Sunfish class scout/reconnaissance frigate
Max Warp: 9.7
Max Impulse: 0.95 lightspeed
Crew: 5 (10 for extended missions)
Armaments: Eight phaser cannon of classified output (4 fwd, 4 aft); four quantum torpedo launchers of classified capability (fwd).
Type: Scout/Reconnaissance Frigate
Status: One undergoing trials, one converted as part of a Starfleet Academy training project. Ten partially completed hulls have been placed in secure reserve, so their status is effectively unknown.
About Ship: The "Sunfish" class vessel was one of several alternatives considered for production by Starfleet for use against the Borg. Unlike the Defiant class, the Sunfish relies upon stealth, speed, and maneuverability for protection, rather than heavy shielding and armor. The Sunfish is equipped with a variety of low-observable technologies, as well as an advanced sensors suite with the primary receptors incorporated into a distributed network over the vesselís surface.
The quantum torpedoes originally designed for the Sunfish were equipped with disposable warp propulsion units and a short-duration cloaking device. This was intended to allow the Sunfish to fire torpedoes while cloaked without betraying itís location and velocity, as well as affording the torpedoes greater range and maneuverability. This aspect of the Sunfish class failed, although the concept (without cloaking) was eventually developed into the enhanced quantum torpedo.
The bridge pod on the leading edge of the main hull, or "wing" is designed to separate from the rest of the vessel and act as a small shuttle when required. The wing remains in orbit, and is capable of relaying data to/from the separated pod. The pod also serves as a lifeboat in case of catastrophic failure of the warp core. The wing itself contains only minimal life support; it is so densely-packed with equipment that it has no provision for passengers or crew, apart from access conduits for maintenance.
About twelve Sunfish class vessels were in various stages of construction when the most recent Borg incursion was halted. Since the Defiant class had proven itself a capable design and the Sunfish represented an untested doctrine, Starfleet decided to suspend Sunfish class production and use the one completed vessel as a technology testbed. Another was converted to a diplomatic courier as part of a Starfleet Academy training excercise. The disposition of the remaining ten hulls remains classified by Starfleet Command.
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