The Valkyrie-class entered service during the Dominion War, and went through a rapid development and deployment phase in the opening months of the war. Until the outbreak of hostilities the Valkyrie program was delayed due to continued debates over the role of fighter in Starfleet. Heavy losses in the opening of the war spurred Starfleet to approve and prioritize the program in 2372.
The Valkyrie is based on an aerowing design, which is suitable for limited atmospheric flight. The smoothed aerowing surface encases the twin warp nacelles and impulse engines. The cockpit incorporates features similar to a standard Starfleet shuttlecraft, with additional mission specific equipment, and the incorporation of a manual steering column. The cockpit also incorporates an Emergency Transporter system for the flight crew.
The two-man crew is composed of a pilot and gunner station, both working in tandem to maximize the Valkyrie’s systems. The flight suits the crew wears provide reserve life-support functions, and there has been no accommodations made for crew relaxation or rest outside of their flight seats. The Valkyrie is small enough to operate from a standard Starfleet shuttlebay, and it can also dock using the ventral docking port, which also serves as the crews’ primary hatch.
The escape pod is incorporated into the forward fuselage/cockpit and is designed to separate from the engineering section of the fighter. In case of catastrophic damage the crew can eject the forward 1/3 of the Valkyrie and get clear of the explosion. In this mode, the cockpit can serve as a standard Starfleet escape pod, complete with reentry capabilities and an encoded subspace distress beacon. The Valkyrie also features a low-powered tractor beam system. This allows the Valkyrie to be used to retrieve escape pods, cargo, and allows it to tow other fighters back to the base of operations.
The Valkyrie is built around the Two Type U+ Pulse Phaser Cannons, which are considered its primary weapon system. Two conventional Type V Phaser arrays have been incorporated along the Valkyrie’s dorsal and ventral spine as defensive weapons. The Type V Phasers are also intended to deter pursing spacecraft, and when an experienced pilot/gunner team utilizes the Valkyrie’s capabilities they can be used to herd enemies into firing position.
The Valkyrie’s close-range weaponry has been augmented by the addition of two-microtorpedo launchers. These are utilized during short-range strafing attacks, and when the Valkyrie is utilized to support Starfleet ground units and a photon torpedo strike would endanger friendly and enemy units alike.
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