Specifications - USS Blackwell
While the Defiant had been a prototype for a ship that Starfleet was just starting to experiment with, after the close of the Dominion War there was time to perfect it. With all of the redesign and 'tuning' that the Defiant prototype had gone through, engineers now had a very large pool of research to invest into a completely new ship design. Warp geometry and reactor size could be increased because of knowledge of how such systems affect the ship hull and speed. New weapons were designed based on the Defiant's, using the same technology but being able to miniaturize it a fraction more so that it reduced internal volume taken up.
After the Dominion and Borg were seen as no longer a current threat for the Federation, Starfleet decided that a weapon of much greater potential than the Defiant should be designed and make a limited production of this vessel for any further attacks on Federation space. Their intentions were to have a ship ready and waiting when the next threat came along. They announced its intentions to all of the major design teams, but only 3 designs were eventually submitted for review. The main goals of this class were to include a warp geometry more suited for its use, thicker armor and a larger profile than the Defiant. Current weaponry available were deemed powerful and effective enough for use on this new class.
The Hornet design, chosen over the others, was a longer, sleeker escort. The class was so named because an engineer had thought it looked like the insect and had doodled a small hornet with the warp nacelles on submitted schematics. The design included an increased output MARA system and trapezoidal warp field coil arrangement. The armor was much thicker, but internal volume was even more cramped than the Defiant. The designers christened it a modern submarine, with ladders connecting the decks and very close quarters for all crew. While the Defiant had a centrally-located bridge, the Hornet's was to be placed where the deflector dish and main body of the ship came together. This freed up space for the computer core, deuterium tank, and warp core. The limited Medical facilities were to be a small room capable of two EMH Mark II holograms and space for surgery and recovery of 3 patients. Science received no lab or specialized department area, only a single post aboard the bridge. The ablative armor of the Hornet was much thicker, and internal armor was placed around critical places such as the Engine room and torpedo magazines so as to provide more protection.
Old maritime practices such as 'hot-bunking' were to be used when the ship was operating with a full crew. This means that 2 crewman share a single bunk, and one sleeps in the bunk while the other is on duty, and vice versa. In some places, the corridors are very narrow where equipment and structure was required. Starfleet Headquarters decided that this ship was to be mainly based out of a starbase, and not undertake potentially long deep space missions. They also ruled that careful psychological evaluation of potential crew would be undertaken, because any mental problems in the middle of a mission would definitely be detriment to the crew and the mission.
The prototype Hornet was first completed in late 2378 and sported no crew quarters at all. It was simply based out of starbase and crew were loaned from the testing outfit. The ship fortunately didn't suffer the engine problems that the Defiant had, thanks to increases in safety and knowledge of its overpowered engines. Weaponry were fitted on the same areas that the Defiant had used, but two months of research proved that a forward pair of torpedo launchers on the deflector assembly decreased lag time from the bridge and were more accurately targeted.
Commissioned fully after receiving many redesigns of impulse systems and quarters were fully finished, the USS Hornet launched for its maiden voyage on the New Years Day of 2379.
|Time Between Refits||5 years|
|Time Between Resupply||0 years|
|Cruise Speed||Warp 6|
|Maximum Speed||Warp 9.2|
|Emergency Speed||Warp 9.82 (for 4 hours)|
Weapons & Defensive Systems
|Weapon Systems||Type U Pulse: 4
Type X Array
Burst-Fire Torpedo Launcher: 4
Photon Torpedoes: 30
Quantum Torpedoes: 50