Design from Galactic Engineering Concordance
Notes - circa 2286:
No single vessel in Star Fleet history has been as specifically and purposefully built as the Defender prototype. While other vessels in the fleet are designed for specific tasks, the Defender was designed for a single purpose – to destroy potential “Doomsday” machines that may threaten the Federation.
The Doomsday machine sent a shockwave through the Federation, despite the successful use of the USS Constellation to render the machine inert. Even as scientists began to study the huge machine, designers quickly realized that using a full starship’s antimatter drive was impractical. Yet no weapons know would penetrate the thick hull of the Doomsday weapon. The decision was quickly made to produce ships capable of sending a massive antimatter charge into the maw of these vessels and yet surviving the anti-proton beam the machine used as a defense.
In less than six months, a delivery systems was envisioned and designers began working on a base vessel design to deliver the weapon and protect the crew. The winning design by Rapier Dynamics Group was adopted in early 2268. The Defender was designed to approach the weapon and deploy what was essentially a large shuttle with a massive matter-anti-matter reactor aboard. The shuttles themselves were several times larger than a standard craft and were one of the single most costly combat systems ever designed. None the less, the shuttles could deliver their reactor and cause a massive cascading antimatter explosion equals to a standard heavy cruiser of the day. Along with the specialized delivery system, a focused anti-proton deflector would help protect the smaller craft as they approached the weapon. While these two systems alone eventually quadrupled the cost of the vessel, it was felt that if needed, the overall cost was still far less than the potential loss of entire planets and starsystems.
The Defender herself was also fitted to be a “back-up” to be used in the Kirk-maneuver if necessary. Living quarters, turbo lifts and recreation lounges could all be ejected as lifeboats, accelerating at near warp speed away from the main hull without adversely affecting the overall power and combat capabilities of the Defender. These systems also far exceeded the standard capabilities and cost of most starships even by today’s standards. Despite its extreme mission specific aspect, the Defender was fitted with excellent standard weapons, including the RIN-6 version of well established FH-3. The Defender was originally proposed with Selenia Sistemi Mark 10 Indirect version of the FP-5 photon torpedo, but was finished with the Mark 12 Indirect instead.
While a fleet of twenty defenders was planned by 2275, the program was cancelled after the construction of the prototype. The Defender retains is NX status, despite being in active service for almost 20 years. The Defender has only been deployed once in its intended role. On Stardate 8679.6, the Defender was sent towards Ectair after the USS Fife encountered another Doomsday machine. The Fife successfully disabled the machine before the Defender arrived. The Defender is scheduled to be retired by the end of 2290. The Defender was built at the Salazaar shipyards.