Class Description Edit
The darling of Flight Operations, the Javelin class represents the first dedicated effort to produce a space-superiority fighter incorporating the lessons of the Dominion War. Blisteringly fast at impulse and highly maneuverable, Javalins also incorporate the latest in sensor stealth technology and miniaturized shielding. The result is a fighter that's extraordinarily difficult to kill and, with four Type-J pulse phasers tied to an advanced targeting computer, capable of delivering firepower sufficient to destroy light craft with pin-point accuracy.
This specialization does carry a certain cost in versatility. While even more useful for patrol or scientific missions than existing light craft, the Valkyrie mounts only a single micro-torpedo launcher with a modest magazine and thus is of limited use against larger starships. While certainly capable of causing havoc against a ship whose shields have been heavily weakened, an unsupported squadron of Valkyries simply cannot take on a healthy cruiser or explorer with any hope of success.
Federation success with fighter operations during and following the Dominion War did not go unnoticed by other powers in the Alpha and Beta Quadrants. Many had the opportunity to directly observe or even work with Peregrine attack wings, and on returning to their own governments after the war the more far-sighted fleet commanders began pressing for tactical small craft of their own to serve as a counter to Federation fighter groups.
When the first of these fighters were observed by Starfleet Intelligence, many in Flight Operations were dismissive - the Peregrine had performed successfully against Jem'hadar fighters in combat and against runabouts in simulation, and their crews were unquestionably the most experienced fighter operators in space. However, several squadron leaders armed with simulation results based on close observation of the Romulan Scorpion-class fighters presented a brief to Starfleet command in which they suggested that the swift, maneuverable Romulan fighters could be devastating to a Peregrine squadron in close combat. It was enough.
In 2376, Starfleet issued a brief to the Corps of Engineers for a fighter design which could successfully engage any known or expected small craft on the wrong side of two-to-one odds. When the Javelin entered service with the Fleet four years later, the consensus of the design team was that the Corps had outdone itself - testing against every known fighter design in operation at the time had demonstrated that a Javelin could expect to engage successfully with up to four enemy fighters, shuttles or runabouts from any major power and expect to survive while producing at least one kill.
Front line deployments have so far proven those testing projections pessimistic. Other powers may even now be developing their own superiority fighters as a counter, but for now the Javelin remains the queen of her particular field.