Fighter Guide/General Information

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The Fighter Guide

How To Use This Guide

This guide is intended as just that; a guide. This work is not intended to be a compulsory authority on the subject, nor the definitive guide. It is anticipated that this guide will be updated on an unscheduled, 'as-needed' basis as the need arises. At first, this will no doubt be the work of the authors in conjunction, perhaps, with others. Later, others will do that work, as we intend that this work remain the joint property of the authors and the UFOP RPG (see below).

As to how to use it - use it as you will. If you're a simmer who just wants a cursory treatment of the subject or wishes for some detail to polish off the action, skip everything you don't need and go right to what you do. If you're a command officer and want to make sure your simmers stay true to practical confines to test their creative mettle, read as much of this folio as serves your purpose.

Our intent was to give of ourselves to one of our favorite subjects, to aid UFOP personnel, and to have fun. So when using this Guide, have fun. We hope that reading it for pure pleasure is enjoyable in its own right.

Ownership of the Content

The material herein is inspired by the Star Trek properties and the material licensed there under. This Guide, however, contains not only re-organization and re-treatment of that material, but also original material. The original material in this guide is the property of the authors and of the non-profit United Federation of Planets Role-Playing Group jointly. Either of the owners (either by way of their pseudonyms above or under their given names, in the case of the individual authors) may make use this material for any purpose, now or in the future.

First Edition

This is the first Edition of this Guide. It may be cited as follows: long Form: Complete Guide to Starfleet Tactical Spacecraft, 1st Ed., Daninburg and Kelly, 2003. Short form: Fighter Guide, 1st Ed.

Acknowledgement of Copyrighted and Trademark Material

Star Trek, ship class names (where same are not original), planet names, character names and other material which was first published by Paramount pictures constitute intellectual property of Paramount pictures and appropriate subordinate entities. Because this is the case, this Guide and any future editions of it are not to be used for any commercial purpose of any kind without the express permission of the authors, the UFOP RPG and Paramount, where applicable. Improper use of copyrighted and trademarked material is a violation of United States Law.

Although the authors are not sure what portions of the Peregrine and Raider were derived by the owners of DITL[1], grateful mention is made here of the efforts of the operator of that site for their contribution to Star Trek generally, and specifically indirectly to this work.

About the Authors

The pseudonyms above pertain to real people. However, as the Guide is intended for the most part as an "in character" exposition of the content beginning in section 2.0, the authors refer to their pseudonyms.

Captain Rachel Daninburg is the commanding officer of USS Paladin, stationed out of STARBASE 118 under the 118 Fleet Banner command of Admiral Tristan Wolf. Captain Daninburg holds dual rank in the Starfleet Marine Corps as a Colonel.

Rear Admiral Brian Kelly (Ret./Res.) is the former commanding officer of USS Ranger, USS Ranger-A and USS Titan. All vessels were under the Fleet Banner command of Admiral Tristan Wolf. Admiral Kelly holds dual rank in the Starfleet Marine Corps as a two-star General. Admiral Kelly is now living in the Arcadia artist colony (DENIER III) with his wife, Commander Alis Hege-Kelly and their two children, Corrine and Alexander.

Use of Content in Simming

This Guide is intended to consolidate, revise and catalog the typically shorter-range, "small" tactical spacecraft which in the 24th century of Star Trek resemble "fighters," "gunships" and "assault craft." These craft do not exist, of course, and so, of necessity, characters in the field, (i.e. during simming) will make ad-hoc adjustments.

It would serve later editions of this Guide and those to whom the task of revision falls if those ad-hoc additions and alterations were to be collected and/or collated for incorporation. In this way, each design will "grow" into a more realistic, playable type in future editions.

The above admonishment aside, the entire purpose of this Guide is to make sure that uniformity prevails with the now wide-spread and common use of tactical fighters pioneered in UFOP simming by the authors in 1997 and onward. More simply stated, we intend that a FA-150 carried by USS Paladin is the same as that carried by USS Kodiak, etc. Simmers being an adaptive bunch by nature, given to ad-hoc adjustments to suit plot, are begged to preserve the "realism" which is the goal of this Guide by not utterly ignoring the "limits" and capabilities of these craft.

Outside the Scope

There are many things that this Guide could address. However, it is not intended to speak to any more things than those to which it is intended to apply.

