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Y Class

Size Comp
Universe : Prime Timeline
Affiliation : Humans
Class Name : Y Class
Type : Freighter
Unit Run :
ECS 2801 ECS Fortunate [1] - Retired
plus 84 others built in total. 7 have been lost in all. 79 have been retired from service.
Commissioned : 2114 - 2143, remained in service until 2243
Dimensions : Length : 280 m [2]
Beam : 76 m [3]
Height : 53 m [3]
Decks : 10
Mass : 634,000 metric tons basic vessel, plus 2,000 tons maximum per cargo pod
Crew : 23
Armament : 1 x plasma cannon , total output 2 TeraWatts
Defence Systems : Light Monotanium Single hull.
Low level Structural Integrity Field
Warp Speeds
(TOS scale) :
Normal Cruise : 1.5
Maximum Cruise : 1.6
Maximum Rated : 1.8 for 4 hours.
Strength Indices :
(Galaxy class = 1,000)
Beam Firepower : 0.04
Torpedo Firepower : -
Weapon Range and Accuracy : 5
Shield Strength : -
Hull Armour : 0.31
Speed : 3
Combat Manoeuvrability : 560
Overall Strength Index : 9
Diplomatic Capability : 1
Expected Hull Life : 100
Refit Cycle : Minor : 5 year
Standard : 5 years
Major : 20 years


The Y class freighters were a common sight amongst Human space in the 2100s. These ships were modular cargo carriers, capable of hauling eight cargo pods carrying a total of fifty thousand tons of cargo. At warp 1.8 the ships took at least a year to cross between systems, and voyages of five years or more were common. It was not uncommon for children to be born on such missions, and some grew up knowing virtually nothing beyond their ship. These "boomers" tended to be highly insular and independant, prefering to rely on their own resources rather than seek help from others. When engines capable of warp 3 or more became available to freighters in the 2150s, journey times were greatly reduced and this community began to erode rapidly.

The Y class was armed with a single low yield plasma cannon for meteor defence, but this was insufficient to protect the ship from pirate attacks, and most crews upgraded the defences as much as possible. Food supplies consisted of consumable stores during the early part of a voyage, followed by hydroponics and nutripacks as the stores ran out. [1]

In an alternate timeline, at least two Y class ships were part of the fleet which took the remnants of Humanity to Ceti Alpha V after the Earth was destroyed. [4]

The Y class ships began to retire from service in 2210, and the last vessel completed its final mission in 2243.

Colour key

Canon source Backstage source Novel source DITL speculation


# Series Season Source Comment
1 ENT 1 Fortunate Son
2 Speculative Estimated compared to Enterprise in the episode 'Favourite Son'.
3 Speculative Calculated from scale diagram, assuming 280 m length
4 ENT 3 Twilight
Series : ENT Season 1
Episode : Fortunate Son
Source : Speculative
Comment : Estimated compared to Enterprise in the episode 'Favourite Son'.
Source : Speculative
Comment : Calculated from scale diagram, assuming 280 m length
Series : ENT Season 3
Episode : Twilight


The Y class freighter featured prominently in the Enterprise episode "Fortunate Son", and several detailed specifications on the ship were given in the episode. The top speed of warp 1.8 was given by T'Pol, and equates to about 5.8 x c. The standard armament is a low yield plasma cannon, but Mayweather - who grew up on a similar J class freighter - assures us that most ships upgrade this considerably to defend themselves from pirates. The crew is given as 23, but Mayweather points out that children are often born on these ships while they are in transit.

Mayweather also states that a ship like this might be hauling "fifty kilotons of dilithium ore". This is something of a YATI - the Enterprise used lithium crystals rather than dilithium in early season 1 of TOS, so technically ships of the Enterprise era should use lithium or something more primitive. Fifty kilotons would presumably represent the ship's maximum payload.

The size of the ship is just an estimate, and there are no really good comparison shots in the episode so it's very hard to judge correctly.

© Graham & Ian Kennedy Page views : 57,207 Last updated : 12 Mar 2013