The engine systems are modified with a special type of bussard collector and warp coil that remove the need of the all to common red and blue glow of most Starfleet warp nacelles. This lessens the visual profile of the ship while in space. The Impulse Engines feature an ablative baffle system that reduce the residual energy left over form the ship moving through space, in addition to this the engines themselves are modified to produce less energy on their own. A similar system is used to mask the ships warp trail making the ship very difficult to track through open space.
A massive redesign of the ships interior took place to facilitate the needs of Special Operations Personnel. Much of the interior that was used to facilitate the original compliment of 40 so passengers in the Gryphon' was modified to house electronic warfare equipment. Advanced Sensors, jamming equipment, an advanced computer A.I. Matrix, holographic tactical display table. The crew area is modified to comfortably house a 12 man team plus the ships four man crew, accommodation were small, roughly equal to those on a defiant class ship. To the rear of the ship a small but relatively well equipped medical suit wad added, equipped with a modified EMH Mark I program.
Offensively the ship is similarly equipped to the Stormcrow Variant it is based on, the biggest difference being the removal of the two Mark V Micro Torpedo Launchers, and torpedo storage area. This was done to facilitate the extra equipment inside the Prowler and under the understanding that firing torpedoes would leave a residual energy signature that could be tracked for a short time. Instead should the Noir require the use of heavy weapons, 8 specially designed Photonic Missiles that utilized an energy absorbing paint to lessen its signature making it harder to pinpoint its point of origin are available. These missiles unlike the Photonic Missiles utilized by the Delta Flyer of the USS Voyager are actual missiles designed by the Federation, not utilizing Borg technology. In flight they do not produce the same visual effect as the Borg adaptation or Photon Torpedoes.
While in combat beside active combat monitoring and recording, the Noir's primary combat role is to act as a mine layer, discreetly laying minefields of small stealthed nuclear mines (see below) in orbital regions and within predicted enemy lines. Enemy ships that unknowingly enter these minefields can be destroyed by a single Prowler, allowing the remaining Starfleet forces to move in and finish off the survivors. The mines, equal in size to micro quantum torpedoes, are stored in small bays on the underside of the prowler, utilizing some of the space taken up by the designs original torpedo tubes.
Defensively the ship boasts a new Auto-Modulating Multi-Phasic shield grid that utilizes not a single shield emitter but a number of smaller emitters embedded within the hull. This increases the effectiveness of the shield system by having the shield wrap around the hull, not forming a bubble around the ship. This also allows individual sections of shields to be dropped allowing for use of transporters without completely dropping the shields. While the primary hull of the ship is a Duranium/Tirtanium the ship features 5cm of 'stealth ablative armor' a combination of Ablative Armor and the energy absorbing material used in the rest of the hull. While this lessens the effectiveness of the ablative armor it maintains the ships stealthy profile. In addition the Noir features an advanced hlographic masking system known as the LOKI System (see below). This system allows the ship to take the form of a holographic illusion relative to the size of ship.
In regards to flight performance the Noir is nearly identical to the Stormcrow. It is capable of 0.30c Sublight speed and has an impulse cruising speed of 0.25c. In regards to warp the Noir has a cruising speed of Warp 6.5 and its maximum warp speed lies at Warp 8.3. In emergency situations the Noir is capable of Warp 9.48 for 12 hours. Utilizing a controlled Warp Core Overload the Noir can sustain Warp 9.0 for 48 hours but at the risk of burning out the warp coils at that point. In regards to maneuverability the Noir is slightly more agile then her sisters due to the enhancements in the IDX-110-HV Mark-IV Compact Mass Drive Systems.
The designation prowler comes from a lineage of electronic warfare vehicles. The EA-6B Prowler was a twin-engine, mid-wing electronic warfare aircraft utilized by the United States Navy and United States Marine Corps. Much like the EA-6B it is used to gather electronic intelligence, and its primary role is to stay hidden while safely gathering such intelligence, not to charge into battle. Unlike the EA-6B Prowler however the Noir is designed to hold its own in a fight as well as insertion operations.
Mark-XXI Micro Mines are small thermonuclear devices designed with specialized purposes in mind. Roughly the same size as a micro quantum torpedo at 14 centimeters long are very difficult to detect an aspect amplified by a sensor refracting coating utilized on the mines. Comprised of a shell of lithium triteride when the mine is detonated and the Deuterium-Deuterium fusion process is started, a reaction with the lithium treteride it compresses its fissionable material to neutron-star density, boosting the thermonuclear yield to a point rivaling full scale matter/anti-matter bombs. The explosive power is quickly depleted due to the lack of particles or atmosphere around it when it's detonated in space. This results in a much quicker release of energy, with the possibility of even further multiplying its damage to ships, and other celestial objects due to the lack of energy absorbing particles in space.
Due to the destructive nature and limited possible uses of these mines Starfleet highly regulates their production and distribution. Noir Class Prowlers are equipped with the mines, and some Marine and Special Operations ships are assigned the weapons. Activation of the mines requires the command authorization of the ships Commanding Officer or three Senior Staff and the Executive Officer. Unjustifiable use of the Mark-XXI against any form of Sentient life is a criminal offense.
The LOKI System is a specialized optical camo system utilized on some special operations vehicles. Utilizing holographic technology the systems creates a holographic image around the vehicle masking or altering its appearance. The size, nature, and complexity of the holograms in question is all relative to the vehicle utilizing the system. An Argo-type buggy can only project images of very small structures, vehicles, and a holographic illusion of the area surrounding it. Larger vehicles, such as the Noir class Prowler can create larger or complex holograms due in part to the greater computer power and energy available. Noir-class prowlers can generate buildings slightly larger then the craft itself and can even mimic the shapes of small asteroids while in space. The most effective use of the system with the Noir however is the ability to mimic the environment around it making it invisible to visual sensors and observation while on a planet.
The downside of the system however is the photonic nature of the holograms. While the technology is more advanced the the standard holodeck technology within most Federation Starships, the technology still has limits. High energy Ionic discharges can temporarily destabilize the holographic matrix causing the holographic images to fluctuate or even temporarily disappear. In addition to this specialized high energy photonic scans can detect residual photons left by the system. However the unlikely nature of both these events has lead to the LOKI system being an all round stable Optical Camouflage system for aiding Special Operations and other personnel in their duties. The systems name is derived from the Norse Mythological figure Loki, who was a Trickster god, a shape-shifter, and also user of illusions.