Planning for the Daystrom Class explorer/light scout first began in the late 2350s as part of Starfleet’s ongoing research programme on exploratory vessels. As work was still underway on development of the Galaxy Class, Starfleet Command felt that there was no urgency for the programme to be completed before 2370, so work proceeded at an unusually relaxed pace. This process eventually resulted in two feasible ship designs going before a review panel judging their worthiness for full-scale production, the Daystrom and the Intrepid Classes.
From the middle of the 2360s on, however, the changing balance of power in the Alpha Quadrant, the threat posed by the Borg and the reappearance of the Romulans affected Command’s decision-making on new ship designs. After the first Borg incursion into Earth space it became blindingly obvious to many that a more combat-capable complement of starships would be required to meet the challenges of the new reality. The teams working on the Daystrom and the Intrepid were given just a handful of months to prove that their designs would add to Starfleet’s military strength in a significant manner, but those working on the Daystrom were unable to finish redrawing their specifications before the deadline. The Intrepid, with its increased speed, long-range sensor capabilities and upgraded weaponry, won the contest and was pushed into production.
In a perverse twist of fate, the disappearance of the second Intrepid Class starship to be commissioned called production on that series into question, finally reaching such a height of concern in 2371 that Starfleet Command made a preliminary request for either a new vessel to quickly replace the Intrepids or a another review of the old designs. The design that lost out in the late 2360s was brought into the light again, but there were already considerable deficiencies in what should have been a highly useful vessel. In the hurry to meet Starfleet’s earlier demands for a combat ship the Daystrom’s original designers had reduced its scientific capacity and viability as a pure explorer to such an extent that it was now feared the mistakes made by militarising the Intrepid would just be repeated here. After some careful consideration it was decided that construction work would revolve around a pre-existing vessel, the Excelsior. Although the Daystrom herself would be larger than her cousin, it would have the same basic hull geometry and configuration, thereby moving the starting point of the process along considerably.
Differences were significant in other quarters, though. After the Federation’s relations with the Klingon Empire deteriorated in the early 2370s and the Dominion War later on, technological advances that had come about as a result were introduced into the design with varying degrees of success. The Daystrom would be poorly armed in relation to the ships of the line built up to and during the War, even in relation to the Intrepid Class, but her old phaser banks were refitted, freeing up 5% more internal volume that could be dedicated to her diplomatic capabilities. Her saucer section would be redesigned to better accommodate sensor technology advances made on the Nova Class project – her primary sensor array was refitted to better detect cloaked vessels and her secondary array was replaced by a more effective design, increasing overall sensor capability by 19%. Her nacelles would be redesigned to allow for a moderately high warp capability without contamination of various phenomena with warp particles and subspace distortions, and her manoeuvring capability was modified to make her more agile. For a time the designers toyed with the idea of employing external torpedo launchers as on the New Orleans as a means of increasing the Daystrom’s chances of survival in a heavy combat scenario, but it was swiftly decided that the small amount of space available would instead be devoted to additional science labs with special capabilities to run a multitude of scans in parallel with the ship’s active and passive sensors. This decision is perhaps the most evident design-feature of the Daystrom, for it involves the inclusion of a pair of secondary deflector arrays to either side of the main deflector dish. While there is some benefit to this in terms of space flight, the most significant advantage is in the area of the exceptionally detailed long-to medium-range sensor sweeps the ship is capable of performing. So powerful is this dual-array that, as per Command’s requirements, in concert with the high-powered directional sensor array located at the lowest point on the saucer section it is considerably more effective at cutting through the vast amounts of disruption thrown out by even the most powerful of phenomena, up to and including Mutara-type nebulae.
