Federation U.S.S. Centaur class Frigate (Star Trek):

This ship design should be used from before and during Star Trek: The Next Generation Episodes as well as during Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and Star Trek: Voyager Episodes.

The Centaur was designed as a replacement for the huge number of destroyers and other small combatant vessels operated by the Federation including the Shiva class destroyer. The ship was designed from the beginning as an escort and does not have many of the features that vessels expected to operate independently would have. The vessel was designed just before the Ambassador class cruiser and was designed to operate along with Excelsior class cruisers and later the Ambassador class itself. The class did not replace some of the larger classes of escorts like the Avenger class which was operated in large numbers even during the Dominion War. The Centaur class is the forerunner in many ways of the Saber class escorts but is much larger. Many of the hulls of the Centaur class are beginning to age but due to the Dominion war, none of the vessels are planned for decommissioning.

Like the Excelsior class, the Centaur class was designed with large warp engines. The development of the design was first started when the Excelsior was being constructed and was originally planned with Trans-Warp drives. The large engine nacelles were retained after the class reverted to more conventional warp drives. Still, the vessel is only slightly faster than the Shiva class it replaced and it has two warp engines to the one engine carried by the Shiva.

The ship is armed with conventional phasers banks instead of phaser arrays like the slightly later Ambassador class cruiser. Starfleet command has tried to get the phasers refitted but have been refused the resources to refit the class. The vessel has seven banks of phasers with three banks on the bottom of the hull and four on the top of the vessels hull. The Centaur also carries two Photon Torpedo launchers which fire forward. There was many complaints about the firepower of the vessel due to it only being equal to the Shiva class while the Centaur class was far more expensive. One advantage the Centaur does have over the Shiva is that it does have far more powerful shields and can withstand far more abuse.

The ship carries impressive automation for the time it was designed and carries less than half the crew of the Shiva. Later the Federation was able to improve automation and the later Saber class has crew only about a third as large as the Centaur. The Centaur does not carry the equipment for long term exploration missions and diplomatic missions. The automation makes a large squeeze on the ships available space and does not have space for civilians.

This design is written to be able to interact with modified phase world rules. See Revised Starship Rules for Phase World / Three Galaxies for more details. There is a lack of hard detail on this ship. Some materials have suggested accelerations that are simply beyond scope. I have taken a moderate level in writing up this starship for Phase World because otherwise the ship would either be far too powerful or far too weak for Phase World. Warp speeds are far slower than the FTL speeds for Phase World but they are very close to those from the original series and Star Trek: The Next Generation Technical Manual. Also, a note on the mass of starships. The original sources indicated much smaller masses for starships than Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Technical Manual does and where possible, both masses are listed for the gamers to choose which one seems most appropriate.

Model Type: NCC-2385
Vehicle Type: Frigate (Would be considered a heavy cruiser by Phase World Terms)
Crew: 125 (12 officers and 113 enlisted)
Troops: 20 Marines.
Vehicles: 2 Shuttles

M.D.C. By Location:

Siege Phaser Cannons (7 banks of 2 each): 800 each bank
Photon Torpedo Tubes (2):800 each
Warp Nacelle (2):20,000 each
Impulse Engine:8,000
[1] Primary Bridge:15,000
[2] Primary Hull (Main Body):40,000
[3] Variable Deflector Shields:6,000 per side (36,000 total)

[1] In reality this is how much damage needs to be done for a weapon to hit the bridge through the ship’s armor. This ship does not have an auxiliary bridge. Even if the bridge is destroyed, the ship can still be piloted from engineering but ship is -3 to dodge and all weapon systems will be at local control. Weapon hits near the bridge that do not penetrate the ships integrity can injure crew members on or near the bridge.
[2] Depleting the M.D.C. of the main body will put the Destroyer out of commission. All internal systems will shut down, including life support and internal gravity. The ship itself will be an unsalvageable floating wreck.
[3] Shields positions can be varied and all could be combined in one shield. Shields regenerate at the rate of 5% (1800 M.D.C.) per melee round.

