The Sim

In 2388 a new class of Starship entered service in Starfleet. The class was designated a multi-mission explorer and research vessel capable of deep space exploration missions. The vessel would also be armed well enough to protect herself while in deep space and capable of serving as a heavy cruiser in times of war.

During the near 40 years since the development of the Galaxy class starship began, Starfleet Engineering and the ASDB spent many years analyzing the performance of every class of ship to enter service. Technical upgrades and overhauls to different ships often resulted in improvements being made to the next class in development to ensure that Starfleet always had vessels with cutting edge of technology and that they learnt from the mistakes and faults of other systems. Arguably, two of the most successful starship designs to grace the fleet during the intervening years were the Galaxy and Sovereign class starships, but even in 2382 the Galaxy took an age to produce and was beginning to fall behind the times whilst the Sovereign class had diverted away from being a ship of exploration and now fulfilled combat and command roles around the fleet. Many of the fleets dedicated exploration vessels were aging and falling well behind the times. The Excelsior was on the verge of retirement whilst the Galaxy, Nebula and other sister ships were becoming outdated themselves. Newer exploration vessels didn’t have the power resources to include the most up to date weapons systems. This led Starfleet to request that a team at the ASDB consider designs for a ship that essentially had the best of both worlds; sensor suites and science facilities to rival a Galaxy class but enough armaments so that she could defend herself against the modern threats of species such as the Dominion.

Many designs, both new and already on the drawing board, were considered for the project but most were too similar in design to the Sovereign or too frail to withstand modern threats. No one ship bridged the two classes as Starfleet desired until an Engineer, Dr Ross Mitchell and Lieutenant Commander Nilani Azulas submitted a design for the Onimaru-class starship.

Initial designs proved ideal for what Starfleet had requested. Not only had they planned for the systems to give it the teeth they desired but also a science suite to rival the Galaxy, the design was the ideal cross between the two. Permission was granted for initial simulations and construction to begin on the class prototype. Initial construction of the prototype began in 2382 and moved along quickly. The design integrated many of Starfleet’s newest technologies whilst combining elements from both the Galaxy and Sovereign-classes.

The ship benefited from the impressive defensive systems of the Sovereign class including the multiphasic and regenerative shielding systems and the type-XII phaser arrays whilst she was due to include the saucer separation capability of the Galaxy class. This system was precluded from the final design for the initial vessel in order to make additional room for an increased shuttlebay capacity and additional cargo bays, sensor suites and a new tactical astrometrics suite.

The initial vessel completed construction in early 2385. Designated as the USS Onimaru, her initial cruise was successful, with surprisingly few problems presented themselves, aside from issues resulting from the uprated warp core she had been fitted with. Power was often below the average desired, which required extensive tweaking over several months to correct. Nevertheless, Starfleet was pleased with the results and, as the Onimaru returned to dock in November 2386 after a successful year of service, the class was deemed enough of a success to push forward with an initial batch of five vessels to be constructed, with another three to be built after that. By mid-2388, the first three of the completed Onimaru class vessels were flowing from the shipyards. Two were assigned to the Second Fleet’s exploration of the southern regions of the Alpha and Beta quadrants whilst the fourth vessel in the class was assigned to take the place of the severely battle damaged USS Nogura with the 4th Fleet’s Task Force 9. The fifth would be assigned to the Ares Operational Theater while additional ships (currently building) will be assigned to the Seventh and Ninth Fleets exploration groups.