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The Orion scout ship was a type of scout ship utilized by the Orions during the mid-23rd century.

The Orion scout ship had a unique design, previously unknown to Starfleet, consisting of an oblong primary hull attached by a central "spine" to a large vertical ring, perpendicular to the primary hull, which contained the ship's propulsion system. The propulsion system itself consisted of two four-spoke components, each containing four propulsion units. These two components spun independently of each other while the ship was in flight.

The scout ship's hull was composed of high density trititanium, allowing the vessel to be "cloaked" against Federation sensor probes. This technology was unlike the cloaking device used by the Romulans.

While moderately armed with standard phasers, the scout ship was capable of evading both phaser and photon torpedo fire, due to its incredible speed; indeed, capable of traveling at warp 10 in combat.

While en route to Babel from Vulcan, in 2268, the USS Enterprise encountered an intruder vessel, later discovered to be an Orion scout ship. Due to the vessel's design, it was able to block the sensor probes of the Enterprise, allowing the ship to remain unidentified, and the size of its crew masked.

After making multiple strafing runs at the Enterprise, it was eventually defeated by the Enterprise in combat, after Enterprise Captain James T. Kirk allowed his ship to drift, baiting the Orion ship in to a range of about 75,000 kilometers, before disabling it with a few phaser shots. The scout's crew chose to set their vessel to self-destruct rather than be captured. (TOS: "Journey to Babel")

Background information

Footage of the original "spinning wheel" starship optical was recycled in "Patterns of Force", representing the Ekosian V-2 rocket.

Studio model

Orion scout ship and Ekosian missile.jpg Eaglemoss Orion Scout Ship.jpg
Original simple "pulsing light" optical, and its converted preliminary CGI version by Eaglemoss on the right

Originally featured as a "spinning wheel of light", or rather as a "faint glowing blip" (Scene 24, Script draft, 14 September 1967, p. 15) or simply as a "pulsing light" (Scene 15a, Script draft, 20 September 1967, p. 16), the original appearance of the Orion scout ship suffered from the series' budget limitations, having to make do with a fairly simple optical effect, but would ultimately be revised for the remastered episode that aired in 2007, when the visual was replaced with a full-fledged CGI model.

Having been given a certain amount of leeway in their design creativity, the digital artists managed to "remained faithful to the original effect, but embellished it by creating an ingenious ship design that used the spinning lights as a powerful alien propulsion system." [1](X) Responsible for its design was the remastering project's Visual Effects Producer Michael Okuda. [2] The new, digital model itself was constructed at CBS Digital in the Autodesk Maya CGI software. (Sci-fi & fantasy modeller, Vol. 26, p. 49) In 2015, former Star Trek Producer Dave Rossi made the entire starship database of the remastered Original Series available to Project Manager Ben Robinson for representation in the British partwork publication Star Trek: The Official Starships Collection from Eaglemoss Collections. [3] However, these models, including the Gorn starship, were not quite production and/or print ready as the models needed to be converted into LightWave 3D, the software package of choice for the vast majority of Star Trek digital modelers. Robinson assigned Fabio Passaro, among others, to this chore. [4] The intent of release was made public by Robinson in late May 2015. [5] Thrilled by the prospect that his favorite remastered Original Series design, having coined it an "Orion raider" himself, was considered a prospect for representation in the physical world, designer Okuda was particularly looking forward to this possible outing; "I've always wanted a model of it," he stated. [6]


The ship was used in the Star Trek Online expansion Agents of Yesterday. In the mission "Return to Babel", players end up boarding the ship to deliver a bomb that the Na'kuhl planted on the Enterprise. The ship's power was revealed to be due to a union with the Na'kuhl themselves. Instead of the ship self-destructing, the bomb that was returned destroyed the ship instead.

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