Hello and welcome to another episode of Truth OR Myth, a Star Trek web series that normally looks at the Truth, or canon, information to dispel the myths that have surfaced on a given topic. Today’s episode is once again a bit different as we’re taking a look at the Saber Class of Starfleet Starships.
With the disaster of Wolf 359 burnt into Starfleet’s memory, they began to furiously develop new starship designs and technologies to defeat the Borg Collective. And early on, Starfleet decided that smaller, easier constructed, yet powerful starships would be the way to go, and because of this thinking 2 classes would compete for the top spot of the most powerful tactical starship, the Defiant Class, and the Saber Class…
Usually, this series only gives you, the audience, canon information on a starship class. But after the recent successes of both my Daedalus Class and Curry Class starship videos, and all you good people demanding more videos like them, I’ve decided to continue with the Saber class. Once again id, like to thank GermanTrekkie for his Saber at warp, renders he’s provided to for this video, a link to his channel is in the description below.
So what I’ve done is thoroughly researched the Class through Beta Canon and filled in some of the blank spots with my imagination and of course logic, to give you all a little bit to chew on about this class.
As a result, though, most information in the video 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’s begin.
After Starfleet’s defeat at Wolf 359, Starfleet Command held many meeting to determine what their next course of action should really be. Almost right off the bat, the idea of continuing to develop new technologies, which had begun a little over a year prior to Wolf 359, was put forth, and most of the admiralty agreed.
However, a group of strong supporters in the idea of making Starfleet a more militarized organization brought forward the idea of designing whole new classes of Starships. These classes would not be scientific in nature, they would small, easily built, powerful, with no human luxuries of any kind. They would be a warship, nothing more, nothing less.
Normally this vocal minority within Starfleet would simply be heard and ignored, but this time that wasn’t the case. Suddenly Starfleet’s Command Council was very open to the idea. Perhaps it was the 11000 deaths on their conscience or maybe the fact that the Borg Collective had made it all the way to Earth with barely a scratch on its surface, but the command council backed this plan and requested immediate plans for new tactical classes of starships be drawn up and put together a team to head up this new starship development.
Heading to the drawing board 2 classes became the focus of this team. First, the Defiant Class, a departure from Starfleet’s standard Saucer/ Secondary hull configuration, designed with canons and crewed by about 50 officers and crew members, this class would utilize of Starfleet’s newest warp core breakthrough The class-7 warp drive and be equipped with ablative hull armour.
The other design, the Saber Class, would maintain a sense of Starfleet design aesthetics by using both a saucer section, which was more angular in design and a secondary hull which was virtually melded into the saucer section itself.
Both designs would see the warp nacelles incorporated in to the primary hull.
For a short time, a 3rd design was considered, and actually extensively developed, this design would become known as the Nova Class after being retooled into a science vessel, and eventually, a tactical variant of the Nova Class would be developed and implemented by Starfleet, but at this point, the more traditional design of the Nova Class precluded it being considered for the tactical top dog spot.
The Saber Class stood at a length of approximately 190 meters and a width of approximately 250 meters. It had 11 decks and thanks to the extreme focus of starship automation on this particular class, would be crewed by only 40 officers and crew members.
Where the Defiant Class was testing out a new phaser cannon system, the Saber Class too was designed to test out a new phaser weapons system. This time however it was a dual-beam Phaser Overload Emitter designed to fire from the front of the ship.
This new dual-beam Phaser Overload Emitter was a completely separate system from the other phaser arrays contained within the class. It contained it’s own mini warp core, which provided direct power to the system, and as such allowed, at least in theory, this new phaser emitter to be 300 to 500 per cent more powerful than any previously designed Phaser Emitter ever created by Starfleet’s Core of Engineers.
4 standard phaser arrays were also included in this class as well as 2 photon torpedo launchers, 1 forward, and 1 aft, though this would be increased to 3 launchers, 2 forward and 1 after, with the breakthrough in Quantum Torpedo technology.
This class would also utilize the new multiphasic and multi-spectrum shielding which was designed to replace Starfleet ageing defensive shielding technology which had simply been upgraded and updated since it’s initial intention to be included in the Constitution Class refit program of almost a hundred years prior.
For extra added starship protection, the Saber Class would also include ablative hull armour, again a new technological breakthrough by Starfleet’s Core of Engineers. This breakthrough coming about after Starfleet re-examined past abandoned technology such as hull plating which had not been used since Starfleet acquired shield technology from the Andorians 2 centuries ago.
