The Tarawa class was a type of starship serving in Starfleet during the 24th century.
In the 2320s Starfleet strategic planners watched as the Ambassador class came to the forefront of the Fleet, and new threats such as the Cardassians presented themselves. They needed a way to move large amounts of personnel and support craft that did not tie up heavy cruisers in response to Cardassian forces occupying Federation colonies.
Designed as a carrier for support, landing and fighter craft, as well as an entire battalion of United Federation Marine Corps personnel, the Tarawas had large medical facilities and enormous hangar bay running through five decks.
They also had the capability to function as command and control ships for entire fleets, some proponents pushing for them to become flagships.
She could accelerate to .84c impulse and hold warp 8.8 for 30 hours.
The standard crew number was eight hundred and fifty.
When deployed additional personnel are assigned to the ship:
- Fleet Surgical Team
- Four Search and Rescue Personnel with a specially outfitted runabout
- Senior Captain or flag officer along with staff
- Special Operations personnel
- 12 person S.C.E. Combat Engineer unit
Normal Auxiliary Craft Complement
- 24 specifically designed landing craft units, capable of holding forty passengers and a four-person crew.
- Four Workbees
- 2 type-6 shuttlecraft, one each serving as the Captain and Marine BN CO's gigs
- 5 type-7 shuttlecraft
- 36 Carerra class fighters
- 3 runabouts
- Space for roughly 20 other mission specific vessels
Her landing craft units fit into sheltered docking ports and were launched similar to escape pods. Each held a full platoon (44 personnel) and could achieve half impulse speed. At least two of the landing craft were outfitted as front-line medical facilities and carried personnel to staff them. Another served as the battalion's tactical operations center planetside.
In addition to five standard personnel transporters, the class had two capable of transporting 33 individuals at once.
Armaments included eight type VII phaser emitters, twelve type VI emitters, four type VIII arrays as well was three forward and two aft torpedo launchers.
Normally going into combat zones a Tarawa's task force would include a pair of Yorkshire class transports, an escort, and a heavy frigate or light cruiser for protection.