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|USS Yangtzee Kiang, a Danube-class runabout|
|Armament:||4 phaser array emitters; torpedo launcher|
|With "roll bar"|
"You know, the rate we go through runabouts, it's a good thing the Earth has so many rivers."
The Danube-class, also known as a Runabout-class, was a type of Federation runabout in operation during the latter half of the 24th century. All runabouts assigned to Deep Space 9 were named after rivers on Earth.
The Danube-class was first commissioned by Starfleet in 2368 for use as a light multipurpose craft in situations that demanded a vessel more capable than a standard shuttlecraft, but lower profile than a full-sized starship. With this flexibility, a runabout could be utilized as a long-range personnel and cargo transport, an agile mobile defense platform, or a high-speed reconnaissance vehicle. (DS9: "Paradise")
The following year, the space station Deep Space 9 took on three runabouts for use in their daily operations: the USS Ganges, the USS Yangtzee Kiang, and the USS Rio Grande. They were housed within landing bays situated around the habitat ring. (DS9: "Emissary")
Use at Deep Space 9 Edit
In the first two years of the space station's use by Starfleet, the runabout remained the primary method of transport and defense support.
The runabouts were instrumental in discovering many new worlds and civilizations within the Gamma Quadrant, as well as the Bajoran wormhole itself. The runabouts were also utilized in fighting off Maquis raiders. (DS9: "The Maquis, Part II", "The Jem'Hadar")
Even after DS9 took delivery of the USS Defiant in 2371, the runabout was still widely used. Just before the beginning of the Dominion War, Elim Garak and Worf used a runabout to stealthily rescue crew members at Internment Camp 371. (DS9: "In Purgatory's Shadow") They were also used to help defend DS9 against a Dominion fleet. (DS9: "By Inferno's Light") Colonel Kira Nerys used a runabout to covertly travel to Cardassia Prime to aid Damar's resistance movement. (DS9: "Tacking Into the Wind")
Technical data Edit
The innovative feature that made the runabout possible was its compact, high-performance warp propulsion system. Runabouts were designed to have a maximum speed of warp 5. (DS9: "Dax") Their overall width was 14 meters. (DS9: "Playing God")
The Danube-class runabouts were also equipped with an aft tractor beam emitter. This emitter could be used to tow starships at least as large as a Galor-class. (DS9: "Emissary") It was also capable of being rigged to tow at warp velocities. (DS9: "Paradise")
For defense, the runabout was armed with phasers and photon torpedoes. The torpedo launcher assembly was accessible via a hatch on the floor of the forward cabin. (DS9: "Past Prologue") In late 2370, Chief Miles O'Brien of Deep Space 9 began retrofitting the weapon systems of the runabouts USS Mekong and USS Orinoco with extra banks of photon torpedoes in preparation to the Federation's first engagement with the Dominion. (DS9: "The Jem'Hadar") He also made some modifications to the phaser arrays and shield generators of the station's runabouts. (DS9: "Hippocratic Oath")
The hull of a Danube-class ship was made up of metallic composites that could interact with magnetic fields. Lost ships could be found by using a differential magnetometer to detect fluctuations in the hysteresis curve. In the case of low power, the runabout had a contingency fuel cell to provide an emergency supply of power. The vessel also had the ability to eject its antimatter pod if so needed. (DS9: "Battle Lines")
Interior configuration EditIdeally, a runabout was piloted by two crewmembers, although one pilot would suffice. (DS9: "The Maquis, Part I") The pilots' consoles faced forward upon two large portholes. The cockpit had stations for up to four crewmembers. The two large portholes were equipped with retractable blast shutters. (DS9: "One Little Ship") Small square viewscreens mounted within the forward corners of the cabin were used for video communication and ship status displays. (DS9: "Vortex")
In the original configuration, a food replicator and a compact personnel transporter were located immediately behind the cockpit stations. After the class underwent a refit as hostilities arose between the Federation and the Dominion, the transporter and replicator were moved further back and a secondary tactical console was positioned in the cockpit. The transporter was capable of transporting multiple persons simultaneously. (DS9: "Vortex")
