Discovery Federation Ship Classes

Starfleet ShipsNon-Starfleet ShipsShuttlesSpace StationsSatellites and ProbesUnknown Starfleet Class

 

There are fundamental discrepancies between the reimagined Starfleet ships of Discovery, the ones of the five classic Star Trek series and the ones of the Abramsverse, discrepancies that require to separate them.

 

Starfleet Ships


Cardenas

General description

The Cardenas class is a comparably large ship type that is in service in the mid-23rd century. The design features a saucer with a small boxy engineering hull at its aft end and four angular nacelles on pylons that are arranged as an "X".

Known ships

USS Buran NCC-1422
USS Yeager NCC-1437
 

Annotations

  1. The Cardenas class was designed by John Eaves.
  2. The USS Yeager can be seen in DIS: "Battle at the Binary Stars". The ship was identified by John Eaves.
  3. Length of the ship according to the Official Starships Collection.
  4. We can clearly identify the Mirror Universe ISS Buran NCC-1422 in DIS: "What's Past Is Prologue" (pictured on the right). It is a reasonable assumption that the USS Buran of "our" universe is the same class and has the same registry.
  5. John Eaves named the class for Brigadier General Robert L. Cardenas of the US Air Force.

Class specifications

Length: 441m

 


Constitution

General description

The Constitution class was introduced around 2240. The design consists of a round saucer, thin neck, tubular engineering hull, tapered pylons and tubular nacelles. The ships of this class have a reputation of being illustrious, although they are only mid-sized.
Article: The Visual Continuity of Star Trek

Known ships

USS Defiant NCC-1764
USS Enterprise NCC-1701
 

Annotations

  1. The USS Enterprise NCC-1701 appears in DIS: "Will You Take My Hand?". The ship was heavily redesigned to fit with the reimagined style of Discovery (allegedly "to utilize 2018's VFX technology") and was also scaled up in order not to be dwarfed by the massive ship designs of the series.
  2. Although the relative proportions are overall still roughly the same, there are considerable changes to all elements of the ship. The bridge module is flatter now (although on the ship as it must have looked in 2257 it should be taller than the familiar one on the series Enterprise from TOS). Actually, it looks like the whole deck 1 is missing, and the bridge is on what was deck 2. Quite possibly the Enterprise also has the customary bridge window of the Abramsverse and Discovery now. The saucer edge slopes up at 45 instead of previously 60. The impulse engines have a very different shape on the redesign. The neck was shortened. The redesigned engineering hull is shorter and also less tapered and more rounded, like on the 2271 refit. Likewise, the new shuttlebay resembles the refit version, rather than the original. The same goes for the warp pylons, which are sloped and tapered instead of straight and rectangular, and were shortened just like the neck. They also sport a previously unseen slit. The redesigned nacelles only very roughly resemble the original ones. They incorporate elements familiar from Enterprise NX-01, and overall various add-ons the original Enterprise never had. Only the nacelle end caps are a small tip of the hat, as they look like on the pilot version from "The Cage" and "Where No Man Has Gone Before", with a flat sloped surface instead of the later "ball" of the series Enterprise.
  3. While the intention of the redesign was to adapt the ship for an appearance on Discovery, all changes to the original Enterprise use retro elements that are rather reminiscent of the NX-01 and the Enterprise refit from TMP. Except for the possible bridge window, there is no "DIS style" in the redesign (no angular nacelles, no odd angles in the hull, no boxy add-ons), which raises the question why this ship had to be redesigned at all, rather than only refined with more details such as thrusters and visible hull plates. The blue lighting of space would have done the rest to make it fit. And since the Enterprise retro redesign, as unwarranted it may be, arguably looks a lot better than most other DIS ships, it further calls the decision into question to alter everything else in Discovery so radically, "for a modern audience".
  4. Even though they may love TOS, the makers of Discovery overwrite the visuals of TOS with their reinterpretations, including the new ship designs (not to mention new Klingons). As far as Discovery goes, the look of the TOS Enterprise has never existed. As much as we may still want to reconcile their new Enterprise (which looks good after all!) with TOS, it would make absolutely no sense if the ship had been extensively refitted between 2254 ("The Cage") and 2257 (DIS: "Will You Take My Hand?"), only to be reverted to the familiar look until 2264 (TOS: "Where No Man Has Gone Before"). Even if we decided to discard the visuals of the two pilots in favor of the rest of TOS, the new appearance of the Enterprise has too little in common with the ship as it looked in TOS. It already includes many cues of the 2271 refit ("Star Trek: The Motion Picture"). So it seems Discovery keeps the option to spare the TOS movie era (well, except for the size problem), but the series shows no mercy with TOS, whose designs are retroactively invalidated.
  5. Basically, all known Constitution-class ships should exist in the reimagination of Discovery. But so far only the USS Defiant NCC-1764 was confirmed. The wireframe diagram of the ship shown in DIS: "Despite Yourself" probably shows us the appearance of the ship after 100 years in Terran service, but it is clear that the Defiant must have looked just like the reimagined Enterprise when it crossed over to the Mirror Universe.
  6. Regarding the size, the estimation of 385m is based on a benevolent supposition that "only" the deck heights were changed from 3m to 4m, which would leave the general structure of the iconic ship intact. Yet, a 1/1000 scale model of the ship to be released by Polar Lights reportedly measures 18.9", which would make the ship as long as 480m.

