Yeager Class

From Bravo Fleet
This article is official Bravo Fleet canon.

The Yeager-class light cruiser was a short-lived design cobbled together at the beginning of the Dominion War to respond to an emergency need for combat-ready starships. This class was created by mating the primary hulls of incomplete Intrepid-class starships to large drone freighters. Though unusual and often maligned by Starfleet historians and shipbuilding experts, this class of three starships survived the war without losses. All three Yeager-class vessels were converted to Intrepid-class vessels by the end of 2380.

Science and Exploration

Thanks to their origins in the Intrepid class, the Yeager class had powerful sensor arrays, which were put to good use in their role as picket ships for Deep Space 9 and large fleet actions. While theoretically capable of exploration, their scientific facilities were degraded significantly compared to the base class because most of their science labs were left uninstalled.  


Yeager class starships were not used for diplomatic functions and they had only the most basic of diplomatic facilities available to them.


Dubbed the Frankenstein Fleet, the three Yeager-class light cruisers were an unusual marriage of design philosophies: the Class-19 Drone Freighter that made up their secondary hull and propulsion system was intended to carry large quantities of ore or large starship components between facilities without a crew, while the Intrepid was meant to be a fast, sleek exploratory vessel. Indeed, the idea for this class came about when an Intrepid-type saucer was being transported to the Beta Antares Fleet Yards aboard a Class-19 as cargo. It would have taken more than a year to finish building the ship’s secondary hull, but it was relatively straight-forward to mate the saucer directly to the freighter to combine their power networks. Additional fusion reactors were also installed to try to combat some of its power shortfalls.

With such an unusual silhouette, the warp field geometry of the Yeager suffered significantly, and she was only ever able to achieve a paltry warp six. Impulse speeds were closer to fleet standard, but it was an ungainly design. These ships were maintenance-intensive because of the difficulties presented by two different generations of systems interacting.


The Yeager was well-armed for her size, with the Type-X phaser arrays on her saucer and aft torpedo launchers inherited from the Intrepid class. While normally unarmed, the Type-19 Drone Freighter was an upscaled version of the Condor-class raider and so the structure already allowed for two forward-firing phaser banks to be installed. Two additional phaser cannons were added to complete her forward armaments. Unusually, this ship has no forward-firing torpedoes, and so her torpedoes can only be used when in retreat or by flying over a target and engaging in a bombing run.

As a matter of practice, Yeager-class ships were considered too valuable and too fragile to risk in front-line combat, thanks to their advanced sensor arrays. Instead, they were used as electronic warfare and overwatch picket vessels, patrolling near Deep Space 9 or at the edge of large fleet formations. This allowed them to relay detailed battlefield information to the rest of the fleet, which improved the performance of older Excelsior and Miranda-class ships with less advanced targeting systems. they did engage in direct combat from time to time, it is likely that this assignment allowed them to survive the war intact.

Shipboard Life

Yeager-class ships were considered to be an unusual posting, but not an uncomfortable one. While these ships were hastily assembled, the Intrepid-class saucer provided comfortable crew accommodations and two holodecks. There were few science personnel but lots of engineers, because of the ship’s unique maintenance needs. Because these ships required so much hands-on maintenance, the crews remained largely stable for most of their existence, as onboarding and training new personnel would prove to be tricky. This led crews to develop an attachment to their ships, since they spent so much time keeping them running.

Yeager-class History

By 2373, the Dominion War was already wreaking havoc on Starfleet’s ability to keep combat-capable starships in the field. Production on the Intrepid-class light explorer had been halted in favor of tactically oriented designs. Three of these incomplete Intrepid-class ships were identified as possible hulls to either be cannibalized to create other ships or somehow completed ahead of schedule, even though they were not really meant to be tactical vessels in the first place. While two were already at Beta Antares, the saucer section of the USS Yeager was transported there by a Class-19 Drone Freighter while Starfleet considered its options.

There, a yard engineer noticed that the warp field stability of the drone freighter wasn’t significantly impacted by its cargo. Indeed, the mounting plate on the freighter for carrying starship components was extremely sturdy and capable of holding an Intrepid saucer indefinitely. The most valuable components of the Intrepid saucers were their computer and sensor systems, so even though sending them into combat on the backs of automated freighters was a desperate move, it was considered an acceptable trade-off to get those powerful sensors into the field quickly.

Using existing Intrepid-type nacelles already waiting at Beta Antares for integration into their eventual Intrepid-class ships, the yard engineers were able to integrate power, computer, and tactical systems for the three ships of this unusual class named the Yeager-class light cruiser after the first ship to go through the process. All three of these ships were in active service by late 2373. The Yeager herself would remain near Deep Space Nine following Operation Return, and the other two ships served ably across the theater.

Yeager-class starships allowed other Starfleet vessels to effectively target fast-moving Cardassian and Dominion vessels. They were also extremely useful in search and rescue efforts to pinpoint escape pods and life signs. Because they were used primarily in an auxiliary role, all three Yeager-class starships survived the war.

Following the Dominion War, the Yeager class was maintained out of necessity, since Starfleet was extremely depleted. While Starfleet desired to return them to Intrepid-class specifications, it took several years for the resources and will for this process to emerge. Voyager’s return in 2378 provided a new impetus for this project, however, and all three Yeager-class starships were pulled from service later that year, and over the following two years they were the test-beds for improvements to the Intrepid design based on lessons learned from analyzing Voyager.

The Yeager-class In-Play

  • Regarded quite rightfully as one of the strangest designs in Star Trek, the Yeager was never meant to be seen up close by viewers. The only real in-universe explanation for such an unusual design has to be that Starfleet was desperate. This is an unusual and ungainly design. There are no Yeager-class ships in existence after 2380, as they were all returned to Intrepid-class specifications following the war.
  • Starfleet officers might consider the Yeager either an inspiring story of Starfleet ingenuity or a myth.