Defiant class

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Defiant Class
Expected Duration45 Years
Time Between Resupply1 Year
Time Between Refit1 Year
Enlisted Crew35
Cruising VelocityWarp 5
Maximum VelocityWarp 9
Emergency VelocityWarp 9.52 (12 Hours)
Length120 Metres
Width90 Metres
Height25 Metres


The Defiant class starship was officially classified as an escort, but began development in 2366 as a small, highly-powered, heavily-armed starship intended to defend the Federation against the Borg. The USS Defiant (NX-74205) was the first of what was to be a new Federation battle fleet. Starfleet abandoned the project when the Borg threat became less urgent and after design flaws turned up during the Defiant's shakedown cruise.

The Defiant prototype was pulled out of storage in 2371 when the Dominion threat emerged. After several upgrades by Operations Chief Miles O'Brien, the ship was deemed worthy of use and several more ships of the class were constructed.


The Defiant class starship is a heavily armed, limited-role Starfleet vessel, developed in response to the Borg threat as originally encountered in 2365, and spurred on by the shocking results of the Battle of Wolf 359 in 2367. With the knowledge that existing weaponry and defenses would be inadequate to meet this threat, it was recognized that a new type of starship was needed to meet the tactical requirements of facing this superior enemy. Shortly after the massacre at Wolf 359 in 2367, Lieutenant Commander Benjamin Sisko joined the developing team at the Utopia Planatia Fleet Yards.

Design and construction history

The USS Defiant (NX-74205) was the class' prototype. It was Starfleet's first dedicated combat vessel, and therefore did not house provision for families or diplomatic missions, nor science labs or recreational facilities.

The Defiant class was a heavily armored, stripped-down starship that was created as the first strike vehicle for use in war, and incorporated the latest in Starfleet weaponry and defensive technology. The Defiant class was also equipped with a class-7 warp drive. As befitted its role, the Defiant was considerably smaller than most other Federation starships.

The initial mission of the Defiant did not change radically until late 2370, when intelligence-gathering efforts had come upon the Jem'Hadar problem. In the final year of spaceworthiness testing (2371), the NX-74205 was redirected to starbase Deep Space 9 to become a mobile defensive platform with orders to defend the station, the wormhole, and the planet of Bajor.

Early service years

Once the Defiant prototype had proven itself, Starfleet took the decision to put the Defiant class into production. By the end of 2373, there were a significant number of Defiant class ships in operation, and over the next two years they played a vital role in the Dominion War.

Dominion War

The USS Defiant was destroyed by a Breen warship in 2375, during the Second Battle of Chin'toka. Another Defiant class ship, the USS São Paulo, was assigned to Deep Space 9. Given the USS Defiant's exceptional record under Captain Benjamin Sisko's command, the Chief of Starfleet Operations gave a special dispensation to change the ship's name to Defiant. On this ship, the shield generators were completely reconfigured so that it would not be affected by the Breens energy-dampening weapon. This new Defiant played a distinguished role in the final battle with the Dominion at Cardassia Prime, and remained stationed at Deep Space 9.

Technical Data

Physical arrangement

Defiant-class vessels were constructed of standard Tritanium and Duranium alloys and composites. The bridge had been submerged within a larger Deck 1 than was envisioned for the pathfinder vehicle, and the entire vessel had been shortened to four decks plus allowances for crawlways and cable trunks. The notched forward hull had been equipped with a detachable pod consisting of the vehicle's main sensor and navigational deflector, airlock module, and a last-resort matter-antimatter warhead. The warp nacelles had been brought inboard to a minimum safe distance for field EM, and all EPS weapon-power conduits had been truncated to provide a nearly zero lag time between activation signal and beam launch.

All protected internal systems that required access to the vessel exterior were equipped with articulated or jettisonable hull plates, so that most of the familiar structures were hidden from view, including shuttlebay doors, docking ports, lifeboats and impulse vents.

Propulsion systems

Defiant class ships achieved warp flight through two warp nacelles, which housed multiple pairs of warp coils. The warp core spanned three decks in the aft section of the ship. The Class-7 warp drive was extremely powerful for a ship of this size, and as such, Defiant-class vessels put out a warp signature equivalent to much larger starships.

The primary impulse system consisted of three pairs of redundant fusion reactors, space-time driver coils, and vectored exhaust directors. All three main impulse engines were located on both Decks 2 and 3.

Tactical systems

Pulse phaser cannons

A total of four pulse phaser cannon assemblies were located in forward-facing locations onboard Defiant class vessels. The cannons were located above and below the nacelle root attachments on the main body on both port and starboard sides of the ship. Due to the ship’s extreme maneuverability, yard engineers deemed it unnecessary to mount aft-facing cannons onboard vessels of this class.

Phaser beam emitters

The standard phaser beam emitters aboard Defiant class vessels served almost as a secondary supplement to the primary pulse phaser cannons. The vessel's two emitters were located behind the Bridge on the dorsal surface, and behind the shuttlebay doors on the ventral surface.

The Defiant class vessels deflector arrays can also be refitted into a makeshift phaser emitter, providing one shot capability in extreme emergency. The phaser emission is generated by the nose/deflector unit.

Torpedo launchers

Defiant class vessels have a total of three torpedo launchers, two forward and one aft. These are located one forward on the hull just ahead of each of the warp nacelles. The rear launcher is located tucked in near the back end of the warp nacelles.

Along with the Sovereign class, Defiant class vessels were initially the only starships in the fleet normally outfitted with quantum torpedoes. But like all Starfleet vessels, the launchers onboard a Defiant-class starships were capable of firing standard photon torpedoes as well.

