As Starfleet sought to augment its Galaxy, Nebula and Excelsior multi-purpose explorers in the late 2360’s, one of the designs proposed, the Insignia class, included a saucer composed of wedge-shaped modules that could be swapped in and out. An ambitious undertaking, Starfleet initially passed over it in favor of the Sovereign and Excalibur space frames.
During the design renaissance of the early 2370’s, which netted specialized platforms such as the Intrepid, Prometheus, Ares, Argonaut, and Diligent, the concept of a reconfigurable saucer found itself again revisited. In 2373, Starfleet approved work to begin on the Insignia class, building upon the variable pylon geometry of the Intrepid, the system integration concepts of the Prometheus’ multi-vector assault mode, and other general systems innovations such as bio-neural circuitry.
While the variable pylon geometry would eventually be discarded from the design, the rest would come to pass. The first Insignia class vessel departed dry dock on July 23, 2381, and since then, dozens more have rolled off the line. On the whole, the class has found success as a fast, mid-size, versatile multi-purpose cruiser. While its modular wedges are rarely swapped out between missions as originally envisioned, they have proven useful during assembly and refit, where space frames are built in parallel to the wedges and then composed as needed.
In the middle of 2388, the Starfleet Specialized Support Activities Office submitted a request for an Insignia class space frame and four customized wedges, two fore and two aft, which would support some significant changes from the standard.
These changes would:
- cut the crew capacity from 550 to 450;
- add in specialized science and medical facilities;
- replace the arboretum with a tactical training facility;
- replace astrometrics with an operational command and logistics facility;
- augment standard sensors and electronic surveillance capabilities;
- extend shuttle and starfighter capacity; and
- strip out amenities like VIP, guest and senior officer quarters and facilities.
With an Insignia space frame already about to roll off the line, only the modular wedges and a few minor changes to the base frame were required in order to get the ship out of dry dock. Accelerated by tension on every border of the Federation, the USS Bellona rushed out of dry dock a mere three months later.
The following modifications have been made to the layout of the ship:
- VIP quarters and Senior Officers quarters on deck 2 have been replaced by the ISA Briefing and Breakout Rooms. Senior Officers have been moved to regular officer quarters, and the USS Bellona does not include any VIP quarters.
- The Arboretum, a prominent amenity on most Starfleet vessels traditionally taking up parts of decks 4 – 6 on the Insignia class, has been replaced by a tactical training facility with holecks for the ISA and offices/storage for its TACOPS unit.
- Stellar Cartography, a facility with a multi-deck forward monitor, an astrometric holo-projection table and other stations, has been refitted as the Command & Logistics center for the ISA.
- Security facilities on decks 7 – 9 have been augmented to support the HUMINT Psychological & Negotiations operation, including interrogation & holding, offices and labs.
- Science labs on decks 8 and 9 have been replaced by specialized labs for the four SCITECH teams, and secondary medical labs on deck 10 have been replaced by HUMINT Ecological & Cultural Analysis offices and HUMINT Biological & Medical Labs.
- All guest quarters on deck 11 and some guest quarters on deck 12 have been replaced by SAW office, maintenance facilities and additional shuttle/fighter storage capacity, and most of the remaining guest quarters on deck 12 have been replaced by enlisted quarters that were displaced from elsewhere on the ship.
See deck listings for a full deck layout.
for 12 hours
ISA Science & Technology
ISA Humanoid Intelligence
ISA Special Aviation Wing
22 Type-X Phaser Arrays
Multi-Layered Shielding System
Duranium/Tritanium Double Hull