Following the success of the initial Slipstream tests, Starfleet began to look and a smaller package for the Slipstream core and more modern designs. The Starfleet Engineering corps didn’t have far to look however as the initial test bed, the USS Spirit showed promise in the size range Starfleet Command wanted. Enlarging the design a bit to include weapons, more crew and an expanded role, the Merian Class began to take shape.
Initially whilst designed in an attempt to get more QSD able ships out in greater numbers and in a less crew intensive design, Command soon saw a plus to the Merian’s small size. A replacement for some of Starfleet’s older and tired smaller designs, namely the now centuries old Miranda and Centaur space frames. The perfect size to take over their roles, with more advanced technology and greater firepower, science suites and the ability to operate alone the Merian was positioned to enter mass production within months. With 5 initial frames laid down and in production in 2391, the construction was slowed for a year whilst the Vesta went through a refit and the QSD design streamlined, and the kinks hammered out of the design that popped up while in a working environment. The namesake of the class, the USS Merian and her 4 sister ships were launched early in 2392, just shortly before the Vesta herself was lost.
Sadly, the Merian Class was put on hold with the disappearance of the Vesta. Unlike the Vesta design which was easily adapted to a pure warp-powered ship, the Merian Class was designed specifically with the QSD usage in mind, to make her a warp-only design would require serious rework. The Merian Class uses a planar Slipstream drive, with her warp core mounted horizontal rather than vertical to take into account her small size and the roll bar. The design of the horizontal core additionally helps in the creation of the initial quantum field, thanks to its placement being directly connected to the deflector dish, allowing for more power to be pumped into the deflector considering the small size of the Warp Core. Because of the size of her powerplant, however, she is nowhere near as fast as her big sister in the Vesta Class. The Merian is no slouch, however, being able to reach speeds of up to 2.5 QSV in an emergency situation.
The 5 initial ships of the class were put on limited duties with strict orders to use their QSD only when absolutely necessary and the production put on hold whilst the Investigation into the Vesta’s disappearance was done. In mid-2395, incidentally just before the Vesta would reappear, the Slipstream Drive was declared safe by Starfleet Engineering once again, and the Merian Class was pushed back into full production. With an eye to replacing the ancient Miranda, Fleet Yards are now producing the class en masse.
Roll Bar Configurations
The roll bar of the Merian class allows it to change possible roles at a starbase, reconfiguring the Merian class as is needed to suit mission parameters.
The Science Suite roll bar allows for an additional set of high gain sensors to be added for better accuracy when performing astrometric research or when doing planetary surveys. It also adds a full astrometrics lab as well as additional science bays.
Where the Science Suite focuses on adding more scientific capabilities, the Combat Suite adds additional torpedo tubes (with additional magazines of torpedoes), a pair of anti-fighter batteries, and additional targeting sensors for better target acquisition. This configuration is used in border patrol and policing craft.
+40 Quantum Torpedoes and 80 Photon Torpedoes
Search and Rescue
This last setting adds a few enhanced sensors, like the Science suite, but instead of an astrometrics bay, it adds additional medical facilities and trauma centres, as well as two additional transporter rooms.
|Marines||0 (Option for 16)|
|Cruising Speed||Warp 7.9|
|Maximum Speed||Warp 9.975|
|Emergency Speed||QSV 2.5 (3 hours)|
|Quantum Slipstream Cruising Velocity||QSV 1.5|
|Decks||10+1 (Adjusted for modularity of the Roll Bar)|
|Shuttles||Type 9 Shuttles: 3|
Type 11 Shuttles: 2
|Defensive Systems||Ablative Armour|
|Phasers||Type XIII Array: 5|
Type U Array: 2
|Torpedoes||Pulse-Fire Torpedo Launcher: 2 + 2 (roll bar)|
Quantum Torpedoes: 80
Photon Torpedoes: 150
Ships of the Line