The Daystrom was to fill in the gap between the combat-oriented Intrepid and the purely science-based Nova, which itself had been designed to replace the fleet’s ageing armada of Oberth Class vessels and was swiftly becoming Starfleet’s chief exploratory alternative to the now militarised Intrepid. In a decade of increasing hostilities it was felt that a ship fulfilling the role of exploration would also need to be able to take care of itself in a tough situation, and the compromise was the Daystrom. Larger than the Intrepid though she was, the Daystrom’s chief tactical abilities lay not in her similar number of Type VIII phaser arrays (with an output of 11,000 terawatts) or in her torpedo armament, but in her increased shielding. An impressive 2,056,000 terajoules of output was possible at full power, a good deal more than even the Intrepid’s and twice that called for in the Daystrom’s original designs. Her top warp velocity would be higher than the Nova’s, her weaponry better and facilities more advanced, including diplomatic quarters and reception areas. Also, she would not be equipped with any fighters as was the case in most new vessel designs. Overall, she would present a much less hostile profile of the Federation to new races while still being able to protect herself in an assault with similarly armed starships.
Although the Intrepid Class would return to its full level of production after intensive testing of existing models, the Daystrom Class was given the green light to proceed with development. The Dominion War halted progress on all non-combatant starships and designs, but once finished the Daystrom’s new designers and engineers were allowed to continue work on her. In December 2378 the Daystrom was launched and began her shakedown cruise, during which time any difficulties and problems were ironed out and dealt with. She was commissioned in January 2380, and the class was to have a full production run of 304 vessels by 2399 when manufacture was scheduled to stop. The reason for so high a number of ships constructed was as much a political one as it was a practical one – Starfleet and the Federation Council desired a visible return to the fleet’s primary goals of exploration and discovery, and the fleet itself was in need of a non-militarized long range scientific vessel with a long life span, long refit cycle, excellent sensory capabilities and low construction cost.
|Cruising Speed||Warp 6|
|Maximum Speed||Warp 9.2|
|Emergency Speed||Warp 9.7 (for 36 hours)|
|Runabouts||Talon Scout: 1|
|Shuttles||Hunley Shuttle: 1|
Type 11 Shuttle: 2
Type 9 Shuttle: 4
|Transports||Argo Transport: 1|
|Workpods||Brunel Workpod: 1|
|Defensive Systems||Ablative Armour|
|Shielding Systems||Auto-Modulating Shields|
|Phasers||Type VIII Array: 8|
|Torpedos||Burst-Fire Torpedo Launcher: 3|
- Photon Torpedoes: 70
- Quantum Torpedoes: 20
Tri-Cobalt Devices: 2
|1||Bridge, Captain's Ready Room, Observation Lounge|
|2||XO's Office, Maintenance Bay 1, Holodecks 1 & 2, Diplomatic Facilities (1 lounge, 3 conference areas), Escape Pods|
|3||Main Impulse Reactors, CO's Quarters, Senior Officers' Quarters, Cargo Bay 1, Main Computer Core Level 1, Transporter Room 1, Escape Pods|
|4||Junior Officers' Quarters, Crew Quarters, Impulse Reactor Assemblage, Primary Impulse Engines, Main Dorsal Phaser Arrays, Main Computer Core Level 2, Security Office/Brig, Main Armoury, Mess Hall|
|5||Guest Quarters, Sickbay, Sickbay Support Units, Chief Medical Officer's Office, Transporter Room 2, Cargo Bays 2 & 3, Hydroponics Lab, Arboretum, Botanical Lab 1, Main Computer Core Level 3, Crew Quarters, Escape Pods|
