Header Truth OR Myth? Beta Canon - The Walker Class

Truth OR Myth? Beta Canon – The Walker Class

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Hello and welcome to another episode of Truth OR Myth Beta Canon, a Star Trek web series that dives into the history of any given topic using Beta Canon sources and my own imagination to fill in the gaps. In today’s episode we’re taking a look at the Walker Class of Starfleet Starships, as first seen in Star Trek: Discovery, to better understand its place in Star Trek History.

Having made a video on this class early in my channels career, I’ve been both dreading and excited to revisit it. Dreading it because of all the research that went into the First video that may no longer be valid, that video was all Alpha Canon. And excited to expand this class beyond Official Canon to flesh it out all the more.

And as always, Because this IS a Beta Canon video, all information relaid should pretty much be taken with a grain of stardust, and only considered a little bit of Star Trek Fun! And so, with all that out of the way, let us begin.

U.S.S. Shenzhou
(Paramount+) The Walker Class “U.S.S. Shenzhou”

A starship of the line in the early 23rd Century, The Walker Class prove time and time again its usefulness to Starfleet and the United Federation of Planets. But what do we really know about this New Wave Class of Starship? Well, today we’ll find out…

As Starfleet approached the 23rd century, having finally solved the integration problems of technology donated by Federation Member Worlds, the organization set its starship designers the task of creating new, built from the ground up, vessel classes to utilize all of Starfleet’s new Technological breakthroughs.

First off the line, was the Malachowski Class, and the absolute success of that class, both in form and function, re-invigorated Starfleet’s desire for an entirely new fleet to supplant the old guard.

One of the starship designs of Starfleet’s Best and Brightest was that of the Walker Class… Sitting at a length of approximately 423 meters and 15 decks tall, the Walker Class was designed to be operated by 150 Officers and Crew Members.

The design would also echo many aesthetics of Starfleet past, including a forward-facing Defector Dish mounted to the saucer section, The Walker class would also include a compact secondary hull and 2 under-slung Warp Nacelles with a maximum safe cruising velocity for this class was Warp Factor 5, with an emergency speed of warp factor 6.5.

Walker Class At Warp
(Paramount+) The Walker Class At Warp

This starship class was also capable of atmospheric flight, a capability that most Starfleet starships lacked, allowing this ship to travel into a planetary environment for emergency missions where technology such as the transporters could not be used for evacuation of the crew from the ships themselves this class also contained escape pods which could be launched through breakaway panels that lined the primary hull.

Ships armaments for the Walker Class were standard for the time. This included phase cannons and photon torpedoes launchers, 3 in total. Later upgrades to this class also saw the addition of the newly invented Phaser Emitters, which allowed a continuous stream of phaser energy rather than just phaser pulses that the canons provided, defensive shielding was also standard for what was available at the time.

Unlike most other Starfleet starships of the time, the bridge for the Walker Class was located at the bottom of the Saucer Section on deck 7 and contained a connected ready room for the Captain to have various meetings with officers as required.

Though receiving minor upgrades and refits to its technology over the years, the Walker Class still contained what many saw as outdated systems. One of the most outdated technologies was that of its transporters, but by the 2250s most Starfleet classes transporter systems had been upgraded from the lateral vector system still used on the Walker Class to a standard transporter system which utilized a lot less power and had increased range.

Starfleet opted not to upgrade the system in the Walker Class, as it intended to begin to phase out the Class after the successful launch of the Constitution Class.

Lateral Vector Transporters
(Paramount+) Lateral Vector Transporters

A single large shuttlebay would adorn the backside of the Saucer. This shuttlebay would also use the new forcefield technology developed for the Malachowski class in its design.

The Shuttlebay forcefield system would allow the bay doors to be open while a shuttle entered or exited, with no loss of atmosphere. And although an interesting development technological-wise, this forcefield system was a huge drain on the ships available power, and thus was only used in rare instances.

