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This page contains information regarding Star Trek: Picard, and thus may contain spoilers.

"Right now I'm on the bridge of the toughest, fastest, most powerful ship Starfleet ever put into service. And I got a fleet of them at my back."

The Inquiry class was a type of starship operated by Starfleet during the late 24th and early 25th centuries. (PIC: "Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2", "The Star Gazer")


In 2399, multiple ships of this class were in a fleet led by the USS Zheng He under the command of Acting Captain William T. Riker to the planet Coppelius, where they acted as protectors of the synthetic lifeforms living there. (PIC: "Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2")

In 2401, five ships of this class were sent by Starfleet to join an armada opposing a unknown Borg vessel. The Borg liaison sent to the USS Stargazer briefly commandeered this vessel and others, before the crew managed to engage their auto-destruct system. (PIC: "The Star Gazer")

Technical data

Inquiry-class ships featured the saucer section / engineering section / warp nacelle layout common to most Starfleet vessels. The class contained two variations of warp nacelles. (PIC: "Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2")

As of 2399, Inquiry-class ships were the fastest and most tactically capable ships in the Federation fleet. They were equipped with phasers and deflector shields. (PIC: "Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2")

Interior design

The main bridge was located on deck one, with a central command chair for the commanding officer, and a computerized transparent window-viewscreen. (PIC: "Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2")

Ships commissioned

  • Unnamed Inquiry-class starships



Background information

The Inquiry class was identified by name by Michael Chabon. He identified the class as "a heavy cruiser: the Inquiry-class. That's the Zheng He." Originally, when asked by fans on his Instagram account, he identified the USS Zheng He as a Curiosity-class ship, but he later amended the classification of the ship. [1]

According to the Star Trek Universe collection gift issue 6 magazine (pp. 6-7), three additional starships were named and may have been among those that appeared in the class' first appearance: USS Maui (NCC-96761) (β), USS Toussaint (NCC-87111) (β), USS Varian Fry (NCC-87883) (β). While not confirmed in canon, all contents therein is compiled from valid background information provided by the production staff. The Zheng He, Toussaint, Varian Fry and Maui incidentally, each received its own individual model/magazine outing in the collection, as a regular, gift, and two bonus issues respectively. The latter three vessels may well have been part of Riker's fleet in "Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2", as class designer John Eaves is known to habitually provide his producers with additional back-up names/registries when requested to come up with one. It is for this reason that the USS Inquiry is not listed here, as no mention of this vessel was made in the Universe publications.

CGI model

Star Trek Universe Starships Collection issue 2.jpg Star Trek Universe Starships Collection gift issue 6.jpg
The publication version of the Inquiry-class CGI model in and on its own dedicated magazines

The class was designed by John Eaves, who in turn based it off one of the three starship designs he had originally submitted for Perpetual Entertainment's ultimately abandoned 2007 version of the Star Trek Online computer game. (Star Trek Universe: The Official Starships Collection, issue 2, p. 9) Eaves' designs were not labeled with names or registries, but he was asked at the eleventh hour to submit one endowed with the name Zheng He and a corresponding registry, which Eaves decided upon as "NCC-86505", even though they remained indiscernable on the production-used CGI model (constructed in Autodesk Maya at Pixomondo) as seen onscreen in the episode. (Star Trek Universe: The Official Starships Collection, issue 2, p. 14)

A publication version of the model became prominently featured in several issues of the Star Trek Universe: The Official Starships Collection, the first of which released in the Spring of 2021 and each accompanied by a physical display model based off the production CGI model. The model had to be re-rendered in LightWave 3D, as that was the software package of choice for the publisher of the publication, Eaglemoss Collections. The re-rendering was done by publisher mainstay Fabio Passaro, who also created the corresponding CAD files needed for the construction of the master from which the display models were produced. After its debut in the Universe publication, the publication version became also prominently featured in the August 2021 second edition of the Star Trek: Shipyards - Starfleet Ships 2294 to the Future reference book.


The (current) Star Trek Online game features the USS Inquiry (NCC-86500) (β) as the class-vessel. The notion was also adopted in the Shipyards - Starfleet Ships 2294 to the Future second edition book.

Further reading


External link