- For other uses, see Sovereign.
The Sovereign-class is a type of starship built by Starfleet from the late 24th century into the 25th century. Although smaller than Galaxy-class starships, this class of vessel is still a very versatile exploration vessel and is considered to be one of the most advanced class of ships in the Federation. (TNG movie: Star Trek: First Contact; STO video game: Star Trek Online)
Service history and specifications
The Sovereign-class began development in the year 2365 intended to be the latest and greatest in Starfleet exploration starships. Following the USS Enterprise-D's encounter with the Borg later that year, Starfleet began to augment the design with Borg defense in mind. In 2366, Starfleet was exposed to the full force of the Borg in the Battle of Wolf 359. After suffering huge loses with almost no damage done to the Borg, Starfleet's entire policy of starship design shifted towards defense and the Sovereign-class design was subsequently altered to reflect this.
The prototype USS Sovereign was finally launched in 2370, followed two years later by the USS Enterprise-E after the destruction of the USS Enterprise-D. The Enterprise later faced the Borg during their incursion of Federation space in 2373. Proving to be highly successful against the Borg, the Sovereign was hailed as one of the "best balances of exploration and tactical capability since the Constitution-class of a century prior" and was expected to be Starfleet's leading class well into the 25th century. As of 2373, it was Starfleet's most advanced vessel type. It wasn't until the year 2409 that the Sovereign class was replaced by the Odyssey-class as Starfleet's leading class. (ST reference: Starship Spotter; ST website: StarTrek.com; ST reference: Star Trek Online)
Sovereign-class starships were quite adaptable to different missions, whether they be scientific, defensive, or diplomatic. These ships have 29 numbered decks. Two shuttlebays, one on the far aft of the secondary hull, similar to the hangar of the older Constitution and Ambassador-class ships, and another bay on the aft part of deck 7 were built in to the class. The Sovereign vessels were also fitted with a captain's yacht which launched from the underside of the saucer section. The class had 6 standard personnel transporters, 8 cargo transporters and 6 emergency transporters. (Decipher RPG module: Starfleet Operations Manual)
The class featured a warp drive modified not to have damaging effects on subspace, without the necessity of the Intrepid-class's continuum-safe variable geometry warp nacelles. The Sovereign-class had a maximum speed of warp 9.95. (ST reference: Starship Spotter; ST reference: USS Enterprise Owners' Workshop Manual; TNG novel: Ship of the Line)
The Sovereign-class incorporated bioneural gel packs into its computer systems. The bioneural gel in them was obtained from the Kropaslin and was designed by Doctor Delasat Vantimor. (SCE - What's Past eBook: The Future Begins)
The class was capable of separation with the saucer section and secondary hull becoming autonomous vehicles. The USS Enterprise-E performed this maneuver in 2380 during a mission to infiltrate a Borg cube. (TNG novel: Resistance)
In terms of weapons the Sovereign-class starship was fitted with a phaser array, should it be nonoperational then there was an auxiliary pulse phaser cannon that emerged from the hull. This cannon was capable of being manually operated and fired two pulse blasts along with a powered shot. (TNG video game: Star Trek: Elite Force II)
Originally, the Sovereign-class was outfitted with 12 phaser arrays and 5 torpedo tubes. Sometime between 2375 and 2379, the Sovereign-class was refitted with 4 extra phaser arrays mounted on the nacelle pylons and 5 more torpedo tubes. (ST movie: Star Trek: Nemesis)
The Sovereign-class could ordinarily transport up to 6500 passengers in an emergency scenario. During the evacuation of the iy'Dewra'ni refugee camp in 2381, the crew of the Enterprise-E were able to increase this number to over 9800. (TNG novel: Losing the Peace)
The Sovereign-class was launched with a largely grey-white coating, which remained in place beyond the Dominion War. The Enterprise-E and its sister ships received modifications around 2374-2376, and the "Big E," as the Enterprise and her predecessors were called, showed considerably more and darker detail from 2379 onwards. (TNG movies: Star Trek: First Contact, Star Trek: Insurrection, Star Trek: Nemesis, ST video games: Armada, Armada II)
During the conflicts around the Omega particle and the Undine incursion in 2376 and 2377, portions of the ships' hull would change color to indicate allegiance. When assimilated by the Borg, the hull and warp plasma changed further. (ST video games: Armada, Armada II)
In the 25th century, the design of the Sovereign-class assault cruiser - and its mirror universe counterpart, the star cruiser - 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")
The game software of ST video game: Legacy included numerous other names for ships of this class that were not prepared to be used in gameplay, and are hidden in the game's source code, including USS Maddoc, USS LeMunche, USS Yamoto (probably a misspelling of Yamato), USS Syracuse, USS Kaempfert, USS Peter Ham, USS Jennilee, USS Beasley, USS Clyde A. Dugas (probably a misspelling of Clyde A. Douglas), USS Marron W. Swart (probably a misspelling of Marion W. Swart), USS Danvers, USS Tonawanda, USS Jackson, USS Niagara and USS Mysliwy. Possibly, these vessels were intended for some feature of the game that was not completed. For example, none of these ships are coded with registry number graphics like those the included ships possess.