U.S.S. Menahga NCC 3101Menahga class command and support ship

  • Actual Length: 307m
  • Actual Height: 78m
  • Actual Beam: 141.7m

  • Officers: 80
  • Enlisted: 360
  • FSMC: 300

    Below is a list of Menahga class vessels: (More ships to be added. NCC numbers subject to change)

    Menahga 3100 Prototype vessel of the class.
    Arsuf 3101
    Koryak 3102
    Mitannic 3103 First variant attempting to resolve issues.
    Hastings 3104
    Marathon 3105
    Pashto 3106
    S'Harien 3107 Second variation - solved inherent design flaws.
    Austerlitz 3108
    Zetar 3109
    Avendesta 3110 Name transferred from NCC 3107
    Absalon 3111 Named in tribute to the Danish design that made this starship make sense.

    USS Menahga, NX 3100, was devised in the 2270s as a support ship design, incorporating aspects of a destroyer and multipurpose logistical assault ship. She would be a derivative of the Detroyat class. The prototype was launched in 2279 and was found to have flaws in several respects. Starfleet's Advanced Starship Design Bureau immediately started a program to resolve the outstanding issues. By the time the fourth vessel, U.S.S. Mitannic, was launched in 2284 a number of changes had been made to the design. These rectifying actions were still not a solution and a new design Practical experience with the Marathon in the Tabula Rasa campaign would provide the solutions that the drawing board failed to provide: U.S.S. S'Harien NCC 3107 incorporated these further changes and was authorised in 2291.

    The warp support secondary hull was completely redesigned and lined up vertically with the primary hull, as opposed to being mounted out from the secondary hull. One of the intended benefits of this redesign was the ability to jettison the secondary hull in a crisis or even have the ability to exchange specialised hulls such as for security operations, cargo bay, photon tube multilauncher or a special missions hull.

    The warp dynamics were modified to improve performance and to cater for the unique properties of the secondary hull. Additional aft-firing torpedo launchers were added to compensate for a tactical weakspot, along with repositioned rear phaser bank with better fire-arc. The prototype was field tested due to the Tabula Rasa campaign that was gaining strength. Starfleet wanted to use her rectified qualities to rapidly deploy ground forces in the new systems whilst providing additional firepower against the Romulan and Klingon forces building up in the region.

    Marathon and the Tabula Rasa campaign

    U.S.S. Marathon, NCC 3105 was an early entrant into the campaign in the U.S.S. Alliance battlegroup that had been pulled from wargame simulations along the Neutral Zone border. The battle group contained two Athabasca class assault carriers and they were found in practice to be more suited to the role than the older Menahga derivatives were. Starfleet Tactical immediately ordered the Alliance BBBG (Battleship Battle Group) to the border adjacent to the Tabula Rasa systems, following the unprovoked attack on the Hirayama. The constraints that Starfleet Command had from the Federation Council was that they needed to establish a presence in the system with science and mining station to claim the new territory, whilst not providing a provocative level of tactical assets in the region.

    The Alliance BBBG clearly could not enter neutral space without the Romulans and Klingons deploying in kind. The two Athabasca class vessels were both new and untested in combat. They were also designed to operate as part of an ARG (Assault Ready Group) with accompanying escorts of Jupp and Akula class. These would make for a follow-up group but for the spearhead approach, the local commander- Admiral Nexine- opted to deploy the Marathon independently to establish the first Starfleet base in the region. A minimal number of destroyer (DD) and escort destroyer (DDE) assets to accompany the Marathon and other scouts.

    Marathon still performed with distinction although the Metar were found to be more than a match for the design. Despite the loss of a vessel during the campaign, the design was successful enough to serve in the Interstellar Concordium Pacification War, helping to protect the Federation from invasion. This was facilitated from this learning-on-the-fly experience and incorporating them into a new design. The ASDB division at Odense Staalskibsværft used their historical experience at flexible ships to take the weaknesses of the Menahga class and build upon her strengths.