Starfleet’s latest and best-designed shuttlecraft would also be included in this design. Impressed with the design overall, Starfleet Command would begin construction on the USS Walker in late 2209 and by mid-2211, the Starship USS Walker would head out on her shakedown cruise.

Having learned several lessons from the Shakedown Cruise of the USS Malachowski, the USS Walker would fare much better in testing than her sister class. Though many minor adjustments had to be made during the Shakedown Cruise, overall, The Walker had performed quite well and thus, Starfleet sent the Class into full production.

Considered a Light Cruiser, the Walker Class would at first be an exploratory starship, pushing the boundaries of Federation Space further out in all directions.

Slowly but surely, however, her mission profile would change to one of Starfleet’s workhorse vessel classes, as newer and more advanced starship classes began to take up the mantle of Exploration. But even in this category, the Walker Class performed admirably, which probably accounts for its longevity within the fleet.

Walker Bridge
(Paramount+) The Walker Class Bridge Was Located On The Lower Saucer Section

Rather than simply decommissioning the class in the 2230s, The Walker Class would receive several minor upgrades to keep it in line with most of Starfleet’s current technologies.

Then in 2256, the USS Shenzhou, under the command of Captain Phillipa Georgiou, would be involved in the Battle of the Binary Stars, the event that would see the re-emergence of the Klingon Empire back on to the Galactic Stage.

Starfleet was ill-prepared for the battle. Even its best classes seemed no match for the Klingon Fleet. And in the 1-year war with the Empire that followed, Starfleet would lose over a 3rd of its Fleet, with another 3rd of the Fleet, damaged badly, receiving quick patch up jobs to keep them in the fight and several decommissioned and mothballed Starships of the Class would also be quickly serviced and put back into the fleet for the war effort.

Thankfully, the Federation would be victorious in the war against the Empire, but the major idea that every member World took away from the War, was the inferiority of Starfleet’s Starfleet, and after a bit of political wrangling, eventually, Starfleet was granted permission to do whatever it could to ensure another situation like the Battle of the Binary Stars, would not happen again.

As a result, Starfleet would review all its starship designs, including several newer designs it had begun to put into service based on the Constitution Class technology. And the review of the Walker Class did not go well, put simply, the entered design was old. Still utilizing Phase Canons as its primary weaponry as well as Pre-Duotronic starship systems, Starfleet made the choice to decommission the Class.

Constitution Class
(Paramount+) USS Enterprise – Constitution Class

This decommissioning process, however, did not happen overnight, as Starfleet could not afford to lose any more starships with its current fleet barely over 50% mark. Rather, as new starships came off the line, vessels of the older classes marked for decommissioning would be pulled from the fleet.

Therefore many vessels of the Class were still in operation well into the 2260s but with new Technological Developments, and the successful Launch of the Refit Constitution Class along with the Smaller Miranda Class, the Walker Classes fate was finally sealed.

With the remaining stragglers, assigned to Planetary Defense of Member Worlds and odd jobs through out the Federation, finally being sent scarp yards in 2273.

Though originally a starship of the line, and then reduced to a work horse class for Starfleet, the Walker Class, never the less, held an elegance and beauty to those that served aboard one. Being able to be utilized for various mission profile requirements, the Walker Class served with honor and distinction and no one can deny the significance this class held to both Starfleet Command and the United Federation of Planets.

As a result, the Walker Class would always be looked upon by Starfleet and its officers as a hero class, proving to one and all that heroes come in all shapes and sizes, and don’t always have to exploring the edges of federation Space to make a name for itself. Earning this class its rightful place, in Starfleet history…

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Thank you for watching today’s episode of Truth or Myth Beta Canon, what do you think of the Walker Class, and the historical narrative I’ve created here. Would you like to see more videos like this one?

Well leave your comments in the section below and don’t forget to like the video and subscribe to the channel…

Thanks again for watching, live long, and prosper…

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