«Last Updated on November 9, 2023 »
from FASA’s Star Trek© The Role Playing Game Supplement – Star Fleet Intelligence Manual, graphics by Zorg
Since the early days of Star Fleet’s Intelligence Command, Claymore planners and data gathering experts have sought to create a vessel capable of monitoring and observing the movements, communications and capabilities of the Federations opponents. The most successful vessel in the Intelligence arsenal is the Claymore Class long range scout.
Plans for the Claymore Class hearken back to the first discovery of the practical invisibility screen of the Romulan Empire. These early cloaking devices polarized Star Fleet. Despite the destruction of the Romulan vessel, the tactical implications were unmistakable. Even the capture of a Romulan Cloaking device could not alleviate the dangers of the new threat. When the Klingons also fielded a cloaking device, Star Fleet put plans for the Claymore Class into high gear. But the Claymore Class would not be an easy vessel to complete. After two years of planning, a concrete vessel parameter statement was yet to be agreed upon. Many felt that a stealth vessel with heavy firepower was needed, while others felt a purely observation vessel was required. In the end, a capable scout was designed that would propel intelligence gathering to a new level.
The most unique aspect of the Claymore Class was it’s massive sensor “wing” mounted underneath the main warp drive. This highly specialized sensor was originally intended to be a covert communication listening device, but quickly evolved into one of the most sensitive sensor platforms known to Star Fleet. The wing its self is comprised of multi-layered sensor systems, including EM receivers, gravimetric distortion scanners and the first use of passive subspace detection systems. The sensor system continued to evolve and expand until finally, when tooling for the first prototype was begun, the sensor wing proved nearly as costly as the remaining vessels other systems combined. In 2271, the Mk I was finally finished and, under a vale of secrecy, taken out of space dock and tested near the edge of the Sol system. The Mk I performed well beyond the greatest expectations of everyone involved in the project. During it maiden voyage, the Claymore detected, sorted and analyzed over 4 million separate communications and was able to detect individual shuttle transfers on the surface of Mars, nearly 1 light year away. Testing continued as a second prototype was begin, and by late 2271, the Claymore was given it’s operational orders and transferred to the Klingon boarder.
The Mk Is success was not without a price, though. It ability to operate along hostile boarders relied on it’s ability to remain undetected while on patrol. Great care was needed to prevent the accidental detection of the Claymore Class along it’s assigned patrol routes. Even the reflection of friendly sensor beams would be detrimental to the operations of the Claymore Class. To make matters worse, the vessel was extremely small, with cramped quarters and no amenities to speak of. To keep the vessel from requiring a large crew, many systems were automated, further increasing the construction time and initial cost of the vessel. Small crews had no rotating shifts, further straining the crew and officers who served aboard these vessels. Communication with Star Fleet was kept to a frustrating minimum, with little news of the “outside world” known to Claymore crews until many months after their patrol began. Stress was high onboard Claymore Class vessels, and in mid 2273, the attack on the USS Seeker by the USS Lexington underscored the dangerous nature of Intelligence operations. The Seekers unique warp drive design was mistaken for a cloaked Klingon vessel by the Lexington who fired several shots at the Scout before radio silence was finally broken and the Lexington broke off it’s operation. The Seeker had suffered only one direct hit before the Lexington was able to clearly identify the other Federation vessel, but this single hit devastated the Seekers sensor wing, blowing out nearly every sensor system on-board. The Seeker was forced to return for extensive repairs, and was out of action for over two years.
By early 2275, the incident with the Seekers and the loss of 4 total Claymore Class vessels prompted Star Fleet to begin an upgrade program. Although extensively difficult due to the nature of the specialized warp drive, the Mk II was launched in late 2275 and was immediately declared a success. The use of the larger FWE-2 warp drive allowed the Claymore Class to use more power for it’s secondary systems without sacrificing it’s stealthy nature. The Class was proven in mid-2278 when the USS Visionary was able to observe pirate activities near the Triangle/Klingon boarder. With several Intelligence operatives operating within the pirate base at Thelmek II, the Visionary was able to observe the operations for weeks, discretely alerting Star Fleet of the pirate operations. After months of observation, the Visionary discovered that the pirates had either guessed or detected the ship, and that Star Fleet operatives must be within their ranks. The Visionary was able to race to the base, destroying a patrol vessel, rescue the Intelligence operatives, and depart the system before the pirates were able to call in reinforcements.
