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Type 3 Shuttle

Size Comp
Universe : Prime Timeline
Affiliation : Federation
Class Name : Type 3 Shuttle
Type : Shuttlecraft
Unit Run : 850 built in total. 39 have been lost in all. 811 have been retired from service.
Commissioned : 2280 - 2310, remained in service until 2334
Dimensions : Length : 8.93 m1
Beam : 3.4 m
Height : 2.96 m2
Decks : 1
Mass : 9.45 metric tons
Crew : 1, plus up to 6 passengers
Armament : 1 x Type IV phaser bank, total output 100 TeraWatts
Defence Systems : Standard shield system, total capacity 2,700 TeraJoules
Light Monotanium Single hull.
Low level Structural Integrity Field
Impulse only : Max Impulse Speed : 0.4 x c
Atmospheric Cruise (Mach) : 6
Atmospheric Max (Mach) : 15
Strength Indices :
(Galaxy class = 1,000)
Beam Firepower : 2
Torpedo Firepower : -
Weapon Range and Accuracy : 10
Shield Strength : 1
Hull Armour : 0.31
Speed : -
Combat Manoeuvrability : 19,740
Overall Strength Index : 29
Diplomatic Capability : 1
Expected Hull Life : 24
Refit Cycle : Minor : 2 year
Standard : 2 years
Major : 12 years


Development of the Type 2 shuttle was initiated by Starfleet to complement the upgraded Miranda and Constitution variants entering service in the late 2260's. Starfleet requested a shuttle which would replace the venerable Type 1; the new design was to meet the latest standards of safety and introduce modern sensors and computers into service with the shuttlecraft fleet.

The original requirement called for the Type 2 to be fully warp capable, as was its predecessor, but here the project ran into difficulties. The new Miranda / Constitution designs had introduced, among many other things, a completely new nacelle design. This had suffered from considerable difficulties when introduced; getting the engines into the proper balance tended to be very difficult, requiring prolonged computer modelling and simulation for each individual vessel. Use of the engines when not properly balanced tended to generate wormhole-like phenomena, as encountered by the USS Enterprise on her first warp flight after completing her refit in 2271.3

Although these difficulties where eventually solved for the larger ships, the miniaturizing of the nacelle design for use on board the Type 2 compounded the problem. The first three Type 2 shuttle prototypes produced where all lost to wormhole effects; fortunately all three where flown unmanned and no loss of life was incurred. Great efforts where made to try and correct this difficulty, but by 2274 the design was still unworkable and Starfleet dropped the entire project.

However, the need for a shuttlecraft still existed and so by 2276 the Type 2 had been reborn as the Type 3. Starfleet decided that the miniaturization of the warp drive was a lost cause, and modified the design so as to limit the shuttle to impulse flight only. After this development proceeded remarkably smoothly, but Starfleets understandable caution led to a rather prolonged testing programme; the first prototype was successsfully flown in 2278, and the first production test model was delivered late in 2279. Series production began in 2280, with the first units arriving at their starships in June of that year.

After a successful first year in service, Starfleet stepped up production of the Type 3 and began to deliver them fleetwide in large numbers. The type quickly became a very common sight in Starship shuttle bays, and it remained in service well into the 2300's.

Colour key

Canon source Backstage source Novel source DITL speculation


# Series Season Source Comment
1 Star Trek Encyclopedia Calculated from the scale diagram on page 443, assuming a 24 foot Type 1.
2 Star Trek Encyclopedia
3 Star Trek : The Motion Picture
Book : Star Trek Encyclopedia
Comment : Calculated from the scale diagram on page 443, assuming a 24 foot Type 1.
Book : Star Trek Encyclopedia
Film: Star Trek : The Motion Picture


The Type 3 is the name some fans use for the shuttle seen in Star Trek V. It's the first proper shuttle we saw in use since the original series, and the specs are designed to show a moderate increase in capabilities over that craft in most respects. However, I've not given it warp speed as this seems to be something that most shuttles don't have even through to the TNG era. The tie-in to the wormhole effect suffered by the Enterprise in ST:TMP seemed like a fair way to explain the apparent abandoning of warp drive shuttles.
© Graham & Ian Kennedy Page views : 38,966 Last updated : 16 Feb 2005