A Fisher-class Light Transport/Tug on a supply run to the Sigma-class free-floating/orbital station Starbase 52
|Classification:||Class 1-B Spaceborne Starbase|
|Name:||Starbase Fifty-Two – Bastion|
|Class:||Sigma ( Greek letter Σ )|
|Type:||Free-floating/orbital frontier outpost with Class 4 docking facilities.|
|Commissioned:||3rd May 2272, Stardate 7422.84|
|Builders:||Starfleet Corps of Engineers|
|Overall Width (long axis):||1,532.0 Metres|
|Overall Width (short axis):||936.6 Metres|
|Overall Height:||1,914.6 Metres|
|Central Body Height
(without sensor spike
or material storage tanks:
|Dry-dock Dome Maximum External Diameter:||750.0 Metres|
|Dry-dock Dome Average Internal Diameter:||542.4 Metres|
|Dry-dock Dome Maximum Internal Height:||172.5 Metres|
|Repair Bay & Dry-dock Access Internal Width:||174.0 Metres|
|Repair Bay & Dry-dock Access Internal Height:||65.7 Metres|
|Docking Bay Internal Depth:||149.0 Metres|
|Total Mass (including all sections):||2,500,000 Metric Tons|
|Auxiliary Craft Hanger Bay Module|
|Auxiliary Power Generation Module|
|Guest Habitation Module|
|Industrial Fabricator Module|
|Marines (During war-time):||5,000|
|Type S-10 Travel Pod:||Twenty-four|
|Type S-2 Work Bee:||Fifty|
|Manasu-class Standard Shuttle (Dockport):||Twelve|
|Chisu-class Light Shuttle (Dockport):||Eight|
|Atai-class Warp-Sled Shuttle (Dockport):||Eight|
|Cargo Pod (Light):||Four|
|Fuel Module:||Four Hundred|
|Photon Torpedo Module:||Four|
|Sensor Array Module:||Eight|
|Tractor Beam Module:||Four|
|Warp Sled (Tai-class):||Eight, as part of Atai-class|
|Main Power:||20 Deuterium/Tritium Fusion Reactors|
|Auxiliary Power:||Three type SW40/1-2SB Matter/Antimatter Reactors rated in total to 512 Cochranes|
|Batteries:||12 Cold Fusion storage cells|
|Sensors:||OC4266D short range, very high resolution sensor suite mounted in a sensor pod located on the upper hull surface at the center of the station "dome".
OC9157L very long range, medium resolution sensor suite mounted in a sensor pod located on the upper hull surface at the center of the station "dome".
Capable of utilising eight independently-operated high-frequency sensor channels simultaneously.
|Twelve Venusian Agusta Ansadado, Inc. model Zeus-D Class-4 phaser units mounted in six banks of two each, located equidistantly around the outer hull surface of the station "dome" providing a 585° firing arc (360° xy + 225° z).|
|Twelve Terran Asakaze Ordnance Systems Ltd. model JAKA-9 Type VI defensive phaser units mounted in three banks of four each, located on the extremities of the superstructure providing a 720° firing arc (360° xy + 360° z).|
|Twelve Andorian Skat-Rar Weapons Systems Mk 9 Mod 2 torpedo tubes mounted in six banks of two each giving a maximum spread of twelve per salvo, located equidistantly around the outer hull surface of the station "dome" providing a 585° firing arc (360° xy + 225° z).|
|Cargo (non-sentient traffic only):||10|
|6 Emitters mounted equidistantly around the outer hull surface of the station "dome".|
|Main Computer Core:||Duotronic DIV unit mounted on Deck 20, Central.|
|Backup Computer Core:||Duotronic DIV unit mounted on Deck 40, Central.|
|Interface System (Standard):||Library Banks Information Retrieval System (LBIRS) v10.8|
|Interface System (Technical):||Dynamic Access Memory Interface Technique (DAMIT) v12.3|
|Data Transfer Rate:||300 kiloquads/second|
|High Resolution:||2.0 light years|
|Medium to Low Resolution:||9.0 light years|
|Vessel Maintenance & Repair:||Four Gron'dar-class repair docks, each capable of servicing one ship up to the size of Komsomolsk-class dreadnoughts and Excelsior-class explorers.|
|Defense:||Eighteen (18) Sho'kan-class defence platforms mounting two turret-based photon tubes, four Type VII offensive/defensive phaser units, and four Type VI defensive phaser units giving 720° firing arcs.|
The region around Starbase 52 is steeped in history – none of it relating to the Federation. Indeed, the very positioning of Starbase 52 came about in large part to keep it as free as possible from the activities of the local inhabitants of the surrounding sectors. The notorious Triangle, so called for its location at the intersection of Federation, Romulan, and Klingon territory, is still an untameable hotbed mixture of libertarian, individualistic, world-taming pioneering and free-for-all illicit activities. It is also still purportedly neutral, though only in that none of the Three Great Powers can stake a claim and make it stick. Over one hundred star systems and dozens of intelligent species can be found there, with Orion smugglers, independent cargo runners, and pirates of all stripes haunting the spaceways. Rather than place an outpost within this region and gathering the enmity of one and all inhabiting and using it, the Federation kept its bases far from it.
