A rare breed of ship in the Federation Navy and a derivative of the Tanken-Class Destroyer, the Shisu-Class Explorer, which is the old Japanese word for “sheath,” fills a small niche of ships in the Federation Navy that are still needed today: a vessel capable of deep space exploration. Using the Tanken as a base, the Shisu’s hull is elongated to accommodate exploration-specific sections on the flanks of the forward hull, increasing the length to 447 meters. These sections house additional quarters, scientific research rooms, and sophisticated sensor equipment for use in the stellar exploration, cataloguing findings, and recording any flora and fauna’s interaction with their surroundings if any are present. Much of the equipment is stored under retractable panels on the sides of the new sections. The sections also house additional storage units that hold supplies for long-term deployment since the ship would be away from any known trade routes or space stations for prolonged periods of time. Except for the new sections and one change in the weapons, the rest of the Shisu’s specifications are the same as the Tanken’s.
While the Shisu is an exploration vessel, it is more than capable of defending itself from threats the ship may encounter. Much of the Shisu’s weapon and defensive capabilities are the same as the Tanken’s except for its main artillery turrets. The Shisu’s main artillery batteries consist 8 1460-millimeter turrets, 2 more than the Tanken, with 6 forward firing turrets mounted in front of the missile launchers and 2 rear firing turrets mounted behind the missile launchers. These artillery turrets are only single-barrel versions compared to the Tanken and for good reason. As the Shisu is expected to be away from any supply station for prolonged periods of time and because it is meant to be an explorer vessel, resorting to a single barrel means the same amount of ammo can last for under three times longer than the Tanken. However, these guns should only be used if under threat or when the situation calls for their use. The Shisu can easily broadside its targets by bringing up to 4 turrets to engage either to port or starboard. If the target is large, all 8 turrets can be used on a single target. Each turret can be preloaded with up to 24 rounds before needing to reload and they can be reloaded up to 9 times before the ship runs out of ammo. However, as those 24 rounds are being fired through one barrel instead of three, the turrets can continuously fire for 3 times longer before needing to reload. Shisu captains will still limit the number of turrets firing at targets in an engagement to stretch their ammo supply before being forced to retreat or rely on their other weapons systems. The Shisu’s additional mass also makes it less maneuverable than the Tanken. Only 15 vessels of this type exist in the Federation Navy, meaning assignment to these vessels is both rare and hard to acquire unless a member of a Shisu’s crew either transfers or retires, creating an opening to apply for a transfer.