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Intrepid Class

Size Comp 1Size comp 2
Universe : Prime Timeline
Affiliation : Federation
Class Name : Intrepid Class [1]
Type : Light Explorer / Scout
Unit Run :
NCC 74600 [2] USS Intrepid [3] - Active
NCC 74656 USS Voyager [1] - Active
NCC 74705 USS Bellerophon [4] - Active
plus 47 others built in total. 15 have been lost in all.
Commissioned : 2371 [5] - present
Dimensions : Length : 343 m [6]
Beam : 133 m [7]
Height : 66 m [7]
Decks : 15 [1]
Mass : 700,000 [8] metric tons
Crew : 141 [1]
Armament : 13 x Type VIII phaser arrays, total output 10,000 TeraWatts
5 x Standard photon torpedo tube [9] with 38 [10] rounds
Defence Systems : Standard [9] shield system, total capacity 729,000 TeraJoules
Standard Duranium / Tritanium Single hull.
Standard level Structural Integrity Field
Warp Speeds
(TNG scale) :
Normal Cruise : 8
Maximum Cruise : 9.975 [1]
Maximum Rated : 9.985 for 1 hours.
Strength Indices :
(Galaxy class = 1,000)
Beam Firepower : 200
Torpedo Firepower : 625
Weapon Range and Accuracy : 440
Shield Strength : 270
Hull Armour : 50
Speed : 3,526
Combat Manoeuvrability : 9,100
Overall Strength Index : 591
Diplomatic Capability : 3
Expected Hull Life : 80
Refit Cycle : Minor : 1 year
Standard : 1 years
Major : 20 years


Starfleet's shipbuilding policy of the last century has emphasized ever larger, more capable designs capable of carrying out a wide variety of missions within a single hull, often simultaneously. However, this has led to a gradual fall in the numbers of vessels which can be fielded - where the Excelsior class numbers well over a hundred, the Ambassadors were limited to a production run of twenty six, and the Galaxy class was limited to six ships initially [11], though this has since been expanded. While the exploration capacity of these classes is still sufficient to meet the tasks demanded of them, the lack of numbers has led to a certain restriction in flexibility. Losses among the Galaxy class have also emphasized that placing "all the eggs in one basket" is not necessarily the wisest choice.

The Intrepid design was fielded partly to correct this situation. The design requirement, issued in 2358, called for a vessel in the 360 metre range with a volume some 15% that of a Galaxy class. Although the limited size meant that the vessel would have much lower overall capabilities than the Galaxy class, this was to be in some part offset by the use of the latest technology. The computer system would be amongst the most advanced model in service [12]; the increased automation this afforded combined with a new generation of sensor equipment would allow the Intrepid class almost 30% of the scanning and analysis capabilities of a Galaxy class starship. A top cruise speed some three times that of the Galaxy would further enhance the vessel's exploration capabilities.

Diplomatic functions would be more problematic - hosting such functions requires supporting large numbers of extra personnel, and the Intrepid class simply would not have the room for this. The ship has only 257 rooms [13]; her diplomatic capabilities are therefore limited to relatively small events generally involving Federation negotiations with a single party.

The Intrepid's combat role was also somewhat limited by her size; unable to carry large numbers of torpedoes or high power phaser banks, Starfleet settled on a scouting and support mission for the ship. Fitted out with Type VIII phaser arrays and single fire torpedo tubes, the Intrepid would be capable of engaging vessels the size of a Bird of Prey one-on-one. Her high speed and manoeuvrability combined with the advanced sensor system would also make her a perfect platform to conduct long range reconnaissance missions ahead of fleet operations. Within a major fleet battle the Intrepid would also act in support of larger ships, harrying enemy fleet units and drawing fire away from larger Federation ships.

Development of the intrepid class went relatively smoothly in the early and mid stages, but a major problem arose in 2370 with the discovery that the energy emissions of standard warp drives caused considerable cumulative damage to the structure of subspace. Starfleet called for all designs then in progress to be modified to eliminate this effect, and it was decided to use the Intrepid class as a test bed for this technology. After some experimentation it was found that the effect could be avoided by using a warp field with a much elongated Z-axis, combined with complex warp field modulation and the utilization of new materials during the manufacture of warp coils. This has led to the ships saucer section having the forward ellipse now becoming common on Federation designs. The new warp field configuration did lead to a 15% reduction in the speed of the Intrepid class across all flight regimes, bringing the top cruise speed down from Warp 9.99 to Warp 9.975, and the maximum rated speed from Warp 9.992 to Warp 9.985.

