|Vessel Classification: Science/Scout|
|Length: 150 meters|
|Height: 79 meters|
|Width: 43 meters|
|Affiliation: Federation Starfleet|
The Oberth-class has had a distinguished Starfleet career in its long life serving in the fleet. Oberths are a capable platform from which to conduct scientific research and exploration. They have some crucial advantages such as their ease to construct, maintain, and run. The design is highly modular, the whole vessel is made up of sections of 50, 150, or 300 tons which were simply bolted together, gamma welded, and sealed. This allows construction to take place in the smallest of facilities, even those intended to handle craft such as shuttles. The warp drive system, one of the most difficult parts of any starship to fabricate, sacrifices a large degree of speed and acceleration in return for simplicity and reliability. These factors enabled no less than eight Oberth class vessels to be built for the same resources as a single Constitution-class starship. In service the Oberth's are just as easy to run as they are to build. The engineering plant is almost wholly automated, and the secondary hull is normally unmanned. The entire engineering crew consists of two officers, one warrant officer, and four enlisted personnel, less than a tenth of the number for a Constitution.
In battle the Oberth, being a vessel of science, relies mostly on the ability to dodge, avoid and hide through outsmarting its enemies, as it has very limited weapons capacity. The Oberth has excellent maneuvering capabilities compared to other classes even its own size. This is because they cannot take many direct hits before being destroyed or at the least heavily damaged.
The exploratory nature of the Oberth-class' mission means that they frequently discover new alien species, but their small size and limited crew numbers meant that they have a very limited diplomatic capability. Although they do occasionally engage in first contact procedures, it is more usual for an Oberth to follow up upon initial contact missions engaged in by other ships, or performing pre-contact evaluations.
The Oberth-class is also famous within Starfleet for perhaps being the longest produced starship in Starfleet history. The design was primarily used by Starfleet and began production in the 2270s, but as the century turned and the multiple uses of the starship became apparent, the design was released and contracted out to civilians looking for a reliable ship. Starfleet continued to produce the Oberth-class well into the 2360s until finally a call was made to replace the outdated design with a newer work horse. With the production of the Nova class the Oberth design was retired and production finished. Over the years all of the Oberth-class ships have met different fates; many hundreds still serve as short-range science vessels, cargo runners and in several different capacities slowly being phased out in favor of the Nova.
The Oberth-class had an standard crew complement of eighty, but was capable of operating with a minimum crew complement of five.
The Oberth-class design was atypical among Federation starships of the time. The outboard plan of the Oberth design incorporated a unique split hull design, with an upper primary hull that was composed mainly of the saucer section, which was mounted onto a rear extension that mounts the impulse drive, and warp drive nacelles to either side to the saucer. The secondary hull was connected to the primary hull at the nacelles by reinforced pylons. The secondary hull itself was oblong in shape. In all, the Oberth contained thirteen decks.
Design features of the secondary hull included a docking port located on the port side of the hull.
More suited for science missions than combat missions, the Oberth-class had minimal defensive systems; it was armed with 4 type VII Phaser arrays mounted in two ports.
As a science vessel, the Oberth-class was designed with specialized shields, which allow them to push through gravitational wavefronts. In conjunction with this feature, the interior bulkheads were composed of victurium alloy to better facilitate shielding.
Oberth-class starships were equipped with escape pods, stowing a minimum compliment of two on board a vessel with a crew of five. These escape pods were capable of transporting at least nine personnel at once.
This is a small list of Oberth class vessels.
- U.S.S. Oberth (NCC-602)
- U.S.S. Lake (NCC-616)
- U.S.S. Lagrange (NCC-617)
- U.S.S. Hawking (NCC-618)
- U.S.S. Copernicus (NCC-623)
- U.S.S. Grissom (NCC-638)- Destroyed
- U.S.S. Banting (NCC-639)
- S.S. Vico (NAR-18834)
- U.S.S. Yosemite (NCC-19002)
- U.S.S. Bonestell (NCC-31600) - Destroyed
- U.S.S. Trosper (NCC-43550)
- U.S.S. Biko (NCC-50331)
- U.S.S. Pegasus (NCC-53847) - Destroyed
- S.S. Tsiolkovsky (NCC-53911 - Destroyed
- U.S.S. Cochrane (NCC-59318)
- U.S.S. Raman (NCC-59983)