|Chariot Class||Conceptual work on the Chariot class began one month after the loss of the Yamato when the Galaxy class vessel fell victim to an Iconian virus and suffered a warp core breach. Starfleet Command, who up to that point had for decades gone with the “bigger is better” philosophy took note of the loss of a thousand lives and almost five million metric tons of starship and began to rethink things. Engineers were sent to the drawing board to create what would be in essence a “leaner and meaner” Galaxy class, one that would possess a comparable amount of lab facilities as well as well rounded defensive and offensive capabilities as well as a need for fewer personnel, but at the same time would mass at least one third less. The project was met with competition as engineers worked on both the Defiant and Intrepid class vessels, with the others seeing more resources thrown at them. On top of that the Sovereign class was always waiting in the wings, a ship class on the drawing board, a theoretical battle cruiser whose importance grew as the threat of the Borg loomed. It did not help that the Chariot class looked to some as, well, a little strange. But proponents of the class pointed out looks weren’t everything; the Defiant was essentially a flying wedge lacking any style. But another element in the proposed vessel’s favor was the unique warp geometry generated by her design meant it was highly maneuverable at high speeds; no ship could change course as suddenly as a Chariot. Despite shifts in resources work on the Chariot proceeded until the first vessel had her shakedown cruise in 2376. The Chariot performed very well and proved to be a fine, well rounded ship, and Starfleet approved eight more. The last was to be named Ironclad, but then miraculously the Lionheart A had returned after being lost for some four years and the final Chariot was renamed days before construction was completed.
At the moment there are no hard plans for the production of more Chariot classes. With Intrepids filling the rolls of the aged Excelsiors as couriers and scouts, and with the Galaxy class’ many refits fixing what was perceived to be some of its flaws, and now with the advent of the Luna class the Chariots may find themselves lost in the shuffle…
The Chariot class has been able to take advantage of numerous technological advances; all are equipped with bio-neural gel packs, quantum torpedoes, multi-phasic shielding and ablative armor.
Crew quarters on Chariot classes are somewhat Spartan compared to other ships; this is to make room for the vessel’s extensive power and weapon systems as well as laboratory/research facilities. The standard crew compliment is a bit larger than a ship her size as well to take into account science officers and a few added security personnel. To this end amenities such as a personal Captain’s dining room have been sacrificed. To compensate there are still extensive recreational facilities from holodecks to gymnasiums. There are also sections of the ship that can be reconfigured to be used as large conference rooms or dining halls, for example.
As design work on the Chariot’s warp drive was developed she was surpassed by the Intrepid, Luna and Sovereign designs in terms of speed. However her robust warp nacelles allow her to maintain her maximum warp for an impressive 48 hours.