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Trident Class

Size Comp
Universe : Prime Timeline
Affiliation : Federation
Class Name : Trident Class
Type : Cruiser
Unit Run :
USS Trident - Active
plus 19 others built in total. 15 have been lost in all.
Commissioned : 2375, class remains in service
Dimensions : Length : 349.97 m1
Beam : 180 m2
Height : 135 m2
Decks : 10
Mass : 660,0003 metric tons
Crew : 2753
Armament : 8 x Type IX phaser bank3, total output 17,500 TeraWatts
2 x 2nd class photon torpedo tube3
Defence Systems : Standard shield system, total capacity 742,500 TeraJoules
Standard Duranium / Tritanium Single hull.
Standard level Structural Integrity Field
Warp Speeds
(TNG scale) :
Normal Cruise : 6
Maximum Cruise : 8.2
Maximum Rated : 8.6
Strength Indices :
(Galaxy class = 1,000)
Beam Firepower : 350
Torpedo Firepower : 125
Weapon Range and Accuracy : 250
Shield Strength : 275
Hull Armour : 50
Speed : 680
Combat Manoeuvrability : 5,340
Overall Strength Index : 279
Diplomatic Capability : 3
Expected Hull Life : 15


Like the Griffin, this member of the so-called "Frankenstein Fleet" is a product of inspiration and desperation in equal measure. As part of Starfleets effort to boost fleet numbers to the maximum possible level during the Dominion war it was decided to attempt the reactivation of all of the early Excelsior class vessels which had been previously retired. While many of these ships were indeed put back into active service, a group of the oldest proved to have suffered from significant degradation of the Engineering hull structure over the years. Initially Starfleet planned to abandon these hulks, but an enterprising young designer suggested combining the intact and perfectly serviceable saucer sections and nacelles into a new design. Starfleet Admiral Robertson approved the plan on the spot.

Initially it was planned to combine the components into a configuration similar to the Miranda or Centaur designs but Robertson had given the design and construction teams a completely free hand, and they quickly used that latitude to its fullest. For the USS Trident the designers removed the ventral surface completely from two Excelsior saucers, and mated the two together. The lower was converted into a impromptu engineering hull, housing a single horizontal warp core. The warp field geometry suffered significantly from the new configuration, and in order to recover the lost speed a third nacelle was added.

The peculiar design has led to the problems usual for these types of vessels - over stressed hulls requiring boosted SIF fields, etc. Unique to the Tridents however, are the difficulties created by the internal gravity field. The lower of the two saucer sections had to be inverted relative to the upper, but there was no time to refit the decks to reverse their orientation. So no less than one entire half of the ships internal volume is "upside down", a situation which has generated its own very unique problems. In order to facilitate changeovers there is a two deck zone between the saucer sections which is in permanent free fall. Turbo lift shafts passing through this zone have been widened in order to allow the cars to flip orientation, while personnel access corridors and shafts are all marked with the usual variable gravity warnings.

In performance terms, the Tridents are equal to a standard Excelsior in warp and impulse speed and manoeuvrability. They are capable of missions of a similar duration, but have relatively limited sensor performance as the engineering sensor arrays are absent. The armament of the Tridents was mostly cobbled togther from retired components; a set of Type IX phaser emitters and a pair of photon torpedo tubes is standard for the class4.

As with their cousins, the Tridents face an uncertain future. It is unlikely that any of the class will remain in service beyond the end of the war.

Colour key

Canon source Backstage source Novel source DITL speculation


# Series Season Source Comment
1 Star Trek Deep Space Nine Technical Manual Page 157. Scaled so that the primary hull is equal to that of the Excelsior Class in size.
2 Star Trek Deep Space Nine Technical Manual
4 Star Trek Deep Space Nine Technical Manual Page 157
Book : Star Trek Deep Space Nine Technical Manual
Comment : Page 157. Scaled so that the primary hull is equal to that of the Excelsior Class in size.
Book : Star Trek Deep Space Nine Technical Manual
Book : Star Trek Deep Space Nine Technical Manual
Comment : Page 157


This is another of those kit bashed ships which are described in the DS9 Technical Manual. We've never seen it in an episode, for which I for one am quite grateful - it's hideous! Some fans have called this ship the "Medusa class", presumably because it is so ugly, but given the three nacelle configuration I think "Trident class" fits it rather well.

The dimensions assume that the saucer section is the same size as an Excelsior - I generally size all kit bashed ships in this way, since in terms of Treknology it is probably relatively easy to alter the length of a nacelle by adding or removing some warp coils, while re-sizing the saucer would require a much more extensive redesign.

© Graham & Ian Kennedy Page views : 45,221 Last updated : 31 Jul 2004