The Technology Team has been hard at work over the past few months thinking about how the starships introduced in the season 2 premiere of Star Trek: Picard could be integrated into our existing line-up of ships. It wasn’t a matter simply of slotting them in one-for-one but adjusting some of our existing articles to fit everything together as a unified story for what Starfleet’s shipbuilding looks like in the 25th Century. One of the things we have been very careful about throughout the ongoing specifications revisions that started in Fall 2019 has been not to add something that doesn’t have a specific niche if it’s a non-canon ship, as well as to reverse-engineer the specializations of each on-screen ship so that we can make selecting the right ship for your story as easy as possible. This also helps us give character and flavor to each individual ship class.
As screen canon supersedes fleet canon, integrating things from this latest season of Picard has meant a small number of retcons on specific classes. A few older classes are also being retired. It has led us to sunset one class entirely, but I think you’ll see that the work has created many new storytelling opportunities in the fleet. Even with three retirements, this brings our total playable Starfleet ships in 2400 to 38!
While we already had one of the classes seen in the Season 2 premiere, the Reliant, we have added a whopping four new classes to the database, which have also been added to the registry and to the Lore Policy’s ship selection guidelines.
Gagarin-class heavy escort
The Gagarin-class heavy escort is a medium-sized frontline command ship designed to operate in concert with frigates, scouts, and other vessels suitable for patrol and interdiction missions. It has a crew of 350 and is well-armed, with the ability to embark runabouts or fighters should the mission call for it while retaining a relatively compact form factor. It is brand-new as of 2400. We envision this ship being a solid choice for stories that sometimes involve conflict but with the creature comforts (and storytelling opportunities) more like Voyager than the Defiant. The Gagarin is a Tier-II ship available for members with the rank of commander or higher to request.
Sutherland-class research cruiser
While superficially similar to the Nebula-class heavy cruiser, the Sutherland-class research cruiser is devoted purely to science. It’s meant to carry large and cumbersome scientific equipment into deep space and to house large numbers of scientists. Think of it as a university in space, almost. While explorers can also host huge crews of visiting scientists, the Sutherland is meant to do so as its primary mission rather than as an ancillary ability. We often think of science vessels as being quite small—like the Oberth or Nova—but this is suited for those stories where you need to be on the cutting edge of discovery with a huge crew of geniuses at your back. Just hope you don’t encounter too much in the way of hostile aliens! The Sutherland is a Tier-II ship available for members with the rank of commander or higher to request. (Special props to Woozamagoo for his work on this one!)
Excelsior II-class heavy cruiser
As the name might suggest, the Excelsior II is a ground-up rebuild of the original Excelsior-class heavy cruiser. Developed and implemented in the 2380s, this refit program brought the Excelsior up to modern standards, changing its internal and external structures as significantly as the refit applied to the Constitution class in the 2270s. This makes the Excelsior ready to continue on as a mid-range, capable vessel with a bias towards humanitarian support for another century. The Excelsior II is a Tier-II ship available for members with the rank of commander or higher to request.
Based on information from the episode and production sources, one ship, the Inquiry, required some changes to its size and role. The Sovereign has also been updated to account for having seen a whole bunch of them all at once, which our old article suggests would never happen.
Inquiry-class heavy cruiser
Because of conflicting source material, the Inquiry-class heavy cruiser as it initially existed in our canon was significantly smaller than it was revealed to be in Season 2 of Star Trek: Picard, both because of comparisons with other classes and because of background information released by the producers. Because of this, we have increased the physical size of the Inquiry to be accurate to what was seen on screen. Its actual role as a combat-oriented heavy cruiser did not change, but we added information about the ship’s comparatively large size not resulting in a larger crew, thanks to automation, to account for it being in mass production. The Inquiry-class heavy cruiser is now a Tier III ship available for members with the rank of captain or higher to request.
Season 2 of Star Trek: Picard gave us the first shots of a Sovereign-class ship appearing in a Star Trek television program. We saw no less than eight ships of this class, which has led us to alter the article about the Sovereign to remove several mentions of its comparative rarity. By 2400, it is now on track to have a similar history to the Excelsior-class heavy cruiser—the flagship of one decade becoming the workhorse of another—though it is still not as numerous as smaller vessels. It remains a very powerful ship, suited for multi-purpose duties, but its increase in production reflects a Federation and a Starfleet that refuse to allow another Wolf 359 or Dominion War to happen again. The Sovereign-class explorer remains a Tier III ship available for members with the rank of captain or higher to request.
At this time, we’ve only made one cut from the ship roster and one class change that are firm retcons. Some individual ships have had their classes changed to match what we saw on screen as well.
Resolute-class heavy cruiser
Due to the Obena-class explorer and the Excelsior II-class heavy cruiser, the Resolute has been cut in favor of the Excelsior II. All current Resolute-class ships in the registry have been updated with this new class, as the Resolute no longer exists in our canon. The difference between the two classes is essentially zero, so this should not impact anyone’s storytelling.
Excelsior-class and Excelsior-class refit heavy cruisers
The presence of the Excelsior II has meant that all other Excelsior-class variants have been re-labeled as Excelsior II, with the corresponding upgrades having been applied in the 2380s and 2390s. Excelsior-class ships in the other two configurations remain available for historical games and fiction.
The following ships, due to age, have been retired, but remain available for historical games and fictions:
- Ambassador-class heavy cruiser
- Freedom-class scout
- Centaur-class scout
The names used by these classes in the registry have been redistributed to other classes.
- What happens to anyone who has a ship that is now at a higher tier than their rank?
- What about the Sagan-class?
- It was explicitly said on screen that the Stargazer was the first ship of her class, which was shown to be the Sagan-class, meaning that we won’t introduce this class until at least 2401.
- What about ships from Star Trek: Prodigy?
- It is still unclear whether the ships shown in this show are one-offs or not, and the timeline is also unclear. We’ll make decisions about these ships when we know more.
- Why doesn’t Bravo Fleet have a non-canon ship that I love?
- As mentioned before, the bar for including non-canon ships is significantly higher than it has been in the past because we want to make sure there are enough graphical assets to reasonably be able to make banners and other things, while also making sure the design doesn’t overlap with our canon ships in role. Also, a lot of non-canon designs simply aren’t good enough for us to include here.
- Why do Bravo Fleet’s specifications articles look so much different than other fleets?
- Our articles are meant to be guides to figuring out how to write stories with these ships, not comprehensive technical manuals to their functions. They’re meant to only put limits where it’s absolutely necessary for the ship to make sense, but otherwise to help you figure out the flavor/atmosphere of a particular ship.
- Why doesn’t Bravo Fleet provide standardized deck listings for every class?
- See previous answer.