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Matson-class heavy frigate

U.S.S. Reuben James NCC-47245


Type: heavy frigate
Class: Matson
Entered service: 2346
Mass: 756,875 metric tons
Length: 397 m (1302 ft)
Width: 193 m (633 ft)
Height: 98 m (322 ft)
Complement: 330 (40 officers)
Speed: 1909 c (uprtd 3500 c)


In the early 24th Century, Starfleet developed a need for more medium endurance general purpose starships to fill the gap between heavy explorers and cruisers such as the Ambassador class starships, and smaller, lighter ships such as the Miranda class. One of the new starship classes contracted to fill this requirement was the Matson-class heavy frigate. The prototype vessel, U.S.S. Matson NCC 47199, was completed in 2341 and entered fleet service in early 2343.

U.S.S. Logan Grey, NCC-47203, during Cardassian War deployment, Nov 2356.

During the late 2350s, all Matson-class starships underwent a service life extension program which included computer systems, weapon, and shield upgrades, as well as the addition of the dorsal sensor/weapons pod. Since funding for this program came from the canceled Advanced Heavy Frigate project, several of the upgraded Matsons emerged from the shipyards bearing registry in the 672XX range, the reserved NCC block for the FFHX project. This caused much confusion and the ships were soon renumbered back to their original NCC designations.

U.S.S. Shadowchaser seen with a Vulcan warp shuttle and a Peregrine-class courier.

Retirement for this class was scheduled for the late 2360s, when they were to be replaced by Nebula and Intrepid class starships. However, encounters with numerous hostile forces around this time led to a Starfleet equipment buildup and delayed the retirement of the Matson class. They have since undergone another capital rebuild program and have received high performance propulsion systems.

Additional images:


The Matson-class starships are named after previous destroyers and frigates in Starfleet or Federation member world service, and Starfleet personnel.

Several examples of Matson-class starships include:

  • NCC-47199 U.S.S. Matson
  • NCC-47203 U.S.S. Logan Grey
  • NCC-47214 U.S.S. Shadowchaser
  • NCC-47245 U.S.S. Reuben James

Model notes:

The Matson-class starship was designed by Markus C. Nee in August 1994. The model was build by Markus C. Nee and was completed in December 1994. It is in 1:1400 scale, and is approximately 11" long.

Primary hull is a trimmed down saucer from an AMT Excelsior kit with a smaller, in-scale bridge module. Secondary hull was made from a Monogram 1:48 scale F-16, heavily modified, and lots of epoxy putty. Connecting dorsal and warp nacelle pylons are made from .040" and .060" sheet styrene. Warp nacelles are highlighter markers. Sensor and weapons pod was made from AMT Excelsior components, sheet styrene, and aluminum tubing. The finish is airbrushed Tamiya acrylic paints, Letraset and Chartpak dry transfer lettering, and AMT decals.

Check out RJ's namesake, FFG-57.

All original materials on this web page, unless otherwise noted, are Copyright 1997 Markus C. Nee. All rights reserved. Ask for my permission before using any of my work. Thanks.

Markus C. Nee, Aerospace Engineering Alumnus, University of Michigan. mail: markusn at

This page was last modified 1998.06.15.