Specification Review: Independence-class Heavy Frigate (TOS), Draft 4 - Review OPEN Until 21 November 2020

Posted Nov. 7, 2020, 5:49 p.m. by Captain Nicholas Villarreal (Engineering Director) (Nicholas Villarreal)

While I was clearing off my desk, I noticed that we got another draft for the TOS-era spec for the USS Sentinel from Rob. Let’s see how this go-round goes, shall we? Take a look, let us know what you think, and be sure to trim anything upon which you haven’t specifically commented.

The review will be open for two weeks, with the final day of review on 21 November 2020.

Nicholas Villarreal
Engineering Director

Change Log From Draft 3 - Draft 4:

Cleaned up comma punctuation across the spec
Adjusted wording of the history/mission overview to reflect the proper amount of built ships in the ship list
Adjusted wording of the phaser section
Adjusted shape of main engineering to be clearer
Adjusted wording across the spec for better consistency in room sizes
Got rid of the ‘lower’ descriptor for the gym so it’s clearer
Did more clean up of descriptions across the spec
Adjusted position of the 1st tractor emitter from deck 2 to deck 1

Category: Frigate
Variant: Heavy
Designer: Robert Archer
Mark I
Draft 3
Date: 10/28/2020


The dawning of the 2240’s was a generally peaceful one for the Federation. Though there were random border raids near Klingon space, and the occasional issue with Orion pirates Starfleet felt confident that the immediate future would be one of expansion and discovery. They still had to remain vigilant for possible threats from old enemies and potential new adversaries. It was with this in mind that Starfleet put the call out for a multi-role rugged frigate, one which, though smaller than common cruiser designs, could perform just as well in a variety of situations.

It took the Starfleet design bureau almost five years of design and construction before the first twelve Independence class frigates came out of the assembly yards around Earth, with another five ready for commissioning should the need arise. The intent was to build a small, fast, maneuverable, and relatively inexpensive ship that could be easily reconfigured for a variety of different roles should the need arise. This would include system patrols, scientific surveys, anti-pirate/raider actions, and service as a logistics transport.

Mission Profiles

The Independence Class Frigate is suited to the following mission profiles:

Survey, analysis, and cataloging of anomalies and uncharted systems
Planetary and astrological event response
Discovery and survey of new life and civilizations
System and border patrols
Anti-piracy/raider combat roles
General cargo resupply
Emergency relief efforts


The Independence Class Frigate was designed from the ground up to be rugged, dependable, and functional for its missions. The rearward section of the ship is shaped as a rectangular structure which then connects seamlessly as one unit into a half dome shaped saucer. Projecting upwards at the rear of the ship, on a pair of short V shaped pylons, are the ship’s two warp nacelles.

The entire frame of the ship extends 12 decks across a triple layered duranium hull structure, in between each hull layer are 5cm of dura plastic foam. The outer layer of hull plating is in a state of permanent polarisation to enable greater unprotected resistance to enemy weapons fire. The duranium trusses that support the outer hull are laser welded to form a permanent support chassis.

The Independence class is capable of atmospheric entry and flight, though not landing, on gravity up to 2.5 times Earth standard gravity. Atmospheric flight is handled through a combination of the ship’s impulse reactors fed through special atmospheric RCS thruster packs along the ship’s frame.


Sensor Systems

The Independence class makes use of 150 sensor palettes arranged across the ship in clusters of four. The ship’s circular navigational deflector is located on decks 7 and 8 in a square shaped inset. These together make up the standard TOS-Type-5 sensor system. It has a high-resolution scan range of 2 light years and a low resolution scan range of 6.5 light years. Through the application of high power emission diodes, the sensor array can be utilized as a jamming system to prevent enemy vessels from sending or receiving transmissions. Effective jamming range for this system at full power is 100,000km. It should be noted that activating this jamming system also prevents the jamming vessel from utilizing their own communications systems.

