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"She's got some big shoes to fill."
The USS Defiant (NX-74205), originally the USS Sao Paulo (NCC-75633), was a Federation Defiant-class escort that was in service with Starfleet in the late 24th century. The Defiant was assigned to Deep Space 9 in the final weeks of the Dominion War. This starship was one of at least three Federation starships to carry the name Defiant, and the second Defiant-class ship to bear the name.
As one of the first new starships launched from Federation shipyards after the disastrous Second Battle of Chin'toka, the Sao Paulo was immediately assigned to the front lines at Deep Space 9 as a replacement for the USS Defiant. The Sao Paulo was equipped with redesigned deflector shield generators to counteract the Breen energy dampening weapon, which had decimated the allied fleet at Chin'toka.
Upon taking command of the Sao Paulo on stardate 52891.3, Captain Benjamin Sisko received a special dispensation from the Chief of Starfleet Operations to change the vessel's name to USS Defiant, after the original, which had been destroyed by Breen forces in the Second Battle of Chin'toka.
The new Defiant was slightly modified from the prototype. On the bridge, the consoles alongside the captain's chair had been redesigned, and the aft operations table was replaced with a free-standing console. In addition, the ship's shield generators had been completely reconfigured, as had its internal furnishing – a fact bemoaned by Doctor Julian Bashir upon boarding the vessel. (DS9: "The Dogs of War")
The Defiant participated in the Battle of Cardassia, the last battle of the war. She suffered at least three casualties, with eight wounded in Phase One; it is unknown if any were suffered in Phase Two. Familiar with the individual characteristics of the old Defiant, the crew found it difficult to equate the one with the other, prompting Ensign Nog to report that the new Defiant was "a little sluggish." The vessel lacked the worn-in combat capability and effectiveness of the prototype, but acquitted herself well during the battle. (DS9: "What You Leave Behind")
Command crew Edit
As with the previous Defiant, this vessel's assignment to Deep Space 9 as a support vessel meant that it was manned by station personnel and had no dedicated crew compliment of its own. Crew assignments varied by mission.
As of 2375:
- Captain Benjamin Sisko - Commanding Officer (CO)
- Lieutenant Commander Worf - Executive Officer (XO)/Security Chief/Tactical Officer
- Lieutenant Julian Bashir - Chief Medical Officer (CMO)
- Lieutenant junior grade Ezri Dax - Counselor/Communications Officer
- Ensign Nog - Helmsman
- Senior Chief Petty Officer Miles O'Brien - Chief Engineer
The Sao Paulo's motto was "Give me Liberty or give me Death...", a quote by Patrick Henry. The ship was "named for the people of Brazil." This motto is in the same spirit as the famous words "Independência ou Morte" ("Independence or Death") said by Dom Pedro I, when he declared Brazil's independence from Portugal. Sao Paulo ("Saint Paul") was a city in Brazil.
The dedication plaque includes the names of 46 Star Trek executives including Rick Berman, Michael Piller, Ira Steven Behr, David Livingston, Ronald D. Moore, Peter Lauritson, Rene Echevarria, Steve Oster, and "Chief of Staff" Gene Roddenberry.
In Books One and Two of the duology Avatar, the first books in a series set after "What You Leave Behind", the Defiant was described as having been fitted with a new Romulan cloaking device, the Romulan Senate having recognized the strategic importance of the Defiant as the first line of defense against any future Dominion attack through the wormhole.
Avatar also depicts the Defiant in battle, defending DS9 from a group of rogue Jem'Hadar who attack the station, which at the time was undergoing a refit and was barely able to defend itself. The Defiant's commander, and DS9's recently-acquired second in command, Tiris Jast, was killed in the attack, spurring Ezri Dax to take command. In a desperate attempt to stop the Jem'Hadar, Dax and Nog used the Defiant's warhead module - a last ditch weapon which fired the Defiant's nose section, containing the deflector and a complement of photon torpedoes.
In the next books, Abyss and Demons of Air and Darkness, the Defiant was commanded by DS9's new first officer Elias Vaughn. Following on from those, in the four book miniseries Mission Gamma, Vaughn commands the Defiant on a three-month voyage of exploration through the Gamma Quadrant.
The Sao Paulo was also a playable starship in the 2006 video game Star Trek: Legacy for a level set in the year 2380, possibly indicating that after the war had ended, the ship reverted back to its original name. It is equally possible that, due to the original Sao Paulo being immediately re-named Defiant, another Defiant-class vessel was named the Sao Paulo.
The Defiant is depicted in Star Trek Online as still being in service by 2409, while also still attached to DS9. She appears in the missions "The Tribble with Klingons", "Second Wave", and "Boldly they Rode".
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