    S'Harien class

    A final version of Menahga class, the S'Harien class, was developed and refined all of the points from the earlier versions of the Menahga. The result was a Command and Logistical vessel that closest matched the original design brief from the 2270s. This allowed for a specialised ship for small scale commando-style operations, the strong point of the Menahga design from earlier operations and the reason that Starfleet had persisted with the design for so long. The strength of the Menahga class was as a platform for the deploying of small numbers of specialist security forces for surgical strikes into hostile regions where a larger Athabasca class was not available. The flexibility of the large secondary hull meant that the ship could be altered for mission specifics, as well as for peacetime operations supporting colonial missions.

    Despite the hammering that the original Menahga design had in the Saess'Tan report of 2283, the Marathon had opened the door to the design for Starfleet Tactical and Fleet Admirals were pressing for full production. This decision was controversial, given the Saess'Tan report and subsequent Andernach class production, however the success of the spearhead use of the Marathon showed this was a good rapid response vessel for a crisis. Just what Starfleet needed. By using the Saess'Tan report as a template of all of the faults, including the warp support hull redesign.

    Several notable mission successes were achieved by the Menahga class design during the Metar and ISC campaigns and this was enough to secure the entry into service of all of the ordered ships. Starfleet has used the S'Harien updated Menahga class in conflict resolution where a larger Athabasca class vessel would be inappropriate. As the missions of U.S.S. Marathon showed, the Menahga class had the deployment speed and flexibility to set up supply bases and offer the security to rapidly establish a Federation presence in those new systems. Athabasca class showed itself to be a larger and more succesful design but used in different ways.

    The Athabasca class assault carrier is the principal assault ship of Starfleet, introduced in the late 2280s. Along with the Youngblood CVE/LPD, this forms the backbone of the assault fleet. Where the Menahga and S'Harien class fit into the picture is as a one-stop assault ship that can set up a base and send in ground forces as either a solo vessel or with minimal support. A high value asset like Athabasca class requires the full support of an Assault Ready Group. Menahga is a good spearhead force and the Athabasca the follow-up full assault force. Speed and flexibility are the key features of the Menahga class. As the Tabula Rasa campaign showed, a crisis cannot be always foreseen and always requires rapid response to minimise the chaos and bring control to the situation.

    Odense Staalskibsværft Yards and Baltic Fleet Yards set up a production line for the S'Harien class Command and Support ships, no longer an embarrassing battlecruiser and heavy destroyer class failure design, but a flexible addition to the Starfleet. Old fears of a class that would sit idly by awaiting warfare were unfounded. The design was able to be disaster response and casualty reception vessels for Starfleet Medical as well as the tactical aspects. This was a companion vessel to the Athabasca class, not a rival.

    Author's Notes:br>
    Much like the Absalon class support ship for the Danish Navy, the Menahga class is a design that is less a battlecruiser or heavy destroyer and more a hybrid vessel that struggled to find a role in Starfleet until trial by fire in Tabula Rasa helped to find that role. A smaller assault ship destroyer than the Athabasca, the Menahga is a design dating back to the late 2270s which is now being supported by the larger Belknap derivative Athabasca, which has taken the design ethos of the Menahga and used the successful Belknap design as a basis instead, rather like the Danish Navy Iver Huitfeldt-class frigate being based upon the Absalom support ship hull and StanFlex modular mission payload system.

    The Saess'Tan report comes from Starship Design magazine (1984, 1987), damning the Menahga design. Starfleet Prototype magazine (1992) introduced the S'Harien class variant and clearly cited this was to be a full production run. A controversial one at that. The S'Harien design improvements were intended not only to fix the faults of the prior Menahga and Mitannic designs but also be able to be applied to those older designs. Menahga was built in 2282, so she is not life expired yet. Perhaps not the most attractive design, but the large secondary hull hit me as being useful for flexibility with troops, cargo and other supplies. Star Trek: New Worlds shows Starfleet had to race to the new systems and start building bases, the Menahga class came across as the best design to achieve all of this in a package that could still defend itself.

    Menahga showed the solution from looking at the design. She is not a battlecruiser; that is a lightly armoured version of a battleship. She is not a destroyer either; this is not an escort vessel of any sort. She has a barracks for marines and storage facilities for Starfleet Corps of Engineering supplies for setting up a base. This resembles the Danish Absalon class of modern times - something the products of the Eighties could never have foreseen.

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