|6||Geology Lab 1, Planetary Development Lab, Holodecks 3 & 4, Forward Lounge, Maintenance Bay 2, Multi-purpose Labs (7), Xenobiology Lab 1, Biological Development Lab, Cryogenics Lab, Main Computer Core Level 4, Experimental Sciences Lab 1 (Genetics), Crew Quarters, Cargo Bay 4|
|7||Astrophysics Lab 1, Stellar Cartography, Advanced Sensor Computation Units, Main Sensor Array, Main Communications Array, Maintenance Bay 3, Multi-purpose Labs (12), Archaeological Lab, Chief Operations Officer's Office, Navigational Control, Main Computer Core Level 5, Experimental Sciences Lab 2 (Astrophysics), Civilian Quarters|
|8||Main Ventral Phaser Arrays, Primary Environmental Controls, High-Power Directional Sensor Array Access, Advanced Sensor Computation Support Units, Transporter Room 3, Experimental Sciences Labs (3), Botanical Labs 2 & 3, Xenobiology Lab 2, Astrophysics Lab 2, Forward Tractor Beam Emitter, Crew Quarters, Civilian Quarters, Escape Pods|
|9||Primary SIF Control Systems, Environmental Support Systems, Maintenance Bay 4, Astrophysics Labs 3 & 4, Geology Lab 2 (Astronomical Geology), Main EPS Control Nodes, Primary Power Distribution Network Processors, High-Powered Directional Sensor Array (no access)|
|10||Shuttle Bay, Exobiology Lab 1, Computational Subprocessor Matrices, Reserve Tactical Power Supply (3 chambers), Primary Power Conduit Housing, Secondary Lateral Sensor Palettes|
|11||Exobiology Lab 2, Docking Hatches, Primary Power Conduit Housing, Tactical Sensors, Aft Torpedo Magazine, Aft Torpedo Launcher|
|12||Secondary Power Conduit Housing, Forward Torpedo Launchers (2), Forward Torpedo Magazines (2), Tactical Support Systems, Aft Phaser Array, Port and Starboard Phaser Arrays|
|13||Secondary Computer Cores Level 1 (2), Secondary Power Conduit Housing, Sensor Analysis Suite, Cargo Transporter Chamber 1, Cargo Bays 5 & 6, Aft Tractor Beam Emitter, Main Power Transfer Conduit Complex|
|14||Aft Sensor Palettes, Primary Aft Targeting Sensors, Cargo Transporter Chamber 2, Main Cargo Bay, Crew Quarters, Secondary Computer Cores Level 2 (2), Escape Pods|
|15||Secondary Deflector Dish Housing (2), Secondary Computer Cores Level 3 (2), Auxiliary Deflector Control, Transporter Room 4, Main Engineering Level 1, Warp Core Reaction Chamber, Chief Engineer's Office, Armoury|
|16||Secondary Deflector Dish Housing (2), Primary Deflector Dish Controls, Primary Deflector Dish Housing, Main Engineering Level 2|
|17||Primary Deflector Dish Housing, Secondary Deflector Dish Housing (2), Primary Tripartite Deflector Alignment Controls, Maintenance Bay 5, Engineering Sublevel 1|
|18||Primary Deflector Dish Housing, Secondary Deflector Dish Housing (2), Auxiliary Tripartite Deflector Alignment Controls, Intensive Sensor Acquisition Suite, Engineering Sublevel 2, Engineering Lab 1|
|19||Secondary Deflector Dish Housing (2), Anti-matter Storage Pods, Primary Lateral Sensor Palettes (fore), Engineering Lab 2, Transporter Room 5|
|20||Engineering Lab 3, Warp Core Ejection Systems, Anti-matter Pod Ejection Systems, Anti-matter Storage Pods, Engineering Support Systems, Escape Pods|
|21||Redundant Warp Core Ejection Systems, Redundant Anti-matter Pod Ejection Systems, Reserve Deuterium Storage, Primary Lateral Sensor Palettes (aft), Engineering Support Systems|
|22||Secondary Sensor Array Level 1, Reserve Fusion Reactors (2), Ventral Power Distribution Nodes, Industrial Replicator Suite, Anti-matter Pod Ejection Hatches|
|23||Secondary Sensor Array Level 2, Ventral Phaser Array, Ventral Tractor Beam Emitter, Engineering Support Systems, Warp Core Ejection Hatch, Escape Pods|
Categories: Starship Specs
Last Modified: October 8, 2017 8:40 pm