With the attentions of the Big Three focussed at other points of their respective and overlapping borders, the Triangle region was left to develop on its own. No support was to be had, but the people who began to settle there were of the type that this was a bonus, not a drawback. Only the Four Years War of 2241-2245 between the Klingons and Federation focussed attention back here as the Klingons looked to attack the Federation from all sides, but nothing could be done after the war as resources were utilised elsewhere to rebuild needed existing border infrastructure and repair war damage to colonies and fleets. By the time resources were available to spend elsewhere the Triangle was already flourishing on its own terms. The Big Three found themselves unable to move in and take control of even worlds that were nominally settled by their own species, as those individuals were all fiercely independent, and moving in to conquer would have brought about open warfare between all three sides.
Thus the Great Game was expanded into the Triangle and genuine exploratory and colonial efforts were invested elsewhere. The Three Powers’ expansion ended at the Triangle’s limits and border guard stations were established by all sides on its periphery to make trade routes around it safer, if never fully secure. With this increased safety came more stabilisation and further base construction within Federation territory.
The sector in which Starbase 52 was built is a relatively empty region of space below the Triangle, as is so much of the galactic underbelly of the Big Three. It is this scarcity of resources and even star systems which forms natural buffer zones between the interstellar nations. And it is from here that the Nirophian Corridor – the so-called Suez Canal of the Federation, which links the Core Sectors to Canopus – runs “underneath” the Romulan-Klingon border.
Very little of note happened during the Inter-War Period except for low-level border incidents which steadily escalated, much of which utilised the “empty” under-sectors to exploit gaps in national sensor nets. This sneaking about was all abandoned when direct warfare erupted in the Second Klingo-Federation War of 2267, also known as the “Organian Conflict” and the “Two Day War”.
During this fortunately short-lived war the U.F.P.'s Canopus chapter was hit hard. The Nirophian Corridor was blockaded, with supplies and fresh ships from the Core Sectors unable to get through. Canopus was cut off from the Core Sectors and had to fend for and defend itself. Had the war lasted as expected it is likely Canopus would have fallen to the Klingon fleet.
With Canopus' vulnerability and the Corridor's obvious necessity to its survival fully realised, after the political dust had settled from the war a new starbase was authorised for construction to be the near-side anchor point of a more secure Corridor; a rallying, deployment, resupply, and repair point for ships undertaking the long and dangerous passage "under" Klingon and Romulan space.
An Okinawa-class Frigate and Akula-class Light Destroyer heading out on patrol from Starbase 52
Diving deep under the Klingon Empire to give their frontier a wide berth, the idea was that shipping going past the mighty warrior empire at its height would be subject to less danger. However, despite the base’s distance from the Empire, its remoteness from the rest of the Federation proper and subsequent time lag for reinforcements meant that its defenders were frequently tested by patrol forces and even the occasional deep space cruiser during the Klingon "Privateering" phase of the early 2270s, and again during the Tumultuous ‘80s after the Taal Tan Offensive of 2283. These bad times were only halted after almost finally and fatally exploding during the Tabula Rasa incident and what would become the Metar Crisis, where all three powers worked together to contain the ancient Metar threat.
This minor spell of working together was soon forgotten and emnity returned, but border incidents were fewer as Klingon internal troubles began to escalate. Only two years later though would see the return full force of detente, with the explosion of Praxis at the end of 2292. After the subsequent Khitomer Accords of 2293 and rapprochement with the Klingons, the latter were forced to withdraw from their more remote border sectors to consolidate their forces. The result of this was that the Nirophian Corridor “shifted” in space. Starfleet re-established it closer to the weakened empire’s fringes, cutting weeks of the travel time off the merchant routes, but also requiring the re-siting of the nearside anchor point to a location that offered faster response times to potential incidents along the Corridor. Outpost Aljetarius was selected for upgrading to full starbase status and authorised as part of the Khitomer Accords, but because of unforeseen issues this upgrading failed to proceed according to the initial schedule and Starbase 52 remained the main staging outpost while Aljetarius remained a mere re-supply stopover point.
This region is becoming steadily busier and more important to Federation interests since the opportunity to secure a safe passage presented itself, but now a resurgent Romulan Star Empire, long absent from these parts, is expanding into them again, threatening the still-fragile peace bought in blood from the Klingons.
Starbase 77 has finally come fully online but Fleet elements have yet to be assigned permanently. As such, Starbase 52 continues for the moment to be the staging point for new vessels coming to utilise the Corridor.
