"Sands" class light exploration cruiser
Inscription on Commissioning plaque:
"Science is built up of facts, as a house is built of stones; but an accumulation of facts is no more a science than a heap of stones is a house."
Max. Warp: 7.8
Max. Impulse: 0.8 lightspeed.
Crew: 140; 180 after refit.
Armaments: One bank of heavy lasers (fwd); two accelerator cannons (fwd, aft). After refit in 2263, armaments changed to one bank of dual-mount phasers (fwd) and two photon torpedo launchers (fwd, aft).
Type: Light exploration cruiser.
Status: Class vessel comissioned in 2250, 30 produced between 2250 and 2269. All Sands class ships were refit to upgraded armaments starting in 2263, refit completed in 2267 (ships still in construction were refit before launching). Two were destroyed in action, eight were missing in action. In 2281, seventeen Cargile class destroyers were converted to Sands configuration, making the production total 47 ships in all. All but ten Sands class vessels were demilitarized and sold to private concerns in 2341.
About Ship: In 2247, Starfleet issued a requirement for a light exploration cruiser to be used in low-threat regions of the Federation. As there were a number of ambitious ship-building projects already underway, Starfleet engineering decided to econimise by basing the new vessel on an existing design. After evaluating several different vessels for suitability, they decided that the new light cruiser would be a derivative of the Cargile class destroyer, several examples of which had been service for about one year. The Sands class light cruiser is a fairly straightforward conversion of the Cargile. Externally, there is nothing to distinguish the two except the lack of side-firing weapons.
The Sands is essentially a Cargile class destroyer with the side-facing weaponry removed. The additional space provided by the elimination of these weapons (and the power and control conduits for them) provides considerable volume for laboratory space and crew accomodations. The Sick bay was expanded to support the larger projected crew size, but very little was otherwise altered. When the Cargile class armaments were uprated in 2263, the Sands class was likewise refit with the new weapons. As the new phaser weaponry was considerably more compact than the previous laser weapons, even more internal volume was turned over to science facilities and crew quarters.
The Sands class served for for 91 years, losing two vessels to enemy action, and with eight additional vessels missing in action. In 2281, seventeen Cargiles were converted to Sands class specification. All but ten Sands class vessels were demilitarized and sold to various institutuins of learning and research concerns 2341. The remaining ten are still used as training vessels by Starfleet Academy.
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