The Lightning-class, model number B-6, was a courier starship of Orion design, in operation during the late 23rd century. Like many Orion vessels, it was known for its high speed and ability to get to where it was needed, whatever the barriers. (FASA RPG module: The Orions: Book of Common Knowledge)

Labeled a Class IV blockade runner by Starfleet for its high speed and small payload, as they did for many Orion starships, the Lightning-class was designed as a courier, intended to be fast, light and to carry small, valuable cargoes (up to 2000 metric tons). It was no ordinary merchant vessel, but with a small crew, it didn't make a very good pirate ship either.

The ship's systems were dedicated to speed. It had two OWA-1 warp engines, with a maximum safe cruising speed of warp factor 8 and an emergency speed of warp 10. It also had an OIB-3 impulse engine. It had no landing capability however. It had a MK-IV control computer and fail-safe navigation systems, so that even if main sensors were damaged, accurate guidance was still possible.

A Lightning orbiting a planet

It was remarkably well-armed for its size, with six OD-3 disruptors, with three mounted for forward fire, enabling it to blast out of its way anything that it could not outrun. However, its OSF deflector shields were so weak that they had a negligible effect on defenses. It made up for this with a strong hull and incredible speed, leaving many Orion captains to boast how both their dorsal wings were shot up and they still got away.

Lightnings had a crew of 23, typically diehard spacers who had to stay alive and deliver the cargo if they wanted to get paid. It could accommodate 10 passengers. It had a number of transporters, with two eight-person pads, and two small, one regular and one large cargo pads.

The Lightning-class was designed during the turbulent times of the Four Years War (c. 2250s), though the exact date of entering service was unknown. Outwardly, it bore a resemblance to a number of other, older Orion starships of a similar role. Approximately 50 were constructed by the late 23rd century, and it became a popular native Orion design. (FASA RPG module: The Orions: Book of Common Knowledge)

The Lightning-class is said to be "more recent" than the Wanderer-class, which entered service in reference stardate 2/1701 (c. 2278).

Variations[edit | edit source]

FASA's earlier Starship Tactical Combat Simulator game presented a slightly different Lightning-class, in which the diagram showed the dorsal fins extending to only halfway along the vessel's body, but with identical game statistics. This image also appeared for an unnamed "Orion Blockade Runner" of similar statistics in FASA's Star Trek: The Role Playing Game (2001). These may each be subclasses or variants of the Lightning, or one is one of the similar Orion vessels that bear a superficial resemblance to the Lightning-class mentioned in The Orions. Apart from the diagram, the artwork in The Orions depicts these vessels. Alternative information for vessels of this type, different from that above, is presented here.

The Orion Blockade Runner was an example of an Orion pirate ship, though not a true ship class as Orions had no standard classes.

It was designed for high speed but little defense; instead, speed was its defense. It had six Klingon-designed disruptors, with two forward, 1 starboard, 1 port, and 2 aft. It had a standard range of 6 years at LYV. Despite its small size, it was quite sturdy, as the superstructure was reinforced throughout. It weighed 20,000 metric tons when empty. (FASA module: Star Trek: The Role Playing Game (box set))

Ships[edit | edit source]

Starship classes of the Orions
By name Brigand (cruiser)Corsair (flight-deck cruiser)CutpurseDacoitDwarfstarHarmonyLightningMaraarMarauderSlavemasterSugaWandererWarbarge Emblem of the Orion.
By type Orion corvetteOrion interceptorOrion marauderOrion pirate shipOrion raiderOrion scout shipOrion slaver
Mirror universe Brigand (mirror)Corsair (fighter)
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