The Nova-class shares many design elements with the larger Intrepid-class cruiser. The vessel consists of a triangular primary hull, blended into a secondary hull holding the shuttlebay, impulse engines and warp nacelles. It also has 11 phaser arrays.
The class is armed with phasers and photon torpedoes. As a survey vessel, the Nova is equipped with two shuttlecraft and a Waverider yacht docked in an alcove underneath the saucer section, and features a number of multi-purpose science labs.
The standard crew complement numbers 80.
- According to Rick Sternbach, the Nova-class has a length of 221 meters.
The class entered service sometime around 2370, and would remain in service well into the 25th century. A variant in use in 2404 featured modifications to the secondary deflector, nacelles, and bridge dome.
One Nova-class vessel, USS Equinox, was stranded in the Delta Quadrant for five years without repairs or other support. Despite significant casualties and severe structural damage, the vessel remained operational, proving the durability of the Nova design.
A vessel based on the Nova design took part in the Battle of Procyon V. As this battle took place in a timeline that has likely been erased from history, it is possible this variant will never be developed.