Truth OR Myth – Starfleet Starships – The Akira Class

Hello and welcome to another episode of Truth OR Myth, a Star Trek web series that looks at the truth, or canon, information to dispel the myths that have surfaced on a given topic.

Another Class born out of the tragedy of Wolf 359, the Akira Class would make its mark in other notably battles such as the battle of Sector 001 and the First Battle of Chin’toka. In today’s episode, we’re taking a look at the Akira Class of Starfleet Starships, in an effort to better understand it’s place within Star Trek history.

After the Battle of Wolf 359, Starfleet began a vigorous campaign to design and construct a series of vessel classes that could easily deal with the Borg threat, the Akira Class was one of them.

(CBS) Akira Class As Seen In Voyager – “Message in a Bottle”

At a length of approximately 464 meters and a width of approximately 317 meters and containing 15 decks, this class would be crewed by 500 officers and men.

The Akira class design ditched Starfleet’s usual saucer-secondary hull-nacelle design and took more of its design elements from that of the NX-class with its catamaran shaped hull. The engineering section was tucked under the main saucer section, which housed the main deflector, and some of the ship’s tactical systems.

The nacelles were connected via long catamaran type structures, which in turn connected to a large weapons pod, housing several photon torpedo launchers. The catamaran pylons offered a degree of protection for the main bridge, which retained its traditional location at the top of the saucer section though it would be located on Deck 3 in this classes design.

The Akira Class was similar in warp specs to that of the Intrepid-class, having a standard cruising speed of warp factor 6 and an emergency speed of warp factor 9.975.  Though this information is classified and can not be confirmed.

The Akira Class had a multitude of tactical systems, including at least three Phaser array emitters, and numerous Photon torpedo launchers along with the port and starboard sides of the ventral primary hull, at least one launcher forward of the deflector, and several located on the aft weapons pod.

In total it had 15 torpedo launchers, affectionately giving it the nickname of the torpedo boat class.  Shields were standard for that of the time though this class also contained ablative hull armour which allowed it to last longer periods of time in a firefight.

This class also served as a fighter carrier class.  having 2 connected shuttle bays, one forward and 1 aft that could launch and retrieve federation fighters quickly in the heat of battle.

With it’s shorter construction time and abilities in battle, many of this class of starship would be constructed. As a result, the Akira class starships were featured prominently in the Battle of Sector 001 and saw a lot of action during the Dominion War. In fact, Several Akira class ships were stationed at or near Deep Space 9 during the war.

(Paramount) U.S.S. Thunderchild N.C.C.-63549

During the Battle of Sector 001, at least 3 Akira class starships fought the Borg cube including the U.S.S. Thunderchild N.C.C.-63549.  They were instrumental in destroying the Cube before it reached Earth after Jean-Luc Picard and the Enterprise E took command of the fleet telling them where to focus their attacks.

In 2374, the Akira Class was part of Operation Return, an important battle headed up captain Benjamin Sisko to retake Starbase Deep Space 9 from the dominion and the First Battle of Chin’toka, where at least two ships of the class were destroyed by orbital weapon platforms.

In 2375, the Akira Class was also involved in the Second Battle of Chin’toka.  This Battle marked the entry of the Breen Confederacy into the Dominion War.   In a counter-attack against the Chin’toka system, a territory of the Cardassian Union held by the forces of the Federation Alliance, the Breen, aided by a new energy-dampening weapon the had invented, were able to destroy all but one of the 312 allied ships.  A Major loss for Starfleet and the United Federation of Planets.

The only thing which prevented the Dominion from using their newest tactical advantage was that of a rebellion outbreak on Cardassia Prime itself.  Diverting resources to deal with this new problem, the Alliance was then granted enough time to study and come up with countermeasures to thwart this new Breen Super Weapon.

The Akira Class was also present during the Battle of Cardassia Prime, the last battle of the Dominion War.  With the Cardassian people realizing the Dominion were their oppressors and their enemy, all Cardassian Starships switched to the side of the alliance against the dominion and joined the Alliance Fleet to free Cardassia from the Dominion once and for all.

Though the first part of this battle was vicious, it was over rather quickly once the Cardassians switched sides and the Dominion recalled their ships along with their new Breen allies ships back to Cardassia prime to fortify the Dominion Stronghold there. Expecting a very bloody battle to follow, the Alliance ships also headed to Cardassia. Fortunately, however, once there, Odo was able to convince the founders to end the fight and they surrendered to the alliance in exchange for Odo returning to the great link and curing their people of the disease the founders were dying from.

(CBS) Akira Class Seen At Utopia Planitia Fleet Yards in orbit of Mars. – VOY: “Relativity”

A great victory for the alliance, however, it came at a great cost for the Cardassian people,  with over 800 million know causalities reported, and devastation across the planet’s surface. 

At least one Akira class Starship was kept within a light-year of Earth, as in 2378, when a transwarp conduit opened in the Sol System it was a part of a hastily put together fleet to confront what Starfleet feared was another invasion by the borg Collective.

This, of course, was not true and turned out to be the triumphant return of the U.S.S. Voyager after spending 7 years lost in the Delta Quadrant.

With an amazing design harking back to the First Starfleet Starships to explore the Galaxy, the Akira Class proved itself countless times as a worthy part of Starfleet’s Star Fleet…

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Watch episode 90