The rear of the craft could be configured as a large crew cabin complete with sleeping and dining areas for extended travel. (TNG: "Timescape"; DS9: "The Jem'Hadar", "Let He Who Is Without Sin...") This area could also be used as a cargo bay. (DS9: "Tribunal") In the center of the craft, between the two wing pylons, a series of replaceable modules could be connected. These modules could be swapped to suit mission requirements. Examples of available modules included science laboratories, crew quarters, and photon or quantum torpedo bays. (DS9: "Melora")
The runabout was equipped with at least one manual escape hatch, located near the front side of the vehicle. (DS9: "Battle Lines") A small Jefferies tube was also present, immediately underneath the warp core that ran along the spine of the vessel. (DS9: "Blaze of Glory")
Ships commissioned Edit
- USS Gander (Destroyed)
- USS Ganges (NCC-72454) (Destroyed)
- USS Mekong (Destroyed)
- USS Orinoco (Destroyed)
- USS Rio Grande (NCC-72452)
- USS Rubicon (NCC-72936)
- USS Shenandoah (NCC-73024) (Destroyed)
- USS Volga
- USS Yangtzee Kiang (Destroyed)
- USS Yukon (Destroyed)
Danube-class, standard design Edit
- TNG: "Timescape"
- "Past Prologue"
- "The Passenger"
- "Battle Lines"
- "The Storyteller"
- "The Homecoming"
- "The Circle"
- "The Alternate"
- "Armageddon Game"
- "Playing God"
- "The Maquis, Part I"
- "The Maquis, Part II"
- "The Wire"
- "The Jem'Hadar"
- "Heart of Stone"
- "Improbable Cause"
- "The Die is Cast"
- "The Visitor"
- "Hippocratic Oath"
- "The Sword of Kahless"
- "Our Man Bashir"
- "Sons of Mogh"
- "Hard Time"
- "The Quickening"
- "Body Parts"
- "Apocalypse Rising"
- "The Ship"
- "Nor the Battle to the Strong"
- "The Assignment"
- "Let He Who Is Without Sin..."
- "Things Past"
- "The Ascent"
- "The Darkness and the Light"
- "In Purgatory's Shadow"
- "By Inferno's Light"
- "Doctor Bashir, I Presume"
- "A Simple Investigation"
- "Blaze of Glory"
- "One Little Ship"
- "Change of Heart"
- "The Reckoning"
- "Tears of the Prophets"
- "Shadows and Symbols"
- "Treachery, Faith and the Great River"
- "Prodigal Daughter"
- "When It Rains..."
- "Tacking Into the Wind"
- "What You Leave Behind"
Danube-class with pod Edit
Background information Edit
Although originally called "Runabout-class" by Benjamin Sisko in "Emissary," the official class designation is "Danube-class." The official name was originally mentioned in the Star Trek Encyclopedia, but was later seen in episodes as part of display graphics and reiterated in the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Technical Manual. The term "Danube-class" was first officially spoken on screen in "Hippocratic Oath".
Interestingly enough, the aft cabin sections were never seen in any of the Deep Space Nine episodes wherein they were a staple of the series, yet the aft cabin was featured prominently in the only TNG episode, "Timescape", in which the runabout was seen.
Studio model Edit
The Danube-class runabout was designed by Rick Sternbach and Jim Martin, and the interior cockpit set was designed by Joseph Hodges, all under the direction of Herman Zimmerman. The aft compartment was designed by Richard James. The miniature was built by Tony Meininger.
Technical Manual Edit
The following information of specifications and defenses comes exclusively from the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Technical Manual:
- Height: 5.4 meters
- Length: 23.1 meters
- Width: 13.7 meters
- Crew: Up to 40 passengers
- Phasers: 1 emitter
- Photons: 2 launch tubes, Stock: 2 micro-photon torpedoes
- Cruise speed: 2
- Max speed: 4
- Impulse: Standard units
The runabout's modular platform allowed easy configuration for a multitude of missions. Two such modules were the mission module and sensor pod. The runabout could carry four different sizes of mission modules. (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Technical Manual)
The Technical Manual also states that the USS Danube, registry number NX-72003, was the prototype of this class.
- The Danube-class Runabout is in the game Star Trek Online, seen with its rollbar.