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These ships were only built in relatively small numbers but they were a very effective starship class. These ships were used in trouble spots and used in a rapid response fleet that Starfleet called TacFleet. These ships served with distinction and have bloodied themselves in many battles. Due to the effectiveness of the ship, it is likely that some survived in the 24th century and would have been very useful in the wars against the Dominion.
In its physical appearance, the Starstalker-class has the same main hull dish shape combined with a secondary hull like the Enterprise-class heavy cruiser but the design is quite different in many ways. The primary hull is built much like the hull of an Avenger-class frigate without the pod over the main hull and uses the same construction facilities. The ship design does carry two mega phasers mounted above the main hull, however. These were original not part of the design but were added during refits. The support between the primary and secondary hulls is more reinforced than the support is for an Enterprise-class cruiser. The secondary hull is not as well contoured as the Enterprise-class and is instead is octagonal in form when looked at from the front or rear of the ship. The mounts for the ships warp drives are also shorter and are mounted further towards the bottom of the hull.
These ships were constructed around the concept of increased torpedo weaponry. The ship carries eight photon torpedo launchers for this purpose. Torpedo launchers require much less power, meaning that the ship has them even when power systems are damaged. Theses ships were originally not fitted with mega phasers but the engineers realized that the mega-phasers could be added and would not put undo strain on the power systems and would add much to the fire power of this ship. The mega-phasers were added to the ship during refits. The ship has a total of six conventional phaser banks and one individual phaser that are used for both added firepower and used for the ships point defense weaponry.
Because of the hull configuration of this ship, this show is slightly slower than the Enterprise-class cruiser but the extra firepower easily makes up the difference.
Due to using a Avenger style hull primary and using a large secondary hull, the Starstalker had a large amount of space to carry fighters and shuttles. As well, the ship carries a good complement of Marines for shipboard defense and to support landing parties. The ship are designed with full flag facilities and these ships are among the favorite ships to act as flagships for admirals.
The USS Starstalker (NCC-2117) was the prototype for the Starstalker-class patrol cruiser.