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Oberth Class Starfleet Starship

Category: Frigate

Expected Duration: 75 years
Time Between Resupply: 2 years
Time Between Refit: 5 years

Officers: 7
Enlisted Crew: 73
Marines: 0
Maximum (Evacuation) Capacity: 150

Cruising Velocity: Warp 4
Maximum Velocity: Warp 6
Emergency Velocity: Warp 6.9 (for 12 hours)

Length: 150.81 metres
Width: 87 metres
Height: 41 metres
Decks: 12

Auxiliary Craft
Shuttlebays: 1
   Type 5 Shuttle: 2

Beam Weapons
   Type 4 Phaser Bank: 2
   Deflector Shields
Torpedo Launchers
   Single Fire Torpedo Launcher
      Photon Torpedoes: 25

It is worth noting, the above specs are for the Oberth at the time of original launch. There have been 2,174 built in total and it can be assumed that upgrades are standard on these vessels.

The Oberth class has a distinguished Starfleet career dating back for over a century. They are no record breakers - even when the first ship was commissioned in 2269 there were far more capable platforms from which to conduct scientific research and exploration. But the Oberth's had some crucial advantages - they were easy to build and easy to run. The design was highly modular - the whole vessel was made up of sections of 50, 150, or 300 tons which were simply bolted together and sealed. This allowed construction to take place in the smallest of facilities, even those intended to handle craft such as shuttles and small transports. The warp drive system, one of the most difficult parts of any starship to fabricate, sacrificed a large degree of speed and acceleration in return for simplicity and reliability. These factors enabled no less than eight Oberth class vessels to be built for the same resources as a single Constitution class starship. In service the Oberth's were just as easy to run as they were to build; the engineering plant was almost wholly automated, with the engineering hull unmanned in normal operation;17 the entire engineering crew consisted of one officer and four enlisted personnel, less than a tenth of the number normal for a vessel of this size.

The exploratory nature of the Oberth class mission meant that they would frequently discover new alien species, but their small size and limited crew numbers meant that they had a very limited diplomatic capability. Although they did occasionally engage in first contact procedures, it was more usual that an Oberth would make an initial assessment without revealing itself before reporting back to Starfleet and allowing larger vessels to make the actual contact.

Over the decades of their service the Oberth's have been produced in and upgraded to over twenty different variations. Early changes are limited to the sensor and laboratory resources, but the later models introduced improved crew facilities such as larger quarters and replicator systems, made possible by reduced crew numbers due to further automation. In the 2340's all units received new phaser banks - although the peaceful nature of the Oberth class is emphasized by the irony that this change was necessitated by new safety standards introduced for phaser equipment, and that the resultant changes actually lowered the ships phaser power by nearly 10%!

The Galaxy class was initially planned to replace the Oberth class in service, but Starfleets recent move toward smaller starship designs has led to a stay of execution for the class. They are now expected to remain in service at least until the beginning of the next century.

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