Deflector shields

The Defiant class carries a total of four shield generators located throughout the vehicle space frame. The forward-most generator was located along the vehicle centerline within the warhead section. Two additional generators were located further within the hull from the warp nacelles, port and starboard, while the final generator was located on the centerline just above the main impulse engines and forward of the deuterium storage tanks on Deck 1.

Ablative armor

Defensive energy shields were not the only protection the Defiant class has against enemy fire; the hull was also plated with ablative armour.

The Defiant's outer body is coated with ablative armour hull plating, a top-secret technology that had been in development for a number of years. Ablative armour provides an extra layer of defense for the vessel against enemy fire if the shields failed. It works by forming a protective layer over the hull surface that helped disperse large amounts of incoming phaser blasts. Ablative armour dissipates phaser fire, minimizing the damage to the ship.


With the addition of the warhead component aboard the Defiant class, yet another radical departure has been made from Starfleets standard policy concerning tactical operations. Designed as a single-use last-ditch explosive component, usage of the warhead weighs as heavily upon a ship's Commanding Officer as the possible order to initiate self-destruct.

Housed at the forward-most portion of the ship, the warhead contained the ship's main navigational deflector, forward torpedo launcher and magazine, forward Airlocks, and dedicated impulse engines for independent powered flight. Access to this area was provided by two walkways on Decks 2 and 3 where miniaturized versions of the standard airlock provided sealable entry between the main vehicle and the warhead. A dedicated control room was located on Deck 2 and allowed for both user operated and automatic control of the warhead.

Typically used when the vessel was totally disabled, it should be noted that once the warhead was launched it could not be reattached to its parent craft without the assistance of a starbase equipped to handle small starships. Once the order was given, the warhead section would separate from the parent spaceframe by means of four explosive bolts that served to provide the initial forward momentum for the pod before it engaged its own engines. Once free from the ship, the warhead would automatically arm all remaining torpedoes present in the launcher storage area. Computer projections indicated that the entire warhead vehicle would be destroyed in the resulting collision between it and its target. Due to space restrictions, no escape pods were present in the warhead section, meaning any crewmembers aboard tending to the vehicle would perish in the resulting explosion. Without its main deflector dish, the Defiant class vessel would be unable to engage in high-warp speed travel.

Cloaking device

The Defiant class was unique in a number of ways, not least because it was the first Federation vessel fitted with a cloaking device.

The Romulans loaned a cloaking device to the USS Defiant in exchange for the intelligence Starfleet had gathered on the Dominion. It was soon found that the cloaking device had drawbacks as it could be penetrated by certain types of antiproton beams. The Defiant was especially vulnerable as it put out a high power signature that was difficult to mask fully. However, it worked well enough to provide a major tactical advantage over Jem'Hadar ships.

Ships Commissioned

  • USS Defiant (NX-74205)
  • USS São Paulo, renamed USS Defiant (NCC-75633)
  • USS Valiant (NCC-74210)
  • USS Tripoli (NCC-75607)

Auxiliary Craft

Shuttlebays: 1


Type 10 Shuttle: 1
Type 18 Shuttlepod: 2


Defensive Systems

Ablative Armour
Cloaking Device


Type U Pulse: 4
Type X Array: 2

Shielding Systems

Auto- Modulating Shields
Metaphasic Shielding


Pulse-Fire Torpedo Launcher: 3
Quantum Torpedoes: 57
Photon Torpedoes:29
Polaron Torpedoes:4
Tri-Cobalt Devices: 4

The Defiant has a 5th sub-deck below the 4th deck in the nacelles for maintenance access.

Please note, due to design limitations, the Defiant class cannot land on a planetary body. It is also unsuited for atmospheric flight, and this should be avoided wherever possible. Landing struts are primarily used while docked internally with a large starbase.

Deck Listing

Deck Items
Deck 1 Main Bridge, Captain's Ready Room, Transporter Room 1, Pulse Phaser Cannon (2), Upper Main Engineering, Plasma Exhaust Vents, Upper Sensor Array, Officer and Crew Quarters, Escape Pods, Deuterium Storage
Deck 2 Lower Main Engineering, Main Impulse Engines, Computer Core (Level 1), Targeting Sensors, Torpedo Magazines, Forward Torpedo Launchers (2), Mess Hall, Warp Coils, Med/Science Lab, Sickbay, Transporter Room 2, Officer and Crew Quarters, Deflector Control Room
Deck 3 Main Impulse Engines, Auxiliary Craft Maintenance and Auxiliary craft elevator System, Computer Core (Level 2), Antimatter Storage, Cargo Bays 1-4, Airlocks (2), Torpedo Magazine, Warp Coils
Deck 4 Landing Struts, Navigational deflector, Pulse Phaser Cannon (2), Aft Torpedo Launcher, Probe Launcher, Lower Sensor Array, Shuttlebay Exterior Doors and Elevator System, Tractor beam Emitters, Warp Coils
Starfleet Starship Classes (Active)
Research Bases Argus class - Lowell class
Starbases Celestial class - Colony class - Ithaca class - Nor class - Regula class - Stardock class
Cruisers Ambassador class - Galaxy class - Nebula class - Prometheus class - Sovereign class
Light Cruisers Akira class - Cheyenne class - Excelsior class - Intrepid class - Luna class - Normandy class - Norway class
Research Vessels Daystrom class - Nova class - Olympic class - Oberth class
Escorts Centaur class - Defiant class - Diligent Class - Miranda class - New Orleans class - Sabre class - Steamrunner class