- For other uses, see Charger.
The Charger was created in the late 23rd century as a modification of a spaceframe design created for the Remora-class escort. Charger-class vessels crewed 180 officers and men, with room for up to 20 passengers. Additionally, the Charger could carry 5,000 metric tons of cargo, rated at 100 SCU (standard cargo units). The vessels weighed 82,263 metric tons, measured 210 meters in length, 170 meters in width and 60 meters in height. The Charger had 4 standard (6 person) personnel transporters, two 22-person escape transporter stages and a single cargo transporter. The control computer of the Charger vessels was of the M-2 type.
The Charger was the first vessel to use warp engines were FWJ-1 type, a powerful, light-weight single-engine design optimized for class V to IX ships, rated to cruise at warp factor 10 and max out at warp factor 12. The Charger impulse engines were of the FIF-1 type. The Charger weapons had two dual-emitter phaser banks, a total of four phaser emitters, with forward, aft, port and starboard firing arcs. The vessels had two FP-6 photon torpedo launcher with forward, port and starboard firing arcs and was defended by FSH model deflector shields.
The commissioning of the USS Charger was predated by a report written by Commodore Joseph R. Holman, titled "The Warp 10 Navy". The fleet capabilities foreseen in the report were based of the advances made possible after Leeding Engines Ltd. created the FWG-1 warp engine a decade or so earlier. Commodore Holman discussed the Federation's commitments to activity on multiple fronts in view of advancements in technology and ship-mounted weaponry by both the Klingons and Romulans. Commodore Holman was approached by officials of ECF Ltd. while touring the Sol VI Shipyard to discuss a proposal to convert ECF's Remora-class spaceframe into a destroyer, which involved the addition of launcher weapons replacing part of the directed energy weapon suite included in the original design. Starfleet had rejected the proposal, as the ship was underpowered and over-gunned for a destroyer mission profile. After listening to ECF's concerns, Holman then presented the warp 10 navy proposal, suggesting a proposed destroyer, fitted with newer high-performance engines. After six weeks of upgrading the parameters, Starfleet approved construction of the new destroyer. On her maiden voyage, the USS Charger set the Federation record for sustained warp drive emergency speed duration, maintaining Warp 12 for twelve hours, six minutes, and 15.2 seconds.
Considered by many to be among the most versatile destroyers ever, the Charger design retains the high maneuverability of its original purpose as the Remora-class escort. With ample weaponry on all firing arcs, the ship is more than a match for Klingon and Romulan counterparts, with a strong superstructure as a result of the compartmented dual-wall modification first seen on the Baker-class.
The destroyer class is named for the charger, a type of horned antelope-like animal lifeform native to the Alpha Centauri star system. Other ships in the class are named after similar existing or legendary creatures and predators. By the later 23rd century, 36 Charger vessels had been constructed, produced at Sol VI and the Salazaar Shipyard at a combined rate of 12 per year. At the end of the 23rd century, a planned third Charger-class construction project was due to begin at Morena, increasing the rate to 24 ships per year by stardate 2/2401. Starfleet had set long-term contracts for the construction of three-hundred Charger vessels.
By stardate 2/2306 30 of these ships were in active service, with 4 more used by Star Fleet Training Command as training vessels, one under the direction of Star Fleet Intelligence, and 1 other listed as missing. (Stardate Magazine vol. 3 (1987), Issue 1: "Charger-class")