Computer and Network Systems

The Independence Class Frigate is equipped with a single duotronic computer mounted vertically on the rear sections of decks 2 and 3. Any requests from the library computer must be issued through the main Computer Room and any portable information must be copied to recorder tapes. The only information terminals capable of accessing the library computer without passing through the computer room are those in the Captain’s Quarters, the Main Conference Lounge, Main Engineering, the Science Labs, Sickbay, and the Bridge.

Warp Propulsion Systems

The Independence Class Frigate is equipped with a dual conduit Class V warp core system. It has a maximum Cochrane output of 615, with a standard cruising speed of TOS-Warp 5, a maximum sustainable speed of TOS-Warp 7, a maximum speed for 12 hours of TOS-Warp 8, and an emergency speed for 2 hours of TOS-Warp 8.5.

The core is positioned vertically on decks 11 and 12 with support systems on deck 12 with the matter/antimatter pods. Emergency ejection systems propel the core and pods out the bottom of the ship.

Impulse Propulsion Systems

The Independence Class Frigate has one quad-injector impulse engine positioned at the rear of deck 1. The engine has a maximum output of .23c and can accelerate or decelerate the ship, coupled with the RCS thruster system, in 35 seconds.


Defensive Shields and Hull Polarization Systems

The Independence Class Frigate is equipped with the Type 5 shield system; made up of 5 shield generators located at key points around the ship. The system has a maximum dissipation rate of 1.46x10^5 kW, and a maximum graviton load of 806 megawatts.

Finally, the class was one of the last to be equipped with a hull polarization system that strengthens the ship’s hull by nearly 100% above normal. In an emergency of shield failure, it has a maximum energy dissipation rate of 5.475x10^4 kW.

Phaser Systems

The Independence Class Frigate is equipped with the Type-5 phaser bank system. The system has a maximum energy output of 0.3 MW out to a range of 18,750km. The ship has two twin-emitter banks to port and starboard along the forward lines of the ship positioned dorsal and ventral. With an additional pairs of twin emitters to port and starboard, dorsal and ventral along the aft end of the ship next to the ship’s nacelle pylons. Each bank has two emitters per bank.

Forward phaser fire can angle 120 degrees to port and starboard respectively providing a full 180 degree firing arc along the forward dorsal and ventral beam of the ship. The aft phasers cover an additional 180 degrees of the aft quarter except for a narrow line between the ship’s nacelles and pylons.

Fire control for the forward banks is handled by the control room on deck 7, while the aft control is handled by the control room on deck 8.

Torpedo Systems

The Independence Class Frigate has two Type 2 standard fire torpedo launchers positioned with 1 forward and 1 aft facing on deck 2. Each launcher is capable of firing a single torpedo or probe every 4 seconds.

Feeding, storage, fire control and servicing system rooms for both launchers are located centrally on deck 2. The ship carries 55 Mark-II torpedoes, and 20 assorted class 1-9 scientific probes.



The Independence class’ bridge is located in the central area of deck 1 in a circle shaped inset. At the center of the room is the Captain’s chair that sits on a 5 inch raised platform from the floor while the rest of the bridge stations are sunken below. Ahead of them is the Helm and Navigator seats and consoles. To the port side of the bridge are two engineering focused stations, while to starboard are two scientific related stations. Directly behind the ship’s captain chair is the ship’s comm station. Access to the bridge is provided by a single turbolift to the port of the comm’s officer or to starboard by an emergency Jefferies Tube access hatch. Forward of the helm and navigation stations is the ship’s rectangular view screen. Although there is no designated seat for the First Officer, as he is traditionally a Department Head himself, it is assumed that he will be manning one of the duty stations located throughout the Bridge

Auxiliary Control

The Independence class’s auxiliary control is located on the central area of deck 7. This area is laid out just like the main bridge except it only has one of each engineering and science related stations. It is manned during yellow and red alerts at all times by secondary staff officers in case of main bridge loss.

