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Centaur Class

Size Comp
Universe : Prime Timeline
Affiliation : Federation
Class Name : Centaur Class
Type : Frigate
Unit Run :
NCC 42043 USS Centaur [1] - Active
plus 402 others built in total. 100 have been lost in all.
Commissioned : 2325 - 2342, class remains in service
Dimensions : Length : 381.87 m [2]
Beam : 230 m
Height : 58.54 m
Decks : 10
Mass : 870,000 [3] metric tons
Crew : 315 [3]
Armament : 9 [3] x Type VIII phaser bank [3], total output 2,500 TeraWatts
4 [4] x 2nd class photon torpedo tube [3] with 50 rounds
Defence Systems : Standard shield system, total capacity 270,000 TeraJoules
Standard Duranium Single hull.
Standard level Structural Integrity Field
Warp Speeds
(TNG scale) :
Normal Cruise : 6
Maximum Cruise : 8.5
Maximum Rated : 9.6 for 12 [3] hours.
Strength Indices :
(Galaxy class = 1,000)
Beam Firepower : 50
Torpedo Firepower : 250
Weapon Range and Accuracy : 125
Shield Strength : 100
Hull Armour : 10
Speed : 1,000
Combat Manoeuvrability : 4,410
Overall Strength Index : 200
Diplomatic Capability : 2
Expected Hull Life : 50
Refit Cycle : Minor : 1 year
Standard : 1 years
Major : 25 years


Built in the 2320's, the Centaur was a forerunner of the Saber class. Intended to operate with theAmbassador, Excelsior and Miranda classes, the Centaurs where to act in the role of scouts and conduct general support missions during fleet actions. They where designed to be very small and agile, and as a result the Centaur has limited weaponry and a relatively poor standard of accommodation. This has prevented them from being used regularly on long duration missions, a problem which recurred with the Saber class.

The hull form of the Centaur clearly shows the ship to be a contemporary of the Excelsior/Ambassador generation. Her nacelles are large for a ship of this size, a feature she shares with the Excelsior. She is equipped with phaser banks rather than arrays [5] - Starfleet has attempted to refit the Centaur class with phaser arrays several times during their life span, but has consistently been refused the necessary resources. The Centaur is equipped with four torpedo tubes, two forward and two aft, and a limited stock of reloads.

The Centaur has proved popular with her crews, but these ships are now nearing the end of their service lives and are due to begin retirement. However, the Centaur class have been heavily involved in the Dominion war. It is therefore unlikely that any of these ships will actually be retired prior to the end of the war, unless serious age related problems begin to appear.

Colour key

Canon source Backstage source Novel source DITL speculation


# Series Season Source Comment
1 DS9 6 A Time to Stand
2 Star Trek Deep Space Nine Technical Manual Stated on page 156. This is the size we would expect if the saucer section matches that of a standard Excelsior in size; however, the DS9 TM figures for height and beam do not match those calculated from scale diagrams using this length.
3 Star Trek Deep Space Nine Technical Manual
4 Production drawing
5 Visible on the shooting model
Series : DS9 Season 6
Episode : A Time to Stand
Book : Star Trek Deep Space Nine Technical Manual
Comment : Stated on page 156. This is the size we would expect if the saucer section matches that of a standard Excelsior in size; however, the DS9 TM figures for height and beam do not match those calculated from scale diagrams using this length.
Book : Star Trek Deep Space Nine Technical Manual
Source : Production drawing
Source : Visible on the shooting model


I've basically got the Centaur down as a Miranda-type version of the Excelsior; the model obviously uses an Excelsior saucer section, and I've used this to size the Centaur compared to the Excelsior. The Centaur shares a general similarity of layout to the Saber class, so I've shown it as being an ancestor of that ship.

There are apparently relatively few Centaur class ships in service, judging by the fact that we have only ever seen one of them. My assumption is that the Miranda just happened to hit a near-perfect balance of cost, capability, and longevity that the Centaur missed slightly. In the real world, there do seem to be designs that outlast just about everything else going - the B52, the Phantom, the DC-3, etc.

© Graham & Ian Kennedy Page views : 90,776 Last updated : 22 Dec 2021