I actually like how the original Baker looks; a very solid design... for a cruiser!
Again, the size comparison problem with the other ships comes into play, because
the original Baker used the saucer off the Constitution Refit,
hence the boxy secondary hull looked huge compared to the relatively small and tubular Enterprise
secondary hull. And this ship is a destroyer, yet it should be bigger than
In 2007 I took the liberty of re-drawing the Baker.
Gone is the gargantuan destroyer that seems to have twice the internal volume of
the USS Enterprise, and in its place I have designed a two-thirds version
that still retains the original shape of the FASA version, but which is better
scaled to suit the Destroyer role. I also made some long overdue tweaks,
in that the location of the impulse deck on
the original made no sense (it's now at the aft portion of the secondary
hull) and there were no indications of either torpedo bays or shuttle
bay(s). The original version had a
virtually blank spine, so I used that dead space for the shuttle hangar, and
like Neale Davidson before me, I deduced that the only real place the forward
torpedo tubes could be located, was in the forward portion of the saucer.
The forward torpedoes-in-saucer design was borrowed from my
re-draw of the Constellation,
as were the warp nacelles; though in the case of the Baker I re-modified both.
Overall, I think the re-draw went quite well; a project I've had in the back of
my head for almost two decades. It's good to have it done, and I hope it's
to peoples' liking.
In game terms, the Baker is a nice little TMP-era
destroyer that plays well and packs a good punch. It can handle itself
against many older Romulan and Klingon cruisers, and can be effective in numbers
against most contemporary enemy vessels. A good mixed-bag combination for
game play is usually two Bakers escorting a Reliant
(Miranda) class cruiser or an
Enterprise class cruiser, versus a V-30 and some
T-10's or perhaps a late-model
D-10 and several
destroyers. Because of the Baker's relative newness, as a Kirk-era
vessel of the TMP mold, I added three more versions that should make the Baker
playable up to the early stages of TNG.
From the FASA Star Trek FEDERATION SHIP RECOGNITION MANUAL, circa 1985
Baker Class IX Destroyer
Notes: The Baker Class destroyer has a unique development history. When the original contracts were let out, they called
for a research vessel with limited combat capabilities. The designs for the ship were accepted by Star Fleet
Procurement, and, on Stardate 2/1403, the actual construction of the Baker Class research cruiser began.
As the main hull neared completion, Star Fleet decided that a destroyer was needed to supplement the Larson Class.
At this same time, the Admiralty was of the opinion that fewer research cruisers would be needed on the frontiers.
The Baker class was then dropped as a research cruiser and re-designated a destroyer.
In order to accomplish its mission as a destroyer, the Baker's design
underwent several changes. The laboratory facilities were removed and crew quarters and recreation areas were expanded.
The Baker class vessels are well known for these spacious quarters and crew comforts.
Another change came in the weaponry. The original design had only four phasers, and as can be seen, the finished design, known as the Mk II, was fitted with six phasers and two torpedoes.
On Stardate 2/1606 the Baker Class destroyer was brought into service with the commissioning of the
USS Baker, USS Stafford, and USS Peterson.
Since that time, 224 ships of this class have been commissioned. As was intended, these vessels are being used to replace the aging Larson Class destroyers in more hostile areas, the latter being used more and more along trailing and rimward frontiers.
The Baker Class has a compartmented dual-wall internal structure to give additional protection from explosive decompression during battle.
Earlier designs with single-wall protection often ruptured when one compartment decompressed, victims of a domino effect that would eventually render the entire vessel incapable of sustaining itself.
Although compartmentalization is not new in ship design, double walls separated by a pressurized dead space
was. Such a dead space counteracts the forces on the outer wall surfaces by means of sensors that detect any changes in pressure and trigger units that regulate the pressure inside the dead space.
This system has become a standard feature on all Federation warships. The Baker Class destroyer is the first vessel in Star Fleet to be designed with the newer style nacelle; previous uses were all refits.
The FWE-2 warp drive system was installed to give a cruising speed of Warp 7 and temporary speeds of Warp 8, as well as great maneuverability, making it more efficient in battle, than many of its counterparts.
The weapons arrangement of the Baker Class is unusual by Star Fleet standards.
Two of the phaser banks are capable of firing in all quadrants except directly to the rear, unlike most other Federation vessels on which they are usually positioned to fire in only two quadrants.
The Baker Class remained unchanged until an experimental model, the
USS Knutson, completed its testing of an impulse drive system that would increase the total power output of the vessel by 25%.
The Mk III went into production on Stardate 2/1804, but was quickly replaced by the Mk IV with upgraded FP-1 photon torpedoes.
All Mk Ill's have been refitted to this design.