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Scorpion Class

SpecsImagesInternals
Size Comp
Universe : Prime Timeline
Affiliation : Romulans
Class Name : Scorpion Class
Type : Ground attack craft
Unit Run : Unknown 150 built in total. 120 have been lost in all.
Commissioned : Unknown, but in service in numbers by 23781
Dimensions : Length : 4 m2
Beam : 1.5 m3
Height : 1.5 m3
Decks : 11
Mass : 2.5 metric tons
Crew : 21
Armament : 1 x disruptor cannon1, total output 150 TeraWatts
Defence Systems : Unknown
Warp Speeds
(TNG scale) :
Sublight propulsion only
Strength Indices :
(Galaxy class = 1,000)
Beam Firepower : 3
Torpedo Firepower : -
Weapon Range and Accuracy : 15
Shield Strength : -
Hull Armour : -
Speed : -
Combat Manoeuvrability : 23,800
Overall Strength Index : 31
Diplomatic Capability : None
Expected Hull Life : Unknown

Notes

The Scorpion is a Reman design in use with the Romulan Empire from circa 2378. Starfleet intelligence had gained some intelligence on the craft, but relatively little was known about them.1 The first close up look was gained when Captain Picard and Lieutenant Commander Data used a Scorpion to make their escape from the Praetor's flagship Scimitar. The Scorpion is essentially a militarised shuttlepod - small, relatively limited in its capabilities, but easy to produce in quantity. Its flight performance is insufficient to allow it a serious role as a fighter craft, and it most probably serves as a ground attack craft.

The armament is light even by those standards - a single disruptor cannon is carried,1 and although no hard figures are available this was used by Picard during his escape and appeared to be approximately the equivalent of a Starfleet Type IV phaser as used on many Federation shuttlecraft. Mounting this on the dorsal surface limits its field of fire against ground targets. There was no sign of any torpedo launcher or other weapons, though possibly these can be fitted externally if required.

The lack of shields or armour would make lingering over, or even near, hostile forces an unlikely proposition. The Scorpion is most likely intended to be used in support of Romulan (or Reman) ground troops, loitering above friendly territory and then making fast diving runs at the enemy's forward areas before rapidly escaping. Even so, the casualty rate against the kind of defences mounted by Federation forces would be quite high.

Colour key

Canon source Backstage source Novel source DITL speculation

References

# Series Season Source Comment
1 Star Trek : Nemesis
2 Generic official information Estimated from the full sized model used in the movie, which I have seen up close.
3 Generic official information
Film: Star Trek : Nemesis
Source : Generic official information
Comment : Estimated from the full sized model used in the movie, which I have seen up close.
Source : Generic official information

Comments

The Scorpion was seen in "Star Trek : Nemesis", where the reman ship Scimitar carried at least a couple of dozen or so in an internal hangar bay. It's a very small craft - I actually stood next to the model built for Nemesis at Star Trek - The Exhibition in London, and guesstimate the length at no more than 10 - 12 feet. It holds two crew (there is no room for more) and has a top-mounted cannon which I presume is a disruptor since it fires the same white beam as the Reman rifles which were called disruptors in the script. Other weapons are possible - micro torpedo launchers for instance - but are not evident. It's unknown whether the craft has shields or any kind of armour.

The biggest question regards the ships role. Is it a surface attack vehicle designed to support ground troops - the equivalent of today's helicopter gunships - or is it a space fighter? The ship could certainly operate in atmosphere - it did so when Picard flew it through the Scimitar's corridors. But it could also operate in space, which it did as Picard flew it away from the Scimitar, at least for a little while. So it could be a multi-role craft, with both fighter and ground attack capability - but that seems ambitious for such a small craft.

There's more to being a fighter than just being able to fly around in space. You have to have sufficient speed to match Starships, which can get up to significant fractions of lightspeed. That means inertial dampers and structural integrity fields. You have to have sensors that can detect and target other fighters and Starships, weapons powerful enough to do damage, shields...

You could argue either way, but I tend to think that the Scorpion is a ground attack craft with about the same level of spaceflight capability as one of those dinky little Type 15 shuttlepods - i.e. short interplanetary hops at low impulse speeds, the ability to land on a planet and return to orbit again. I doubt it would be much good as a space fighter. It might be able to serve that role against helpless sublight civilian ships or much more primitive opponents, much as any shuttlepod could, but that's all. One thing that argues against this is the placement of the weapon - up above and behind the cockpit is about the worst possible place to put a weapon which is intended to fire at the ground!

Data recognised the Scorpion and knew the name of it, so I assume that Starfleet has at least a little information on it. Assuming that the ship Picard stole survived the battle with the Scimitar, Starfleet would presumably have no compunction about ripping the thing apart and learning all its secrets. Nevertheless, I've peppered the specs pages with unknowns for now as is my custom when dealing with alien ships. In a year or so I might invent more detailed stuff and write in a bit about Starfleet Intelligence analysing the one Picard stole.
© Graham & Ian Kennedy Page views : 38,695 Last updated : 20 Sep 2016