The USS Defiant (NX-74205), originally the USS Sao Paulo (NCC-75633), was a 24th century Federation Defiant-class starship operated by Starfleet. The Defiant was assigned to Deep Space 9 in the final weeks of the Dominion War. This starship was the third known Federation ship to bear the name Defiant, and the second ship of the Defiant-class to bear the name Defiant.
As one of the first new starships launched from Federation shipyards after the disastrous Second Battle of Chin'toka, the Sao Paulo was immediately assigned to the front lines at Deep Space 9 as a replacement for the USS Defiant. The Sao Paulo was equipped with redesigned deflector shield generators to counteract the Breen energy dampening weapon, which had decimated the allied fleet at Chin'toka.
Upon taking command of the Sao Paulo on stardate 52891.3, Captain Benjamin Sisko received a special dispensation from the Chief of Starfleet Operations to change the vessel's name to USS Defiant, after the original, which had been destroyed by Breen forces in the Second Battle of Chin'toka.
The new Defiant was slightly modified from the prototype. On the bridge, the consoles alongside the captain's chair had been redesigned, and the aft operations table was replaced with a free-standing console. In addition, the ship's shield generators had been completely reconfigured, as had its internal furnishing – a fact bemoaned by Doctor Julian Bashir upon boarding the vessel. (DS9: "The Dogs of War")
The Defiant participated in the Battle of Cardassia, the last battle of the Dominion War. The ship suffered at least three casualties, with eight wounded in Phase One; it is unknown if any were suffered in Phase Two. Familiar with the individual characteristics of the old Defiant, the crew found it difficult to equate the one with the other, prompting Ensign Nog to report that the new Defiant was "a little sluggish." The vessel lacked the worn-in combat capability and effectiveness of the prototype, but acquitted herself well during the battle. (DS9: "What You Leave Behind")
Command crew Edit
As with the previous Defiant, this vessel's assignment to Deep Space 9 as a support vessel meant that it was manned by station personnel and had no dedicated crew complement of its own. Crew assignments varied by mission.
As of 2375:
- Captain Benjamin Sisko - Commanding Officer (CO)
- Lieutenant Commander Worf - Executive Officer (XO)/Security Chief/Tactical Officer
- Lieutenant Julian Bashir - Chief Medical Officer (CMO)
- Lieutenant junior grade Ezri Dax - Counselor/Communications Officer
- Ensign Nog - Helmsman
- Senior Chief Petty Officer Miles O'Brien - Chief Engineer
Although this ship's predecessor was destroyed in "The Changing Face of Evil", the writing staff of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine "didn't want to keep it dead forever," as expressed by René Echevarria. Thus, a substitute vessel was conceived. Ronald D. Moore explained, "There was no way to do the big final battles [of the Dominion War] without it [....] So we brought it back and 'made it a virtue.'" (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion, p. 693)
Ron Moore intended for the ship to be designated the "Defiant-A". "I fought quite a bit on this rather minute point," he related, "because I'm a Star Trek aficionado and I feel strongly about these kinds of things. I drove Ira [Steven Behr] up the wall on this 'A' business, trying to get 'A' onto the model." The show's tight budget constraints meant that there was insufficient funds to redo all the stock visual effects shots of the Defiant-class, which would have had to be done if the ship had been named the "Defiant-A". It also would have been prohibitive to repaint and reshoot the model. "So we had to bite the bullet," commented Behr. "We didn't have to end the series without the ship [...] but we weren't going to build a new ship at the end of the show, and we weren't going to change the decals [on every frame of stock footage]." Nevertheless, Moore personally still considered the vessel's designation to be "Defiant-A". (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion, p. 701)
This Defiant was originally to have been introduced in the teaser of "Tacking Into the Wind". However, when it was decided that that episode was too long, the craft's introduction was moved to later DS9 Season 7 installment "The Dogs of War". (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion, p. 693)
The USS Sao Paulo was an in-joke reference to the film The Sand Pebbles, which features the USS San Pablo. (Star Trek Monthly issue 56, p. 11) The name was selected by Ron Moore, who also wrote the ship's introduction (originally, for "Tacking Into the Wind", prior to the scene being moved). (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion, p. 693)
The Sao Paulo's motto was "Give me Liberty or give me Death...", a quote by Patrick Henry. The ship was "named for the people of Brazil." This motto was in the same spirit as the famous words "Independência ou Morte" ("Independence or Death") said by Dom Pedro I, when he declared Brazil's independence from Portugal. Although Sao Paulo ("Saint Paul") was a city in Brazil, the ship wasn't actually named after the city. (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion, p. 693)
The dedication plaque included the names of forty-six Star Trek executives, including Rick Berman, Michael Piller, Ira Steven Behr, David Livingston, Ronald D. Moore, Peter Lauritson, René Echevarria, Steve Oster, and "Chief of Staff" Gene Roddenberry.
Gary Hutzel was pleased with how this ship was depicted in series finalé "What You Leave Behind", using CGI. "The Defiant looks really good, the CG model looks very good," he remarked. (Cinefantastique, Vol. 32, Nos. 4/5, p. 87)
↑ This Defiant has conflicting registry numbers. The dedication plaque on the bridge gave the registry as NCC-75633, but the plaque also contained the original name Sao Paulo. External CGI images seen in "The Dogs of War" and "What You Leave Behind" repeated the old registry of NX-74205 as a result of the extensive use of stock footage from earlier episodes, including "The Search, Part I", "Sacrifice of Angels" and "Tears of the Prophets". The new footage in "What You Leave Behind" continued to use NX-74205 for consistency. Memory Alpha uses the commissioning year to differentiate this ship from its predecessor.
In Books One and Two of the duology Avatar, the first books in a series set after "What You Leave Behind", the Defiant was described as having been fitted with a new Romulan cloaking device, the Romulan Senate having recognized the strategic importance of the Defiant as the first line of defense against any future Dominion attack through the wormhole.
Avatar also depicts the Defiant in battle, defending DS9 from a group of rogue Jem'Hadar who attack the station, which at the time was undergoing a refit and was barely able to defend itself. The Defiant's commander, and DS9's recently acquired second in command, Tiris Jast, was killed in the attack, spurring Ezri Dax to take command. In a desperate attempt to stop the Jem'Hadar, Dax and Nog used the Defiant's warhead module – a last ditch weapon which fired the Defiant's nose section, containing the deflector and a complement of photon torpedoes.
In the next books, Abyss and Demons of Air and Darkness, the Defiant was commanded by DS9's new first officer Elias Vaughn. Following on from those, in the four-book miniseries Mission Gamma, Vaughn commands the Defiant on a three-month voyage of exploration through the Gamma Quadrant.
The Sao Paulo was also a playable starship in the 2006 video game Star Trek: Legacy for a level set in the year 2380, possibly indicating that after the war had ended, the ship reverted to its original name. It is equally possible that, due to the original Sao Paulo being immediately renamed Defiant, another Defiant-class vessel was named the Sao Paulo.
The Defiant was depicted in Star Trek Online as still in service in 2409, while also still attached to DS9. She appears in the missions "Assimilation of the Innocent", "The Tribble with Klingons" (removed in Season 11), "Spoils of War", "Jabberwocky", "Second Wave", "Boldly they Rode", and "Midnight".