The Steamrunner class was a type of Federation starship in service with Starfleet during the late 24th century. Utopia Planitia Fleet Yards was one of the sites this class was constructed at in 2371. (VOY: "Relativity")
Entering service some time during the early-2370s, the Steamrunner-class was a common fixture in Federation fleet deployments, appearing on the front lines of numerous engagements, including against the Borg and the Dominion.
In the years to follow, several vessels of this class were assigned to Starfleet's Second Fleet during the Dominion War, which participated in Operation Return in 2374, the second Battle of Chin'toka, and the Battle of Cardassia in 2375. (DS9: "Favor the Bold", "Sacrifice of Angels", "The Changing Face of Evil", "What You Leave Behind") They were also frequently stationed near Deep Space 9 during the war. (DS9: "Statistical Probabilities", "The Magnificent Ferengi", "Afterimage", "Field of Fire")
The Steamrunner-class was a somewhat drastic departure from other Starfleet vessels of the era, in that it featured a large saucer section, and a detached secondary hull, not completely unlike the design employed in the Oberth-class, but was joined at the aft to the ship's nacelles. The nacelles themselves were directly attached to the saucer section by large cowlings, which housed the Bussard collectors. The ship's deflector dish was housed in the rear, on the detached secondary hull, while the bridge module was inset between the Bussard cowlings. (Star Trek: First Contact, et al.)
Ships of the class
According to the Star Trek Encyclopedia (? ed., p. ?), a USS Hiroshima was a Steamrunner-class vessel, but such a ship was never mentioned on screen. This ship name, referenced in the Encyclopedia II, was from behind-the-scenes source from ILM by John Eaves and Alex Jaeger. The original ship scale with alternate names can be found on John Eaves' blog. Furthermore, the reference to that vessel was removed from the third version of the Encyclopedia and then made a return appearance in the fourth edition (vol. 2, p. 519).
It also appeared in Star Trek: Legacy as a playable ship.
In Star Trek Online, the Steamrunner-class Blockade Runner Escort is an unlockable ship obtained by installing the game with Valve's Steam DRM software and purchasing the "Steam Starter Pack". It would come with a Tier 1 and a Tier 5 version of the ship with the Tier 1 version coming with a Console which would grant it the power "Team Fortress", named after one of Valve's flagship titles. After the revelation that Steam users were exploiting Steam's refund procedure with DLC, it was removed from Steam and put into the main game
The following specifications are given in the Starfleet Operations Manual supplement for Decipher's Star Trek RPG:
- Type: Heavy Frigate
- Dimensions: Length, 375 meters; width, 270.9 meters; height, 79.5 meters.
- Complement: 200 officers and crew
- Performance: Warp 9.6 for 12 hours
- Armament: Four type-10 phaser emitters, two photon torpedo launchers.