The Wanderer-class was a fairly recent design of the late 23rd century, drawing heavily on the architecture of Human starships, such as in the ovoid main hull. It entered service on reference stardate 2/1701 (c. 2278), and approximately 100 were constructed by the late 23rd century, and it became a popular native Orion design. Wanderers were even purchased by several Federation-based groups, despite the high import duties.
The ship was divided into a number of distinct sections for different functions and purposes. The ovoid main hull contained the bridge, sensors, the M1 control computer, and the majority of crew quarters. Its "abdomen", meanwhile, was home to the engineering section. It included a small shuttlecraft bay, with confined spaces for two eight-person shuttlecraft that could be launched simultaneously. The tractor beam was also situated here; this was strong enough that a Wanderer could tow ships up to twice its own mass.
The Wanderer's most unusual features were its outrigger weapons pods, hanging off the base of its narrow waist hull. These were convenient for attaching heavy or dangerous weapons, and allowed for easier access for repairs. They could also be jettisoned in the event of leakage, fire, or the risk of explosion. These allowed for a range of different weaponry options; the heaviest load consisted of four OD-4 disruptors and four Federation-designed FP-1 photon torpedos. With further modifications, like reducing deflector shields, it was possible to equip even heavier weapons.
It had two OWA-2 warp engines, with a maximum safe cruising speed of warp factor 6 and an emergency speed of warp 8. It also had an OIB-3 impulse engine. It had no landing capability however. It was equipped with an OSJ deflector shield.
Wanderer's had a crew of 102 and could accommodate 10 passengers. It had a number of transporters, with two six-person pads, and two small, one regular and one large cargo pads. It could carry up to 9000 metric tons
Like many Orion starships, the Wanderer was labeled a Class V blockade runner by Starfleet for its high speed and small payload, and like many Orion starships it was often called little more than a "pirate's mount". However, the Wanderer was in fact a reliable, powerful and highly versatile vessel, and very different from other blockade runners like the Lightning-class. The weapons pods could be replaced by sensor pods with excellent range and sensitivity, making them highly suitable for certain tasks, such as salvage and rescue, or performing planetary surveys, especially in dangerous and hostile areas where a quick escape might be vital. (FASA RPG module: The Orions: Book of Common Knowledge)
- Images of the Wanderer-class taken from FASA RPG materials appeared in background computer displays in the TNG episodes: "The Naked Now", "The Last Outpost", "Datalore", "Conspiracy".