Little Big Horn Class VI Heavy Corvette

«Last Updated on December 27, 2023 »

corvette - little_bighorn - heavy corvette

design by John Bandow

The Little Big Horn class of large corvette was one of the largest corvettes fielded until the launch of the Davenport class. The class was a Tellarite design based on an older light destroyer that had proven successful during the Tellarite’s early exploration missions.

The Little Big Horn was also rushed into production in anticipation of the upcoming conflict with the Klingons. The Mk I mounted four static forward short range lasers and four powerful mid-range lasers in a design that would pave the way for the “mega-phaser” design some 20 years later. The heavy firepower nearly re-classified the corvette as a destroyer, but its smaller crew and extremely limited secondary capabilities meant that the Mk I remained a corvette and operated as such during the war and well after.

The Little Big Horn class was designed with an under-powered FIC-1 impulse drive. This kept initial costs and maintenance requirement down, and allowed for the use of accurate long-range sensors. But it reduced the overall power for the weapons, and like many of the ships of the age, the Little Big Horn had are more weapons than power to use them. None the less, during many of the battles of the Four-Years War, the corvette was used to skirt the field of battle and force the Klingons to defend a global sphere, rather than a concentrated frontal attack. While the tactic was successful, it was also costly.

The Mk I’s heavy firepower was equal to ships twice it’s size and class, allowing the Little Big Horn class to concentrate firepower on Klingon cruisers and Destroyer to devastating effect. However, the tactic would elicit a dangerous response, with squadrons breaking off to engage the Corvettes. With their under-powered nature, the Little Big Horn’s would soon find them selves running from their opponents. By mid war, 16 of the 40 fielded had been destroyed or so severely damaged that they were scrapped. While every ship destroyed was able to claim at least one enemy vessel to it’s credit, the vast number of Klingon vessels were simply too much for the tactic.

In 2256, designers began looking at ways to improve the Corvettes survivability. The initial design request was to automate the corvettes to reduce the crew requirements, but designers instead fitted a more powerful warp drive system. The FWB-2 reduced the maneuverability of the corvette, but gave it nearly 30% more power. This allowed the craft to arm its primary and secondary weapons and still provide significant defense capability.

The Mk II never saw combat in the Four-Years war. The conflict ended before the corvette was officially added to the Star Fleet Inventory. In 2258, the first Mk II was commissioned and by 2260, a total of 23 had been constructed. Unfortunately for designers, the crafts hard-wired power systems that had given it resilience during the war proved too expensive to retrofit to the new standardized phasers. The Mk I’s were withdrawn from service in 2261 and the Mk II’s were withdrawn in 2265.

Initial plans for over 300 Little Big Horn’s to be built fell far short of the 74 eventually fielded. Of the 51 Mk I’s and 23 Mk II’s built, 21 Mk I were destroyed, nearly all during the Four-Year’s war. 3 Mk II’s were destroyed. 3 Mk I’s and 1 Mk II are listed as missing. 11 Mk I’s and 10 Mk II’s were scrapped. 1 Mk I was captured by unknown persons in the Triangle. 15 Mk I’s and 9 Mk II’s were sold to various companies and governments. The Little Big Horn were produced at the Sol VI, Morena and Merak shipyards.

Construction Data:
Model – Mk I Mk II
Ship Class – VI VI
Date Entering Service – 2247 2258
Number Constructed – 51 23
Hull Data:
Superstructure Points – 12 14
Damage Chart – C C
Length – 273 m 273 m
Width – 95 m 95 m
Height – 31 m 31 m
Weight – 62,275 mt 66,895 mt
Total SCU – 78 SCU 78 SCU
Cargo Capacity – 3,900 mt 3,900 mt
Landing Capacity – None None
Equipment Date:
Control Computer Type – M-1 M-2
Standard 6-person – 2 2
Emergency 22-person – 2 2
Cargo – 1 1
Other Data:
Crew – 146 146
Troops – 25 25
Passengers – 15 15
Shuttlecraft – 1 1
Engines And Power Data:
Total Power Units Available – 19 29
Movement Point Ratio – 3/1 4/1
Warp Engine Type – FWB-1 FWB-2
Number – 2 2
Power Units Available – 9 ea. 14 ea.
Stress Chart – M/O M/O
Max Safe Cruising Speed – Warp 6 Warp 6
Emergency Speed – Warp 7 Warp 7
Impulse Engine Type – FIC-1 FIC-1
Power Units Available – 1 1
Weapons And Firing Data:
Beam Weapon Type – FL-1 FL-3
Number – 4 4
Firing Arcs – 4 f 4 f
Firing Chart – D G
Maximum Power – 2 2
Damage Modifiers:
+3 (-) (-)
+2 (-) (-)
+1 (-) (1-4)
Beam Weapon Type – FL-4 FL-4
Number – 4 4
Firing Arcs – 2 f, 2 a 2 f, 2 a
Firing Chart – G G
Maximum Power – 3 3
Damage Modifiers:
+3 (-) (-)
+2 (-) (-)
+1 (1-4) (1-4)
Shield Data:
Deflector Shield Type – FSC FSC
Shield Point Ratio – 1/1 1/1
Maximum Shield Power – 9 9
Combat Efficiency:
D – 39.7 43.5
WDF – 5.6 6.8