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Nebula Class

Basic

Universe : Prime Timeline
Affiliation : Federation
Class Name : Nebula Class1
Type : Explorer / Heavy Cruiser
Unit Run :
NCC 654202 USS Phoenix3 - Active
plus 49 others built in total. 23 have been lost in all.
Commissioned : 2355 - present
Dimensions : Length : 442.23 m4
Beam : 318.11 m4
Height : 108.33 m5
Decks : 32
Mass : 3,502,000 metric tons
Crew : 720, 9,800 person evacuation limit.6
Armament : 8 x Type X phaser arrays7, total output 32,500 TeraWatts
27 x Type 3 burst fire photon torpedo tube7 with 180 rounds
Defence Systems : Standard shield system, total capacity 2,160,000 TeraJoules
Standard Duranium/Tritanium Double hull plus 9 cm High density armour.
Standard level Structural Integrity Field
Warp Speeds
(TNG scale) :
Normal Cruise : 6
Maximum Cruise : 9
Maximum Rated : 9.4 for 12 hours.
Strength Indices :
(Galaxy class = 1,000)
Beam Firepower : 650
Torpedo Firepower : 1,000
Weapon Range and Accuracy : 820
Shield Strength : 800
Hull Armour : 1,000
Speed : 917
Combat Manoeuvrability : 1,500
Overall Strength Index : 841
Diplomatic Capability : 7
Expected Hull Life : 100
Refit Cycle : Minor : 1 year
Standard : 1 years
Major : 20 years

Notes

The Nebula class was fielded in the 2350's to provide a smaller, more numerous counterpart to the Galaxy class then under construction. The design was intended to parallel that of the Galaxy class as closely as possible in order to allow for many identical systems to be installed in both classes; this has resulted in significant improvements in the design and construction processes for the Nebula class and thus allowed comparatively high numbers to be fielded. Compared to the Galaxy class the Nebula has a more compact shape - the engineering hull is mounted directly to the underside of the saucer section, a measure which saves some 200 metres in length.8


The major difference in capability is the addition of a prominent housing aft of the saucer section of the Nebula class.1 This enables the vessel to carry any one of a variety of special equipment pods - current models include a high capacity sensor pod, an enhanced weapons pod9, a colony transport pod, an emergency field hospital unit, or a science laboratory pod. Although the basic Nebula design has approximately 80% of the capability of a Galaxy class vessel in most areas, the addition of the mission pod brings that figure up to 95% or more in that specific area. This flexibility actually allows the Nebula design to accomplish almost identical missions despite its smaller size.


In service the Nebula class has proved highly satisfactory, and in many ways these ships form the backbone of Starfleets exploratory and scientific programmes. Like the Galaxy class they have received regular upgrades to their systems, most notably a new Warp Core design. With the advent of the threats from the Romulan, Dominion and Borg, Starfleet invested in sixty seven new enhanced weapon pods for the Nebula class; most of the vessels now carry this as a standard item. the pod carries eight standard torpedo tubes and a stock of 300 casings, approximately doubling the ships overall rate of fire.
Yellow text = Canon source Green text = Backstage source Cyan text = Novel White text = DITL speculation

References

# Series Season Source Comment
1 TNG 4 The Wounded
2 Star Trek Encyclopedia
3 TNG 3 The Defector
4 Star Trek Deep Space Nine Technical Manual Page 152. The length given is assumed to apply to the Nebula shown, I.e. the standard hull with a weapon pod attached. Image courtesy of usualsuspex
5 Speculative Scaled from size comparison diagram with pod removed. Image courtesy of usualsuspex
6 Star Trek Deep Space Nine Technical Manual Page 152
7
8 Visible on the shooting model
9 TNG 5 Redemption, Part 2
Series : TNG Season 4 (Disc 3)
Episode : The Wounded
Book : Star Trek Encyclopedia
Series : TNG Season 3 (Disc 2)
Episode : The Defector
Book : Star Trek Deep Space Nine Technical Manual
Comment : Page 152. The length given is assumed to apply to the Nebula shown, I.e. the standard hull with a weapon pod attached. Image courtesy of usualsuspex
Source : Speculative
Comment : Scaled from size comparison diagram with pod removed. Image courtesy of usualsuspex
Book : Star Trek Deep Space Nine Technical Manual
Comment : Page 152
Source : Visible on the shooting model
Series : TNG Season 5 (Disc 1)
Episode : Redemption, Part 2

Comments

First appearing in "The Wounded", the Nebula is basically a kit-bashed Galaxy class. At first I didn't like it much, but over time it's come to be my favourite ship class. The design is very sensible - actually better than the Galaxy class in some ways. In volume terms the Nebula is only a little smaller than a Galaxy; it's missing the connecting neck and has a slightly shorter engineering hull, but has the big mission pod and connecting strut to make up for much of that. But this volume is packed into something like two hundred metres shorter length. In trek tech, that should give the Nebula a smaller shield area, helping to make the shields inherently more efficient.


The Nebula design does have one or two slight problems - the main shuttlebay is situated in the same place as the Galaxy, so the Nebula launches shuttles directly at its mission pod support strut. The torpedo launcher in the connecting neck of the Galaxy is missing, but there is a tube just above the nav deflector so I presume that the same type of tube has just been moved down a bit. The weapon pod has eight holes in the front, so I have equipped it with eight standard photon tubes and a set of casings. So far as I know we've never seen a Nebula weapon pod fire a phaser, so I haven't put any there.


Overall I generally rate the Nebula as being a somewhat smaller, slower, weaker counterpart to the Galaxy class. I've assumed that the Nebula is the workhorse of Starfleet, with many more of these ships in service than there are Galaxies. I've no real proof of this, but something must have taken over from the Ambassador and since there are only a few Galaxies the Nebula seems to be the best candidate.
Copyright Graham Kennedy Page views : 71,676 Last updated : 8 May 2016