- Class and Type: Ronin-class Explorer
- Commissioning Date: 2378
The Ronin-class was fielded in the 2370's to provide a smaller, more numerous counterpart to the Sovereign-class. Whereas the similarly designed Kelvin-class was better armed and more geared towards exploration, the Ronin was designed with more of a scientific bent. The design was intended to parallel that of the Sovereign-class as closely as possible in order to allow for many identical systems to be installed in both classes; this has resulted in significant improvements in the design and construction processes for the Ronin-class and thus allowed comparatively high numbers to be fielded. Compared to the Sovereign-class, the Ronin has a more compact shape - the engineering hull is integrated directly to the saucer section, a measure which saves some 200 square meters of interior volume and materials.
The major difference in capability is the addition of a prominent housing aft of the saucer section of the Ronin-class. This enables the vessel to carry any one of a variety of special equipment pods - current models include a high capacity sensor pod, an enhanced weapons pod, a colony transport pod, an emergency field hospital unit, or a science laboratory pod. Although the basic Ronin design has approximately 80% of the capability of a Sovereign-class vessel in most areas, the addition of the mission pod brings that figure up to 95% or more in that specific area. This flexibility actually allows the Ronin design to accomplish almost identical missions despite its smaller size.
In service the Ronin-class has proved highly satisfactory, and in many ways these ships are a fully satisfactory replacement for the Nebula-class that forms the backbone of Starfleet's exploratory and scientific programs. Like the Sovereign-class they have received regular upgrades to their systems, most notably a new warp core design. With the advent of the threats from the Romulans, Dominion and Borg, in a standard issue weapons pod. the pod carries eight standard torpedo tubes and a stock of 300 casings, approximately doubling the ships overall rate of fire.
Noteworthy Vessels/service records/encounters:
- USS Ronin: NCC-, prototype;
- USS Morningstar: NCC-81269;
- USS Dominance
- USS Enigma
- USS Hobbes
- USS Samurai
- USS Tiber
- USS Discovery-B: NCC-;
Information provided courtesy of Star Trek:Miranda