Classification: Heavy Cruiser


Length: 492.2 meters

Width: 294.3 meters

Height: 65.9 meters

Decks: 11


Officers: 40

Crew: 120

Marines: 32

Passengers: 0


Cruising Warp: 8

Maximum Warp: 9.95

Emergency Warp: 9.997 (6 hours)

QSD: Not Equipped


Auto-modulating shielding (Deflector Based)

Multiphasic Shielding

Ablative Armor


Type XIII Phasers: 4

Type XI Phasers: 6

Type U-II Pulse Phaser: 4

Burstfire Torpedo Launcher: 6 (4 fore, 2 aft)

Auxiliary Craft


  • Type 14 Shuttle: 4


  • Aero Class Runabout: 1
  • Albatross Class Marine Transport: 1


As a part of the Starfleet Upfit Program, a new heavy cruiser was needed to support the aging Akira Fleet. While the Akira remained the premiere platform for frontline warship, it was expensive to maintain and in need of a major refit. Much like other ships as part of the modern Fleet, the teams were put forth to find a good platform to build the replacements for these ships.

Many designs were filtered through, but in the volume and space desired by the Fleet, many of these options were too cumbersome, or ill-suited for the task at hand. An Ensign assigned to the project took time to visit a Starfleet breaking yard to look through and see if a suitable prototype could be found. One of the ships caught his eye, which was being used as a tug – the SS Gagarin. Formerly the USS Gagarin, and part of the Shepherd-class ships that had been a successful combat ship during the first Klingon-Federation War. The breaking yard had actually maintained fifteen of the class for use as tugs, with the ship’s highly durable frame successful in the role. The Gagarin was the last functional of this fleet, over a century old, and being kept alive entirely though spare parts from the other fourteen. 

The Gagarin was purchased from the breaking yard, and taken to Starbase 63, where work on seeing if the design could be modernized began. The team spent a week crawling through cobbled together elements of the ship, looking at how systems still operated, and comparing them to the original schematics in the Federation database. Much of the ship had been rebuilt to operate with a reduced crew, with only five people needed to run the ship as a tug, and a crew of nearly a hundred EMH Mk1’s running around manning other systems. Further, the ship’s phaser systems had been gutted, replaced with tractor beams and upgraded power conduits. Lastly, an old Akira power plant had been “installed” in the engineering section to allow it to operate. It was said by the team that had they not visited that day, that the ship probably wouldn’t have survived the week, and the design would have been lost. 

The engineers set to work, stripping back a century of neglect, and put in rebuilding her from the inside out. The akira style power plant was kept, maintaining the horizontal warp core configuration in an effort to streamline the process. 

Issues arose early on in testing, relating to the Type-XIII phasers installed in the ship. The powerful systems were overheating in the small spaceframe, causing them to have much higher recharge times. A solution came in the form of combining the ship’s secondary deflector space and adding a radiator to the space. This allowed the ship additional cooling for the weapon systems as well as the secondary deflector. This combination of systems allowed the vessel to rapidly cool the system, lowering its overall IR signature, and reducing detectability faster. 

Efforts were made to integrate the roll bar from the Akira in, which would have added a further 4 torpedo launchers to the ship. Unfortunately the system was deemed unstable and had issues balancing the load under stress. It also added additional subspace drag, leading to a higher than tolerable maintenance requirement. The system was dropped, but the eight internal passage systems had been maintained. While originally expected to be removed in production, instead an effort was made to replace the system with a hatched system, similar to escape pods. This allowed for the fitting of additional probes, or mines, or even specially built Marine Drop pods. 

Larger than necessary nacelles were attached, similar to those of the new Sagan-class, allowing for a speed-through-thrust method of rapid response. While not considered ideal, this allowed the Gagarin to match the speed of other, more efficiently designed starships. 

The primary and secondary hull were hard to distinguish, with the secondary hull built right up against the saucer section. This allowed for a rigid spaceframe, capable of handling far greater stress than most contemporary ships of the era. 

Final trials of the USS Gagarin completed in 2390, with the ship receiving type certification that same year, and entering into service. Gagarin class ships are deployed as frontline warships, and can be found patrolling the edges of Federation space. They often act as flagships of anti-piracy operations. Though successful, the type never successfully managed to supplant the legendary Akira, which is still in service today. 

Named for famous astronauts

USS GagarinNX-97900Prototype
USS ResnikReserve
USS ArmstrongReserve
USS HadfieldReserve
USS PicardReserve
USS YeagerReserve
USS PayetteReserve
USS Jemison