It is not meant to address shuttlecraft (or at least, vessels which, while they have tactical value (i.e. shields and weapons), are meant for work and travel and general mission profiles rather than tactical operations specifically, such as Runabouts). Shuttles and the like are more than adequately detailed in Star Trek publications already extant and on information websites such as the Daystrom Technical Institute site.

Nor is it meant to deal with "Landing Craft" and other very mission-specific spacecraft whose use is limited to certain narrow circumstances.

It is not meant as a guide to simming, only a guide to the factual limitations and features of one particular simming environment.

It is not meant as a signal to UFOP simmers to use these craft ad nauseum. Like spices to a good meal, the material herein is meant to enrich and decorate simming, not to take the place of it, direct it, or mold it. The last thing the authors wish to see is over-use of this material so that every mission of every UFOP vessel features these craft.

Finally, it is not meant to go beyond the Federation's use of the craft to which this Guide speaks. Otherwise, the sheer number, body-composition and variable circumstances of every race in the galaxy would render a discussion of "tactical spacecraft" meaningless[2] .

Use of Terms; Definitions

The following terms and definitions apply in this Guide:

  • Air Superiority (Space Superiority) is the goal of every battle in which flight craft take part, whether their use is the main feature of the battle or just a part. Since the earliest use of fixed wing biplanes on Terra and analogs of that type on other worlds, the clear need for such control has always been evident. He who controls the "high ground" eventually wins the battle - and the war.
  • Air Wing refers to the entire group of fighters or other tactical craft assigned to an installation or a capital ship. The craft are typically grouped into flights of four ships (two pairs of wingmen). The flights are in turn typically grouped into squadrons of four flights each, making a squadron 16 tactical craft each. The size of an air wing can vary, based on the size of the housing facility, be it a capital ship or a base. Wings are numbered, as are the squadrons that make them up, by the command that authorized their formation. Squadrons typically select names for themselves, often hearkening back to historical references that are important to their charter members. As an example, let us take a squadron that has named itself the Wild Cards and uses the names of specific Terran playing cards as call signs. Referring to a specific fighter might then be Ace of Spades, 403rd Fighter Squadron (Wild Cards), 3rd Carrier Air Wing, SARATOGA.
  • CAG (Commander - Air Group) is an old holdover from Terran naval days. The CAG was the senior officer of the aviators on a ship. Although most Federation capital ships are not "carriers," they do carry tactical spacecraft. And although this officer might hold any rank from Ensign to Captain, they are still the CAG in common parlance. In other words, although the acronym uses the word "Commander," the CAG is a job, not a rank.
  • Craft Designation Tags (e.g. "F-, FA-, GS, FS") are used to denote the general mission profile of a ship type. This is not a rigid classification of a ship's capabilities or mission, only a general one. Thus "F" designations apply to fighters, "FA" to fighter-attack craft, "GS" to Ground-Space (local non-warp) fighters, "FS" to fighter-shuttles and "IE" to Indo-Exo (e.g., specially designed for use in atmosphere and space).
  • Fighter applies to craft whose design and main mission capabilities are vehicle to vehicle combat and local "space" or "air" superiority in a particular tactical theater. They tend to be one or two person craft and are heavy on weapons and armor, light on engines except for thruster and impulse capability. Most do not have warp engines.
  • Gunship applies to craft that are heavily armored, sometimes warp capable, and meant to engage smaller capital craft singly or larger capital craft as part of a "wing." These ships are not as maneuverable as fighters, and slower to accelerate at impulse and especially at thrust, but they are usually bear heavier armor and heavier weapons. They sometimes carry one or sometimes two squads of troops or other passengers.
  • Sortie (Strike) is a term meaning the launching of a tactical craft for a specific purpose, though "sortie" can mean any purpose (not necessarily military) while "strike" has an obvious, more narrow meaning. Note that "strike" is a noun in this context, i.e., "Mr. Connor, launch the strike on the Cardassian base." Though the speaker seems to be talking about the "strike" in terms of the action, the noun is actually refers to the ships involved.
  • Strategic generally applies to long term or wide range descriptions, e.g. goals, (sometimes used to describe political goals). In a battle for a star system, the strategic goal would be conquest or occupation of the system. The tactical goals would be interim steps to that strategic goal; a "strategy" is successfully brought about by good use of "tactics."
  • Support Requirements generally speaks to a variety of issues, summarized herein for the sake of convenience, which pertain to, for lack of a better general term, the "care and feeding" of tactical spacecraft. As a rule of thumb, tactical spacecraft need more of everything (hangar space, personnel, fuel, repairs, parts, and skilled crew, etc) than do shuttles.
  • Tactical applies generally to "local" or short-term descriptions and goals. In the battle for a star system, tactical goals might include destruction of key orbital batteries, support for ground units, establishing a mobile command center, etc. All of these tactical goals support the strategic one; "tactics" effectuate a "strategy."
  • Tactical Theater is a term used to describe the "local" environment in which an engagement takes place. The term can be used to describe only the environment in which the craft operate, or it can describe the larger area of battle in which other forces, e.g. ground units, might be operating. Given that some ships herein (and all capital ships) are capable of three types of maneuvering (thruster, impulse and warp), the term "local" becomes very relative. All the same, this term almost always applies to areas no larger than a star system, and in most cases, no larger than an area of engagement described in AUs[3], fractions thereof, or km.

