- 300 - Auxilliary & Support Craft - Introduction

Created by Commander Tyro Adina on Fri Mar 6th, 2015 @ 7:43am

USS Tranquility Support Vehicles

Type 9 Shuttlecraft ~ 99 Delta ~ NCC-79936/Delta
Type 11 Shuttlecraft ~ Allegro ~ NCC-79936/Charlie
Aerowing Shuttlecraft ~ Adagio ~ NCC-79936/Bravo
Volga Runabout ~ Armorica ~ NCC-79936/Alpha

Support Craft Deployments

Although runabouts have begun to develop alongside fighters to act as alternative tactical assets, shuttlecraft are general-use support ships which are disposable if necessary. Shuttles have always been important staples aboard Starfleet ships, and no vessel aiming to represent the Federation would be comeplete without them.

Shuttlecraft are small enough to be operated by only a single person if necessary, and are stored on board of a larger vessel. Shuttles rarely operate alone unless they are in transit to or from their mothership. Even the smallest Starfleet ships are equipped with shuttles, because they have always been versatile and invaluable tools for a Starship to possess. These craft are sometimes called upon to fill roles such as, but not limited to the following:

  • Providing Trasportation. Large starships support significant populations of people, usually with a diverse spectrum of needs. While a ship like Tranquility is well equipped to deal with any number of issues, it will often find itself isolated in space while travelling or called to unfamiliar regions. Tranquility isn't a prison ship, so crew and passengers benefit from alternate transport vehicles. Shuttlecraft and runabouts are able to launch from the main ship in order to move equipment or people to and from Tranquility. They are capable of relaying passengers to other vessels headed in a direction they prefer, or the shuttles may even taxi its occupants all the way to their destination, and rendezvous with Tranquility at a later date.

  • Scouting and Reconnaissance. Because Shuttles are small and simple, they are easier to handle and hide than larger starships. Large vessels are also limited by their bulk in some cases where Shuttlecraft have better access. Shuttles and runabouts can be deployed to suppliment a ship's sensor network and even extend it's effective range. Ships may also have more pressing concerns which don't allow for a large craft like Tranquility to diverge or delay, but deploying a smaller ship instead allows Tranquility to continue with its mission and still collect needed information on the way.

  • Supporting Away Missions. The most recognisable use of a shuttle is to bring in a Starfleet Away Team. In situations where Tranquility's transporter systems aren't functional, Away Teams will be dispached in shuttlecraft. These craft are able to carry passengers into environments which are too dangerous for the ship, and with the problem-solving characterised in Starfleet personnel, open the way for solutions that don't threaten more lives than is absolutely necessary. The loss of a shuttlecraft is an acceptable risk, especially if for whatever reason it should protect the lives of the Away Team. Shuttles are designed to provide every contingency to its brave service men and women.
  • Providing Tactical Coverage. Fighters and runabouts provide more bang for Starfleet's buck in this case. They were specifically designed to provide alternative fire in support of a vessel's primary arms. Smaller and more agile ships let Tranquility take advantage of new strategies and bolder maneuvers than it could on its own. The smaller profiles of support craft like shuttles or the Armorica are more difficult for enemy ships to lock onto, are quicker to maneuver and pilot than Tranquility, and can help compensate for Tranquility's disadvantages. Support craft can also get a lot closer to a hostile target than the ship can.
  • Extending Shipboard Capabilities. Shuttles aren't just basic craft. They share many of the same functions and features of larger vessels. This means the systems of a shuttlecraft or runabout can be configured to interface with Tranquility, even more than it does automatically. The trick can boost the capabilities of many of Tranquility's systems, like sensors, communications, etc. This can allow the ship to increase the functionality of its systems for the purposes of more sensitive or delicate situations.
  • Assuming Greater Risks Finally, shuttlecraft serve Starfleet in another way which saves and protects the lives of her personnel. Risking the destruction of a ship like Tranquility risks the lives of hundreds of people which rely on her. No Starship should be gambled and put in danger if such a thing can be avoided. Shuttlecraft are built to make up for Tranquility's limitations. Even when shuttles share those same flaws, they may be called upon to bare danger ahead of the mothership. Shuttles are meant to go where Tranquility cannot, and to ensure the safety of the ship by blazing a trail ahead of it.

Categories: Majestic Tranquility