With the adoption of the Moskva-class cruisers in 2179, Starfleet began its long-standing trend toward saucer-shaped hulls, both for their warp efficiency and their minimization of frontal and lateral silhouettes (of vital importance during combat); however, the traditional spherical command hull was not to be cast aside so quickly. Following the Romulan War Starfleet adopted a policy of attaching several small combat-ready ships to large facilities (such as Starbases) and important worlds like Earth Colony 2. These ships were smaller than most Starfleet ships and lacked all but the most basic scientific facilities and crew quarters, and were designed to operate from a central base of operations; in fact, these ships were unable to operate independently for more than two or three weeks before they had to return to their home port for replenishment of fuel and consumables. Of the several designs approved by Starfleet for construction at individual fleet yards, the Drake-class stands out as the first Biraktes-produced design ever adopted by the Federation. From the original three drydock facilities in the Beta Cygni system, Biraktes turned out thirteen of these ships in a matter of two years (2184 and 2185), delivering them to Starbases 12 and 17 and to the colony world of Noto Kivar. These ships lacked shuttlebays, all but basic crew facilities and even the rudimentary ability to separate from the warp package in an emergency, but they prevented much damage to the facilities they guarded and served well for almost twenty years. It is unknown if any Drake-class ships remain functional.
The U.S.S. Cecile (NCC-341) was the second Drake-class ship built and was commissioned in 2184. The Cecile (named for Lt. Commander Cecile Hodges, who took command of the U.S.S. Concord after her captain was killed during the battle for Tagus XII) was assigned to Starbase 17 and served until 2205, when she was sold to a private investor.
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This page was created on September 1, 2000.
Last modified on February 10, 2005.