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Holo Ship

Size Comp
Universe : Prime Timeline
Affiliation : Federation
Class Name : Holo Ship
Type : Special purpose holo-environment
Unit Run : 1 built in total.
Commissioned : 2374, class remains in service
Dimensions : Length : 246.88 m [1]
Beam : 100 m
Height : 52.2 m [2]
Decks : 8
Mass : 550,000 metric tons
Crew : 75
Defence Systems : Standard Duranium / Tritanium Single hull.
Low level Structural Integrity Field
Warp Speeds
(TNG scale) :
Normal Cruise : 8
Maximum Cruise : 8.6
Maximum Rated : 9 for 1 hours.
Strength Indices :
(Galaxy class = 1,000)
Beam Firepower : -
Torpedo Firepower : -
Weapon Range and Accuracy : -
Shield Strength : -
Hull Armour : 12.5
Speed : 792
Combat Manoeuvrability : 5,550
Overall Strength Index : 72
Diplomatic Capability : 1
Expected Hull Life : 20
Refit Cycle : Minor : 1 year
Standard : 1 years
Major : 5 years


In 2374 the Federation began colluding with the Son'a in order to remove the Baku people from their planet in order to allow the two powers access to the unique properties of that world. Since such an action was clearly going to be highly unpopular within the Federation, it was decided to transplant the Baku to another planet without their knowledge or consent by beaming them into a holographic recreation of their village whilst they were asleep, then taking them to a recreation of the village and depositing them there. [3]

Initially it was thought that a group of standard Starfleet ships would recreate the Baku village inside their holodecks, each one taking a few dozen inhabitants on board. However, this quickly proved unfeasible; the sheer volume of manpower and equipment involved would virtually guarantee discovery, while the difficulty in creating accurate recreations of the Baku inhabitants without access to proper psychological profiles were formidable.

The conspirators decided that they would create a single representation of the village and transport all of the inhabitants into it in one go. [3] Unfortunately, there was no existing mobile holographic system capable of doing this. High quality holographic environments have long been virtually impossible to distinguish from reality for a single user, [4] but difficulties arise when multiple persons are involved. Older holodecks could not allow the users to be separated by distances greater than the physical size of the holographic chamber itself. Modern systems overcome this limitation by subdividing the chamber and providing each user with a simulation of the others - see the holodeck entry under the science and technology section for details.

However, the technology is limited by the computer power available, especially in mobile platforms. Most Starfleet holographic environment systems can only maintain up to a dozen or so separate environments within one chamber. In general larger holodecks require less subdivision for a given number of people, since there is a lower probability that occupants will wander far enough from each other to require it. The Baku village was more than large enough to completely fill any existing mobile holo chamber, and studies of the villagers over a long period indicated that it was very common for many people to be outside the village limits on an almost continual basis.

In order to provide a completely convincing illusion for the Baku, then, something much more ambitious was needed. The Federation needed a holodeck at least several times the size of the largest then on any Starship, and capable of subdividing into at least fifty separate environments. It was decided to produce an entirely new vessel for this purpose.

Although it was run by Starfleet, the covert nature of the project meant that the holoship was never given any official name or NCC number. The ship was almost 250 metres long [5] and 100 metres wide, and was fitted with a standard pair of nacelles for interstellar travel at quite a high speed for a support vessel - the reasoning being that the less time the Baku spent inside the lower the probability that they would realize what was happening. The majority of the internal volume was taken up by a single six deck high holographic chamber holographic chamber measuring 200 x 90 metres. Most of the remaining space was crammed with computer support systems, with many of the normal starship systems reduced to the bare minimum. The holoship carried far less fuel than is normal for a vessel of its size and the accommodation sections are omitted entirely - the crew were to spend eight hour shifts on board before transporting to a following support vessel for a rest and recreation period.

The Federation was very concerned about the possibility that visitors to what was officially the Baku observation project would scan the holoship and realize its purpose, so uncovering the conspiracy. To avoid this they fitted the ship with a cloaking device and landed it on the Baku planet, hiding it in a large lake near to the village whilst the simulation was prepared. However, shortly before the conspirators were ready to transplant the colonists the Enterprise-E stumbled on the plot and revealed it to the public. [3] The overwhelming reaction forced the resignation of several Federation council members and Starfleet personnel, and ended the project for good.

The holoship remains in existence, although its highly specialized nature means that no real role has been found for it. Starfleet had given some consideration to using the vessel as a mobile R&R centre for troops on the front line of the Dominion war, but as yet nothing has been decided.

Colour key

Canon source Backstage source Novel source DITL speculation


# Series Season Source Comment
1 Star Trek : The Magazine
2 Generic official information
3 Star Trek : Insurrection
4 Various Next Generation episodes
5 Star Trek : The Magazine
Source : Star Trek : The Magazine
Series : Season
Episode : Generic official information
Film: Star Trek : Insurrection
Series : TNG Season
Episode : Various Next Generation episodes
Source : Star Trek : The Magazine


Seen in Star Trek : Insurrection, we know relatively few facts about the holoship. It is capable of atmospheric flight; it is waterproof; it has a cloaking device.

There are a few things we can be fairly sure about - the cloak is not a good one, judging by how well we could see it compared to the cloak Kirks Bird of prey had in ST IV - a design now well over 80 years old. The ship doesn't seem to be part of an existing class, since Picard and Data didn't know what it was for until they got inside. That means it was almost certainly built by the conpirators - it could have been refitted from an existing cargo-type craft, but if so you would expect Data to have mentioned this when he first saw it. Given its role it's probably unarmed, and is probably a no-frills design whcih was intended for this specific job and no other.

The sizes and size comparison image come from Star Trek : The Magazine. All other data is speculative, and intended to support the facts and inferences given above.

© Graham & Ian Kennedy Page views : 70,421 Last updated : 23 Dec 2007