The Starfleet Saber Class Escort Cruiser was,
like many of its contemporaries, designed with a single purpose in mind: to defend the
United Federation of Planets against the growing threat of the Borg Collective.
The Saber class was brought into service in 2370 as part of a wave of vessels specifically
designed for combat against the Borg, including the Norway, Steamrunner, Akira and Sovereign
class starships. In combat, the Saber functions as a more modern alternative to the Miranda
Class, operating in wings of three or four and filling a fast attack role in a Federation
Battlegroup. The Saber Class is 190.5 meters long and 111.8
meters wide, its spaceframe is crescent-shaped and bears the same angular hull armour seen
on earlier Federation Warships such as the Defiant Class. The ship features a forward
facing launch-bay for its two small shuttlecraft, and its main deflector dish is built into
the ventral hull across decks 8 and 9, protecting it from most angles of attack. Compared to
the majority of Federation starships, the Saber’s design is very compact and Spartan,
giving the vessel a smaller silhouette for hostile craft to lock on to.
The Saber Class was capable of achieving Warp 9.7 and holding it for approximately 12 hours,
an impressive feat for a ship of its size, and its performance was equally impressive
at impulse velocities. The Saber was small, fast, highly manoeuvrable and well-armed,
providing a much needed replacement for the dated Oberth and Miranda Classes.
Of the wide variety of vessels introduced in the early 2370s to combat the threat of
the Borg, the Saber was the easily the quickest to produce, and after the outbreak of the
Dominion War, Saber’s began to leave the shipyards of Utopia Planitia with clockwork
regularity. The Saber was specifically designed to complement the Steamrunner Class Light
Cruiser, working in tandem the two vessels would cover for eachothers shortcomings, providing
a powerful attack or patrol force without the need to commit any larger ships or squadrons.
The Saber’s weapons loadout was extensive for ship of its size, carrying 4 type 10 Phaser
arrays and a pair of photon torpedo launchers. This powerful arsenal coupled with the ship’s
speed and turn rate allowed the Saber to fight in much the same way as the Defiant Class.
Though its designed purpose was to fight the Borg Collective, Borg attacks against the
Federation and its allies were mercifully infrequent, the Saber truly earned its renown
as a warship against a different foe, the Dominion.
During the three chaotic years of the Dominion War, Saber Class vessels were constructed
and commissioned non-stop and deployed to nearly every major engagement that Starfleet
partook in, from the First Battle of Chin’toka to the climactic final invasion of Cardassia
Prime. The Saber made an excellent counter to the Jem’Hadar Attack Ships and Cardassian
Hideki Class Raiders employed by the Dominion, its compact size and ablative armouring allowed
it to draw fire away from larger Galaxy and Excelsior Class Vessels, with Dominion Captains
not considering them a real threat until it was far too late.
The Saber Class has served for decades with Starfleet’s anti-borg taskforce, and has
been specifically requested for use by the Starfleet Corps of Engineers on multiple occasions.
These accomplishments coupled with the vessel’s extensive service during the Dominion War,
has earned the Saber a place among the finest starship designs of the 24th Century Federation.