With the heavy modernisation of the upper half of the fleet under way and in full swing, Starfleet turned its attention to the support side of the fleet. With production of the outdated California and Parliament coming to an end, the Federation needed a new jack-of-all trades ship. Where the California and Parliament had been successful, they had also led to a degree of confusion amongst the fleet, and worse, bickering over ship assignments. Needing a ship that fit into the same role, but matched with the modular nature of the modern design language, a call was put out for design. Several models came in from across the Federation, but as with the Obena and Excelsior II, it was a retro frame that won.
Based on the long since replaced Miranda chassis, the design kept the basic look of the Miranda, with a heavily modernized interior and new material science to make the ship more functional. A majority of the ship’s frame was occupied by a modular cargo bay and shuttle bay. This allowed the ship to act as a patrol and resupply ship.
This ship was not meant to participate in primary fleet actions, and was to be designated as a patrol and picket ship. While physically larger than the Merian that had been meant to replace it, this was more due to the large cargo space afforded to it, than its actual functionality.
The same modular nacelles of the Curiosity were used for this ship, allowing it to share a single line of parts as that ship, and allow shipyards to quickly build either ship with parts on hand.
Using a long mothballed and mostly gutted Miranda frame as a basis, a prototype, originally called the Reliant, was constructed in 2392, and completed in less than four months. The prototype was little more than the new nacelles and a warp core strapped to the Miranda frame for testing of systems, and never was intended to see active service. The live test was used to correct issues in the existing structure and make small changes for manufacturing purposes.
The Reliant, NX90000 (never given the designation USS Reliant) was maintained for testing until 2395 when the first real vessel based on the design was completed, which was now given the designation USS Reliant, NCC-90200, which was the first official ship of the new class. She featured a heavy suit of sensors to make it useful as a patrol and anti-piracy vessel. To make up for the limited intended crew, heavy automation was used with a focus on holographic crew to interact with the automated system.
Unlike the original Mirnada, which served as a light cruiser, the Reliant-class never received a large weapons compliment and instead focused on her role in patrol and survey.
Auto-modulating shielding (Deflector Based)
|Type XI Phasers||6|
|Type U |
|Type 9 Shuttle||4|
|Type 11 Shuttle||1|
Ships of the Line
|USS Hou Yi||NCC-90229||Reserve|