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Canon Facts Backstage Info  Speculation
Type
Destroyer
Unit Run
USS Chimera
plus eleven other vessels of approximately equal class. Full class production unlikely.
Commissioned
2374
Dimensions
Length : 408.65 m
Beam : 133 m
Height : 66 m
Decks : 16
Mass
1,300,000 tons
Crew
225
Armament
8 x Type VIII Phaser arrays,
2 x Type VII Phaser banks, total phaser output  11,000 TeraWatts
2 x Standard photon torpedo tubes + 30 torpedoes
1 x Second class photon torpedo tube + 25 torpedoes
Defence Systems
Medium capacity shield system, total capacity 240,000 TeraJoules 
Duranium/Tritanium double hull on saucer section
Monotanium double hull on engineering section
Warp Speeds
(TNG Scale)
Normal Cruise : Warp Factor 5
Maximum Cruise : Warp Factor 5.7
Maximum Rated : Warp Factor 7.2 - engines untested for prolonged use at this speed
Strength Indices
(Galaxy class = 1,000)
Beam firepower : 110 
Torpedo Firepower : 310 
Weapon Range and Accuracy : 130
Shield Strength : 45
Hull Armour : 150
Speed : 375
Combat Manoeuvrability : 1,200
Overall Strength Index
Grade 3, approximate
Expected Hull Life
10 years
Refit Cycle
Minor : 6 months
Standard : 1 year
Major : N/A

Notes : With the advent of the Dominion threat, the Federation ramped its starship production up to the highest level ever. Vessels are currently pouring out of the shipyards at an unprecedented rate, and production in every area is almost constantly breaking all previous records. Unfortunately, in the chaos caused by the heavy losses sustained during the early phase of the war it has all too often proved difficult to co-ordinate this effort. As a result, significant numbers of vessels have remained uncompleted because the production of, for example, Intrepid class saucer sections has not matched the production of Engineering hulls for this class. In addition, many ships have sustained battle damage of such a nature that one or more sections have been almost completely destroyed whilst leaving others relatively untouched.

With typical ingenuity, production managers have responded to this state of affairs by turning out of their yards a variety of ships which can only be described as the "Frankenstein's Fleet" of Starfleet. Starfleet has for many years insisted on a high degree of modularization and flexibility in its designs. Intended to allow the ships to be easily maintained whilst underway, the practice also allows components of one starships to be transferred to another with relative ease. The Frankenstein Fleet has once and for all showed the value of this capability.

No two Frankenstein ships are exactly the same, but several major groups have emerged. The so-called Chimera class was the first of these. The USS Chimera was born when the Brektel shipyard was attacked by a wing of Jem'Hadar attack ships. The yard suffered heavy damage, including the total destruction of twelve Intrepid class Engineering hulls. The Saucer Sections, which where not yet attached to the hulls, survived the raid intact.

Under normal circumstances production would have been delayed by at least twelve months whilst new hulls where constructed. However, the yard manager was not prepared to wait that long. The Brektel system contains a graveyard in which are stored several dozen obsolete starship hulls; these where salvaged, disassembled, and fitted to the waiting saucer sections. The engineering hulls used where from a group of craft retired circa. 2250; the nacelles where procured from Constitution refits which last saw service over seventy five years ago. The nacelle struts where purpose designed, but to save design time these where simple scale ups of no less than the struts of a Danube class Runabout!

The USS Chimera was launched within four months of the attack, and another eleven ships followed her over the next six months. The bizarre nature of the class has led to many oddities; most notably in the torpedo armament. The Intrepid has two forward torpedo tubes located in the engineering hull and two facing aft at the rear of the saucer. The replacement engineering hulls have a single aft firing tube; the Chimera therefore has three aft firing tubes but no forward firing torpedoes at all. The tubes are a mix of old and modern, while the phaser armament is comprised of both phaser banks and modern arrays.

The ships various fields had to be reconfigured, and this has led to a significant drop-off in normal performance. The ships are thus relatively slow and not terribly manoeuvrable - or as the Chimera's helm officer famously commented, "they skim through space in exactly the same way that bricks don't". The shields, IDF and SIF systems are also affected somewhat, but in these systems some degree of compensation can be achieved by running the systems above normal operating levels. This has resulted in a relatively high component turnover time, requiring more frequent refits. In the long run the hull life will be drastically reduced by this mistreatment, but these ships are not designed for the long run.

In action the Chimeras are never going to equal the likes of a fully integrated Miranda class, and three of these ships have been lost in action. Nevertheless, several have scored victories - none more impressive than the single Chimera which managed to destroy a Cardassian Galor class warship in a one-on-one engagement just inside the Dominion border. This accomplishment, which earned the Captain a Medal of Honour, silenced the critics and proved that these bizarre ships had earned their place on the front lines.

Little certain can be said regarding the future of the Chimeras. If any of them survive the war it is unlikely that they will continue in their present form. Some have suggested that the Intrepid hull sections should be removed and completed as full ships of that class; but assuming the Federation wins the war, there is likely to be something of a superabundance of starships afterward and so it is unlikely that this will in fact occur. Sadly, those Chimeras which escape the Dominion will likely return to the graveyard from whence they came, this time for good.
 


Last updated : 20th March 1999.
This page is Copyright Graham Kennedy 1998.

Star Trek et al is Copyright Paramount Pictures 1996/97.
No Copyright  infringement is intended and this page is for personal use only.
All  of the above classes of star ships and all of the
named ships are copyright Paramount 1996/97.