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The Oberth-class has had a distinguished Starfleet career in its long life serving in the fleet. Oberths are a capable platform from which to conduct scientific research and exploration. They have some crucial advantages such as their ease to construct, maintain, and run. The design is highly modular, the whole vessel is made up of sections of 50, 150, or 300 tons which were simply bolted together, gamma welded, and sealed. This allows construction to take place in the smallest of facilities, even those intended to handle craft such as shuttles. The warp drive system, one of the most difficult parts of any starship to fabricate, sacrifices a large degree of speed and acceleration in return for simplicity and reliability. These factors enabled no less than eight Oberth class vessels to be built for the same resources as a single Constitution-class starship. In service the Oberth's are just as easy to run as they are to build. The engineering plant is almost wholly automated, and the secondary hull is normally unmanned. The entire engineering crew consists of two officers, one warrant officer, and four enlisted personnel, less than a tenth of the number for a Constitution.
In battle the Oberth, being a vessel of science, relies mostly on the ability to dodge, avoid and hide through outsmarting its enemies, as it has very limited weapons capacity. The Oberth has excellent maneuvering capabilities compared to other classes even its own size. This is because they cannot take many direct hits before being destroyed or at the least heavily damaged.
The exploratory nature of the Oberth-class' mission means that they frequently discover new alien species, but their small size and limited crew numbers meant that they have a very limited diplomatic capability. Although they do occasionally engage in first contact procedures, it is more usual for an Oberth to follow up upon initial contact missions engaged in by other ships, or performing pre-contact evaluations.
The Oberth-class is also famous within Starfleet for perhaps being the longest produced starship in Starfleet history. The design was primarily used by Starfleet and began production in the 2270s, but as the century turned and the multiple uses of the starship became apparent, the design was released and contracted out to civilians looking for a reliable ship. Starfleet continued to produce the Oberth-class well into the 2360s until finally a call was made to replace the outdated design with a newer work horse. With the production of the Nova-class the Oberth design was retired and production finished. Over the years all of the Oberth-class ships have met different fates; many hundreds still serve as short-range science vessels, cargo runners and in several different capacities slowly being phased out in favor of the Nova.
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|Official Federation Starship Specifications|
|Starship Classes 24th Century||Akira • Ambassador • Antares • Ares • Argonaut • Ascension • Atlantia • Aquarius • Cardiff • Centaur • Century • Challenger • Cheyenne • Concorde • Defiant • Diligent • Dumont • Excalibur • Freedom • Galaxy • Galaxy Refit • Insignia • Intrepid • Kelvin • Luna • New Orleans • Nebula • Norway • Nova • Odyssey • Olympic • Onimaru • Pathfinder • Prometheus • Raven • Rhode Island • Ronin • Saber • Sovereign • Springfield • Steamrunner • Titan • Vesta • Wallace• Wildcat|
|Starship Classes 23rd Century||Akula • Cardenas • Constellation • Constitution • Constitution (Refit) • Crossfield • Engle • Excelsior • Excelsior (Refit) • Hoover • Malachowski • Miranda • Nimitz • Oberth • Ohio • Shelley • Shepard • Soyuz • Sydney • Walker|
|Starship Classes 22nd Century||Daedalus • Franklin • NX • NX Intrepid • Yorktown|
|Federation Shuttle Craft|
|24th Century||Type 5 shuttle • Type 6 shuttle • Type 7 shuttle • Type 8 shuttle • Type 9 shuttle • Type 10 pod • Type 11 shuttle • Type 15 pod • Type 16 pod • Type 18 pod • Work Bee|
|23rd Century||Class F • Travel Pod • Type 2 • Type 3 • Work Pod|
|22nd Century||Inspection Pod • Shuttlepod|