Despite this success, losses remained high. By 2290, four Claymore Class vessels had been lost without a trace. Several others had been destroyed or scrapped after forward operations. Star Fleet began to re-evaluate the Claymore Class, and in 2301, the decision to end the production of the Claymore was approved. The very next year, Luxor Sensor Division and Chandley Works launched the Mk III, breathing new life into the Claymore program. The Mk III was more powerful, stealthier and roomier than the Mk I and Mk II. It’s sensors were upgraded with new technology, specifically designed to help detect the presence of cloaked Romulan vessels. The Mk III was also more heavily armed, capable of defending it’s self again enemy scout vessels, one of the most dangerous enemy vessels to the small ship. The Claymore would continue it operations well beyond 2330, and was credited with more intelligence gathering than any other single vessel in Star Fleet.
Although production was officially ended in 2320, approximately 44 Claymore Class vessels remain in active service. To date, 2 Mk I’s and 2 Mk II’s have been lost without a trace. 1 Mk I, 2 Mk II’s and 2 Mk III have been destroyed, all after being detected too close to hostile boarders. 1 Mk I, 3 Mk II’s and 1 Mk III have all been damaged beyond repair after similar encounters in deep space. The detailed construction of the sensor systems and specially designed warp nacelle kept production of the Claymore limited to 1 per year, all launched from the Sol III shipyards. Currently, no upgrade is planned for the Claymore Class, which should end it’s service life sometime in 2340.
|Model –||Mk I||Mk II||Mk III|
|Ship Class –||V||V||VI|
|Date Entering Service –||2271||2275||2302|
|Number Constructed –||9||36||13|
|Superstructure Points –||10||10||16|
|Damage Chart –||C||C||C|
|Length –||147.5 m||147.5 m||147.5 m|
|Width –||37.8 m||37.8 m||37.8 m|
|Height –||73.7 m||73.7 m||73.7 m|
|Weight –||59,745 mt||59,815 mt||78,845 mt|
|Total SCU –||60 SCU||60 SCU||60 SCU|
|Cargo Capacity –||3,000 mt||3,000 mt||3,000 mt|
|Landing Capacity –||None||None||None|
|Control Computer Type –||M-1||M-1||M-1|
|Standard 6-person –||1||1||1|
|Engines And Power Data:|
|Total Power Units Available –||14||18||20|
|Movement Point Ratio –||2/1||3/1||2/1|
|Warp Engine Type –||FWE-1||FWE-2||FWD-2|
|Power Units Available –||8||12||16|
|Stress Chart –||F/I||F/J||L/F|
|Max Safe Cruising Speed –||Warp 7||Warp 7||Warp6|
|Emergency Speed –||Warp 9||Warp 9||Warp 8|
|Impulse Engine Type –||FIB-3||FIB-3||FIB-2|
|Power Units Available –||6||6||4|
|Weapons And Firing Data:|
|Beam Weapon Type –||FH-3||FH-3||FH-17|
|Firing Arcs –||1 f/p, 1 f/s||1 f/p, 1 f/s||1 f/p, 1 f/s|
|Firing Chart –||W||W||Y|
|Maximum Power –||5||5||6|
|Torpedo Weapon Type –||FP-6||FP-6||FP-4|
|Firing Arcs –||1 f||1 f||1 f|
|Firing Chart –||O||O||S|
|Power to Arm –||1||1||1|
|Deflector Shield Type –||FSF||FSH||FSH|
|Shield Point Ratio –||1/2||1/2||1/2|
|Maximum Shield Power –||12||14||13|