- For other uses, see Discovery.
- "We've taken everything that worked with the Intrepid and improved it. This is a ship that will be at the forefront of Starfleet explorations for years to come."
- —'Commander Jacob Kurtz', lead designer
The Discovery-class was a type of long range science vessel in use by the Federation Starfleet in the early 25th century. It was a variant of the Intrepid-class. (STO website: Ships of the Line; ST video game: Star Trek Online)
The Discovery-class was inspired by the unscheduled long-endurance journey through the Delta Quadrant undertaken by the USS Voyager in the 2370s, which made the Intrepid-class the gold standard for deep space explorer starships. Utopia Planitia Fleet Yards planned to update the Intrepid-class with the latest in Starfleet design, and in addition to the Discovery-class also produced the Cochrane-class. (STO website: Ships of the Line)
The Discovery-class was designed primarily for exploration and incorporated increased science capacity and laboratories designed for crew members to put experiments into stasis during emergencies without loss of data.
The designers retained and improved the variable geometry warp nacelles from the Intrepid-class, resulting in a 7% reduction in energy loss over existing vessels. The improved design also incorporated warp foils that extended while the ship was in warp configuration, designed to increase stability at high warp or when using transwarp conduits. The Starfleet Corps of Engineers considered the design a testbed and would be studying the foils' effectiveness over the long term before making a recommendation on whether they would be used in future designs.
The class had less firepower than an escort, but it had a technological advantage over most enemies, with improved sensor arrays and targeting sensors ideal for tracking small targets or targeting subsystems such as impulse engines or deflector shields. The tractor beam could be used to hold an enemy in place for sustained attacks, and the deflector array could transfer energy to other vessels or dissipate an enemy tractor beam.
The ship also featured holoemitters for holographic crew, improved navigation sensors, a dilithium matrix modified to increase the length of time the ship could run on a damaged dilithium crystal, and an astrometrics laboratory. (STO website: Ships of the Line)
In the 25th century, the design of the Discovery-class long-range science vessel allowed its commanding officer to choose from different designs of livery, which could be modified further at starbases. These options were numbered Types, Upgrade and Veteran. (STO - Klingon War mission: "Welcome to Earth Spacedock")
Furthermore, the installation of deflector shields from specific factions modified the hull appearance, including shields from the Reman Resistance, the Breen Confederacy and the Dominion. (STO missions: "Coliseum", "Cold Storage", "Boldly They Rode")
|This article or subsection has an associated category.||Discovery class science vessels|
- USS Discovery (NCC-85527) (prototype) (STO mission: "Welcome to Earth Spacedock")
- USS Opaka (NCC-91784) (STO mission: "Second Wave")