt on this ship.
She has only 5 decks although only four are fully habitable with the lowest being a storage platform for the Deuterium and Anti-matter. The ship is too small to have a conventional warp core and was fitted with a novel “radial” design that was basically a circular arrangement of miniature injectors feeding a central control unit. Although in practice it offers significantly more power than would be available to a stunted conventional warp core it was considered a problematic arrangement from the standpoint of maintenance. Due to the requirements of the core the entire lower engineering hull is designed to be ejected in the event of a catastrophic failure. It would leave behind the impulse drive in a self contained module and the nacelles can be fed with emergency reserves of power allowing more than enough opportunity to escape the blast range of a critical warp core explosion.
The ship was outfitted with highly advanced sensors with the intention that it should have better luck in tracking cloaked vessels. The hope was that these vessel could serve as a high-speed scout to plot the movement of a Romulan or Klingon incursion should such a need arise and if it shouldn’t then the ships were ideally suited as tough science vessels. In practice the vessel were highly unreliable in service and most were lost in action within only 10 years of service leaving only the USS Sagittarius remaining. She was decommissioned and the class was scrapped in favour of more reliable vessels like the Oberth and Miranda that quickly proved themselves in the field.
The ID-C57 was a unique craft built by accident at the request of Allarn by several people who owed her a favour. Her specifications were not demanding, the vessel had only to be capable of enduring huge amounts of stress and torque. The entire rear section of the vessel is a shield generator that establishes one of the most potent defensive fields of any ship of that size. Capable of only a leisurely Warp 6 her principal means of getting anywhere is to chart micro-quantum anomalies and open them just long enough to allow her to get her ship inside. They are highly unstable and dangerous but they do allow her to travel large distances through both space and time.
She received the vessel 25 years after she had given them the same, although much older one from which to learn about her new shield configurations after taking it back to the past in order to pay for its own creation, a practice her family scowled upon as it was considered to be cheating history.
The Bird of Prey was a hastily assembled vessel that was inspired heavily by Federation design. She was even coated with the same grey lacquer that Starfleet vessels were coated with to protect them from feedback of their shields while under fire. It was not known if Romulan ships had the coating for the same reason although Starfleet Intelligence suspected that the technology was leaked and copied.
By 2370 the Romulans had evolved the new quantum singularity drive to power their vessels. This allowed them enough power to operate their warp drive and cloaking device simultaneously although at a cost of safety and reliability. Just as the new screens fitted to the refitted Enterprise allowed the engineers to dispense with the grey thermo-coat the Romulans returned to the more traditional green of their vessels.
At this time several of the old Birds of Prey were being refitted with the new engines and upgraded weapons and tactical systems so very old ships were again seen in action. The program was seen as an act of desperation after the Romulan military fleets had been so depleted by the war with the Federation. The Klingons were quick to act on this opportunity and began a long initiative to weaken their boarders for a future invasion while they increased spending on their military fleet and stepped up energy production in all of their key installations ready for action.
Not much was known about this vessel which was encountered in 2273. The outer hull was composed of an unusual material that had an ability to transmit a variety of electro-magnetic fields with overlapping frequencies. It is believed that the ship’s warp-ability and main drive were both achieved through the manipulation of these fields as well as weapons and communications.
The material also had the unusual property of being completely transparent to normal Federation sensors.
The Spacematic project was an unfortunate victim of its own success. Around 2250 it was noted that a great deal of serviceable space-faring vessels were very quickly being outdated as the Cochrane warp drive proved capable of ever-faster velocities.
The Spacematic drive was a simple self-contained unit that could be attached to the rear of any given ship with a compatible power supply and allow that craft to travel at Warp 3.5, at which the time was quite a respectable speed. The unit which was available in two sizes, comprised of two stubby engines containing a hybrid set of Warp rings that fell somewhere between the Vulcan and Cochrane principals and had many of the advantages of both. The speed and power of the unit was kept relatively low so as not to strain the components of the host vessel and to enable the device to be fitted to the widest possible range of craft.
When the unit was introduced it opened up a whole new range of possibilities to independent users and small groups without the funds to either buy more sophisticated vessels or develop their own. The unit itself had a good reputation for safety and durability but as it became more common its image began to degrade. A great deal of the vessels the unit was used on where in fact barely space-worthy and ships augmented with this drive caused a great deal of accidents and tragedies around the Federation. Quite soon the very name, “Spacematic” was synonymous with poorly maintained and dangerous ships and many starbases were dubious to allow this kind of vessel the use of their facilities.
Despite the excellent engineering that had gone into the drive was eventually removed from general availability.
|Last modified: 02 Jan 2014