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|Max. warp:||warp 9.995|
|Armaments:|| phaser arrays|
photon torpedo tubes
The Discovery-class was designed primarily for exploration and incorporated increased science capacity and laboratories designed for crew members to put experiments into stasis during emergencies without loss of data.
The designers retained and improved the variable geometry warp nacelles from the Intrepid-class, resulting in a 7% reduction in energy loss over existing vessels. The improved design also incorporated warp foils that extended while the ship was in warp configuration, designed to increase stability at high warp or when using transwarp conduits. The Starfleet Corps of Engineers considered the design a testbed and would be studying the foils' effectiveness over the long term before making a recommendation on whether they would be used in future designs.
The class had less firepower than an escort like the Defiant-class but was on par with the Intrepid-class for firepower. The Discovery-class had a distinct technological advantage over most enemies, with improved sensor arrays and targeting sensors ideal for tracking small targets or targeting subsystems such as impulse engines or deflector shields. The tractor beam was optimized so it could be used to hold an enemy in place for sustained attacks.
The ship also featured holo-emitters for holographic crew, improved navigation sensors, a dilithium crystal matrix modified to increase the length of time the ship could run on a damaged dilithium crystal, and an astrometrics laboratory.
The Discovery-class entered service in 2379 with the launch of the class prototype USS Discovery (NX-85527). The Discovery-class was fitted with stationary warp nacelles instead of variable geometry warp nacelles and the designers improved the warp coil energy transfer rate as compared to Intrepid-class, resulting in a 10% reduction in energy loss. The improved design also incorporated warp foils that extended while the ship was in warp configuration, designed to increase stability at high warp. The class was armed with 13 type-10 phaser arrays and 3 torpedo launchers and wave-mapped FSQ deflector shields.