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New Orleans Class

Size Comp
Universe : Prime Timeline
Affiliation : Federation
Class Name : New Orleans Class
Type : Frigate [1]
Unit Run :
USS New Orleans - Active
NCC 57295 [2] USS Rutledge [3] - Active [4]
NCC 63102 [2] USS Renegade [1] - Active
NCC 65491 [2] USS Kyushu - Destroyed [5]
NCC 65530 [2] USS Thomas Paine [1] - Active
plus 451 others built in total. 358 have been lost in all.
Commissioned : 2364 - present
Dimensions : Length : 350 m [6]
Beam : 290 m
Height : 83 m
Decks : 19
Mass : 900,000 metric tons
Crew : 190
Armament : 4 x Type VIII phaser arrays, total output 9,500 TeraWatts
3 x Standard photon torpedo tube with 90 rounds
Defence Systems : Standard shield system, total capacity 958,500 TeraJoules
Standard Duranium / Tritanium Single hull.
Standard level Structural Integrity Field
Warp Speeds
(TNG scale) :
Normal Cruise : 6
Maximum Cruise : 9.2
Maximum Rated : 9.4 for 8 hours.
Strength Indices :
(Galaxy class = 1,000)
Beam Firepower : 190
Torpedo Firepower : 375
Weapon Range and Accuracy : 175
Shield Strength : 355
Hull Armour : 50
Speed : 917
Combat Manoeuvrability : 4,740
Overall Strength Index : 328
Diplomatic Capability : 3
Expected Hull Life : 100
Refit Cycle : Minor : 1 year
Standard : 1 years
Major : 25 years


The New Orleans class was introduced as a counterpart to the large Nebula and Galaxy class starships. The intention was to produce a Frigate which incorporated the technology advances being deployed on these two starships. The New Orleans would also have nearly equal speed to facilitate fleet operations.

Unfortunately, the project did not go smoothly. Like its larger sister the Galaxy class, the New Orleans class suffered from a series of delays throughout its design and construction process. The problems experienced on the larger ship with warp coil manufacture, computer systems and hull plating on the Galaxy also affected the New Orleans, while additional problems were experienced with the power transfer system and the Structural Integrity Field. Initially ordered in 2347, by 2362 the prototype was still not considered spaceworthy and the entire project was threatened with cancellation. Nevertheless, Starfleet placed a great deal of importance on the New Orleans class and managed to overcome the opposition. The USS New Orleans made her maiden flight in 2363 and was formally commissioned in 2364. After a cautious series of tests Starfleet proceeded with series production at a moderate pace.

One unique feature of the New Orleans class is the torpedo arrangement. The ship carries a heavy armament of three torpedo tubes of the most modern type available. When this requirement was issued the design team expressed concerns that the tubes would take up far too much internal volume, necessitating a near 20% reduction in the science capacity of the ship. A reduction to one tube was requested, but Starfleet command rejected the idea. After much consideration, the design team finally decided to mount two of the torpedo tubes in 'bolt-on' modular packs; each module would contain the tube, loading and firing mechanism, supporting power and computer systems, and a magazine of thirty photon torpedoes. The antimatter warhead material is tapped off from the fuel supply as normal and transferred to the pod immediately prior to firing. Computer simulations indicated that the skeleton structure of the Engineering was not sufficient to support a third torpedo pod, so the lower engineering hull was re-designed to include a prominent projection on the underside which provided the extra volume required to house the torpedo tube and loading system - the magazine being housed within the engineering hull proper.

This ingenious concept not only allowed all three torpedo tubes to be housed within the design, but also permitted a nearly 25% increase in the volume available for other applications within the proper hull. This has allowed most of the major systems to be upgraded; the shield grid of the New Orleans class is one of the most powerful ever installed in a ship of this size. Her manoeuvrability is also quite impressive, although some vessels have experienced problems with hull stress around the connect points for the torpedo pods. The sensor and computer systems of the New Orleans represent a significant increase in capacity over previous designs.

When the Borg launched their invasion of the Federation in 2365 five ships of the New Orleans class were in service; three of these managed to reach Wolf 359 in time to join the fleet which engaged the Borg in that system. The ships were lost with all hands; again calls were made for these ships to be scrapped, but in fairness Wolf 359 was hardly a reasonable test and many far more powerful ships were also lost in this battle. Starfleet stepped up production of the class in order to make up the shortfall in Starfleet numbers.

With the advent of the Dominion threat Starfleet petitioned for and was granted a massive increase in their force levels. Production of the New Orleans class went into high gear. And order for twenty seven units had been placed after Wolf 359 and these ships were emerging from the production lines in 2370 when the USS Odyssey was destroyed by the Dominion. A further eighty two ships were ordered shortly after this incident; improved manufacturing processes have reduced the build time for a New Orleans from five to three years, and the first batch of this order arrived shortly after the start of the Dominion war. Although details are unavailable, the New Orleans is thought to have performed well during the conflict so far.

Colour key

Canon source Backstage source Novel source DITL speculation


# Series Season Source Comment
1 TNG 1 Conspiracy
2 Star Trek Encyclopedia
3 TNG 4 The Wounded
4 DS9 5 ...Nor the Battle to the Strong
5 TNG 4 The Best of Both Worlds, Part 2
6 Speculative Speculation, based on looking at pictures of the New Orleans and the Galaxy class.
Series : TNG Season 1
Episode : Conspiracy
Book : Star Trek Encyclopedia
Series : TNG Season 4
Episode : The Wounded
Series : DS9 Season 5
Episode : ...Nor the Battle to the Strong
Series : TNG Season 4
Episode : The Best of Both Worlds, Part 2
Source : Speculative
Comment : Speculation, based on looking at pictures of the New Orleans and the Galaxy class.


The New Orleans class USS Kyushu was seen as a wreck in the "Best of Both Worlds" graveyard scene - so far as I know no New Orleans class has ever been seen before or since. The biggest problem in writing a spec for this class was explaining the three very large projections on the hull - two on the saucer and one on the bottom of the engineering hull. There's no canon explanation fo these that I know of; originally I had them pegged as torpedo launchers, but they're a bit on the large side for that, and given the 'frigate' designation of the class this is an awful lot of firepower to tote around! In the end I decided to claim that they're an entire self-contained torpedo system, designed to free up internal volume for more science labs and so on - it seemed a reasonable explanation given Starfleets peaceful ethic.
© Graham & Ian Kennedy Page views : 102,035 Last updated : 1 Aug 2006