Starbase 52 is a frontier outpost of the then brand-new Sigma-class design, the first starbase class to be designed according to the "New Technology" ethic, and a vastly up-sized Rho-class single-use space station.
Starbase 52 was the first Sigma-class to be constructed, built from 2271 and completed in late 2273 in time for “Klingon Privateering” – a low-level and purportedly “non-state” conflict initiated by disaffected Great Houses – to hit its stride, it was regularly targeted by Privateering raids. Being new, close enough to strike, out of the way enough to make heavy or even immediate reinforcement unlikely, and with a sub-fleet consisting of only corvettes, frigates, and an odd destroyer, it was a popular target with those seeking to simply create havoc and engage Starfleet in battle.
An Okinawa-class frigate passes into Starbase 52's internal drydock.
Starbase 52 was not involved in the Mirak-Federation war after Privateering ended as it was on the opposite side of the Empire from Mirak space, and that war was all about smashing nearby stuff up and creating a barren buffer zone between the U.F.P. & M.S.L.
Starbase 52 was on the fringes of the front lines for the Romulan-Klingon Border War of 2277(?) and discreetly monitored via drones and fast scouts the cross-border traffic. It kept its ships away from confrontations though as both belligerents would happily take shots at "Earther spy ships".
During the Taal Tan Offensive of 2283 its remote nature and modern yet low-powered sub-fleet worked against it. Targeted for destruction later in the campaign when the Klingons had spread out, the strike fleet thrown against it was repulsed by the base and its defenders, which had been augmented by damaged heavier ships seeking a safe haven for repairs. A second attack was planned but never materialised after the Klingons started suffering reverses and ships couldn't be assembled into a strike fleet as they were needed elsewhere to hold off Starfleet. This proved to be a strategic mistake as Starbase 52 was later used as a staging base for one main thrust of counter-attack. It was after Taal Tan, in December 2283 that extra box-stardocks were towed in to support a larger and more capable sub-fleet.
It became a major repair base during the "Turbulent '80s", but not being a border or neutral zone starbase it was excluded from the decommissioning of starbases as stipulated in the Khitomer Accords of 2293. During the I.S.C. War of Pacification the base was hurriedly stripped of its armaments and personal weapons cache, both being removed or destroyed by frantic base personnel under the guns of the I.S.C. Echelon which had routed its defensive sub-fleet. Rather than lose the base and her thousands of inhabitants unnecessarily, the base C.O. Commander Skallash formally surrendered to the I.S.C. to prevent further loss of life. Concordium inspectors even came aboard and verified that all weapons had bene removed or destroyed in place and the crew and inhabitants were allowed to remain unhindered as long as they would not take up arms against the I.S.C. for the remainder of the Pacification. The base commander's intent was sincere and genuine, however, and the base remained out of the fight until the tides of war washed the I.S.C. away.
During this time, through daily interpersonal relations much useful "soft" intelligence was gathered on I.S.C. personnel, mentalities and mind-sets, procedures and the general I.S.C. way of doing things, and how the members of the I.S.C. Fleet worked together. The base even was even used for low- and mid-level diplomatic feelers and initiatives. When the tide finally turned against the I.S.C., Starbase 52 was one of several sites used for preliminary surrender and Armistice negotiations. After the Armistice with the I.S.C. was signed, the base was re-armed and new Gron'dar-class box star-docks were towed to replace those self-destructed on the Base Commander's orders. Through the close of the war, accusations of collaborating with the enemy were levelled at Commander Skallash, even from within the base population itself, but the Tellarite was never charged. It was obvious to the senior commanders reviewing a potential court martial that Skallash never gave material aid or intelligence to the enemy in a time of war, and acted solely in the best interests of the by then thousands of lives he was responsible for. Unfortunately, by denying his court martial, Skallash never got his chance to publically defend himself to the masses. While most soon forgot about it, enough rumour-mongering happened at the time to permanently taint his reputation with a slight negative slant. After the war he was re-assigned to an even more out-of-the way outpost: Starbase 77.
Starbase 52 plays host to a Miranda-class light cruiser in its external bay.
Starbase 52 is host to only Starfleet's latest designs. The danger level here is high with the risk of confrontation with the Klingons especially but also the Romulans, so almost all ships are members of TacFleet. The base is also within the extended reach of Mirak, Lyran, and Hydran vessels, not to mention the other belligerent races out past the territory of the U.F.P.'s main adversaries, and also close to unknown and unexplored space.
This starbase and its history was created during more extended discussion with Adrian Jones of 'Star Trek: The Interim Years / U.S.S. Sheffield NCC-1976'. As we've developed Adrian's Nirophian Corridor from the new frontier and a forgotten outpost to the vital Suez Canal of the Federation, a new star of the Starbase 23/U.S.S Sheffield's universe was born.