The Akira class is unique among Federation starship designs. It’s through-deck flight bay design means that it can recover craft while launching them, making it highly suited for not only evacuation and transport duties, but also the launch and support of fighter craft.
The deck layout of the flight bay nonetheless has to conform to the needs of basic starship design, and this consists of two main bays, fore and aft, connected by two through-ways running around the ship’s warp core. The engineering spaces are separate, and the bulkheads are heavily armoured, and reinforced by boosted structural integrity fields, to safeguard against any flight mishaps.
Flight Control, which links in to the Flight Operations station on the main bridge, is located above the aft shuttle bay doors, and looks out over the flight bay internally. From here it can visually monitor on-deck operations, and also landing operations. A dedicated tractor array can assist damaged craft, or arrest high-speed landings, though this process is hazardous.
Given her mission in the Rolor Sector, and its independent status in an area outside of direct Federation influence, the Axanar’s smallcraft compliment is designed around maximum versatility.
In addition to the range of craft embarked on many Starfleet cruisers – albeit in greater numbers than usual – the Axanar hosts a strike squadron of Peregrine class fighters. These are crewed by Starfleet pilots; the squadron CO is technically the equivalent in rank to the ship’s Captain, but takes mission directives from the Captain via Flight Operations on the bridge. In combat, the CO has tactical command of their squadron.
All other craft, save the Pelican, are under the purview of normal starship operations. The Pelican, however, is attached to the Axanar’s Marine company.
The full smallcraft compliment is as follows:
- 12x Peregrine class medium fighters
- 2x Danube class runabouts
- 6x Type 7 shuttles
- 6x Type 6 shuttles
- 6x Type 15 shuttlepods
- 12x Workbees
- 2x Pelican class dropships