Nebula
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Pursuant to Starfleet Exploration Directive 902.3, the following objectives have been established for an Nebula Class Starship:

1. Provide a mobile platform for a wide range of ongoing scientific and cultural research projects.

2. Replace aging Ambassador, Oberth and Excelsior class Starships as primary instruments of Starfleet's exploration programs.

3. Provide autonomous capability for full execution of Federation defensive, cultural, scientific, and explorative policy in deep space or border territory.

4. Serve as a frontline support vehicle during times of war and emergencies.

5. Provide a mobile platform for testing and implementation of mission-specific or new technology of any kind.

DESIGN STATISTICS

Length: 442.23 meters
Width: 318.11 meters
Height: 130.43 meters
Weight: 3,309,000 metric tonnes
Cargo capacity: Dependant upon mission type

Hull: Duranium-Tritanium composite
Number of Decks: 30

GENERAL OVERVIEW

The Nebula-class was developed along-side the Galaxy-class in the 2340s and �50s. While Starfleet firmly believed in the feasibility of the Galaxy-class, they wanted a more cost-effective ship that would be able to perform much of the same missions as the larger, more expensive capital ships under construction.

Part of the design that was approved by Starfleet included a multi-mission module that could easily be exchanged within days at a certified facility. The first of which consisted of a sensor dome attached to the rear of the ship. Designed to aid in long-range reconnaissance and search-and-rescue operations, the sensor pod quickly proved its usefulness, so much so that several Nebula-class vessels were allocated to border patrols.

With the flexibility given to it by the replaceable pod-module, the Nebula-class has quickly become one of the most produced and utilized starships of the 24th century.

CONSTRUCTION HISTORY

Shortly after the Galaxy Class Project was approved in 2343, it was realized that the expense of building such a large capital ship, both in resources and time, would limit the number of ships being constructed. Starfleet, however, was impressed with the design of the Galaxy-class, and wished to adapt it for use in a smaller, less expensive class of starships. In 2345, the Nebula Class Project was officially approved after designers worked for nearly seven months side-by-side with the Galaxy Class Project team at the ASDB.

The Nebula-class proposal used the same basic design as the Galaxy, with two major differences: the stardrive section was approximately 12 decks shorter than the Galaxy's, and the warp nacelles were situated facing downward as opposed to the upward placement on the Galaxy.

Another design incorporated into the Nebula Class Project was the rollpod used in previous classes, such as the Miranda. In fact, as the prototype USS Nebula was being built, one of the chief designers referred to it as a 24th Century Miranda, a nickname that would later be transferred to the Akira Class Project.

By leaving seventy-percent of the interior unfinished, the USS Nebula was able to leave the Utopia Planitia construction yards minus the roll-pod under her own power in late 2353. Around that time the Akira Class Project was approved, and some of the design team members were transferred to that Project.

Starfleet did not feel the need to have two starships with rollpods, and wished to try something different with the Nebula Class. The multi-mission modules used on the New Orleans class vessels had proven useful, and a variant was designed for the Nebula. The original module was ellipitcally-shaped and connected to the stardrive section by the use of two support pylons. The design proved sound, and when equipped with specialized sensor pallets it greatly increased the range of the Nebula's sensors.

The original module design, however, would not last more than a decade. Years after the debut of the ellipitical pod, reports were received claiming that micro-fractures had developed in the support pylons connecting the pod to the ship while at high-warp for durations longer than 48 hours. All Nebula-class ships were restricted to a speed of warp factor five, or warp seven under extreme emergencies, until the problem could be resolved.

The replacement pod came in the form of a triangular module, connected to the stardrive section by a single pylon. This design, however, partially blocked the main shuttlebay, making docking and launching of shuttles difficult. The second shuttlebay, located on deck 22, was expanded to carry more auxiliary craft and act as the primary launchpad for shuttle craft.

PHASERS

Phaser array arrangement: Primary hull: Three dorsal phaser arrays on the primary hull, one primary dorsal array extending 340 degrees and two point defense arrays to either side of the Shuttlebay. The arrays cover the entire semi-sphere above the ship, except for a few blind spots close to the hull and Shuttlebay. One ventral phaser array located on the primary hull extends approximately 320 degrees and covers the forward and lateral portions of the semi-sphere below the ship, except for those blind spots close to the hull. Total of 4 phaser arrays on primary hull.

Secondary hull: One phaser array on each nacelle pylon provides coverage on either side of the ship. A single point defense array near the aft torpedo launcher provides defense to the aft of the ship. A phaser array on the ventral side of the ship provides coverage to areas below the ship. Total of 4 phaser arrays on secondary hull.

When the weapons pod is installed, there are three phaser arrays located on the module itself to provide additional protection.

Phaser Array Type: The Nebula-class vessel utilizes the Type X phaser array system. The eight arrays are all type X, the new standard emitter. Each array fires a steady beam of phaser energy, and the forced-focus emitters discharge the phasers at speeds approaching .986c (which works out to about 182,520 miles per second - nearly warp one). Current Tactical policy has phaser arrays automatically rotate phaser frequency and attempt to lock onto the frequency and phase of a threat vehicle's shields for shield penetration.

Phaser Array Output: Groups of emitters are supplied by redundant sets of energy feeds from the primary trunks of the electro plasma system (EPS). Individually, each type X-emitter can only discharge approximately 5.1 MW (megawatts). However, several emitters can direct their fire onto one target area to increase damage throughput.

Phaser Array Range: Maximum effective range is 300,000 kilometers.

Primary purpose: Assault

Secondary purpose: Defense/anti-spacecraft/anti-fighter

TORPEDO LAUNCHERS

Arrangement: Two torpedo launchers, one located just above the main deflector dish and another at the rear of the ship above the impulse engine, provide the Nebula-class with additional defense and offense capabilities. These launchers are identical to the launchers found in such capital ships as the Galaxy-class, and hence have the capability of firing up to ten torpedoes at one time, with a reload time of six seconds.

Type: Mark XXV photon torpedo, capable of pattern firing (sierra, etc.) as well as independent launch. Standard explosive yield is rated at 18.5 isotons. Some ships also carry a small complement of quantum torpedoes, each with an explosive yield of approximately 50 isotons. Quantum torpedoes are not standard equipment on Federation starships. Tri-cobalt devices are also not standard equipment.

Payload: A Nebula-class vessel can carry a maximum of 250 torpedo casings, with approximately 25% of those casings (63) dedicated to sensor probes. When outfitted with the weapons pod, the number of torpedo casings carried increases to 450 in number.

Range: Maximum effective range is 3,000,000 kilometers. Maximum range before fuel exhaustion is 3,500,000 kilometers.

Primary purpose: Assault

Secondary purpose: Anti-spacecraft

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