Designer: Robert C. Dunehew E-mail [email protected]

"Behemoth" class heavy transport

Inscription on Commissioning Plaque:

"Never play cards with a man called Doc.
Never eat at a place called Mom's.
Never sleep with a woman whose troubles are worse than your own."
-- Nelson Algren

General Specifications:
Length: 954m
Width: 327m
Height: 291m
Max Warp: 4.0
Cruise: 3.0
Max. Impulse: 0.125 lightspeed
Crew: 60
Passengers: up to 30,000, depending on the type of modules carried.

Armaments: None.

Type: Heavy transport.

Status: 57 produced during a production run that extended from 2165 to 2259. Of the 57 constructed, 12 were missing and presumed lost, and 2 were destroyed in action, one was converted to a deep space outpost. The remaining 42 are still in service.

About Ship: The Behemoth was originally proposed to UESPA before the outbreak of the Romulan war. No-one could imagine a need for such a large vessel at the time, and it was given the lowest priority. Many UESPA engineers considered the Behemoth concept a challenge, as it would, if constructed, be the largest starship ever constructed. The project was completely halted by the advent of the Romulan war.

With the end of the Romulan war and the formation of the United Federation of Planets came both a surge in exploration and a surge in colonization. The Federation was expanding, sometimes incautiously. Large amounts of freight and passengers needed to be moved between the stars. The Behemoth began to look viable, but many thought it would be impossible to justify the cost of such a large vessel. Starfleet engineers rose to the challenge, and designed one of the most cost-effective vessels ever constructed.

The Behemoth is a showcase of simplicity and practicality. Wherever it does not compromise safety, non-critical materials are used in it's construction. All major components are mounted external to the large cargo hull, accessed by service tunnels. The cargo hull was formed from metallic asteroid fragments within Earth's asteroid belt. A new method allowed these fragments to be melted in vacuum, then centrifugally cast within a mold formed from a hollowed-out asteroid. The drive and command systems are then plasma-welded to the hollow shell, which forms the hold. Every system has designed-in redundancy and is overbuilt to ensure durability.

The hold, enclosing over 1.2 million cubic meters of volume, is lined with anchor points for internal cargo modules. Access to the hold for loading is provided by the clamshell doors which comprise fully one half of the external hull. Cargo modules come in several different types including bulk cargo, containerized cargo, and passenger modules. It is the passenger modules that made large colonization efforts possible. Up to 30,000 passengers can be carried, although usually it was around a third of this number. The remaining space within the hull given over to the vehicles, machines and supplies necessary to properly support a new colony.

There are still 42 Behemoth class vessels in service. Currently this is sufficient to the Federation's needs. Although many have tried, Starfleet engineers have been unable to design a suitable replacement that would be as inexpensive to construct and operate as the original design. The plans are still on record and more could be constructed if required.

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