«Last Updated on November 7, 2023 »
Class design J Homoli
The Tepool class is still considered one of the most secretive and specialized vessels to ever be approved by the Federation Council. The class was publicly touted as a new deep space research cruiser. But in whispered halls and off-the-record press discussions, the ship was said to be designed to detect the latest in Romulan cloaking technology. The cover story was so expertly initiated that the true function of the Tepool class would not be known until 60 years after the last vessel of the class was retired. And like it’s predecessors, the Tepool would never meet the adversary for which it was built to combat – the Borg.
The Tepool class was the third vessel to be specifically launched to monitor the subspace domain that the Borg used to communicate. The transmission from these hostile aliens in 2153 galvanized several high ranking Star Fleet officers into pushing for not only the censure of the Borg data, but the establishment of a specific class of vessels to monitor the boarder of the Federation in the direction that the transmission was made. At the time, no one knew how far away this unnamed enemy was and their tremendous technological advantage was frighteningly apparent.
Where as the Tepool’s predecessors were small scouts designed to be “trip wire” vessels, the Tepool was instead designed to to engage a suspected enemy vessel. First proposed in 2251, the Mk I took nearly two full years to work its way through the Federation budget process. The class was the only black project to be approved for fiscal year 2253. Final approval was not forthcoming until Star Fleet Intelligence began the “Romulan” rumor. While many in the upper echelons of Intelligence complained at the removal of their other black projects, few argued that the Tepool was green lighted and construction began in early 2254.
The Mk I’s most notable feature is it’s specialized sub-space sensor mounted in the first of two secondary hulls. To ensure it effective operation, the sensor system had to be mounted away from the matter/anti-matter intermix chamber, the primary deflector and the warp nacelles. This lead to was is arguably one of the most unusual looking hull designs of the ear. Many of the Tepool’s unique survival capabilities were actually built in after thoughts. These “happy accidents” gave the Tepool class a survivability that was equal to the legendary Constitution class.
The extremely long secondary hull allowed the Tepool to spread it’s internal systems over a wide area, providing excellent redundancy. Two separate cargo areas can be found in the slim secondary hull alone, ensuring raw material and spare parts are available even if the vessel is heavily damaged. Crew quarters were also larger than average in both the primary and secondary hull and recreation facilities were also expanded to help keep the crew alert. Most significantly, the Tepool was on of the first vessels to be built specifically with the new Phaser technology. Ship board phasers were proving their value in the Four-Years War and continued to have greater range than earlier phase cannons and heavy laser weapons. The Mk I was outfitted with eight FH-2’s which gave the vessel excellent coverage during combat. The Tepool and Poehlein both saw combat in the Four-Years War and emerged successful even after being heavily damaged.
But the Tepool class was considered even more valuable than the “Queens of Battle,” the powerful Constitution class. Like these vaunted explorers, the Tepool class was quickly pulled from the front lines, despite the unnerving effect of the K-23 on Star Fleet planners. While the fear that the Romulans had entered the war as a Klingon ally unnerved many, the war ended just as many began questioning the wisdom of transferring vessels such as the Constitution and Tepool class.
With the end of the war, the Federation was forced to immediately cut funding for a wide range of projects. The USS O’Connell would be the last Mk I to be commissioned and work on the USS Gallagher was halted with only 38% of the vessel completed. Construction would not resume on the Tepool class until 2261 when a new sensor system was rushed into production. The O’Connell was completed within five months and was soon on trial runs. The Mk II’s improved sensors allowed the quick installation of the more powerful FIE-3 impulse drive. The new drive provided significantly more power than the previous impulse system and designers immediately upgraded many of the Tepools system. Both the phasers and missile weapons were upgraded giving the Tepool class unsurpassed combat capability.
Yet the Tepool was not without it’s detractors. Despite it’s official status as a “black” project, few in the Federation or even Star Fleet felt the need for clandestine operations. The Romulans had remained quiet and few knew of the ships official function beyond the cover story which was now over ten years old. Even with pressure from Star Fleet Intelligence, the Tepool class was reduced from 30 hulls to 20 and eventually to 16.
