The Sierra Shuttle is a short range transportation vehicle, used both privately and by the United Federation military. The Sierra is a medium sized transport vessel, with a wide, vertical opening doors on the sides, and an emergency hatch on the top. Sierra shuttles are typically unarmed, however military variants can be outfitted with basic defensive weaponry, including beam weapons, electronic countermeasures, and chaff launchers.
The Sierra shuttle has been in service since it's development in 2050. The ship utilizes a smaller fusion reactor, similar to the drives of larger starships, and can achieve speeds of Mach 20+. The Sierra is not equipped with a warp drive, and as such, cannot exceed speeds faster then light, although is properly aligned, a Sierra shuttle can 'hitchhike' using the containment field generated by a larger starship during it's entry into warp. This has it's problems, however, as the Sierra shuttle has no way of dropping out of warp until the larger ship does, and the Sierra is not built for the physical stress the transition can cause, which may cause hull damage. The Sierra seats two pilots, and in most variations, has a passenger bay for 25. Many civilian Sierra shuttles are retrofitted, removing many of the seats to extend it's cargo capacity. Sierras are used for troop transport, planetary approaches in lieu of starships, and prisoner/cargo transportation in the Federation military. In the private sector, Sierras see most use in private transportation and freight. Many privately owned Sierras are government surplus or retired from duty, and have an excessive amount of flight time, requiring regular maintenance.