- For other uses, see Pathfinder.
The Pathfinder-class was a type of science vessel fielded by the Federation Starfleet beginning in the year 2410. It was an advanced variant of the Intrepid-class starship of the 2370s. (STO video game: Delta Rising; STO website: [Intrepid Class Starship])
When planning for Operation Delta Rising began, the Starfleet Corps of Engineers decided that an updated version of the Intrepid-class was necessary. Most of the technologies used in the Pathfinder-class were tested aboard USS Voyager before it departed for the Delta Quadrant in 2410. With the approval of Rear Admiral Tuvok, the class entered full production. (STO website: [Intrepid Class Starship])
The Pathfinder-class featured a secondary deflector dish and could be equipped with the ablative generator pioneered on later Intrepid-class vessels, as well as the nadeon detonators used on Bellerophon-class starships. In addition it could deploy an Aeroshuttle from a berth at the bow to assist it during combat. (STO website: [Intrepid Class Starship])
In the 25th century, the design of the Pathfinder-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 - "The 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")