The program suffered a serious setback when the USS Voyager, second in the class, was apparently lost on her first mission. [1] Building was suspended on the class while the designs were subjected to intense scrutiny; after a year without results the Intrepid project was resumed. It was subsequently discovered that Voyager was in fact displaced to the other side of the Galaxy by an alien technology. [14] After struggling to return home for nearly seven years, Voyager finally made it back to Earth via a Borg transwarp conduit. [15]

One feature unique to the Intrepid class among Federation Starships of this size is the ability to land on a planetary surface. [16] This feature has been incorporated after several incidents in which transporters and shuttle craft have been unable to operate through exotic environmental conditions during evacuations or other surface related operations. [17]

Colour key

Canon source Backstage source Novel source DITL speculation


# Series Season Source Comment
1 VOY 1 Caretaker
2 Star Trek : Nemesis
3 VOY 5 In the Flesh
4 DS9 7 Inter Arma Enim Silent Leges
5 VOY 5 Relativity
6 Star Trek Encyclopedia Calculated by looking at the diagram on page 213. This shows 15 decks, and assuming each one to be 4.05 metres tall this gives an overall length of 343 metres. The ship's designer Rick Sternback has confirmed this as being the 'real' length of the ship, although some sources give numbers significantly higher.
7 Generic official information
8 VOY 1 Phage
9 Various Voyager episodes
10 VOY 1 The Cloud
11 Star Trek The Next Generation Technical Manual
12 TNG 1 11001001
13 VOY 4 Scientific Method When Seven searches a room the EMH replies that it is one down, 256 to go
14 VOY 4 Message in a Bottle
15 VOY 7 Endgame, Part 2
16 VOY 2 The 37's
17 TNG 6 Second Chances
Series : VOY Season 1
Episode : Caretaker
Film: Star Trek : Nemesis
Series : VOY Season 5
Episode : In the Flesh
Series : DS9 Season 7
Episode : Inter Arma Enim Silent Leges
Series : VOY Season 5
Episode : Relativity
Book : Star Trek Encyclopedia
Comment : Calculated by looking at the diagram on page 213. This shows 15 decks, and assuming each one to be 4.05 metres tall this gives an overall length of 343 metres. The ship's designer Rick Sternback has confirmed this as being the 'real' length of the ship, although some sources give numbers significantly higher.
Series : Season
Episode : Generic official information
Series : VOY Season 1
Episode : Phage
Series : VOY Season
Episode : Various Voyager episodes
Series : VOY Season 1
Episode : The Cloud
Book : Star Trek The Next Generation Technical Manual
Series : TNG Season 1
Episode : 11001001
Series : VOY Season 4
Episode : Scientific Method
Comment : When Seven searches a room the EMH replies that it is one down, 256 to go
Series : VOY Season 4
Episode : Message in a Bottle
Series : VOY Season 7
Episode : Endgame, Part 2
Series : VOY Season 2
Episode : The 37's
Series : TNG Season 6
Episode : Second Chances


Naturally, we know a fair bit about the Intrepid class due to the adventures of the USS Voyager. I've tried to keep the speculation to a reasonable minimum, and have based most of it around how the warp 'pollution' problem was overcome. Since the Warp 9.975 figure for Voyager was described as her "maximum sustainable cruise speed", I've speculated that she could do a little more flat out. I know Voyager has been shown to have a top speed somewhat less than this, but given that Voyager doesn't have access to proper maintanence facilities and has taken heavy damage on numerous occasions, I don't think it's unreasonable to assume that she wouldn't be entirely up to spec.

Most sources state that the ship has four torpedo tubes, and we do see four firing most of the time - two flanking the main deflector and two on the ship's spine about where the saucer blends into the engineering hull. But in fact a fifth tube is seen firing in "Resolutions", from the base of the engineering hull. There is also a probe launcher in the bow of the ship and is seen firing in "Eye of the Needle". I don't class the latter as a weapon launcher since it fired a micro-probe in the episode, so it's probably too small for torpedoes.

© Graham & Ian Kennedy Page views : 206,559 Last updated : 29 Mar 2014