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Saber class

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Saber-class
Saber1

Type:

Deep space explorer

Career

Launched:

2358

Dimensions

Length:

190m

Beam:

193m

Draft:

49m

Specifications

Decks:

10

Complement:

60

Speed:

Warp 9.8 for 12 hours

Armament:

2 x photon torpedo launcher
3 x Type X

Defenses:

Deflector shields

Saber
 

The Saber-class starship was primarily used for deep space exploration. First introduced in the late 24th century, and was in full service by 2373. The ship featured a design more compact than other Starfleet vessels, and was fairly well armed despite its small size; the class has featured prominently in the Battle of Sector 001 against the Borg and in the Dominion War.

BackgroundEdit

The Saber-class was part of Starfleets modernization program of the 2340s. They were designed to be a frigate counterpart to the Steamrunner-class starship; much smaller, easier to build and hence considerably more numerous. The designers brought in many measures to ensure that the Saber-class would be easy to build; like the much earlier Oberth-class science vessels the Saber’s design is highly modular in nature, allowing ten thousand ton sections to be constructed in small shipyards before final assembly in a larger facility. One requirement was for the Saber’s to have a science and exploration capacity equal to 85% that of a Steamrunner-class along with equal cruise and maximum speeds - a measure intended to allow the vessels to work together in coordinated operations. This proved an exceptionally difficult target to meet in a hull with only two thirds of the volume of a Steamrunner; the designers were eventually forced to cut the torpedo armament of the Saber-class from the original two triple-fire torpedo tubes to a single mono-fire tube and reduce the load carried from 90 to 30 torpedoes. The six type VII Phaser arrays were at first to be reduced to only four, but in the event a reduction in the ships accommodation levels allowed a single Type VIII emitter to be worked into the leading edge of the saucer section. This brought the overall phaser power to some 91% of the initial planned phaser capacity. The competition for internal volume also forced a reduction in the size of the warp core, and as a result the Saber can only manage a top speed of Warp 9.2 compared to the Steamrunner’s Warp 9.5.

The original specifications of the Saber called for a crew of 130, but increased automation of the engineering systems allowed this to be cut to 118 and then 102. Conditions for the crew are quite poor by the standards of the Steamrunner or Akira-classes; crew quarters average 30 square meters and there were no holodecks. In addition, were no personal replicator stations in crew quarters - instead three mess areas are provided with replicator systems for the whole crew. The Saber’s have proved reasonably successful in service, although the relatively poor living conditions has led to a shorter than expected average mission duration.

Like the larger Akira and Steamrunner-classes, Saber’s have largely served in the frontier regions and they have been an uncommon sight at the heart of the Federation. This has changed during the early to mid 2370s, when many of the Saber-class have been relocated near the core as part of Starfleets build-up of forces against the Dominion. Sabers featured heavily during the recent Borg incursion, where many of the ships involved in the Typhon and Earth battles were destroyed or severely damaged.

The 2380s and beyondEdit

Although out of production, many of the Saber-class continue to serve as scouts, and escorts. Many such as the USS Crusader have been through massive overhauls. New warp core designs allowed for more powerful weapons, as well as freeing up space.

In 2384, a program began to modernize the Saber-class. A dual-purpose photon and quantum torpedo launcher replaced the old one. Type X phaser arrays were added, and speed was increased to warp 9.7. New smaller replicator units were added to the quarters and one mess hall converted to a senior staff galley. Another was sacrificed to squeeze in 2 holosuites, while crew capacity was raised from 40 to 60. A new level of defense was added in 2388 when a layer of ablative armor was added to its duranium hull. The increase in mass allowed for an increased structural integrity field as well.

The class was succeeded in 2398 by the Ushaan-class, although the existing stable of Saber-class vessels remained in service for several decades afterwards.

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