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Drydock Facilities

Specs

Universe : Prime Timeline
Class Name : Drydock Facilities
Type : Spacecraft manufacture / repair centre1
Commissioned : 2230 - 2280, class remains in service
Dimensions : Length : 350 m2
Beam : 190 m
Height : 150 m
Mass : 350,000 metric tons
Crew : Highly variable
Armament : None
Defence Systems : Low level Structural Integrity Field
Docking Facilities : None
Warp Speeds
(TOS scale) :
Not capable of independent movement; attitude control and/or orbital adjustment only.
Strength Indices :
(Galaxy class = 1,000)
Beam Firepower : -
Torpedo Firepower : -
Weapon Range and Accuracy : -
Shield Strength : -
Hull Armour : 12.5
Speed : -
Combat Manoeuvrability : -
Overall Strength Index : 1
Diplomatic Capability : None
Expected Hull Life : 150
Refit Cycle : Minor : 5 year
Standard : 5 years
Major : 50 years

Notes

Platforms such as these are a simple, unglamorous but essential part of any major fleet. Essentially a large framework floating in space, the drydock facilitates the construction, maintenance and repair of Starships by providing for the storage of materials and tools, providing a power supply whilst onboard generator systems are not active, and generally supporting the activities of those working on the vessel.

The Federation operates several types of drydock of various sizes and levels of sophistication. The model showcased here is one of the older ones in service.


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

References

# Series Season Source Comment
1 Star Trek : The Motion Picture
2
Film: Star Trek : The Motion Picture

Comments

The drydock was first seen in ST : TMP as the structure within which the Enterprise underwent its refit. The same type was depicted in the Star Trek Encyclopedia (2nd edition page 124) with an image suggesting that the design dates back to the construction of the original Enterprise. This would place the date of construction for these facilities at least as early as 2245, and I have taken this into account with my guestimate of when the drydocks were constructed.

Quite why you need to build a Starship within such a framework is a little bit of a mystery. A present day drydock isolates a ship from water so you can get at it for repairs, so the name implies that a Trek drydock should put the ship in a bubble of air so that work could be done in a "shirtsleeves" environment. There is slight evidence that this does actually happen - the contents of the champagne bottle which breaks against the Enterprise-B in "Generations" remain in their liquid state, indicating that the ship may be floating within a large bubble of air. Presumably this would be held within a forcefield of some sort.

However, even assuming that this was the case, the drydock seen in that movie was significantly different in appearance from this version. Also, if drydocks in general do indeed put the ship within a shirtsleeves environment then why were people wearing spacesuits to work on the ship in TMP? So it seems like this useful feature is not actually included.

My guess is that the framework provides some sort of power supply, lighting, a place to store construction materials and tools, etc. The Generations version also includes habitable areas, which the TMP version apparently does not.

These docks have also been seen in use during the Voyager era, in "Relativity", indicating a very long operating life. This is reasonable enough; since all they do throughout their lives is float around, there isn't much in the way of strain on them.


Copyright Graham Kennedy Page views : 9,911 Last updated : 7 May 2006