As part of the same design team responsible for the Duderstadt-class’ development, the team was assigned to make a local security and patrol ship to assist in anti-piracy operations and border security. In an era of looking back on previous Federation designs, the team turned to successful ships in this role from the past, and landed on a recurring theme. Leaning into the Intrepid-Type of the 2150’s, and the Pioneer-Class of the 2240’s to 2260’s. This small, compact space frame allowed for a ship to pack enough firepower to be a threat, while maintaining a far more maneuverable stand than other ships of comparable size.
Development began by borrowing parts from the recent Sagan and Duderstadt classes, in keeping with the era of being able to use parts produced from across the Federation. This allowed the team to take a design project that would have taken years, and pair it down to a record setting 103 days. By the end of 2396 the first space frame would be laid, and completed using new construction methods by 2397.
Part way through development, Starfleet tactical revealed a new series of phasers, specifically designed to allow these patrol ships to track fleeing vessel for up to a week later. Tentatively referred to by the team as “tracer phasers” the weapon allowed a residual ionic decay to occur on the hull. This created an easily followable trail behind the fleeing vessel for up to 48 hours. The trade off of this design was a serious decrease in the overall potency of the weapon, leading the team to install Type XII “flee phasers” to protect if the ship had to retreat.
Like the Intrepid-type and Pioneer-class before it, the nacelles were mounted to a small secondary hull, with the nacelles kept close to the saucer section. This allowed the ship to maintain a far more maneuverable profile, with a more centralized distribution of weight. The trade off was reduced warp efficiency and speed. The other unintended side effect was a slower acceleration profile, with limited effective space for impulse thrusters to work properly.
The first ship, the USS Echelon, NX-97650 rolled out of production and began space trials. The ship performed to Starfleet expectations, but had no real other features of note. It made an excellent patrol ship, and in the event of non-combat emergencies it was quick enough to respond to provide support, but was limited in its production capacity. As a result the ship was mostly relegated to providing interior policing and local security operations.
|Number of Decks:||14|
|Type T Tracer Phasers||4|
|Type XII Phaser||2|
|Type 9 Shuttles||4|
|Type 14 Shuttle||2|
Ships of the Line
|1||Bridge, Captain’s Ready Room, Briefing Room|