Truth OR Myth? Starfleet Starships – The Nebula Class

Hello and Welcome to Truth OR Myth. In today’s episode, we’re taking a look at the Nebula Class Starship, it’s technology and history, to better understand it’s role within Star Trek History…

A more compact starship design then the Galaxy Class, the Nebula Class of Starships would become a workhorse design for Starfleet and the United Federation Of Planets.

Launched in the early 2360s, the Nebula Class was part of Starfleet’s newest design lineage having many of the same lines and feel as the GalaxyClass itself.

Sitting at a length of approximately 442 meters and width of 318 meters, the Nebula Class had 33 decks and a crew of 750.

The Nebula Class design itself made it ideal for a variety of mission profiles. These included scientific Investigations, Defense and Patrol Missions and Transport duties.

Originally it’s maximum possible warp speed was warp 9.3, though by 2370 this had been improved to warp 9.5 with 9.6 possible with a bit of tweaking with the engine systems. And by 2374, a Nebula Class was able to achieve warp 9.9.

(Paramount) “Star Trek: Generations”

This also made this class ideal for emergency evacuation and crisis response through out the Federation.

An interesting addition to this design was that of a special pod on top of the aft area of the saucer section. there are 4 known pod types that could be fitted to this class. An immense and sensitive sensor array, an additional weapons array, a hybrid sensor/ weapons array and an additional warp engine.

These various pods allowed for even more mission profile customization as the pods could be swapped out with one another in a short period of time.

Defensively the standard Nebula Class design without a pod attached had 8 type 10 phaser emitters and 2 photon launchers and also had the standard shield emitters and shield capabilities of the time.

The Nebula Class also participated in various Starfleet Engagements through out its history included the Battle of Wolf 359 and the Battle of Sector 001 as well as numerous engagements during the Dominion war.

In 2374, a Nebula Class vessel was also able to catch up with the USS Prometheus, a new experimental starship that had been hijacked by Romulan Officers. Though ultimately it was unsuccessful in stopping the Prometheus.

The Bridge was located on deck 1 and there were a few different variant designs of said bridge.

(CBS) U.S.S. Sutherland – “Redemption Pt 2” – TNG S5X01

The most common one had a standard Starfleet feel, with the Captain’s chair in the centre, helm and operations in front of the Captain’s chair and various stations aft of the command area.

The 2nd least popular design would be slightly smaller but still see the captain chair in the centre of the bridge, but this time, the helm and operations stations would face the Captain in a sort of triangle configurations. Other stations would be to the right and left of the captain along its walls.

Colouring on both bridges was more subdued then it’s sister Class the Galaxy Class… Utilizing Greys and blues as it’s primary colour palette.

This class also contained a Captains Readyroom and a conference lounge again just like it’s Sister Class Counterparts.

Quarters aboard this class were spacious in design though were metallic with harsher lighting then was seen on most classes of the time.

In 2367, Captain Benjamin Maxwell of the USS Phoenix, went rogue and ventured into Cardassian Space attacking and destroying various targets within the Union. Believing the Cardassians were rearming and preparing for another war against the Federation, Maxwell attempted to stop this perceived threat before it became an issue.

The USS Enterprise D was sent to stop the ship and was ultimately successful, placing Maxwell under arrest for transport to Federation Authorities.

Though Captain Picard would not violate the new treaties in place with the Union, he DID believe Maxwell was correct in his assessment and warned the Cardassians that the Federation was watching them.

(CBS) U.S.S. Phoenix – “The Wounded” – TNG S4X12

As a result, the war, at least then, was averted, as it was clear that the Cardassian Warships were not up to the challenge of head to head combat with Starfleet Vessels as Maxwell Proved.

Nebula-class starships were also equipped with a variety of auxiliary craft, including the shuttlecrafts and shuttlepods. One such vehicle was taken in 2374 when a Captured Gul Dukut aboard the USS Honshu was able to escape and save Captain Benjamin Sisko when the Honshu was attacked and destroyed by Dominion Forces.

Though originally intended to replace various ageing workhorse designs, the Nebula Class would ultimately be scaled back in production in favour of smaller stronger easier to construct classes such as the Defiant Class, The Nova Class, The Akira Class and the Intrepid Class. But this class would still be active in the late 24th Century.

It’s an elegant design that represented the End of an Era of Starfleet History. With the Introduction of the Borg and the Dominion to Starfleet, the idea of designing and constructing large ships for families to travel exploring the cosmos was put aside and Starfleet began to design vessels more angular with a focus on offensive, defensive and propulsion systems.

Though we don’t know what the ultimate fate of this class is, it is possible that this starship design might have received a second look and a surge in construction in the late part of 24th Century or the early part of the 25th Century, only time, will really tell…


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