Engineering - Akira Class - Information
Canon Facts Backstage Info Speculation
The USS Akira is one of the very few Starfleet vessels which is heavily biased toward the combat role. The ships carry an extremely heavy torpedo armament of no less than 15 photon torpedo tubes. Seven of these are mounted in the large roll bar pod, all facing forwards; the remaining eight are located in the saucer section, two of which face directly out to port and starboard - an unusual feature in a Starfleet vessel.
Another unusual feature of the Akira class is the hangar bay arrangements. There are two large shuttle bays in the saucer section, one at the forward edge of the saucer section and one at the rear. These are linked together through the centre of the ship, allowing large numbers of launch and landing operations to be handled simultaneously.
NOTE: In parts of his Nemecek interview that were published in Star Trek: The Magazine, designer Alex Jaeger stated in his July 1999 "Designing the Akira-class" interview, appearing on page 48 of the Star Trek: The Magazine, Issue 2, "This was my gunship/battlecruiser/aircraft carrier. It has 15 torpedo launchers and two shuttlebays - one in front, with three doors, and one in the back. I really got into it with this one, with the whole idea that the front bay would be the launching bay, and then to return they'd come into the back, because they'd be protected by the rest of the ship."
During peacetime this allows the Akira to evacuate large numbers of small survey craft, or ferry evacuees on board at a high rate. During the Dominion war the ships often serve as fighter carriers; in this role they can carry up to one hundred attack fighters, although a load of thirty six fighters and a dozen utility craft is more usual.
The USS Akira entered service in 2363, and a rapid production run put nearly a hundred others into the fleet over the next twelve years. Most were assigned to units on the outer Federation territories, performing patrol and presence missions as well as the normal mapping and exploration duties which any Starfleet vessel is expected to handle.
More recently the escalation of tensions at the Federations core over the last few years has led to almost all of the Akiras being recalled to operate nearer to Earth; thirty five where assigned to the Typhon Sector Fleet in 2370, the remainder being assigned to the areas adjacent to the Cardassian, Klingon and Romulan borders. Akira class vessels featured prominently in the 2372 Borg attack on Earth the Typhon Fleet, together with several reinforcement squadrons, fought a running battle with the Borg vessel from the Typhon sector to Earth. Many of the ships were destroyed during this battle. A notable participant was the USS Thunderchild, NCC 63549, which participated in the final assault which destroyed the Borg cube.
The Akiras had been due to cease production in 2373, but with the disastrous contact with the Dominion Starfleet decided to continue production at an increased rate. When the Dominion war began, production of the Akira was boosted to eighteen per year as the Federation converted its economy to a war footing. The Akiras have now become a common sight on the front lines, participating in most of the major battles.
- Pod: All face forward.
- 7 total,
- 4 in upper section of pod,
- 3 in lower section.
- 7 total,
- 3 forward below the front shuttle bay doors,
- 4 in dorsal surface, 2 port, 2 starboard. The latter four face out to port and starboard, respectively.
- 1 in the lower hull section, just below the deflector dish.
- 1 long one on the dorsal saucer
- 2 on the ventral saucer.
The DS9 Technical Manual calls them type 10. Note: Vessels equipped with the RamJet Mark 2 series M/ARA Drive System no longer have the maximum cruising speed limit of Warp 6.3, thanks to innovations discovered and utilized in the General Electric Type 8 M/ARA Warp Drive outfitted in the new Sovereign Class Starship. Pursuant to Starfleet Command Directive 12856.A, all Starships will receive upgrades to their Warp Core system to prevent further pollution of Subspace. To date, all vessels currently in service have received these upgrades.