Conference Room

The Independence’s conference room is located on deck 3 to the forward port areas along the outer hull edge with a pair of oval shaped windows. It has seating for up to six people around a triangle shaped table. In the center of the table is a 14 inch, 3 screen, triangular shaped container for viewing computer tapes, scans, and communications.


Located on deck 5 to starboard is the ship’s brig. It can hold up to 3 occupants if needed. The cells utilize a series of two recessed force field generators which deliver a painful, but non-lethal shock to anyone who touches the field while it is active. When activated, the generators slide into place and glow with a soft yellow light. Feeding of the brig occupants is processed by an air pushed delivery tube from outside ensuring no direct access between the cell occupant and watch officer. A single shared waste dispenser with a lower body covering for semi-privacy is also present


Located next to the brig on deck 5 is the ship’s armory. It contains the chief of security’s office and a small 15 meter by 15 meter training room. Access to the ship’s armory is also internally located here to the port of the chief of security’s office. It contains enough Type-2 phasers to arm the ship’s entire standard security crew if required. Five Type-3 phaser rifles, for the ship’s security staff only, are also on hand for special mission needs as required.

Scientific, Medical, and Engineering Labs

The scientific, medical and engineering labs of the Independence class span the central areas of decks 9 through 12. Each grouping of labs for both the science and engineering departments contain 10 dedicated duotronic computer cells for lab processing and faster archival storage to the main computer system. The labs also contain basic 3-D holographic projection systems for object analysis and study.

Each lab layout is modular, though in general contains two work areas with 1 or 2 consoles and work tables each, for their specific individual fields of focus. Each section can also be isolated by force fields or exposed to the vacuum of space, in case of experiment containment breach. Each science and medical lab also has a 5x5 meter cold storage stasis unit for resuming experiments at a later time.

A single access lift connects each of the lab clusters to those above to aid in joint fields of work.

The Independence’s scientific, medical and engineering labs are divided as follows:

On Deck 9 is the general biology lab. The Chief Science Officer’s office is also located here
On Deck 10 is the general planetary science lab.
On Deck 11 are the general astrological science and stellar cartography labs, the latter of which extends down to the port side of deck 12.
On Deck 12 are the mechanical and computer science labs and the lower access point for the stellar cartography lab.

Main Engineering

The Independence’s main engineering room is located on the aft sections of deck 12. This rectangular shaped room houses the ship’s warp core arrayed in a vertical line from deck 11 to 12. Control consoles are arrayed in a cluster of three around the core with another two to port and starboard along the entire room. The Chief Engineer’s Office is located just down the hall to port.


Cargo Bays

The Independence’s primary cargo bay takes up the majority of the aft sections of decks 5 and 6, with the two secondary smaller bays located to port and starboard on deck 6 situated to either side of the primary bay. The primary bay has an exterior hatch capable of supporting a work bee or standard shuttle for temporary measures of loading or off loading cargo. All the bays can also support up to H, K, L, M, N, or N(2) environments for a variety of purposes, and up to 3 times Earth standard gravity.

Tractor Beam Systems

There are 2 tractor beam emitters located aft dorsal and aft ventral on decks 1 and 12. The dorsal emitter is clear of the ship’s nacelle pylons for a full 180 degree area of lock. The 2nd emitter is located ventrally on deck 12 providing the same 180 degree area coverage. Both emitters have a maximum range of 10,000km, depending on local relativistic and delta-v conditions, as well as a towing capacity of 20,000 metric tons each.

Transporter Systems

A total of 3 transporters are included in the design of the Independence Class. There are two standard six pad transporters, one on deck 3 one on deck 10. In addition, there is then a single ten pad emergency transporter on deck 8. Ranges of the standard transporters are 30,000km, while that of the emergency transporter is 11,250km. Full transport takes 15 seconds, start to finish. The emergency transporters take 11 seconds start to finish. The emergency one is, by design, outbound transport only.

Turbolift System

The Independence operates 5 turbolift cars. Shafts connect to all major hub areas of each deck along the central structure in a ring around the ship. Service areas are located on decks 7 and 10.