Amazingly, it was the Romulans them selves that would save the Tepool from early retirement when the crossed into Federation territory and attacked boarder outposts. While the USS Enterprise did eventually eliminate the threat, it was clear that the Romulans had mad significant improvements to their cloaking technology. Even with the Enterprise’s sensitive sensor systems, the Romulan Bird of Prey proved tremendously difficult to track and target. Star Fleet Intelligence seized on the moment and was able to convince the budget committee to increase the number of hull back to 20.
In 2267 the decision was made to update the Mk II to the Mk III, a design proposed by Yardmasters at Alpha Centauri. The Mk III increased the overall firepower of the Tepool class as well as improved the primary computer system. While the main warp nacelles were replaced, the power system was not changed. Intelligence realized (rightly so, many felt) that to request a full replacement of both the nacelles and the power system would bring unwelcome scrutiny and possible jeopardize the fielding of the aging ships. In 2269, the first Mk III, the USS Deitrick was launched and sent to replace the Poehlein as it returned for upgrading. By 2272, three more new hulls had been completed, and all but two of the older vessels had been upgraded.
Most of the original Tepools continued to serve for a further six years. Yet Star Fleet was undergoing a boom in starship construction that quickly rivaled the “Great Awakening” of 40 years before. Many vessels were having their circular warp coils replaced by more efficient streamline version. The powerful and sensitive sensors that made the Tepool class unique were quickly becoming standard equipment on newer vessels. In 2278, the last Tepool was officially retired having never performed the mission for which it was built. While no one would know it true purpose for nearly 80 more years, the Tepool class fulfilled a wide range of secondary missions.
The Tepool class was constructed as the Sol IV shipyards. A total of 19 hulls were completed, including 9 Mk I’s, 6 Mk II’s and 4 Mk III’s. All nine Mk I’s were convered to Mk II’s, and 14 Mk II’s were eventually converted to Mk III’s. One Mk II was scrapped after significant damage from a battle with renegade Gorn forces.
|Model –||Mk I||Mk II||Mk III|
|Ship Class –||XI||XI||XI|
|Date Entering Service –||2255||2261||2269|
|Number Constructed –||9||6||4|
|Superstructure Points –||24||27||32|
|Damage Chart –||C||C||C|
|Length –||284 m||284 m||284 m|
|Width –||125 m||125 m||125 m|
|Height –||136 m||136 m||136 m|
|Weight –||167,830 mt||171,710 mt||179,155 mt|
|Total SCU –||340 SCU||330 SCU||340 SCU|
|Cargo Capacity –||17,000 mt||16,500 mt||17,000 mt|
|Landing Capacity –||None||None||None|
|Control Computer Type –||M-4||M-4||M-6|
|Standard 6-person –||2||2||2|
|Emergency 22-person –||3||3||3|
|Engines And Power Data:|
|Total Power Units Available –||38||48||48|
|Movement Point Ratio –||3/1||3/1||3/1|
|Warp Engine Type –||FWC-1||FWC-1||FWC-1|
|Power Units Available –||16 ea.||16 ea.||16 ea.|
|Stress Chart –||O/M||O/M||O/M|
|Max Safe Cruising Speed –||Warp 7||Warp 7||Warp 7|
|Emergency Speed –||Warp 9||Warp 9||Warp 9|
|Impulse Engine Type –||FIC-3||FIE-3||FIE-3|
|Power Units Available –||6||16||16|
|Weapons And Firing Data:|
|Beam Weapon Type –||FH-2||FH-8||FH-10|
|Firing Arcs –||2 f/p, 2 f, 2 f/s, 2 a||2 f/p, 2 f, 2 f/s, 2 a||2 f/p, 2 f, 2 f/s, 2 a|
|Firing Chart –||H||T||W|
|Maximum Power –||3||5||7|
|Torpedo Weapon Type –||FAC-3||FP-1||FP-5|
|Firing Arcs –||2 f, 1 a||2 f, 1 a||2 f, 1 a|
|Firing Chart –||H||L||R|
|Power to Arm –||4||1||1|
|Deflector Shield Type –||FSH||FSI||FSP|
|Shield Point Ratio –||1/2||1/3||1/4|
|Maximum Shield Power –||10||11||16|