The USS SAIPAN is an assault shuttle carrier, similar in mission to one of her early namesakes, the 20th century LHA-class amphibious assault ships. Like those old wet-navy vessels, Saipan's mission is to carry a lot of attack craft and soldiers, and deposit them on a beachhead (landing zone) as fast as possible. To that end, Saipan and her class have four voluminous shuttle bays with aft-facing doors. These bays take up most of the space in the semi-circular primary hull, and allow for the shipping of about 100 assault and supply shuttles in four independant squadrons.

This image shows a simultaneous combat-launch of all four assault squadrons.

Time Period: Between ST:VI and ST:TNG

Reversing the above angle demonstrates Saipan's assault technique - warp into orbit, point the ship's stern toward the planet so that all the shuttles are facing their proper atmospheric entry path when launched, and flush the hangars as fast as safety allows.

Here Saipan and her sister USS Tarawa deposit Starfleet Marines on an island on a planet near the Romulan Neutral Zone, suspected of being occupied by a clandestine Romulan lsitening post. The plasma trails of four shuttles can be seen entering the atmosphere at upper left.

As the ship transitions into subspace, all six of Saipan's shuttle bays can be seen here. Those numbered 2 - 5 on the aft face of the primary hull are the main assault ship hangars. Shuttle bay number 1, at the aft of the bridge superstructure, is for officer and personnal shuttles. Bay 6 at the far stern is the cargo bay.

Posing with her namesake for a publicity shot, a powered-down USS Saipan orbits over the island whose name she bears. In June 1944 US forces invaded Saipan as part of the long "island-hopping" campaign to drive the agressive Japanese Empire back to its own shores.

Orbiting far below the Saipan, a Conquerer class battleship waits to escort her on her next mission.

Official Crew Patch

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These model designs are Copyright John Payne; Star Trek, Starfleet etc. etc. copyright and/or trademark Paramount Pictures, CBS and/or whoever else. These models are works of my imagination, and are posted on this site to share with other fans in a just-for-fun, non-profit fannish spirit in the same way as fan fiction. Please don't hurt me.

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