See also Starfleet Ship Classes A-K

Class specifications

Length: approx. 385m

 


Crossfield

General description

The Crossfield class is a large experimental ship type of the mid-23rd century. The design consists of a saucer with three separate concentric rings, which is connected by a thin neck to an engineering hull with a triangular planform. The two nacelles of this ship type are extraordinarily long. USS Discovery and USS Glenn were equipped with a revolutionary spore drive that could take the ships to remote regions of space almost instantly. The ship goes to "black alert" when this drive is being activated, upon which the two outer rings of the saucer hull spin in opposite directions. After the loss of the Glenn, the Discovery is the only vessel left with this drive. Its use, however, was discontinued. The armament of the Crossfield class includes phasers and photon torpedoes. A spacious shuttlebay is located at the aft end of the engineering hull.

Known ships

USS Discovery NCC-1031
USS Glenn NCC-1030
 

Annotations

  1. The design of the Crossfield class bears a resemblance to the two "Planet of the Titans" prototypes of the 1970s.
  2. The Crossfield class was specifically designed as a testbed for the new spore drive. Assuming that ship classes are still named for the lead ship, the USS Crossfield must have been destroyed or is permanently out of service for other reasons, because the Discovery and the Glenn were explicitly said to be the only ships with this technology.
  3. The crew complement can be inferred from a statement by Saru that he has "134 souls to protect" (DIS: "Choose Your Pain").
  4. Length of the ship according to the Official Starships Collection.
  5. John Eaves named the class for Albert Scott Crossfield, the first pilot to fly at twice the speed of sound.
  6. According to Bryan Fuller, the registry NCC-1031 is a reference to Halloween.

Class specifications

Length: 750.5m
Crew complement: 136

 


Engle

General description

The Engle class is in service in the mid-23rd century. It is a mid-sized ship type. The design consists of a saucer that blends into a tapered section at its aft end, atop a boxy lower hull. Two angular nacelles are placed on either side of the ship's hull.

Known ships

USS Earhart NCC-1052
USS T'Plana Hath NCC-1004
 

Annotations

  1. The Engle class was designed by John Eaves.
  2. Both the Earhart and the T'Plana Hath can be seen in DIS: "Battle at the Binary Stars". This was confirmed by John Eaves.
  3. Length of the ship according to the Official Starships Collection.
  4. John Eaves named the class for USAF test pilot and astronaut Joe Engle.

Class specifications

Length: 387.7m

 


Hoover

General description

The Hoover class is in service in the mid-23rd century. It is a mid-sized ship type. The design consists of a saucer that blends into a tapered section at its aft end. The two nacelles are located underneath the ship's hull.

Known ships

USS Dana NCC-1690
USS Edison NCC-1683
 

Annotations

  1. The Hoover class was designed by John Eaves.
  2. Both the Dana and the Edison can be seen in DIS: "Battle at the Binary Stars". This was confirmed by John Eaves.
  3. Length of the ship according to the Official Starships Collection.
  4. John Eaves named the class for USAF pilot Bob Hoover, who escaped Nazi captivity in a stolen plane and served as test pilot.

Class specifications

Length: 356.3m

 


Magee

General description

The Magee class is in service in the mid-23rd century and is a comparably small ship type of its era. The characteristic feature of this design is that the two nacelles intersect the saucer hull.

Known ships

USS Shran NCC-1413
 

Annotations

  1. The Magee class was designed by John Eaves.
  2. The USS Shran appears in DIS: "Battle at the Binary Stars". The ship was identified by John Eaves.
  3. Length of the ship according to the Official Starships Collection.
  4. John Eaves named the class for John Gillespie Magee Jr., poet and Royal Canadian Air Force pilot.

Class specifications

Length: 225.5m

 


Malachowski

General description

The Malachowski class is in service in the mid-23rd century and belongs to the smaller ship classes of its time. The design consists of a saucer that blends into a rectangular aft section. Two angular but tapered nacelles are located underneath the main hull.

Known ships

USS Clarke NCC-1661
USS Sioux NCC-1621
 

Annotations

  1. The Malachowski class was designed by John Eaves.
  2. Both the Clarke and the Sioux can be seen in DIS: "Battle at the Binary Stars". This was confirmed by John Eaves.
  3. Length of the ship according to the Official Starships Collection.
  4. John Eaves named the class for Nicole Malachowski, first female pilot of the USAF Thunderbirds.
  5. The registry of the Sioux, NCC-1621, would belong to the Mayflower in the Kelvin Timeline.

