This new freighter design introduced in the 2290s built on the success of the Dollond class design and utilised New Technology refurbishments. By relocating the warp nacelles onto the dorsal surface of the hull, this allows two cargo pods to be docked onto the ventral hull.
Whilst these cargo pods are smaller it does allow a greater variety of cargo to be carried by one tug and the performance at impulse is less adversely affected. The additional hanger space aft allows for workbees to aid in loading and unloading cargo pods for facilities where such operations cannot be carried out. The crew compliment of a Deneva class tug is 200.
e.g. S.S. Argus, NAR-6135 – Hawkins’ second assignment (2294 – 2297), sent to Klingon space as part of the aid mission. Starfleet Auxiliary vessel operating with Starfleet Corps of Engineering to Station los pagh los in Klingon space, for transfer to a Klingon freighter. Ensign Hawkins was pulled away from his assignment on the Monarch in 2294, his experience at the Klingon/Federation Cultural Exchange School at Sherman’s Planet paving the way for the young social scientist to be placed on this mission into Klingon Space.
Utility Platform los pagh los was located in the Da’kel system in the Mempa Sector, orbiting over Da’kel III. The Klingon Defence Force had relented into giving a sole location for the unloading of Federation aid, even Chancellor Azetbur had not been able to convince the High Council to allow aid ships directly into the heart of Klingon Space.
Along with merchantman vessels, Caitian, Tellarite and Vulcan freighters were all directed to the station. The tug Argus was to be assigned to take medical aid and environmental technology to help in the post-Praxis clean-up. The operation had been delayed for the past two years whilst the documentation was finalised as to how and where the aid ships would go. Starfleet had pressed logically to go straight to Kronos and the other worlds afflicted by the blast of Praxis; the High Council would not allow such a violation of their space and a site of their choosing had to be decided upon. Utility Station los pagh los was that site.
The Klingon Cultural Exchange School was a recent addition agreed between the leaders of the Klingon Empire and United Federation of Planets to build upon the spirit of the Khitomer Accords and create an understanding between their two nations. As one who graduated with honours from the first class, Hawkins’ name naturally came up to be a part of this aid mission, to ensure the smooth co-ordination with the Klingons.
The Klingons assigned L’mak, a former associate of the same cultural exchange school as Hawkins, as their Klingon liaison to guide them from the former Neutral Zone up to the Utility Station. The official reason given was that it was for conforming with Klingon territorial regulations, but was more likely to keep an eye on the Starfleet Auxiliary vessel. No armed Starfleet ships were allowed into Klingon space and the Deneva class was a logical choice for the mission. An Akula class destroyer was escort up to the border where a Bird of Prey took over.
Author Notes: this vessel is based on the RFA Argus, which I have been aboard a couple of times. This one tug has aid pods on board and also allows Starfleet to get a close look culturally at the Klingons. It also makes a change from giving Hawkins yet another Constellation class assignment. Something interesting and draws on his previous tug experience. Klingon Cultural Exchange School from Azetbur and Ra-Ghoratreii and based on Sherman’s Planet in both Port Emily and Ka’Hat. An interesting difference of experience when compared to the Hirayama. (photos of RFA Argus to be attached).
Hawkins’ history as part of the first cultural exchange class helps build up his story arc of being knowledgeable with the Klingons. He graduated from this school with honours, acquiring a treasured copy of the Klingon Book of Honour. L’mak, son of a Klingon General, develops a friendship with Hawkins and this too can be traced from the Exchange School to the S.S. Argus and beyond.