Inquiry class/Class Profile

Utopia Planitia Fleet Yards


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Inquiry Class Heavy Cruiser
Commissioned: 2398

Class Profile by the Advanced Starship Design Bureau

Introduced in the late 2390s, the Inquiry class heavy cruiser is a sector patrol craft recommended for use at the outer edges of Federation space. With the threat of the Borg still present and the dissolution of the Romulan Neutral Zone, Starfleet saw the need for a heavier and longer duration ship dedicated more towards a combat role. Science and medical facilities are present; however, the ship's primary purpose is sector control. With two large hangar bays, fore and aft, this vessel can carry a wing of support fighter craft in addition to a full complement of shuttle and work craft.

Class Introduction

After experiences with the Borg by the USS Enterprise-D and the Dominion War, Starfleet sought design solutions, eventually settling on smaller and more numerous escort ships. While escort ships provide considerable firepower and maneuverability, they often lack in defensive power and outright speed due to the size often limiting warp capability. The Inquiry class was intended to bring the heavy firepower of an escort with the defensive capabilities and speed of the larger cruisers such as the Sovereign class.

Using input from Starfleet engineer Geordi LaForge, the Advanced Variable Deflector Array was the core focus. Prior to the abduction of Captain Picard, the crew of the Enterprise devised a way to use their deflector dish to emit a high EM band energy beam to attempt destruction of the Borg cube they had encountered. The ad hoc modifications damaged the deflector and drained considerable energy from the ship. In addition, the cube was not destroyed due to knowledge procured via the assimilation of Captain Picard. High radiation levels were also seen from deployment of the weapon. Seeing the effectiveness of the Dominions phased polaron beam, research went into developing similar weapons. However, it was found that the Dominions power systems functioned in a different and incompatible manner from Starfleets common matter/anti-matter and impulse generators and how they feed Starfleets traditional weapons, thus making the beam weapon impractical for widespread deployment. This, however, led to further development of the AVDA using a phased polaron beam with its own independent generator and associated power delivery systems.

Inquiry class heavy cruiser

Following design concepts of the Sovereign and Juneau class of ships, the Inquiry features an overall hull design which is low in profile at 17 decks tall, only of which 7 are in the engineering hull (not including deck extensions from the saucer section). Though the ship is similar in size to the Sovereign, thicker armor and the carrier bay provide, overall, lesser space for staffing the ship, which given limited science facilities and a more combat focused role, is not needed. The engineering hull is afforded extra protection via thicker armor than the saucer section. With combat in mind, the warp core and auxiliary impulse generator are situated deep in the engineering hull to provide maximum protection.

The ship is provided with a through hull carrier bay for small craft operations and cargo storage. This bay runs from the front of the saucer section to the rear of the engineering hull. This space, in addition to support craft and cargo, can provide considerable space for personnel evacuations (i.e.: Hobus Supernova evacuations of nearby colonies).

Originally designed with a standard warp engine in mind, the design was changed to accommodate the more up to date OR-300 Series Mk V made available due to the success of Project Capstone. The result is a space frame which is slightly overpowered and out of balance. To keep from destabilizing the new design of warp core, a third auxiliary impulse generator is provided to power the AVDA.

Armament was considerable with thirteen type XII arrays and the ability to fire two at once from the fore end (see Nova class) doubling the potential damage output. Four forward facing torpedo launchers, two of which are rapid fire quantum launchers and the other two burst fire photon launchers, allows for a high damage output in the offensive role.

Black-and-white ship illustrations by Tim Davies unless otherwise noted. Used with permission. All other images are copyright to their respective owners.
REV SD 239806.07