The Sovereign Class starship was born out the necessity for more combat oriented starships to help combat the Borg Collective, yet keep host to a wide variety of exploratory and diplomatic missions during peacetime. Originally three starship designs were fielded to combat the Borg: Project Sovereign, Project Defiant and Project Nova. Both the Defiant and Nova projects were considered entirely too small to field what was needed; however they were later rebuilt into separate starship designs. For the mainstay of what the project called for, the Sovereign design was chosen to essentially replace the Galaxy Class as the flagship design of the Federation.
Implementation of the design of the starship and construction began in 2367. Construction moved along quickly and integrating some of the newest Federation technologies into the ship design was proving to be surprisingly easy. The integration of the bio-neural gel pack with the already conventional isolinear chip system proved to have few complications. Other new systems included the field testing of the quantum torpedo turret system, enhanced regenerative shielding system, energy-dispersive ablative hull armor, redesigned warp drive and the previously classified “Type-X+” phaser systems. The Type-X+ would be later reclassified as the Type-XII.
The USS Sovereign was finally completed in 2369 and began its shakedown cruise along the Romulan Neutral Zone. Many aspects of the Sovereign proved to be well above expectations during testing. After eight months of shakedown in open space, the Sovereign was returned to dry dock for finalization and commission.
The Sovereign proved to be a well-founded design in terms of its combat abilities. However it lacked the high manoeuvrability of ships similar to its size or the ability to achieve the higher warp speeds seen in the Intrepid and Prometheus Classes. That being said, the ship more then made up for itself in terms of phaser power, torpedo compliment, and torpedo tube placement, which supplemented the forward quantum turret.
Several more of the class were put into production and even the USS Enterprise, the flagship of the Federation, was readmitted into service as a Sovereign class. The first real test for the Sovereign Class was during the Battle of Sector 001 in which the Enterprise arrived in time to help destroyed the Borg vessel in conjunction with the rest of the fleet. Later, during the Dominion War, the Sovereign and Enterprise saw combat while the other ships were slowed in their production in favor of the smaller, more powerful and quicker to build Defiant Class. Near the end of the war six more of the class were completed and two helped with the Jem’Hadar clean up across the quadrant.
Following the war, the Sovereign class was re-tasked with front line exploration of open space along with its fellow exploration-driven starships. In the decade following the close of the Dominion War, the Sovereign class starships have served in a variety of roles as flagships, command and control centers, diplomatic envoys, first contact headquarters, front line defensive vessels, exploratory starships, scientific couriers and troop transports. The versatility and endless abilities of the Sovereign has proven it to be a worthwhile design, and it will continue being, for many decades, the mainstay of the Federation fleet.
There are two Shuttlebays that serve the Nogura; one is located in the upper saucer section and one is located in the lower stardrive section.