«Last Updated on November 9, 2023 »
design by J.M. Kuzee and Pete Rogan – from StarDate Magazine, Volume 1 Number 1 – January 1988, corrections and Mk II by Lee Wood
The St. Bernard that runs like a greyhound” is how Federation Admiral James Atosin described the D.S.S. Finder at its launch. Among the newest of the Federation’s base auxiliary craft, the Finder Class IV Search and Rescue Corvette fills a need long lacking in Star Base operations: A quick-response large craft capable of locating and reaching vessels in distress in minimum time, and of rescuing their crew and passengers.
Emergencies in space that result in loss of warp capability and life support are quite common in heavily-traveled space lanes, as well as near busy frontiers. The great number of vessels for the former, and the generally advanced age and poor condition of ships for the latter, are the main causes. The Federation has had to rely on a passing Star Fleet vessel for most of these rescues, even when the distress signal reached a Star Base or other permanent facility. It used to be common practice to dispatch whatever ships were available, including vessels under repair, Merchant Marine craft, tenders and tugs to ensure that sufficient vessels were on hand to take off all life forms in danger. Star Fleet Admiral Hugam Naroev of Materiel Command finally had a Tellarite blowup over this situation. A sector-wide or even a single-base callout to rescue one ship was costing thousands of man hours of repair and replenishment time for a dozen ships at a shot, time that could not be made up if a strict fleet maintenance schedule were to be maintained. His office prepared a study showing that 83% of this time could be saved if Star Fleet had one type of vessel devoted solely to the rescue of endangered lives. He got support from his opposite number in the Office of Shipping and Transportation and took his appeal directly to the Secretary of Star Fleet. Approval for a search-and-rescue corvette class of vessels to be designed and built was authorized 2268.
Star Fleet had already authorized the construction of merchant cutters and other patrol craft for heavily-trafficked space, and there was some friction over the necessity for a special-purpose vessel, but the near disaster of the Emperor Ankhan won over most of the critics. Life-saver vessels were a Federation necessity. The Finders were intended to respond to distress calls at high speed, to locate vessels in distress even if they had no transmissions, transponder or beacon, and to effect a maximum-speed evacuation of all lifeforms from a stricken vessel back to its home base. They were designed, therefore, to be light, fast, roomy, and equipped exclusively with emergency medical facilities, expanded life-support systems, and an immense sensor array based on twin Chiokis scanner dishes. They also carried four specially designed evacuation launches built with universal-adaptor airlocks, a miniature sickbay, and couches for up to 40 humanoid life-forms each, capable of planetary landings as a matter of course. Each Finder can carry up to 200 humanoid-sized life-forms, standard, but up to 500 or more can fit aboard in an emergency.
Any remaining doubts as to the class’ usefulness were dispelled two months after the first launch, when the Finder itself intercepted a distress call on the way to its first duty station. The free trader Backspin had encountered an uncharted gravitic anomaly and suffered heavy damage; it was unable to resume warp and had less than a day’s life support left for the 41 surviving crew and passengers. By the time the Finder reached the last reported position the free trader had already ceased to broadcast and the gravitic anomaly had confused the navigation sensors, but the Finder’s crew spent less than two hours locating the vessel. By the time the Star Fleet craft hove alongside most of the free trader’s crew were unconscious, but quick action saved them all without the loss of a single life.
Star Fleet’s original deployment plan would have placed two Finders at every Star Base and major Federation world; plans are reportedly afoot even now to speed up production to place Finders on open patrol in frontier regions to improve their reaction time. The shipyards at Morena are producing three Finders a year, but this rate is expected to double shortly.
|Model –||MK I||Mk II||Mk III|
|Ship Class –||V||V||V|
|Date Entering Service –||2274||2278||2336|
|Number Constructed –||33||24||Refit|
|Superstructure Points –||4||6||12|
|Damage Chart –||C||C||C|
|Length –||140 m||140 m||140 m|
|Width –||80 m||80 m||80 m|
|Height –||32 m||32 m||32 m|
|Weight –||45,260 mt||48,775 mt||58,601 mt|
|Total SCU –||15 SCU||15 SCU||20 SCU|
|Cargo Capacity –||7,750 mt||7,750 mt||1,000 mt|
|Landing Capacity –||None||None||None|
|Control Computer Type –||M-1||M-1||I-3|
|Standard 6-person –||4||4||4|
|Emergency 22-person –||3||3||3|
|Engines And Power Data:|
|Total Power Units Available –||32||32||32|
|Movement Point Ratio –||2/1||2/1||2/1|
|Warp Engine Type –||FWB-2||FWB-2||FWB-2|
|Power Units Available –||14 ea.||14 ea.||14 ea.|
|Stress Chart –||M/O||M/O||M/O|
|Max Safe Cruising Speed –||Warp 8||Warp 8||Warp 8|
|Emergency Speed –||Warp 9||Warp 9||Warp 9|
|Impulse Engine Type –||FIB-2||FIB-2||FIB-2|
|Power Units Available –||4||4||4|
|Weapons And Firing Data:|
|Beam Weapon Type –||–||FH-1||FNH-9|
|Firing Arcs –||–||2 f||2 f|
|Firing Chart –||–||F||W|
|Maximum Power –||–||2||12|
|Deflector Shield Type –||FSC||FSD||FNSG|
|Shield Point Ratio –||1/1||1/2||1/3|
|Maximum Shield Power –||9||8||25|