The starship class is a classification system used by the Planetary Union that defines the different starship designs. The system is used for starships only, and not for other spacecraft such as shuttles, which are auxiliary craft used in support of starships. Vessels within each class are constructed with identical schematics and designed for specific purposes.

Classes Edit

Leviathan Exploratory Olympia Orville

The formidable Leviathan-class heavy cruiser and the more versatile Exploratory Class A cruiser.

Leviathan Class Edit

The Leviathan-class heavy cruiser is one of the largest vessel classes of the Planetary Union fleet. Leviathan-class ships are commanded by captains or, sometimes, admirals, such as Admiral Ozawa, who commands the USS Olympia.[n 1]

Exploratory Class Edit

Exploratory-class mid-level cruisers are divided into two starship sub-classes:

Exploratory Class A Edit

The Class A Exploratory type ship sustains a crew of 300. It boasts a quantum drive with three spatial tensor coils which enable remarkable speeds up to 10 light years per hour.
Exploratory class B

An Exploratory Class B ship.

This class houses an environmental simulator, at least five Matter Synthesizers, and at least two Science Labs, which come better equipped than many other vessel classes including the Science-class cruiser.

Exploratory Class B Edit

The Class B type is identical in length to a Class A cruiser but has only one spatial tensor coil, which implies slower faster-than-light speeds.

Science Class Edit

Science class Vessel
The Science-class vessel is considerably smaller than the Leviathan- and Exploratory-class vessels. It is designed for long-term stationed orbit of planets for scientific research and experimental purposes. Despite its specialized scientific purpose, it's onboard facilities comes less equipped than Exploratory Class A ships.

Transporter Class Edit


Without a back spatial tensor coil, transporter-class vessels look very different from other Union ships.

See also: USS Blériot and USS Druyan

The Transporter-class is designed to ferry Union personnel and citizens between locations at faster than light speeds. Along with the Fighter class, the transporter is ill-equipped for combat, and thus makes for a vulnerable target of hostile species such as the Krill. It is the only class without a visible spatial tensor coil.

Other Classes Edit

Cruiser class vessel

A Cruiser-class vessel.

Several other vessel classes can be seen on The Orville that have been subsequently identified by production staff in the book The World of the Orville.

  • Fighter-class - Tied with the Transporter as one of the smallest vessel types. Unlike other vessel classes that are designed for peace-time purposes, the Fighter-class ship is built for combat.
  • Colossus class vessel

    A Colossus-class vessel.

    Cruiser-class - The ship is slightly smaller than the Exploratory Classes A and B ships, and for that reason may be supposed to be a mid-level vessel as well. Little is known about this ship.
  • Colossus-class - Seen in the opening credits of the show at the Union Dockyard, and identified only by Visual Effects Supervisor Luke McDonald.

Production Edit

Unknown Union vessel

An unknown vessel ported at the Union dockyards.

Creator Seth MacFarlane devised the Exploratory class specifically for the Orville because the broad category allowed the writers to invent plotlines of almost any situation.[1] According to Jeff Bond in the book The World of the Orville, the Leviathan-class build was modeled after the look of the Orville.

The spatial tensor coils, the signature rings of many ship classes, house their quantum drive systems. According to science consultant André Bormanis, a ship need only rely on one ring, but they cannot go as fast or as far.[2]

Appearances Edit

Leviathan Class Edit

A Leviathan-class vessel also appears in each episode in the opening credits.

Exploratory Class Edit

Exploratory Class A Edit

Exploratory Class B Edit

Science Class Edit

Transporter Class Edit

Colossus Class Edit

Appearance in each episode in the opening credits.

Notes Edit

  1. The fact that captains typically command a Leviathan-class vessel is confirm by Admiral Halsey who says to Mercer that everyone thought Mercer would be captain of a heavy cruiser by age 40. Episode 1x01: Old Wounds

References Edit

  1. Pascale, Anthony. "Interview: Seth MacFarlane Talks Mission Of ‘The Orville’ And Defends Star Trek: TNG’s Replicators". Sept. 14, 2017.
  2. "The Orville Fan Podcast “THINK”sgiving Episode w/ André Bormanis". Planetary Union Network. Nov. 21, 2017.