The Independence’s Sickbay is located on deck 9 down the hall from the ship’s science labs. It consists of an examination room separated by a surgical room, which in turn is also bordered by a recovery room. The examination room is outfitted with two biobeds. The surgical room is similarly outfitted with two bio beds, which are in turn modified specifically for delicate surgical procedures. The recovery room is outfitted with four bio beds that are designed more for a patient’s comfort and recovery. Located next to the examination room is the ship’s chief medical officer’s office. Lastly, across the hall from Sickbay is a three by six meter, 10 body capacity, morgue.

In addition, there are emergency aid stations located on every deck near a turbolift entrance. Each aid station is nothing more than an equipment locker housing two gurneys, and a fully stocked emergency first aid kit.


There is a medium sized gymnasium located on the aft section of Deck 8. It is equipped with a sparring ring for boxing/wrestling/fencing or other forms of hand to hand combat, and cardiovascular and weights machinery to keep the crew in peak physical condition. Should the situation arise, the Gymnasium’s equipment can be easily stored, thus opening up the room’s area to be used as an auditorium or act as an auxiliary storage room or stage area for theatre performances. At any given time, the gymnasium can comfortably contain 20 people, though in theatre configuration it can easily handle 40.

Galley/Crew Lounge

The ship’s Galley and crew lounge is located on the forward section of deck 9. It has a pair of small but appreciable viewing windows out into space. The room also contains seating for up to 10 people at a time, though more could be made with appropriate table and chairs removed.

Although capable of reproducing a variety of food selections, the Independence Class is equipped with both a food synthesizer system, and a fully functioning Galley. Food stuff for the Galley is stored in two separate fully compartmentalized pantries, each compartment is equipped with their own stasis field generators to preserve freshness. This provides something of an alternative to the standard cubed nutritional supplements offered by the food synthesizer system.

The food synthesizer system is a matter resequencer system connected to the waste reclamation system. The matter resequencer recycles biological waste materials into simple protein and sucrose compounds in taste similar to meat/dairy/vegetable byproducts such as ground beef, fish or poultry, cheeses, fruit juices, and preserves but in appearance simple multicoloured cubes. Although highly efficient, the re-sequencer is incapable of creating food stuffs with a complex layered formation as found in a turkey leg (with fat, bone, and skin attached to the meat), or the fibrous consistency of fresh fruits and vegetables.

Galley prepared or processed synthesized food stuffs are distributed via a computer controlled network of food dispensers. Any materials left over from the meal such as the dinner ware, or undigested food stuffs placed back into the dispenser are automatically recycled into the waste reclamation system.

Command Staff/VIP Quarters

Located in a half ring around deck 3 along the forward areas are the ship’s commanding officer, and executive officer quarters. Along deck 4 in a half ring is the ship’s 10 VIP and department head quarters. The ship’s commanding officer and 10 VIP quarters have the largest quarter setup with a bathroom which contains a whirlpool bath, shower, and a bedroom large enough for a walk-in closet, a full sized bed, and a large work/entertainment station. The executive officer has a similar layout but minus the whirlpool path.

Junior Officer/Non-commissioned Crew Quarters

The Independence’s junior officer quarters are single billets arranged in the forward middle areas of decks 5 through 8. They are half the size of the department head’s quarters in layout and contain a single twin sized bed, shower/bathroom sink, and a work area. non-commissioned officers are double billeted and are set up the same as a junior officer’s quarter but with a twin bunk.

Auxiliary Spacecraft Systems

The Independence’s shuttle bay is located along the underside of the ship’s forward midsection on deck 12. It is divided by a series of double doors that allow half of the bay to remain pressurized while the other half is launching or recovering spacecraft. Due to the interlocking doors, only one spacecraft can be launched or recovered at a time.