Driving on the Ground: Not Possible.
Sublight: Uses a warp engine that allow ship to travel at Warp Factor 6.5 on cruise (0.058 light years per hour), Warp Factor Flank 8.5 (0.14 Light Years per hour), and Warp Factor 9.0 Emergency (0.17 Light Years per Hour). Speed is calculate using a formula designed to emulate Star Trek: Next Generation speeds. These speeds are very slow when compared to Phase World ship, so if used in that universe, they could be increased enough to operate within Three Galaxy speeds but should not exceed them.
Atmospheric Propulsion: Cannot travel within an atmosphere efficiently.
Stardrive: Uses a warp engine that allow ship to travel at Warp Factor 8.6 on cruise (0.073 light years per hour), Warp Factor 12.1 Flank (.202 Light Years per hour), and Warp Factor 15.5 Emergency (0.4251 Light Years per Hour). Warp speed is raised to the third power to figure out how many times the speed of light the ship travels. These speeds are very slow when compared to Phase World ship, so if used in that universe, they could be increased enough to operate within Three Galaxy speeds but should not exceed them.
Maximum Range: Effectively Unlimited by either drive system. The ship carries about five years worth of supplies on board and a small hydroponic section.

Statistical Data:
Length: 1207.0 feet (367.91 meters)
Height: 187.0 feet (57.0 meters)
Width: 787.4 feet (240 meters)
Mass: 190,000 Tons (Daystrom Institute Technical Library)
Power System: Anti Matter with 20 year life span. Ship normally only goes 10 years between refueling.
Cargo: Cargo holds are scattered about the ship that allows for carrying up to 5,000 tons of cargo in addition to standard compliment of supplies and ammunition.
Market Cost: 5.2 billion to construct. As far as it is known, the Federation does not sell their starship designs to other interested parties.


  1. Seven (7) banks of 2 Siege Phaser Cannons: Secondary energy weapon system with four banks on the top and three banks on the bottom of the primary hull.. The weapons damage is about equal to laser cannons used by the CAF but the Phasers have a greater rate of fire. The phasers are also slightly shorter ranged but only slightly. Both Phaser Cannons in each bank can be linked or can be fired separately. They cannot be used faster than the speed of light. Weapons system has half the normal penalties to hit fighters and small targets.
    Maximum Effective Range: 12,437 miles (20,000 km) in space and 12.4 miles (200 km) in an atmosphere.
    Mega Damage: 2D4x100 M.D.C. each or 4D4x100 for both in a bank.
    Rate of Fire: Maximum of Three (3) times per melee each cannon.
    Payload: Effectively Unlimited.
  2. Two (2) Photon Torpedo Launching Systems: Both launchers are mounted on the support for the Warp drive and is below the primary hull structure. While the launchers are older than those used on the U.S.S. Defiant and other next generation ships, they can use new torpedoes and quantum torpedoes if used in later Next Generation times. Newer photon torpedo warheads carry more anti-matter.
    Effectively very similar to Phase World cruise missile launchers but instead of having groups of multiple launchers, Starfleet has concentrated on launchers that can launch more than one torpedo at a time. Once a spread of torpedoes has been launched, the launchers must reload and rearm before launching another spread of torpedoes. In the early service of this ship, it carried photon torpedoes which are matter/anti-matter warheads but they can carry quantum torpedoes when they are available. Torpedoes have a top speed of Mach 25 in an atmosphere and in space has an acceleration of 10% of light per turn (far faster than any starship). When the warhead's drive system goes dead, the torpedo will travel in a straight line unless preset to self destruct or receives a destruct code but has a very low odd of hitting a starship (great for hitting bases and planets because the targets don't move, and Torpedoes when dead are -25% to detect). See modified starship rules for more details - torpedoes have penalties to hit small targets but are all considered smart missiles. Launchers can launch on multiple targets each.
    Maximum Effective Range: Powered torpedo range is 8000 miles (12,875 km) in an atmosphere, and 4 million miles (6,437, 376 km/21.5 light seconds) in space.
    Mega-Damage & Properties: Photon Torpedoes (Matter/Anti-Matter Warheads): Old Series inflict 2D6x100 each, Star Trek Movies One through Six inflict 3D6x100, and Next Generation inflicts 4D6x100 each. Quantum Torpedoes: 8D6x100 each.
    Rate of Fire: One at a time or in volleys of 2 per launcher, per melee round, for a maximum of 4 torpedoes per melee. Launchers are reloaded on the same melee and can fire again on the next.
    Payload: 200 torpedoes (100 per launcher, launchers are mounted in pairs and can use the other launcher's magazine if that launcher is damaged).

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Technical information is partially sourced from Daystrom Institute Technical Library (Mostly ship sizes). The site is hosted by Graham Kennedy.

I would like to recognize Henning Rogge as giving assistance with the revision of the Star Trek starships.

CGI of ship created by Andrew Hodges. More of his CGI pictures of Star Trek ships and craft at Devil World 6.

Writeup by Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune)..

Rifts Conversion Copyright © 2002, Kitsune. All rights reserved.