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Type 17 Shuttle

Size Comp
Universe : Prime Timeline
Affiliation : Federation
Class Name : Type 17 Shuttle [1]
Type : Heavy Cargo Shuttle [1]
Unit Run :
USS Argo - Active [2]
Commissioned : 2378 - present
Dimensions : Length : 20 m [3]
Beam (winglets folded) : 7 m
Height : 4.5 m
Decks : 1
Mass : 73.5 metric tons
Crew : 1
Armament : 4 x Type IV phaser arrays, total output 500 TeraWatts
2 x Micro photon torpedo tube with 20 rounds
Defence Systems : Standard shield system, total capacity 40,500 TeraJoules
Light Duranium / Tritanium Single hull.
Low level Structural Integrity Field
Warp Speeds
(TNG scale) :
Normal Cruise : 3
Maximum Cruise : 3.5
Maximum Rated : 4 for 12 hours.
Strength Indices :
(Galaxy class = 1,000)
Beam Firepower : 10
Torpedo Firepower : 20
Weapon Range and Accuracy : 35
Shield Strength : 15
Hull Armour : 3.13
Speed : 53
Combat Manoeuvrability : 17,800
Overall Strength Index : 45
Diplomatic Capability : 1
Expected Hull Life : 40
Refit Cycle : Minor : 1 year
Standard : 1 years
Major : 10 years


The Argo is a specialised shuttlecraft developed by the crew of the Enterprise-E for ferrying cargo and vehicles between orbit and planetary surfaces when conditions preclude the use of transporters. The design is fairly conventional, though the nacelles are more integrated with the body than is usually the norm for Federation shuttles.

The Argo has been designed with a range of vehicles. Most prominent amongs these is a wheeled recreational / general purpose vehicle [2] designed to enable away teams to cover larger areas of ground than they would otherwise be able to. The vehicle is fitted with a phaser cannon to provide a limited defensive capability. [2]

Colour key

Canon source Backstage source Novel source DITL speculation


# Series Season Source Comment
1 Eaglemoss Starships Collection magazine
2 Star Trek : Nemesis
3 Eaglemoss Starships Collection magazine
Source : Eaglemoss Starships Collection magazine
Film: Star Trek : Nemesis
Source : Eaglemoss Starships Collection magazine


The Argo is an interesting concept for Star Trek, because it is the first shuttle we have ever seen which is capable of carrying surface vehicles down to a planet from orbit. Although the dialogue in Nemesis makes it clear that the Argo itself is new, craft of this type must have been in service with the Federation all along - although a Starship would be perfectly capable of beaming down land vehicles, the frequency with which transporters are unable to perform in the face of natural interference would make something like the Argo essential.

The biggest questions regarding the Argo are centred around the vehicle it carries. If this is a military vehicle, it is surprisingly unarmoured - anybody inside is open to enemy fire on almost all sides. It could be fitted with shielding, though if so you would have to wonder why Picard didn't seem to use it on the Kolaran planet. Another possibility is that there is some sort of clip on armour plates which cover the gaps, though again you have to wonder why this wasn't used if it was available. It isn't necessarily true that all military vehicles are heavily armoured, though. Consider the modern day "Humvee" used by the US army, which also leaves driver and passengers exposed to enemy fire.

There is also the question of why a wheeled vehicle was used rather than something based on anti-gravity. We know that antigrav units are very common in the Federation - common enough that we've seen them used to haul cargo around, as stretchers, and even in place of ladders!

My guess is that what we saw was some sort of recreational vehicle, perhaps with a serious role as a general purpose transport for away team missions. Certainly Picard seemed to treat it as a toy more than anything. The presence of a phaser cannon on the back might argue against that, although this is the kind of thing that Worf for one would probably regard as a recreational item!

Both the shuttle and the vehicle it carried bore the name "Argo", indicating that the vehicle was dedicated to that particular shuttle. This doesn't rule out the idea that there are other vehicles, though. It's easy to imagine that the Argo has a whole range of such cargos available - think Thunderbird 2 but without the modular containers.

We don't know that the shuttle is warp capable, though it does carry what seem to be warp nacelles. I've given it modest warp capability based on this. 

The specs are almost entirely speculation - as yet I don't even have official figures for the length of the shuttle. I'm guessing that it is broadly in line with a Danube class Runabout.

The idea that ships design and produce their own shuttles is a personal theory of mine which I made up to explain the way that Voyager always had new shuttles to hand. Originally I suggested that the Type 9 came in kit form, and Voyager's crew was assembling new ones out of a stock of thirty or forty kits. With the Delta Flyer we saw that it's perfectly possible for a Starship crew to not only design a wholly new shuttle but also build it from scratch in a matter of days. I suspect that many Starfleet engineers and pilots produce shuttle designs as a sort of hobby, and that the better ideas are then shared out around the fleet so that each ship can produce whatever designs are appropriate for its mission. There's no proof that any of this applies to the Argo, of course.
© Graham & Ian Kennedy Page views : 14,474 Last updated : 30 Oct 2021