A Note About the Starfleet Marines and Deployable Infantry

From time to time herein mention will be made of these two uniformed services.

While the history of Starfleet Marine Corps (SFMC) and the Deployable Infantry (SFDI) as applied to the UFOP RPG is not the intention of this subsection, a brief summary will be helpful[4].

The Starfleet Marines are an outgrowth of the Terran uniformed service of the same name (and also attributable to many nations of the 18th through 22nd centuries), just as the Starfleet takes its shape and traditions from the Terran naval service. The Corps' main missions include colonial defense, fast deployment to developing theaters where larger scale conflict is anticipated ("First to Fight") and escort/guard duty for Starfleet Embassies, Installations, Capital Ships and personnel. Just as the Terran navy and marine corps had their own separate vessels[5], the SFMC has its own ships and "air wings" suited to its particular needs (e.g. USSM CORAL SEA, USSM WAKE ISLAND, USSM MIDWAY).

The Deployable Infantry (SFDI) are an outgrowth of the Terran "regular" army and serve as the primary armed cavalry, ground and armored force meant to take and hold ground (just as necessary in 24th century warfare as in the 20th and 21st). The DI generally does not have a separate wing of tactical craft, and tend to rely on other services for close support of that type.

Conflicts Between More than One Source

When conflict arises between this Guide and other sources, such as technical websites given over to celebration of Star Trek subjects, or worse, between other parts of UFOP, we will not say "use this Guide first and other sources second." The primacy of this resource over (and, perforce, therefore, exclusive to) other sources is not for the authors, but for the governing bodies of UFOP, to decide. Pending such a decision by them, if a conflict does arise, by all means, pick one or the other and settle the matter. We can imagine no greater source of irritation, inter-vessel embarrassment and general confusion than differing sets of statistics for the same type of craft. If this Guide is to accomplish one of its main missions, then let it be that all FA-150's have the same capabilities (subject to variations of circumstance rather than design) no matter from where the statistics come. Uniformity is as important regarding this subject as it is on other matters.


  • Note: The Daystrom Institute Technical Library ( is one of the most comprehensive information sources available on the Internet for Star Trek ship information.
  • Note: Much discussion, both metaphysical and otherwise, has been given to the apparently 'lucky' break humans managed in meeting so many races which were not terribly far ahead or behind of Terra in terms of technology. Given the epochal time periods usually required by intelligent life to evolve from basic organisms to space-flight, the coincidence of meeting not one but hundreds of other anatomically compatible races all of which were at the same point in their development was, to say the least, suspicious in the extreme. Since learning of the intentional direction of bipedal life-form development in the galaxy by the 'Seeders,' this coincidence in terms of time has been - for the most part - explained.
  • Note: One AU, or Astronomical Unit, is the distance from Earth to the Sun in the Terran System. It is about 8.5 light-minutes.
  • Note: That history has already appeared in a past issue of the UFOP Reporter and can, if the memories of the authors serve, be obtained from that quarter or from the UFOP generally
  • Note: Though while marines sometimes serve in certain capacities on naval vessels, the reverse is not true.