Dimensions and Structure


150 meters

Beam (Width)

50 meters


58 meters



Crew Complement

Officers and Crew


Visiting Personnel


Maximum Evacuation Limit


Computer Systems


1x Duotronic computer core

User Interface


Warp Systems

Power Plant

1x 615+ Cochrane Type V Warp Core feeding 2x nacelles

Cruising Velocity

TOS Warp 5

Maximum Sustainable Velocity

TOS Warp 7

Maximum Velocity

TOS Warp 8 (12 hours)

Emergency Velocity

TOS Warp 8.5 (2 hours)

Impulse Systems

Full Impulse



35 seconds


35 seconds

Defensive Systems

Shield Maximum Graviton Load (Continuous)

806 MW

Shield Maximum Energy Dissipation Rate

1.46x10^5 KW

Hull Polarization System Maximum Energy Dissipation Rate

5.475x10^4 KW

Offensive Systems


Torpedo Tubes

2x Type-2 (1 Forward, 1 Aft)

Standard Payload (total)

55x Mark-2 Photon Torpedoes
20x Class 1-9 Scientific Probes


8x Type-5 dual-emitter banks


Deck 1

Impulse Engine
Fusion Reactors
Deuterium Fuel Storage Tanks 1 and 2
Deuterium Fuel Fill Port
Tractor Beam Emitter 1

Deck 2

Forward/Aft Torpedo/Probe Launchers
Torpedo/Probe Fire Control Room
Torpedo/Probe Storage Room
Torpedo/Probe Maintenance Room
Escape Pods

Deck 3

Transporter Room 1 (6 Pad)
Conference Room
Commanding Officer Quarters
Executive Officer Quarters
Escape Pods

Deck 4

Department Head Quarters
VIP Quarters 1-10
Machine Shop

Deck 5

Junior Officer Quarter
Non-commissioned Officer Quarter
Upper Primary Cargo Bay
Armory Training Room
Chief Of Security Officer’s Office

Deck 6

Junior Officer Quarter
Non-commissioned Officers Quarter
Lower Primary Cargo Bay
Secondary Cargo Bay 1 and 2

Deck 7

Junior Officer Quarters
Non-commissioned Officers Quarter
Turbolift Service Room 1
Auxiliary Control
Escape Pods
Upper Deflector Dish
Forward Phaser Battery Control Room

Deck 8

Junior Officer Quarter
Non-commissioned Officers Quarter
Emergency Transporter Room (10 Pad)
Escape Pods
Lower Deflector Dish
Aft Phaser Battery Control Room

Deck 9

Crew Lounge
Chief Medical Officer’s Office
Chief Science Officer’s Office
General Biology Lab

Deck 10

Transporter Room 2 (6 Pad)
Turbolift Service Room 2
General Planetary Science Lab

Deck 11

General Astrological Science Lab
Upper Stellar Cartography Lab
Upper Warp Core

Deck 12

Shuttlebay Launch Door
Shuttlebay Storage Hanger 1 and 2
Shuttlebay Maintenance Room 1 and 2
Tractor Beam Emitter 2
Main Engineering
Chief Engineer’s Office
Lower Stellar Cartography Lab and Access
Mechanical Science Lab
Computer Science Lab
Lower Warp Core
Matter/Antimatter Storage Pods
Warp Core and Storage Pod Emergency Blast Hatch


Ships of the Independence class are named, barring the first ship of the class, after east coast colonies, major settlements, and also river heads that empty into the Atlantic.

USS Independence - NCC 1600
USS Hudson - NCC 1601
USS New York - NCC 1602
USS Delaware - NCC 1603
USS Baltimore - NCC 1604
USS Chesapeake - NCC 1605
USS Savannah - NCC 1606
USS Portsmouth - NCC 1607
USS Potomac - NCC 1608
USS Philadelphia - NCC 1609
USS Rhode Island - NCC 1610
USS Raleigh - NCC 1611


Independence class frigates are small, rugged, multi-role vessels capable of many duties of larger cruiser designs at half the cost and build time. Capable and functional, though not the prettiest, they will likely be in use for many years to come.

Submitted: 10/28/2020

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