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By the time the 2330s began Starfleet Command was well aware of the aging designs of it's fleet. Without wanting to wait until the last moment, Starfleet decided that it would be prudent to issue an order to the Starfleet Corps of Engineers to begin drafting designs for a replacement design for the popular Miranda Class which was already numbering in the hundreds. While the Miranda Class was a popular, efficient and sound design, Starfleet knew that no design would last forever. The ability to refit vessels would only last so long until technological age or incompatibilities would make it more economically efficient to design a new ship. With no certain rush to design a new ship as a small, multi-role, deep space light cruiser while the Miranda remained in service, the Corp of Engineers began it's daunting task of replacing a legend in the fleet.
Over the next five years a couple teams of engineers began to draft blue print designs. As the competition heated up several different fleet yards across the Federation submitted their design to Starfleet Command. Some of the projects were kept as vessels in other roles or other similar-sized vessels, however one design, Project: Steamrunner, caught the eye of several Starfleet admiral's and was given the green light. The project was moved to Utopia Planitia Fleet Yards and construction began in 2338.
As construction progressed there were some more design problems that became more apparent as the prototype grew closer to completion. The in-hull nacelle design was designed to connect the nacelles to the main hull of the starship to allow for easy engineering of the nacelles, but it was also causing some problems with over heating and it's relative range to the ships warp core. The ship's launch was put on hold for almost a year as the Corp of Engineers overlooked the ship bulkhead by bulkhead to try and solve the instability problems. The overheating problem was easily solved by channeling the extra energy and heat through an advanced system which ejected the extra materials through an aft compartment in the nacelles. The proximity problem to the nacelles was a much harder problem to track down. It was, in fact, not a problem with proximity but a problem with the new warp core design; the core was completely redesigned and by 2341 the USS Steamrunner was launched from Utopia Planitia.
The Steamrunner's shakedown cruise took it along the shipping lanes of the core Federation worlds as a precaution to keep it from becoming known by the Federation's more traditional enemies. However, when the war with the Cardassian Union began to come to a climax the Steamrunner prototype was ordered to the front to test her combat capabilities. The Steamrunner performed above expectations and proved to be quite a multi-role vessel and before the war even ended Starfleet had ordered several more of the ships to be produced. By 2353, fifteen years after the initial construction of the prototype, the Steamrunner Class was in full production as an added asset to the fleet while the older Miranda's were retired slowly.
ENERGY WEAPONS 8x Type-X Phaser Arrays TORPEDO LAUNCHERS
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|Official Federation Starship Specifications|
|Starship Classes 24th Century||Akira • Ambassador • Ares • Argonaut • Ascension • Atlantia • Cardiff • Centaur • Century • Challenger • Cheyenne • Concorde • Defiant • Diligent • Dumont • Excalibur • Freedom • Galaxy • Galaxy Refit • Insignia • Intrepid • Kelvin • Luna • New Orleans • Nebula • Norway • Nova • Olympic • Onimaru • Prometheus • Raven • Rhode Island • Ronin • Saber • Sovereign • Springfield • Steamrunner • Titan • Vesta • Wallace• Wildcat|
|Starship Classes 23rd Century||Akula •Constellation • Constitution • Constitution (Refit) • Crossfield • Excelsior • Excelsior (Refit) • Miranda • Oberth • Ohio • Soyuz • Sydney • Walker|
|Starship Classes 22nd Century||Daedalus • Franklin • NX • NX Intrepid|
|Federation Shuttle Craft|
|24th Century||Type 5 shuttle • Type 6 shuttle • Type 7 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|
|22nd Century||Inspection Pod • Shuttlepod|