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Warp Sled

Size Comp
Universe : Prime Timeline
Affiliation : Federation
Class Name : Warp Sled
Type : Long range shuttlecraft
Unit Run :
Surak [1] - Retired
plus 3,249 others built in total. 143 have been lost in all. 3,107 have been retired from service.
Commissioned : 2251 - 2279, remained in service until 2358
Dimensions : Length : 55 m [2]
Beam : 12 m
Height : 14 m
Decks : 1
Mass : 1,780 metric tons
Crew : 1, plus 10 passengers
Defence Systems : Light Monotanium Single hull.
Low level Structural Integrity Field
Warp Speeds
(TOS scale) :
Normal Cruise : 6
Maximum Cruise : 6.2
Maximum Rated : 6.5 for 8 hours.
Strength Indices :
(Galaxy class = 1,000)
Beam Firepower : -
Torpedo Firepower : -
Weapon Range and Accuracy : -
Shield Strength : -
Hull Armour : 0.31
Speed : 143
Combat Manoeuvrability : 16,000
Overall Strength Index : 35
Diplomatic Capability : 2
Expected Hull Life : 60
Refit Cycle : Minor : 2 year
Standard : 2 years
Major : 10 years


Although supply and support vessels have never had the glamour of the big Explorers, their role is at least as important to the day-to-day functioning of an organization like Starfleet as any other class. The Vulcan Warp Sled is a classic example of this; these handy little ships where in Starfleet service for over a century, in numbers which at their peak rivalled any other single class in service. Although they received little fanfare during their time, the warp sleds importance to starfleet can hardly be overstated.

The Warp Sled was one of the first shuttlecraft-sized vessels with a true interstellar capability. Although several previous shuttles did have warp capability, these where generally confined to specific routes between neighbouring systems - they tended to be either too slow or two short ranged for general use. The Warp Sled was capable of holding Warp 6 for up to two months on internal fuel alone, and was unique among shuttle craft in that it could conduct in-flight refuelling from standard tanker craft. This allowed it to operate almost indefinitely - on one occasion a warp sled made a flight lasting one hundred and fifty six days.

Another major advantage of the warp sled over previous designs was its flexibility; the sled itself consisted of a pair of warp nacelles, matter/antimatter reactor assembly and fuel supply mounted onto a large docking platform. A wide variety of pods was developed for attachment to this platform - the most common was a twelve person shuttle pod which was intended for relatively short duration flights. A six person unit with small bunk spaces was also available, as well as a single occupant VIP unit. Other variants included a cargo pod, a sensor pod which allowed the sled to be used as a long range remote controlled sensor probe, a medical evac unit with space for four patients and an attendant and a search and rescue pod designed to locate and retrieve ships lifeboats.

Although originally designed for a life span of only sixty years, the warp sled has proved to be capable of continuing far beyond this. The last warp sled was retired from Starfleet service in 2358, but many are still to be found in service with other agencies and with civilian operators both within the Federation and with several allied governments. It seems that these handy little craft will continue to serve even into the next century.

Colour key

Canon source Backstage source Novel source DITL speculation


# Series Season Source Comment
1 Star Trek : The Motion Picture
2 The Star Trek Encyclopedia, 2nd Edition Calculated from the diagram comparing the Constellation, Miranda, warp shuttle, and Valiant class ships ('show resource' entry under Starships). Note that this uses the conjectural figure for the length of the Miranda.
Film: Star Trek : The Motion Picture
Book : The Star Trek Encyclopedia, 2nd Edition
Comment : Calculated from the diagram comparing the Constellation, Miranda, warp shuttle, and Valiant class ships ('show resource' entry under Starships). Note that this uses the conjectural figure for the length of the Miranda.


We've seen only one warp sled, in "Star Trek : The Motion Picture", when it brought Spock to the Enterprise. I know very little about it, canonically speaking - the 2nd Edition Encyclopedia has a scale diagram on page 581, from which I got the length, but there is no entry for it in the main section. I've made the warp sled a sort of 'Huey' or 'Dakota' of Starfleet - now superceded by more modern designs, but still around because of the sheer numbers it was operated in and the success of the design. The idea of many varied types of pod seemed like a sensible thing to develop for this type of design - indeed, if there was only one type of pod it would seem to be a bit pointless to make it detachable in the first place. Since we haven't seen any of these craft in any modern series, I've assumed that they have been retired by Starfleet.
© Graham & Ian Kennedy Page views : 56,964 Last updated : 31 Jul 2004