Federation U.S.S. Oberth class Multi-Purpose Science Vessel (Star Trek):

This ship design was first introduced around the early Star Trek Movie time line and has severed throughout the Star Trek: Next Generation time lines.

The Oberth Class of Ship has over the years served Starfleet well during over a century of service in the role of an exploration, research vessel, and used for a test bed for new technologies. It has even been used a troop transport during some emergencies. The first of the class was commissioned in 2169 and since then multiple models of the vessel have been produced. Serving at the same time as this vessel have been several high speed scout class for combatant areas but often the Oberth will end up doing this job as well. While the design is extremely outdated by Next Generation times, they have soldiered on and are likely to serve until well after the rebuilding of the Federation fleet after the destruction of much of their forces against the Dominion. When the Galaxy class was first produced, it was though that they would replace the Oberth class but since the Federation has gone to smaller vessel designs, this appears unlikely.

The Oberth class was constructed in modular sections which allowed for the construction of the class in less advanced and smaller shipyards than the cruisers and other large starships of the time required. These vessels also used civilian components wherever possible to reduce the cost of construction. As a result, the vessel is not as fast or as well protected as combatant vessels are. To reduce crew requirement, the engineering system is almost completely automated like it is in many .

These ships are also armed for defensive not offense with only two phaser banks. The phaser systems have been upgraded but are still underpowered compared to other vessels. The ship has a torpedo launchers but it is mostly used to fire probes. When these ships are used to explore hostile areas, they are normally escorted by a destroyer or other better armed vessel. Even so, there has been the loss of several of these scouts in cases where a faster or better armed scout vessel would have survived.

One of the biggest advantages of the modular construction of the Oberth class is the ability to upgrade. During the vessels service life, both their research equipment, sensors, and laboratories have been upgraded. The vessels serving during the time of the Dominion war have sensor systems that are many times more capable than those carried originally. These ships are some of the best at detecting cloaked and otherwise hidden vessels.

These ships operate with very small crews due to the large amount of automation but have facilities for a large amount of scientists. Quarters are comfortable and spacious. Before the Dominion war, these vessels also often carried the families of crew members. Like might be expected, the command and control abilities of these vessels is extremely limited.

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-602
Vehicle Type: Multi-Purpose Science Vessel
Crew: 20 (4 officers, 16 enlisted)
Passengers: 60 Maximum (Can be families or scientists)


4Standard Shuttlecraft

M.D.C. by Location:

Heavy Phaser Banks (2 Banks of 2):600 each bank
Sublight Torpedo / Probe Launcher (1):600
Warp Nacelles (2):5,000 each
Impulse Engine:3,000
[1] Bridge:2,000
[2] Main Body:12,000
[3] Sensor Suite Pod:8,000
[4] Variable Deflector Shields:2,000 per side (12,000 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 Science Vessel 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] Mounted below the Main Body this pod houses the most sophisticated sensor package available within Starfleet. If its M.D.C. is depleted the vessel is blind and all weapons are -5 to Strike.
[4] Shields positions can be varied and all could be combined in one shield. Shields regenerate at the rate of 5% (600 M.D.C.) per melee round.

Driving on the Ground: Not Possible but the ship has landing struts in the torpedo tube supports so the ship can land on a planet.
Sublight: Has a special sublight engine that allows the ship to travel up to 60 percent of the speed of light. Starship can accelerate/decelerate at the rate of 0.7 percent of light per melee round.
As an alternative, the starship can reach .99 of the speed of light but is normally restricted to slower speeds so that starship is not effected severely by time attenuation that occurs at the higher sublight speeds.
Atmospheric Propulsion: Maximum speed is Mach 7 using impulse engine. Due to starship having gravitic propulsion systems, starship can enter and leave the atmosphere.
Stardrive: Uses a warp engine that allows the ship to travel at Warp Factor 5.0 on cruise (0.01 light years per hour), Warp Factor 7.25 Flank (.04 light years per hour), and Warp Factor 8.75 Emergency (.07 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 two years worth of supplies on board and a very small hydroponics section.

Statistical Data:
Length: 494.8 feet (150.81 meters)
Height: 134.51 feet (41 meters)
Width: 285.4 feet (87 meters)
Mass: 25,000 metric tons (Daystrom Institute Technical Library)
Power System: Primary power system is a Matter/Anti-Matter Reaction Assembly with a 5 year life span. Ship normally only goes 3 years between refueling.
Cargo: Small cargo hold that can carry up to 2000 tons of cargo not including standard compliment of supplies and research equipment. Hold is 20 x 20 x 80 feet in dimensions (6.1 x 12.2 x 24.4 meters).
Market Cost: Cost about 850 million credits to construct due to large amounts of research equipment. As far as it is known, the Federation does not sell their starship designs to other interested parties.


  1. Two (2) banks of 2 Heavy Phaser Cannons: Research Vessels primary energy weapon system but could theoretically has test weapons. Weapons are mounted on the Science Vessel's 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 then CAF lasers but only slightly shorter ranged. 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: 9,328 miles (15,000 km), range is halved in atmosphere.
    Mega Damage: 1D6x100 M.D.C. each (2D6x100 M.D.C. for both in a bank)
    Rate of Fire: Maximum of three (3) times per melee.
    Payload: Effectively Unlimited.
  2. One (1) Photon / Probe Torpedo Launching Systems: Most often the launcher will carry probes and not torpedoes. 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 the same time. There are two launchers that fire forward and two launchers that fire aft. Once 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 anti-matter/matter warheads but they can carry quantum torpedoes when they are available.
    Torpedoes has 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 drive goes dead, the torpedo will continue to travel in a straight line unless preset to self destruct or receives a destruct code but has very low odds of hitting star ships (Great for hitting bases and planets because target does not move and torpedoes when dead is at -25% to be detected.) 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 4,000,000 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, or 4 per launcher, per melee round. Launchers are reloaded on the same melee and can be fired again on the next melee.
    Payload: 24 (Normally all Probes).

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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 Harold Nichols (sha_radun@yahoo.com) and by Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune)..

Rifts Conversion Copyright © 1998, 1999, & 2000, Harold Nichols & Kitsune. All rights reserved.