SCOUTS

INTRODUCTION TO SCOUTS

Scouts, like Cruisers, are one of the oldest designation in Federation nomenclature. Scouts are designed to conduct a number or information gathering missions, including exploration, first contact, research, and intelligence gathering. Scouts are usually smaller and lighter than other front line exploration vessels. Most are also less heavily armed, using the space for labs and research equipment. Scouts have extremely comfortable, although somewhat cramped, crew spaces, due to their extended patrols. Most scouts are used along the expanding boarder to explore and catalogue planets, stars and other space phenomenon. No other single category of vessel can claim as many discoveries as Scouts. Scouts are also designed to be easily repaired, and many have extensive self-repair capabilities, needing only time and raw materials to repair nearly any onboard system. Scouts have both passive and active sensor systems, often rivaling those of Heavy Cruisers. Scouts have a number of computer redundancies, used to store and transmit newly acquired information. But the focused nature of Scouts does put them at a disadvantage when compared to cruisers. Most scouts have only moderate medical facilities, reducing their effectiveness in medical situations. Scouts also lack the large crew associated with other exploration classes. None the less, their speed and excellent detection equipment make them the ideal choice for expanding the boarders of the Federation.

 

BATTLE SCOUT

Battle Scouts, a Klingon term, describe vessels more commonly known as Raiders and occasionally confused with Blockade Runners. Battle Scouts, the most famous of which is the Bird of Prey design, has only a limited science capability, usually having only one or two actual labs aboard. Many Battle Scouts are equipped with extensive ECM devices which allow them to operate closer to most enemy facilities. Battle Scouts are known for their light beam weapons and usually are equipped with a single, heavy firepower torpedo weapon. Although unable to successfully engage large capital ships, Battle Scouts are able to use their stealth and attack Destroyers, Escorts, and on rare occasions, Cruisers. Battle Scouts ability to gather data stealth fully make them an interracial part of most combat plans.

 

FAST SCOUT

Fast Scouts are usually known for their inability to conduct research missions, rather than their high speed. Considered some of the fastest vessels within most navies, Fast Scouts use much of their internal space to accommodate oversized engines and impulse drives, sacrificing much of their science base capability. Most Fast Scouts do retain extremely sensitive scanning equipment, and can gather data nearly as detailed as a Survey vessel. None the less, most have half the number of labs associated with a typical scout vessel. This give most Fast Scouts a more military mission profile. Due to their small size and usually light weapons, Fast Scouts are not know for their battle capabilities.

 

 

HEAVY SCOUT

Heavy scouts are used to conduct extended reconnaissance ahead and to the flanks of fleets and to supplement other surveillance craft patrolling in sensitive areas. They are also used in place of standard scouts in areas where hostile action is anticipated. These vessels mount powerful sensor suites, often mounted externally, which extends their sensor range dramatically compared to other vessels. Built for good speed and moderate maneuverability, these vessels provide vital reconnaissance for the fleet, ranging well ahead and to the flanks of the fleet. Their superior sensor suites scan for danger which the scout transmits back to the fleet. When faced with superior forces, they utilize their high speed toreturn to the protection of the fleet. In fleet combat, these vessels act as picket ships supporting the fleet’s capital vessels.  Heavy scouts mount weapons comparable to standard destroyers to help in their survivability while scouting away from the fleet and to provide good supporting fire when acting as pickets. Often referred to as the ‘eyes and ears of the fleet’, these vessels play a vital role in fleet operations. When deployed to scout independently, the heavy scout is able to sense potential trouble at a longer range than a standard scout. The heavy scout can then utilize its speed to evade danger or rely on its firepower to engage a hostile which cannot be outrun. Heavy scouts are significantly more expensive to build and maintain.

