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Son'a Battleship


Universe : Prime Timeline
Affiliation : Son'a
Class Name : Son'a Battleship
Type : Battleship
Unit Run : 15 built in total. 2 have been lost in all.
Commissioned : 2368 - present
Dimensions : Length : 855 m1
Beam : 1,055 m2
Height : 200 m
Decks : 50
Mass : 9,000,000 metric tons
Crew : 1,400
Armament : 24 x Phaser banks, total output 75,000 TeraWatts
6 x torpedo tube equivalent to Starfleet type 3 burst fire photon torpedo tube
4 x Isolytic subspace weapon launcher3 with 840 rounds
Defence Systems : Standard shield system, total capacity 4,050,000 TeraJoules
Heavy Duranium/Tritanium Double hull plus 2 cm High density armour.
High level Structural Integrity Field
Warp Speeds
(TNG scale) :
Normal Cruise : 8
Maximum Cruise : 9.4
Maximum Rated : 9.9 for 5 hours.
Strength Indices :
(Galaxy class = 1,000)
Beam Firepower : 1,500
Torpedo Firepower : 5,000
Weapon Range and Accuracy : 1,390
Shield Strength : 1,500
Hull Armour : 600
Speed : 1,601
Combat Manoeuvrability : 770
Overall Strength Index : 2,384
Diplomatic Capability : Unknown, but believed to be equivalent to Starfleet Grade 4
Expected Hull Life : Unknown


Even using their standard armament of phasers and photon torpedoes these imposing vessels are amongst the more powerful known in the Alpha Quadrant. The Federation's first combat experience against Son'a Battleships came in 2374, when two of them attacked the USS Enterprise-E in an attempt to prevent that ship from informing the Federation of the plot against the Ba'ku. The battle was fought within the Briar Patch, a region filled with anomalies which can degrade the systems of an unmodified Starship. The Enterprise was not fitted for the Patch, and as a result was at a huge disadvantage;3 the effectiveness of the ships targeting systems was reduced substantially, and it was limited to 1/3 Impulse speed within the patch. When the Enterprise exceeded this speed the impulse manifolds were damaged, limiting the ships ability to manoeuvre.

In addition to their conventional weapons, the battleships also carry a complement of Isolitic subspace charges. These devices, banned under the Second Khitomer Accords, give the vessels a huge advantage over conventionally armed starships, but are highly unpredictable. An Isolitic charge was used against the Enterprise, creating a subspace tear which threatened to destroy the ship. Fortunately the Enterprise crew were able to seal the tear using a warp core detonation.

The Enterprise destroyed one of the battleships by deploying a Metreon cloud which was detonated by a Son'a photon torpedo. Wreckage from the first ship impacted on the second, badly damaging it. The Enterprise was subsequently successful in transmitting its message and returning to the Ba'ku planet.3

Yellow text = Canon source Green text = Backstage source Cyan text = Novel White text = DITL speculation


# Series Season Source Comment
1 Production drawing Shown scaled against the 680 metre Enterprise-E
2 Production drawing
3 Star Trek : Insurrection
Source : Production drawing
Comment : Shown scaled against the 680 metre Enterprise-E
Source : Production drawing
Film: Star Trek : Insurrection


Like the Destroyer, the Son'a Battleships were seen in Insurrection. We know that two of these vessels were more than a match for a single Sovereign class ship, since they were able to damage the Enterprise-E during its mission to communicate the facts about the Ba'ku relocation to the rest of the Federation. However, the E-E was not operating up to specs since it was stated that ships had to be specially rigged to operate within the Briar Patch. Nevertheless, I've created strength numbers that make two Son'a battleships more than a match for a single Sovereign.

One of the Battleships was destroyed and another one badly damaged when they detonated a Metreon cloud which the E-E released in front of them. The explosion is something of an oddity - the cloud appeared to be a massive chemical explosion, but even ignoring the problems with having such an explosion in space, you wouldn't expect a simple chemical explosion to be powerful enough to overwhelm a Starships shields.

However, the fact that this stuff is Metreon gas does offer up an interesting possibility. Voyagers episode "Jetrel" featured a "Metreon Cascade". This weapon was not really explained in any detail, but it did destroy most of the surface of an inhabited moon called Rhinax. The technobabble in the episode indicates that something other than - or as well as - a simple explosion was going on. Although it isn't really clear just how the Cascade did what it did, most of the victims seem to have been vaporized or disintegrated somehow - the episode featured Voyager attempting to reintegrate one of the victims using a transporter. So perhaps the Son'a weapon set off some form of the Metreon Cascade, which could account for how powerful the explosion seemed to be.

Alternately, or perhaps additionally, since both battleships were called in as reinforcements during the film then I suspect that they were also not fitted out for life in the Briar Patch. The Enterprise suffered damage to its Impulse manifolds when it pushed its engines in the Patch. If you watch the explosion of the first battleship on a frame by frame basis you find that when the blast hit it, its engines blew out before the rest of the ship. I wonder if the Son'a ships had damaged their own engines chasing the Enterprise, which could account for some of the first vessels susceptibility.

The second ship was badly damaged when debris from the first hit it, and I was tempted to make Son'a hulls very weak because of this. But that didn't really feel right - the Son'a are supposed to be at least as advanced as the Federation, since they are the only ones who know how to collect up the magic particles from the planets rings. The likes of Structural Integrity Fields - from which the hull of a Starship gets much of its strength - and armour are not especially advanced technology. The word "Battleship" (used in production drawings but not in the film) also implies fairly heavy armour protection. In the event I decided to make them somewhat weaker than Federation hulls, but still fairly strong - my assumption is that either the explosion or the battle with the E-E had previously damaged the ship, making it vulnerable to the impacts.

Copyright Graham Kennedy Page views : 38,897 Last updated : 31 Jul 2004