The Danube-class was a type of runabout fielded by the Federation Starfleet during the 24th century.


The Danube class runabout is basically an oversized shuttle that can perform a vast number of different functions, such as long range patrols, space exploration, and cargo transport. The craft is also a decent combatant. There is a demand for the Federation to licence civilian companies to manufacture the vehicles because of its outstanding characteristics.

In physical appearance, the origin of the ship as a shuttle design can be clearly seen and the Danube class looks much like simply an oversized shuttles. The warp engines are slung under the rear of the body and if the Runabout has a torpedo pod, it is mount on the top rear section of the ship.

The shuttle can carry up to 40 passengers in tight quarters but can be piloted by a few as one crew member. Normally, the Runabout will have a crew of two or three to prevent overload on a single crew member. The shuttle is fully capable of performing detailed astronavigation without the assistance of a crew member.

Because it may be expected that the runabout would have to engage in combat in emergencies or be used as a light combatant, the Runabout was better armed that previous shuttle classes were (most had no weapons at all). The Runabout is armed with two phaser banks with two emitters each. One bank fires from the front of the ship and the other fires from the rear. The ship also has a mini-photo torpedo launcher that fires forward. This was not mounted on the original design but was later added. While not an original design feature, the runabout can carry a photon torpedo pod that can carry up to 8 standard torpedoes. This gives the Runabout the ability to make attacks on large capital ships and star bases.

Because the ship may run into combat and may end up exploring in dangerous conditions, the Runabout carries powerful shields that are capable of withstanding more abuse than those on the smaller shuttle designs. The structure and hull of the shuttle is highly reinforced to withstand combat and other potentially dangerous situations.

The ship has more powerful warp engines than fighters or other shuttles, allowing it to travel longer distance than other shuttle designs could. The ship also have powerful impulse engines that can drive the shuttle to almost as fast an accelerations as impulse driven starfighters. The runabout is quite maneuverable and the skill pilot starfighter (basic or elite) is used to pilot the ship in combat.

Crew quarters are a bunk type arrangement. The crew or passengers live in close quarters but they have more space than contemporary navy crews have and are fairly comfortable even with the lack of space. The ship also has food preparation equipment and emergency medical equipment. The ship has a small cargo bay that allows the Runabout to act as a transport and for such roles as beacon and mine laying.

The naming convention of Danube class runabouts is to name the shuttles after large rivers of Federation member worlds.[1]

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