|Date Entered Service:||
2247 through 2326
Class Design Brief
The Merchantman Class was a class of frighter tha operated during the late 2200's through the early 2300's. These ships had the bridge located on the dorsal surface of the hull. There were four large engines mounted to the aft most point of the ship. These large engines were powefull enughe to push the ship to one half the speed of light even when fully loaded.
While most of the ship's desing was an improvment on past freighters the one main devation from standrd Federation ship desing was the lack of warp nacelles. While this wold not catch on for most ships freighter designs that would come later, such as the Antares Class would also lack nacelles. Housing the warp coils within the hull of the ship allowed the Merchantman Class to be lighter. This in turn meant that these ships could take off from a planets surface with a haeaver cargo load than would have been possible with the added weight of the nacelles.
The Mechantman Class is equiped with large cargo doors on the aft surface of the wings. These doors along with the transporters and twin planitary landing ramps meant that passingers and cargo could be quickly loaded and unloaded resulting in shorter stays in port before the ship were off to their next destination.
Class Service History
The Merchantman Class development project was started in 2229 by the civilan ship division of the Beta Antares Ship Yards. The Primary directive was to develope a new class of freighter that would be able to carry large anounts of cargo as eficanlty as possible. By 2232 several designs had been proposed and after a reveiw a design was chosen in 2233. Once chosen the design was named the S.S. Merchantman and it entered the final desing phase. The final desing passed the final design phase in 2240. The start of construction was held up until 2341 due to having to wait until there was a open construction dock. Construction on the S.S. Merchantman was compleated in 2346 and after a short shake donw cruise the ship was offically commisioned and delevered to the Blue Harvest Merchant Consortium.
By the 2260's ships of the Merchantman Class could be found along the space lanes through out the Federation. The fact that the ship could carry passingers along with cargo proved to be a strong selling point as it gave the operators of these ships a second source of revenue. In fact in the outer regions of Federation these ships moved passingers between the far flung colonies as often as they moved cargo. With the ability to dock with space based facilites and make planitary landings meant that the Merchantman Class ships could delever cargo to a wide virity of systems.
In 2302 the Beta Antares Ship yards took the last order for a Merchantman Class Freighter that was delvered in 2305. While no new ships of this class were built as new, more advanced freighers over took the Merchantman ships of this class contiuned to be seen along the space lanes for several deckades. In 2336 the S.S. Long Haul suffered critical engine damage resulting in the last active Merchantman Class being retired.
Duotronic Computer Systems
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