|Universe :||Prime Timeline|
|Class Name :||Steamrunner Class|
|Type :||Light Cruiser|
|Unit Run :|
|Commissioned :||2342 - 2363, class remains in service|
|Dimensions :||Length : 244 m 
Beam : 160 m
Height : 40 m
Decks : 9
|Mass :||375,000 metric tons|
6 x Type VIII phaser arrays, total output 13,000 TeraWatts
2 x Pulse fire photon torpedo tube 
2 x Standard photon torpedo tube with 155 rounds
|Defence Systems :||Standard shield system, total capacity 891,000 TeraJoules
Standard Duranium / Tritanium Double hull plus 4.8 cm High density armour.
Standard level Structural Integrity Field
(TNG scale) :
|Normal Cruise : 6
Maximum Cruise : 8.8
Maximum Rated : 9.5
|Strength Indices :
(Galaxy class = 1,000)
|Beam Firepower : 260
Torpedo Firepower : 750
Weapon Range and Accuracy : 455
Shield Strength : 330
Hull Armour : 580
Speed : 955
Combat Manoeuvrability : 5,930
|Overall Strength Index :||513|
|Diplomatic Capability :||3|
|Expected Hull Life :||48|
|Refit Cycle :||Minor : 3 year
Standard : 3 years
Major : 24 years
The Steamrunner design was fielded in the early 40s along with the Saber as part of a major fleet wide programme of modernization. Essentially the Steamrunner's serve a similar function to the modern day Intrepid class - a smaller, faster counterpart to the cruiser class ships which would be deployed in large numbers to augment the more capable designs. The first of the class was launched in 2342, and series production began after a six month flight test programme.
The Steamrunner introduced several innovations into Starfleet; she was the first to be equipped with an isolinear computer system rather than the duotronic system then in use. Her hull form was also rather unusual in appearance; the angular profile of the primary hull was claimed to be an inherently stronger shape than the traditional circular/elliptical shape, allowing a reduction in the thickness of the structural beams which decreased the overall vessel mass by some 12%. This made for greater acceleration at both impulse and warp. However, some flaws have surfaced in the design; Steamrunner class ships which engaged in extended periods of high warp speed found some cracking in the structural members of the primary hull. Several fixes were tried to correct this problem; Starfleet finally found that a combination of a modified Structural Integrity Field system and slight changes to the Warp drive itself eliminated the harmonic vibrations which were causing the problem. Those vessels already damaged had to have some of their main hull support structure replaced, a task which set construction of the class back some time.
Although the Steamrunner is relatively limited in its capabilities to perform scientific and exploratory functions compared to a larger ship, its real difficulties lie in the diplomatic area. Like the Intrepid class which is now replacing it, the Steamrunner is capable of holding only limited diplomatic venues. Despite this the Steamrunner's have proved their worth in diplomacy, helping to settle many matters in sparsely populated areas where Starfleets "big guns" rarely make an appearance.
Today the Steamrunner is beginning to take a more back seat as the Intrepid class becomes more common. The last few years have seen many units of this class moving from the outer territories to the core of the Federation. Thirty six of the class were recently been rebuilt as border patrol craft. This involves a reduction in Shuttle craft Facilities by approximately 50% in favour of a larger load of photon torpedoes and a refit to the shield generators. Serving with the Typhon Sector Fleet, these ships were heavily involved with the Borg attack of 2373 where they suffered severe casualties.  More recently Steamrunner class ships have been serving as scouts during the war with the Dominion. Losses here have also been significant.
|Canon source||Backstage source||Novel source||DITL speculation|
|1||Star Trek Encyclopedia|
|2||David Stipes, DS9 visual effects supervisor||Taken from a posting to the DS9 Newsgroup.|
|3||Generic canonical information|
|4||Star Trek : First Contact|
|Book :||Star Trek Encyclopedia|
|Source :||David Stipes, DS9 visual effects supervisor|
|Comment :||Taken from a posting to the DS9 Newsgroup.|
|Source :||Generic canonical information|
|Film:||Star Trek : First Contact|
Like the Akira, the Steamrunner has some design elements from the Sovereign - most notably the lifeboat hatches. However, the registry of the Steamrunner class USS Appalacia (NCC 52136) is even lower than the Akira class ships we've seen, indicating the Steamrunner dates from somewhere around the 2340's or so.
In size the Steamrunner is a bit smaller than the Akira, about the size of the Miranda. I've classed her as a light cruiser also, and to distinguish the two I've tried to suggest that Starfleet was trying out a few new ideas with this ship - ideas which basically didn't work out all that well in some cases, which is why we haven't seen more ships looking like this.
The Steamrunners we saw in First Contact where getting really hammered by the borg, and the relative lack of them since indicates to me that Starfleet doesn't really want to throw these ships into a pitched battle. So I've assumed that they aren't all that stong in combat, maybe as a result of their design problems. My guess is that the Steamrunner would be a scout type, and as such is basically an older version of the Intrepid.
|© Graham & Ian Kennedy||Page views : 105,555||Last updated : 31 Jul 2004|