Multi-Mission Light Starship
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Matter/Antimatter powered warp drive
A variant of the versatile Aerie-class light surveyor, the Raven-class corvette is a small multi-mission starship designed to transport specialist teams and handle low-intensity missions within and near Federation space. These vessels are equipped with more powerful engines and more substantial defenses than their parent class and can comfortably accommodate a crew of twenty, though they can be flown by as few as one person should the need arise. The Fourth Fleet operates a large number of these vessels, operating out of Starbase Bravo, Starbase 72, Starbase 86, Devron Fleet Yards, and the Task Force 17 Expeditionary Group to provide support for its larger units. Typically, they are commanded by officers on track to command a larger Fourth Fleet starship but for whom a command is not yet available.
Science and Exploration
While the original Aerie-class design was meant to serve primarily as a surveyor and has many specialist labs, the Raven-class design omits the specialist facilities in favor of two well-equipped generalist labs. These labs are well-suited to handling light to medium intensity scientific inquiries, and have a wide range of automated analysis equipment for missions that don't embark a full science department. The emphasis here is on data collection and sample preparation more than it is on independent research, so ships of this class are often sent to retrieve information and bring it back to the station they're based out of.
These vessels are capable of missions of up to a month away from their home port with a standard crew complement, but their endurance increases with smaller crews. They are a good choice for missions that would be too complex for a runabout to handle but which either wouldn't merit the attention of a larger starship or which would be too risky for a larger crew to attempt.
The best use for a Raven-class corvette in diplomacy would be as a discrete transport. They aren't really equipped to host conferences, but they could be an excellent platform for dignitaries to get in and out of trouble spots without a lot of fuss, since they resemble their more ubiquitous Aerie-class surveyors. They are also a good choice for lower level internal diplomatic responsibilities, such as checking in on mining colonies and research outposts.
Resembling a runabout in form and function, the Raven-class corvette is outwardly identical to the Aerie-class light surveyor, but its internal systems are more advanced. The ship is easy to maintain, thanks to a simplified hull plan and time-tested equipment aboard, but she is still quite fast for her size. Her top speed of Warp 8 makes her significantly faster than a runabout, most of which top out at Warp 6. Computer equipment is the latest generation isolinear standard, and includes full ship holographic projectors and the standard emergency hologram installation.
A large cargo bay with ventral access doors allows the Raven-class corvette to carry a substantial amount of material, or to use this space for special mission-specific equipment. There is also a small aft shuttlebay capable of holding a single shuttlepod. These vessels are capable of landing on a planet's surface and can provide a suitable base of operations for longer planetary expeditions.
Unlike her cousins, the Raven-class corvette is equipped for limited tactical operations. With a comprehensive suite of Type-IX phaser arrays and a forward torpedo launcher that can handle up to ten rounds, they are quite capable of holding their own with raiders. In simulations, these ships have even been capable of going toe-to-toe with B'rel-class birds of prey in favorable conditions, but this would require an enormous amount of skill on the part of their captain. Ideal for patrol missions, these ships are discrete enough to avoid detection until they find something they need to investigate, and would often be overlooked by threat vessels.
These ships can hold twenty crewmembers in comfort, with double staterooms for everyone except the first officer and captain. With smaller crews, it's often possible for them all to have their own rooms. An aft observation deck provides relaxation space, while a larger mess hall is housed amidships. There is a small holosuite as well, though its fidelity and number of offerings are lesser than on a larger vessel. Medical facilities are small but well-equipped, consisting of a one-biobed sickbay attached to a small medical lab. Some crews include a medical officer or nurse, but otherwise rely on an EMH for treatment when not in port.
Assignments aboard Raven-class ships do not tend to be long ones. Most often, the crews assigned to them are awaiting more permanent assignments to a starship or starbase, and so these ships have a different crew for every mission. While seen as the least important ships in the fleet they are assigned to, crews often develop a sense of attachment to their vessels. It's hard not to develop a close bond with one another, too, being in moderately close quarters for up to a month at a time.
The Aerie-class light surveyor was first introduced in 2349, and it has served in many different capacities across the Federation since then. They are in use both by Starfleet (especially Starfleet Auxiliary) and Federation civilian agencies, generally in the lightest of light duty support roles or as transports. By 2387 in the wake of the instability along the Romulan border, Starfleet Command had decided that there was a need for more multi-mission vessels at the size between runabout and a full surveyor or scout like the Saber or Nova-classes, because larger ships were needed more and more for patrol duties. The Starfleet Corps of Engineers proposed a modified version of the Aerie class which would have more tactical functions and generally be a more robust vessel, while not increasing in size or maintenance complexity.
The resulting design, named after the ill-fated USS Raven, was put into service in 2389. The Fourth Fleet has been one of the largest users of this design, deploying several dozen at a time to house specialist teams under the command of officers in the command pipeline for that fleet.
The Raven-class In-Play
- While we have adopted the Aerie-class designation for the civilian starships based on the USS Raven, the Raven-class designation applies to the mainline Starfleet version of the ship, especially the version in service in the Fourth Fleet. These ships are swift, well-equipped, and meant to handle lots of different mission types.
- This is the first type of vessel you are able to request to write as your primary command, and is meant to give you a platform to practice writing as a captain before you are given your permanent command at Lieutenant Commander.
- These ships are an excellent way of getting involved with the story near your Task Force's headquarters, or going off on your own. They're also an excellent place to put your potential captain character before they've achieved their command.
You may find these deck plans helpful in your writing: