First seen in Star Trek Online, the Imperial-class is a variant of the Sovereign-class. It’s most notable for the prominent build up along the upper surface of the neck and rear of the saucer section. Its saucer is notably thinner than any other Sovereign variant. The pylons are also rather rigid, and the nacelles are placed very forward on the design. These design changes were made with the Dominion in mind. The former quickly identified the rear portion of the Sovereign’s saucer section as a weak point, especially when the Jem’Hadar did suicide runs. By installing Ablative Armor paneling around this area, it could act in the same manner as a crash barrier: dissipating impact energy through the deformation over a greater area. Other changes included the installation of ship-wide holo-emitters and the latest breakthroughs in Warp Core design. These same changes would also be used on the Prometheus-class.
With greater defensive capabilities and a more powerful warp core, the Imperial-class is able to get to the fight quicker and stay in the fight longer than the base Sovereign. Though some may look at the aesthetics of the ship and dismiss it for being ugly and/or clearly the work of a crazed engineer, its service record speaks for itself.
Like Jester did with the Typhon/Jupiter class, I’m mostly posting this for selfish reasons. I plan to eventually release either an episodic campaign or a full-on mission compendium set on the U.S.S. Babylon, which is an Imperial-class.
Click Image for PDF
I admit to have raised an eyebrow at the Imperial’s design choices, but I love the explanation given here for them. A small Jem’Hadar battle craft’s suicide run is nothing to scoff at, and I like that the Imperial shows Starfleet engineers doing their best to solve a tough problem.
the link to the full size PDF doesn’t work BTW