Design/concept by Guidomic
Notes - circa 2288:
The Apari class was originally intended to be fielded as a companion vessel to the ever expanding research fleet during the dawn of the Great Expansion. Designed to supporting large numbers of shuttles, probes and other space-born systems, the Aparri class represented a significant investment in the fleet as a whole. Fleet planners quickly became frustrated with the initial concept of the vessel as a scout, and petitioned for the class to be redesignated even as the Aparri herself was finishing operational trials. In mid-2247, the vessel was re-designated a Scout Cruiser and it internal configuration was changed.
The changes came easy to the class, who’s large secondary hull provided sufficient space for an expanded cargo facility. The large shuttle bays originally intended for the primary hull were reengineered to support removable equipment bays. To help offset the cost of the changes, primary sensors were scaled back from their initial function and designed to tie in with the research bays systems. Planners felt that the vessel would rarely if ever operate without specialized system onboard,, a fact born out by the operational nature of the Aparri.
Despite its peaceful nature, the significant operations of the similar Constitution class in the previous two years necessitated the installation of significant weapons systems. The Aparri was well armed for a vessel of the period, yet rarely used its weapons, with no vessel in the class firing it weapons in anger for nearly four years. The vessels scouting nature kept it from the areas where pirates operated, and war had not yet come to the Federation. Yet the Aparri, like most vessels of the era, would see action in the Four Years War.
The Aparri’s heavy weapon load made it a popular vessel with field commanders, many of whom had requested the vessels for the front lines well before hostilities officially broke out. The Aparri’s ability to launch and recover large numbers of probes as well as maintaining deep space sensor platforms allowed it to monitor the early build up of Klingon forces before the first shots of the war were fired. But the Aparri’s abilities were nearly it’s downfall. After combat began in earnest, several were transferred to the Romulan boarder to help monitor against possible inclusion of the Empire in the war. The Aparri’s lack of a command-and-control system also prevented extensive coordination with other scouting units in the area. While the Aparri’s strategic information was as accurate as any heavy cruiser, the ship was proving a liability, and by 2256, two had been destroyed. Like the Constitution before it, the Aparri was pulled from the front lines to prevent further losses.
One year later, as the tide of war was beginning to turn, the Aparri Mk II was launched. Aremd with phasers to replace the less efficient laser systems, the Aparri Mk III was an instant hit with field commanders. By years end, the Aparri had conducted over a dozen combat missions and come away successful in each. Yet the cost of upgrading the older hulls proved too much. Planners could not justify the expenditure when more resources were needed for full military craft. By wars end, on the four newly built hulls had been equipped with the new systems. It would be four more years before the older vessels were all upgraded. The Mk III’s would help continue the expansion of the Federation and support frontier exploration until 2263.
Two years before, Star Fleet Command ordered that the Aparri, along with dozens of other classes, be scheduled for further updates. The tremendous success of the Constitution class had emboldened fleet planners, who now insisted that better systems be installed, even on older cruisers. Despite it’s age, the Aparri was a viable platform, and the Mk IV was again a popular vessel for field commanders. It’s larger size allowed more extensive equipment to be installed on a non-permanent basis. The heavier weapon systems brought the class up to par with other front line vessels, allowing it to operate without escorts near hostile boarders.
In 2273, the Aparri class reached it’s limits in expandability. The huge research bay that made the class popular with researchers now proved too expensive to upgrade. The fleet was officially scheduled for retirement by years end, replaced by newer built vessels. The last Aparri was retired in late 2275. A total of 21 Aparri class Scout Cruisers were built over the years. Two Mk II’s were destroyed during the Four Years War and one Mk II was scrapped, also due to combat. One Mk III is listed as missing and one was destroyed. 16 remaining Aparri class vessels are in the reserve fleet. No plans to upgrade or scrap the vessels are currently in the works.