Polaris Class Exploratory Cruiser
The Polaris class Starship development project began in early 2380 at Utopia Planitia Fleet Yards. Starfleet was looking for a new starship that would counter the growing threat of a Romulan invasion after the Battle of the Bassen Rift in 2379. The project took a more peaceful turn when it was discovered that the Romulan sun would soon go supernova, threatening to destroy the Romulan system and its inhabited planets and threatening the lives of billions of people in the Beta Quadrant. Starfleet needed more ships to render aid and thus, construction of the Polaris prototypes commenced, with the Starfleet ASDB and Corps of Engineers believing they had a number of years before the supernova would occur. The Polaris design was increased in size, rivalling that of the famous Galaxy-class, allowing more space to relocate thousands of colonists and more cargo space to assist said races. In order to add additional security to the ship, the successful saucer separation system of the Galaxy and Prometheus class starships was utilised on the Polaris so that as many occupants as possible could be kept safe in the event of catastrophic emergency.
Evacuation of the Romulan colonists was already underway when the USS Polaris (NX-92300) began space trials in 2385. Whilst the ship was undergoing tests in the Andor system, rogue synthetic lifeforms attacked the Utopia Planitia Fleet Yards on Mars and decimated the construction facilities there, destroying the remaining three Polaris class space frames that were under construction (Procyon, Sigma, Cassiopeia). The USS Polaris was forced to travel to the Beta Antares Fleet Yards, now the largest construction facility in the Federation, in the Antares sector.
Whilst Romulan evacuation efforts were put on hold, Starfleet began to shift to a more militaristic stance in response to rising tensions. New space frames were laid for ships across the Federation as a massive construction effort began. At the Beta Antares facility, five new Polaris space frames were begun whilst the USS Polaris underwent final construction efforts and her shakedown. Advances in technology such as advanced shield grids, enhanced phaser systems and even the newly enhanced Quantum Slipstream Drive technology were implemented into the Polaris vessels in order to make them as capable as possible.
The Daystrom Institute had developed a new QSD which would allow larger starships to traverse supspace. A new deflector dish, reverse engineered from vessels such as the Dauntless and the Vesta-class was installed, but Starfleet underestimated the new drive. During space trials of the USS Cassiopeia in 2391, it was discovered that the drive could only be used in short intervals to prevent system wide power failures. Standard EPS conduits could not handle the massive power transfer required and kept failing, burning out and becoming unusable. Whilst the Cassiopeia returned to Beta Antares, those vessels undergoing construction had their EPC conduits replaced with those used on some of the newer Starbases being built, conduits that could certainly handle the requirements of the new drive. A new, more powerful warp core (the LF-47 Advanced Linear Warp Drive Unit) was installed, a drive that worked seamlessly with the QSD and allowed starships to alternate between the drives with relative ease and little downtime. However, even with the advancements, the QSD still had limitations. It could only be used to cover a distance of 120,000 kilometers an hour, for a maximum of 6 continuous hours before a cool-down period of 16 hours would be required.
With the first six ships of the class launched for active service in 2393, and the second batch of six already under construction, lessons were learnt from those vessels operating around the Federation.
In 2394, the crew of the Luna-class USS Ulysses discovered their vessel had been sabotaged by agents working for an undercover Romulan agent who had disguised herself as the Vulcan Captain of the USS Odyssey. With the Ulysses placed in the shipyards indefinitely, until the extent of the sabotage could be determined, Captain Tharia sh’Elas and her crew were transferred to the USS Proteus, the 6th vessel of the Polaris-class. Once aboard, the crew received special dispensation (thanks to Admiral Azulas calling in some favours) and the vessel was renamed Ulysses. Once settled, the crew began to utilise the massive improvement in the ships power grid and deflector capabilities to finally develop a working version of the Multi-Adaptive Refractive Shielding system (a type of Federation stealth technology designed to counteract the ban on cloaking devices).
|Computer Control System:||Bio-Neural Control System|
|Communications Range:||25 Light-years|
|Personnel Transporters:||5 Six-person|
|Transporter Range:||60,000 Kilometres|
|Impulse Power Systems:||Subatomic Unified Energy Impulse Units|
|Impulse Engines:||(2 Primary Hull, 1 Secondary Hull)|
|Cruise Speed:||Warp 6.5|
|Maximum Speed:||Warp 9.9|
|Emergency Speed:||Warp 9.975 (12 Hours)|
|Quantum Slipstream Drive Capable:||Yes|
|Maximum QSD Distance:||80,000 Kilometers|
|Cooldown Period:||16 Hours|
|Defensive Systems:||Ablative Hull Armour
High Powered Structural Integrity Field
Multi-Adaptive Shielding System (Combining recent advancements in Auto-Modulating, Metaphasic and Regenerative systems)
Multi-Adaptive Refractive Shielding (MARS) System
|Offensive Systems:||4 Dorsal Type-XII Phaser Arrays
6 Ventral Type-XII Phaser Arrays
1 Forward Mk-II Rapid Fire Quantum Torpedo Turret
2 Forward Mk-V Burst Fire Photon Torpedo Launchers
2 Aft Mk-V Burst Fire Photon Torpedo Launchers
|Torpedo Complement:||150 Quantum Torpedoes
250 Photon Torpedoes
5 Tri-Cobalt Devices
Array of Scientific Probes
|Shuttlebays:||3 (1 Primary Hull, 2 Secondary Hull)
|Shuttles:||8 Type-11 Personnel Shuttlecraft
(Chandra, Collins, Daly, Galé, Just, Moore, Saruhashi, Tyson)
6 Type-10 Cargo Shuttlecraft
(Barres, Clayton, Nightingale, Pearce, Ride, Turing)
12 Type-VIII Workbees
|Runabouts:||2 Argo Class Runabouts (and land vehicles)
(USS Aquarius, USS Eagle)
1 Arrow Class Captain’s Yacht
1 Hazardous Terrain Vehicle
2 Mustang Class Runabouts
(USS Apollo, USS Gemini)