Standard cruising speed for this class was warp factor 6, while it’s emergency speed was warp factor 9.3. In the case of extreme emergency, this class had the ability to reach warp 9.7 and could hold that speed for approximately 12 hours before the engine systems would need to be shut down to prevent permanent damage.
One of Starfleet biggest concerns with both the Defiant and Saber Classes was their manoeuvrability during battle. The Borg were easily able to lock on to a starship and hold it in place with its tractor beams, while simultaneously draining that starships shield system.
So both classes contained newly developed Thruster systems which allowed them to manoeuvre like no previous Starfleet Starship seen before them.
Both Prototypes of the Classes were constructed and launched at relatively the same time, and testing immediately began on both, and both classes ran into major problems during the testing phase.
First was in regards to the new warp core, put simply, this new core seemed far too powerful for a ship the size of these 2 classes. During the tests, the USS Defiant nearly shook itself apart when tested at full power. The U.S.S. Saber had a very similar problem, however, due to it’s slightly larger size, was a bit better at handling the new core.
Believing that with adjustments and re-calibrations to get the cores to output down to acceptable levels, the next phase of testing would focus on the weapons systems. Both classes performed quite well, but in this instance, the Defiant Class was the winner.
The new Phaser canon Systems operated exactly as design specs had theorized, is a very powerful and efficient weapon. The Saber Class on the other hand, though being a very powerful weapons system in itself ran into certain design components burning out after multiple uses, rendering the weapons systems useless after a few shots. But again, Starfleet felt this was just a matter of re-engineering components to better withstand the increased power output.
The true problem for both these classes was not in design at all, but rather time itself. With each passing month, the Borg Problem became less and less of a threat. And Starfleet’s more conservative voices, re-established themselves bit by bit calling for a re-examination of the problem.
And so when this re-examination took place, Starfleet’s Command council looked at all the Starship Designs that had been developed, and in order to appease those conservative elements within the Federation had to make some tough choices.
For the Defiant Class, they would simply mothball the ship and class completely, as no significant progress had been made on it’s overpowered warp core system problem.
The Saber Class, on the other hand, WOULD go into full limited production. Though again, no real significant progress had been made on its warp core problem, Starfleet still felt it would be much easier to solve given these classes larger size.
Also, the Saber Class held a much more Starfleet design aesthetic, making people in the Federation, at least Starfleet believed, less threatened by this design.
And also, due to this ships slightly larger size, Starfleet felt they could more easily modify the ship to include larger Cargo facilities and/ or scientific systems bringing this class further in line with Starfleet’s current level of Galactic thinking.
And in a final Compromise, Starfleet Command would agree to remove the New Overload Phaser Systems from 75% of the planned Class to be Constructed.
Starfleet understood this restriction, after all, the more conservative, “Peace and Exploration,” voices had been ruling the Federation since virtually it’s conception, and as a result Starfleet’s more “Protect and Defend,” voices would often feel ignored, but this time something was different.
The losses at Wolf 359 had left a mark on Starfleet that they would never forget or forgive. Good, loyal Starfleet people had been lost needlessly, and so instead of ceasing technological research into weapons and weaponry power systems, the powers that be at Starfleet, merely reclassified them as scientific and defensive research.
And as a result, instead of removing the new Phaser Overload systems from the Saber Classes already constructed or planned to be constructed, they included them in every ship, instead of leaving them disconnected, while research and development of the system continued.
And this was excellent thinking on Starfleet’s Part as when the Dominion was encountered in late 2370, these ships could be brought back to their tactical status and fully operational in a very short time. And although history would record this decision of Starfleet’s to be a correct and just one, decisions like these would begin to show a growing rift between the United Federation of Planets ideals with that of Starfleet’s.
Nevertheless, in 2373 when the Borg returned and threatened Earth and an all-out war with the Dominion began, the Saber Class would play a key role in the Federation’s defence of its territory, preforming better then Starfleet had ever hoped or expected. And this fact alone would earn the Saber Class it’s place in Starfleet History…
Thank you for watching today’s episode of Truth or Myth, what do you think of the Saber Class? Did you like my non-canon interpretation of it? Do you want to see more episodes like this one? Well leave your comments in the section below and don’t forget to like the video and subscribe to the channel, hitting that little bell icon so you won’t miss a single video we release.
And again thank you to GermanTrekkie for his excellent work on the Saber Class at warp! Please check out his channel and show the guy some loving!
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Thanks again for watching, Live long and prosper…
Watch episode 116