Class specifications

Length: 277.3m

 


Nimitz

General description

The Nimitz class is in service in the mid-23rd century. The class belongs to the large ship types of Starfleet, the USS Europa serving as Admiral Anderson's flagship in the Battle at the Binary Stars. The main hull is saucer-shaped. Two angular nacelles are placed below and two above the saucer hull. The two latter are connected by a horizontal strut with a pod in the center.

Known ships

USS Europa NCC-1648
 

Annotations

  1. The Nimitz class was designed by John Eaves.
  2. In DIS: "Battle at the Binary Stars", the USS Europa was Admiral Anderson's flagship. The Europa was destroyed by the cloaked Klingon cleave ship as a demonstration of power. Another ship of the class can be seen at the space station in DIS: "Choose Your Pain".
  3. This ship class is 383.3m long according to the Official Starships Collection, although owing to its deck structure it rather looks like 500m. There are worse problems regarding the DIS ships, so EAS acknowledges the officially given sizes.
  4. John Eaves named the class for Chester Nimitz, commander-in-chief of the US Pacific Fleet in WWII.

Class specifications

Length: 383.3m

 


Shepard

General description

The Shepard class is in service in the mid-23rd century and is a large ship type. The design consists of a saucer and a pylon assembly leading up to two angular but tapered nacelles above the saucer hull.

Known ships

USS Gagarin NCC-1309
USS Kerala NCC-1255
USS Ride NCC-1265
 

Annotations

  1. The Shepard class was designed by John Eaves. If we turn the ship upside down, it looks almost like the Walker class, because it is based on a discarded design for the Shenzhou.
  2. The Kerala and the Ride appear in DIS: "Battle at the Binary Stars", the Gagarin is ambushed and destroyed by the Klingons in DIS: "Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum". We can also see a ship of the class at Starbase 1 in DIS: "The War Without, the War Within".
  3. Length of the ship according to the Official Starships Collection.
  4. Note that the Kerala and the Gagarin have different styles of the hull markings. It is possible that the lettering was enlarged for the Gagarin so the ship that is also mentioned in dialogue would be better recognizable on screen.
  5. John Eaves named the class for test pilot and astronaut Alan Shepard, commander of the Apollo 14 mission.

Class specifications

Length: 505.5m

 


Walker

General description

The Walker class is in service in the mid-23rd century, and is considered an old design at this time. It is a large ship type. The design consists of a saucer and a pylon assembly leading down to two angular but tapered nacelles below the saucer hull. The bridge is located on the underside of the saucer. The class is capable of atmospheric flight and of landing on a planet. The transporters of the USS Shenzhou are still based on the outdated lateral vector principle.

Known ships

USS Shenzhou NCC-1227
 

Annotations

  1. The Walker class was designed by John Eaves.
  2. Length of the ship according to the Official Starships Collection.
  3. John Eaves named the class for Joseph A. Walker, NASA test pilot.

Class specifications

Length: 423m
Deck count: 15

 

Non-Starfleet Ships


Grimes's yacht

General description

This is a privately owned ship of arms dealer Baron Grimes.

Known ships

No name given
 

Annotations

Grimes's yacht can be seen at the end of DIS: "Magic to Make the Sanest Man Go Mad".

Class specifications

None available

 


T'Plana Hath type

General description

This is a possibly old Vulcan ship type that is still in use by the mid-23rd century.

Known ships

No name given
 

Annotations

The T'Plana Hath as in "Star Trek: First Contact" can be seen in the background of Burnham and Sarek's katra vision in DIS: "Lethe", the moment that Sarek first attacks Burnham. It may have been meant rather as an Easter egg than as an attempt to create continuity. Anyway, the ship looks like it could really belong there. We don't know if it's actually the same 200 years old design, but it doesn't look like a museum piece, so a similar ship could be still in service in the mid-23rd century.
See also Vulcan Ship Classes

Class specifications

None available

 


Vulcan cruiser

General description

This is a small warp-capable ship of Vulcan origin in the mid-23rd century. Its warp engine is ring-shaped, as it is typical of several Vulcan designs.

Known ships

No name given
 

Annotations

  1. The Vulcan cruiser appears in DIS: "Lethe" as the small ship that Sarek is on when his aide committed a suicide bombing. One more can be seen on a lower landing platform. We can also see several ships of this design in Burnham and Sarek's katra flashback in the same episode.
  2. The designation "cruiser" (previously "corvette") is used by Eaglemoss for the Official Starships Collection.
  3. The cruiser is 43.3m long according to the Official Starships Collection scale chart.

