The phoenix introduced the whole concept of warp drive by making the first faster than light flight in 2063. Just a few years later the Valiant class ships became the first practical warp-drive starships. These two classes still show signs of their rocket origins.
The first class to show the now classic three section design of Primary hull, Engineering hull and Nacelles. Ships of this class where assigned to the newly created Starfleet by the Federation constitution in 2161.
Introduced the circular saucer section for greater warpfield-hull streamlining. Greatly diversified the designs used in the fleet; Miranda introduced the blended saucer and engineering hull, Saladin and Federation classes introduced the single- and triple- nacelle concepts respectively. In c. 2260, the Saladin, Miranda and Constitution classes were refitted with phasers instead of lasers. Ptolemy was the first modularized container hauler.
Refitted models of earlier vessels brought the LN-64 model nacelle into service. Hulls constructed of Duranium rather than Monotanium, and new design philosophy moved torpedoes into hull modules. Phasers channelled through warp engines to increase power. Oberth introduced the unmanned engineering hull, Constellation introduced the four nacelled concept. Soyuz was a reduced capability variant of the Miranda for system defence and border patrol duties. Polaris was a cut-down Constitution for Frigate duties. Challenger merged Constellation nacelles with Constitution hulls.
Improved engine efficiencies resulted from transwarp project, although the transwarp drive itself failed. Introduced the "Covex" style saucer section for greater internal volume. Shelley recieved Constitution nacelles when transwarp drive proved a failure, rather than a re-designed warp drive.
Reintroduced externally mounted bussard collectors. Nacelles make up much smaller proportion of overall length - shorter nacelles possible due to improvements in field efficiency. Ambassador introduced phaser arrays and burst fire torpedo tubes. Freedom is a descendant of the Saladin / Hermes family with a single nacelle, Niagara is a three-nacelled vessel. These two classes where introduced with Ambassador-era nacelles, but these have since been refitted with Galaxy-era nacelles.
Completed the integration of engineering hull into saucer section. Introduced non-circular saucer sections. Brought phaser arrays into widespread use.
Detachable / reattachable saucer section capable of independent operating. Double dishing and lateral expansion on saucer section for increased internal volume. Multiple hangar bays in Galaxy and Nebula.
Fully integrated hull-form with nacelles directly attached to main body. No dedicated science labs, holodecks, etc. Low accommodation standard, high refit cycle. Introduced pulse phaser cannon, quantum torpedoes and ablative armour.
Most designs far more combat oriented. Reduced height for smaller lateral target aspect. Longitudinal expansion on saucer sections, which are closely coupled to the engineering hulls. Introduced engines designed to avoid subspace pollution and capable of extended flight at speeds in excess of Warp 9.9. Variable geometry nacelles, Multi-inlet bussard collectors for much greater scoop capacity. Bioneural gel pack computers. Quantum torpedoes, heavy turret launcher on Sovereign. Reduced capabilities in Nova class but this class uses similar level of basic technology and similar spaceframe.
|Canon source||Backstage source||Novel source||DITL speculation|
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