 

INTELLIGENCE SCOUT

One of the most secretive vessel classes, the Intelligence Scout is designed to gather and quickly interpret enemy/unknown transmissions along a broad range of carrier signals, including Sub-space, Radio and even Laser communication systems. Intelligence Scouts use extremely modified drive systems to almost completely mask their warp signatures and location from even their own command vessels. Most Intelligence Scouts have the ability to remain on station for extended periods of time, running silent for up to a year or more. Intelligence Scouts have a myriad of onboard self-destruct systems that allow any of the crew to quickly and completely destroy all data gathered from their targets. Intelligence scouts are also able to gather communications data from great distances using (often externally mounted) large sensor grids or antenna that extend the range of an Intelligence Scout beyond that of even a heavy cruiser. Intelligence scouts have poor long and medium range sensor systems, being equipped with more passive systems. Most Intelligence Scouts are known for their small crews, usually less than 10 persons, with several designs being one man craft. Intelligence Scouts are not known for their weapons or shields, often using very light shielding to reduce energy signatures detectable by enemy forces. Duty on-board Intelligence Scouts is less hazardous than commonly believed, but significantly less exciting than hoped for. Most crews aboard Intelligence Scouts, even among races like the Romulans, burn out very rapidly and few persons request a second tour.

 

LIGHT SCOUT

Light Scouts are the smallest scout vessels in use by the Federation. Unlike standard Scouts, which have an extensive multi-target research base, Light Scouts, like Research Cruisers, are designed to concentrate several different science system on the study of a single phenomenon. Light scouts are often no larger than a cutter or large gunboat, but have extensive recreation and meeting spaces available. Light Scouts also have a larger than average passenger compliment, with many on board crew actually, civilians. Light Scouts often have only rudimentary defenses, and are never sent beyond the boundaries of Federation Space.

 

RECON SCOUT

Recon Scout is a designation found in the Klingon Imperial Navy. This ship type was developed by the Klingons to help make up for their general lack of science-dedicated vessels while adding a reasonably combat-capable vessel to the inventory. A cross between a Battle Scout and a Science Scout, the primary mission of the Recon Scout is to range out from the fleet and/ or bases to investigate and assess threats that require a more scientific approach when brute strength will not suffice. The crews of Recon Scouts tend to be older, shrewder warriors which recognize the value of outwitting a foe with knowledge (even when the enemy is a natural phenomenon). While not as capable as other specie’s science scouts, the Klingon Recon Scout serves well as a scientific investigation vessel and are vital to the Klingons in determining the threat level or material value of newlywed countered phenomena. Recon Scouts are built to have good speed to carry them to trouble spots and to aid in their escape and swift return of critical data. Recon Scouts generally have firepower comparable to Battle Scouts but will have at least twice to three times the amount of lab space and more sensitive and broader-ranged sensor suites. Recon Scouts are often used in first contact situations where their more extensive lab facilities can prove advantageous in discovering whether a new species might have resources worth exploiting. Recon Scouts are also capable of performing extensive surveys of planetary systems in the search for valuable material resources.

 

 

SCIENCE SCOUT

The most sought after scout assignment, the Science Scout is perhaps the most common image of scouting vessels among most navies. Science Scouts trade weapons for labs, often having more actual onboard laboratories than vessels twice their size. Science Scouts have extremely precise sensors to make extensive studies of both space-born and ground phenomenon. Science Scouts bring to bear all the science and research capabilities of a Heavy Cruiser in a platform often one quarter of the size. Science Scouts can conduct experiments and research on up to 10 or more projects simultaneously, and are credited with more discoveries than any other single class of vessel. Science Scouts are none the less vulnerable. Because of their reduced internal volume, many are only lightly armed and moderately shielded. Most Science Scouts are assigned to relatively “safe” areas of study, having a military escort when operating near dangerous areas. Science Scouts are usually quite easy to detect, despite their small size. Truly non-military vessels, Science Scouts have large Passenger Facilities and recreation capability. Although armed, most Science Scouts would quickly run when faced with an adversary. Although not designed for it, most Science Scouts can conduct first contact missions when necessary.

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