Class specifications

Length: 43.3m

 

Shuttles


Escape pod

General description

This type of escape pod is used on ships of the Nimitz class and the Walker class.

Known shuttles

No name given
 

Annotations

In DIS: "Battle at the Binary Stars", the Europa and the Shenzhou use the same type of escape pods, which looks much like a fully-fledged shuttle.

Class specifications

None available

 


Mudd's shuttle

General description

This is a very small ship, actually more like a shuttle, for probably no more than one passenger.

Known shuttles

No name given
 

Annotations

All we can see of Mudd's shuttle that he hides inside the gormagander in DIS: "Magic to Make the Sanest Man Go Mad" is a very rough outline produced by Tilly's and Burnham's scans.

Class specifications

None available

 


Standard shuttle

General description

This type of a warp-capable shuttle is used on the USS Discovery and other starships of the mid-23rd century, as well as for prisoner transports. It has two pilot seats, and a large crew or cargo compartment.

Known shuttles

DSC-01
SPT-21
 

Annotations

In DIS: "Context Is for Kings", the prisoners arrive aboard the Discovery in the shuttle SPT-21. The Discovery has at least one shuttle of this type, the repeatedly seen DSC-01 (call sign "Disco One"). Admiral Cornwell's "cruiser" in DIS: "Lethe" also appears to be of this type. We can't see how she arrives, but when she departs for the peace mission, she can see boarding such a shuttle. The registry is not legible, but arguably it is her own shuttle or "cruiser", not one of the Discovery.

Class specifications

None available

 

Unidentified Earth shuttles We can see several shuttles in Paris towards the end of DIS: "Will You Take My Hand?".

Unidentified Vulcan shuttles Several shuttles appear on Vulcan at the beginning of DIS: "Lethe".

 


Worker bee

General description

The worker bee is a small one-seated craft for repairs and other extravehicular tasks. The craft can be equipped with manipulator arms and/or laser cutters.

Known shuttles

No name given
 

Annotations

We can see the worker bee in DIS: "The Vulcan Hello" and "Despite Yourself".

Class specifications

None available

 

Space Stations


Spacedock type

General description

This is a huge space station in Earth's orbit.

Known stations

Earth Spacedock
 

Annotations

The space station near Earth that the Klingons approach at the beginning of "Will You Take My Hand?" is quite obviously meant to be the familiar Earth Spacedock with its characteristic mushroom shape, as it first appeared in "Star Trek III", here still under construction.
See also Federation Space Stations

Class specifications

None available

 


Starbase 1 type

General description

This design is common to a number of large starbases, such as Starbase 1. It has docking facilities for several starships. Similar space stations also exist in Earth's orbit.

Known stations

Starbase 1
 

Annotations

  1. The design first appears as an unnamed starbase in DIS: "Choose Your Pain". In DIS: "The War Without, the War Within", the Klingons have conquered Starbase 1 and slaughtered its crew.
  2. We can see at least two more space stations of the same design in Earth's orbit at the end of DIS: "Will You Take My Hand?". These may be supposed to be satellites, but owing to the design they look like space stations.
  3. If the distance of 100AU from Starbase 1 to Earth is correct, it is obviously a major error that we see the station in orbit of an inhabitable planet.

Class specifications

Crew complement: 80,000

 

Satellites and Probes


Interstellar relay

General description

Such a type of unmanned relays allows interstellar communication links through subspace.

Known relays

No name given
 

Annotations

  1. The Shenzhou investigates a malfunctioning (and actually sabotaged) interstellar relay in DIS: "The Vulcan Hello".
  2. An unidentified satellite can be seen at the end of DIS: "Will You Take My Hand?", as the Klingon fleet retreats from Earth. It is the same design as the interstellar relay and may have the same function.

Class specifications

None available

 


Mycelial transport vessel

General description

This is an unmanned probe capable of planetary landing and take-off.

Known probes

No name given
 

Annotations

The transport vessel is used to plant and harvest spores in DIS: "The War Without, the War Within". While this may not be the original purpose this kind of probe was developed for, it seems likely they were designed to fertilize planets with plants, rather than fungi.

Class specifications

None available

 

Unidentified Earth satellites Several satellites can be seen in Earth's orbit at the end of DIS: "Will You Take My Hand?". They are too small and too indefinite to be identified.

 

Unknown Starfleet Class

USS Cooper, mentioned as undergoing a refit in DIS: "Despite Yourself"
The crew of the Discovery actually encounters the Mirror Universe version of the ship (which was not shown either).

USS Hoover, mentioned as destroyed in a Klingon attack in DIS: "Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum"
We may assume this is the class ship of the Hoover class, but it is not entirely certain.

USS Muroc, mentioned as destroyed in a Klingon attack in DIS: "Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum"

USS Saratoga, mentioned as destroyed in a Klingon suicide attack in DIS: "The War Without, The War Within"

 


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