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EarlybasicrefitImagesInternals
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Constitution Class

basic

Universe : Prime Timeline
Affiliation : Federation
Class Name : Constitution Class1
Type : Heavy Cruiser
Unit Run :
NCC 1017 USS Constellation - Destroyed2
NCC 1371 USS Republic3 - Retired
NCC 16314 USS Intrepid - Destroyed5
NCC 16476 USS Farragut7 - Retired
NCC 16576 USS Potemkin3 - Retired
NCC 1664 USS Excalibur4 - Retired
NCC 1672 USS Exeter4 - Destroyed
NCC 1700 USS Constitution4 - Retired
NCC 1701 USS Enterprise8 - Upgraded9
NCC 17034 USS Hood3 - Retired
NCC 17096 USS Lexington3 - Retired
NCC 1710 USS Kongo4 - Retired
NCC 17176 USS Yorktown7 - Upgraded10
NCC 1764 USS Defiant - Missing11
NCC 1895 USS Endeavour12 - Retired
NCC 956 USS Eagle6 - Upgraded
10 have been lost in all. 5 have been retired from service.
Commissioned : 2244 - 2265, remained in service until 2285
Dimensions : Length : 289 m13
Beam : 127.1 m14
Height : 72.6 m14
Decks : 2115
Mass : 600,000 metric tons
Crew : 43316
Armament : 6 x Type VI phasers, total output 4,000 TeraWatts
2 x 2nd class photon torpedo tube with 120 rounds
Defence Systems : Standard shield system, total capacity 594,000 TeraJoules
Standard Monotanium Double hull.
Standard level Structural Integrity Field
Warp Speeds
(TOS scale) :
Normal Cruise : 5
Maximum Cruise : 617
Maximum Rated : 918 for 418 hours.
Strength Indices :
(Galaxy class = 1,000)
Beam Firepower : 80
Torpedo Firepower : 125
Weapon Range and Accuracy : 100
Shield Strength : 220
Hull Armour : 10
Speed : 381
Combat Manoeuvrability : 4,740
Overall Strength Index : 155
Diplomatic Capability : 4
Expected Hull Life : 40
Refit Cycle : Minor : 1 year
Standard : 1 years
Major : 20 years

Notes

Perhaps the most famous class of vessel in Starfleet history, the Constitution class was a legend in its own time. When launched, the USS Constitution set a new standard of excellence in almost every applicable field - she was simultaneously the fastest ship, most advanced exploration platform and most powerful combat vessel in known space. The four hundred and thirty crew enjoyed a standard of crew accommodation unknown on other vessels of the period, while the diplomatic facilities rivalled those of all but the most elaborate Starbases.


Quickly following the Constellation in 2245 was the USS Enterprise, NCC-1701. This was to become the most famous vessel in Federation history; during her years of service life the Enterprise explored countless new worlds, making first contact with many species and expanding the Federations knowledge of the territories surrounding it hugely. Like her sisters the Enterprise also served as a mighty deterrent to both the Klingons and Romulans, several times taking part in combat actions which determined the fate of the entire Federation if not the Alpha Quadrant itself.


The Constitution class ships where designed for long duration missions with minimal outside support, and exploratory missions typically lasted up to five years.17
The Enterprise conducted several such missions, first under Captain April and then19 under Captain Pike, followed by Captain Kirk. Kirk captained the Enterprise through her most difficult missions, and it is largely because of his incredible success that the Constitution class has acquired the reputation it has.17


Other ships of the class were less fortunate than the Enterprise; the USS Defiant was lost in an interphase pocket in 2268.11 The ship emerged in the Mirror universe, where it was captured first by the Tholians20 and then by the Terran Empire.21 The USS Excalibur and lexington were badly damaged in the unfortunate M-5 incident - Excalibur's entire crew was killed in the incident.3 Virtually the entire crew of the Exeter was killed by a deadly alien virus in 2268.22 The USS Constellation was destroyed fighting against the Doomsday machine, again with the loss of her entire crew.2

The Constitution class USS Endeavour served a tour of duty within the Taurus Reach under Captain Zhao in 2265, based out of Starbase 47 (Vanguard).23 The ship was badly damaged and the Captain killed whilst investigating the planet Erilon.24


By 2265 the early Constitutions where reaching twenty years of age, their designed life span. Starfleet had decided that they where becoming somewhat long in the tooth and was looking for a replacement class; however, such was the popularity of these ships that the Starfleet design bureau stated in an official memo that none of the contemplated new designs matched up to them and the best course of action was to simply rebuild the existing ships with the latest technology. Although Starfleet was not convinced at first, careful testing of the skeleton framework of several Constitution class ships revealed that the basic structure was more than capable of continuing in service, having withstood twenty years of hard use with ease.


The USS Enterprise was selected to be the first ship to undergo such a refit, and in 2269 she went into spacedock in Earth orbit for eighteen months of work9. Never in Starfleet history has any vessel been so comprehensively updated - essentially a new vessel was built onto the bones of the old, replacing virtually every major system. The Enterprise was rushed out of Spacedock in 2271 to face the threat presented by the entity known as V'Ger, which was destroying everything in its path as it advanced towards Earth; she succeed in averting the danger and proceeded on her shakedown cruise9
Yellow text = Canon source Green text = Backstage source Cyan text = Novel White text = DITL speculation

References

# Series Season Source Comment
1 TNG 1 The Naked Now
2 TOS 2 The Doomsday Machine
3 TOS 2 The Ultimate Computer
4 TOS 1 Court Martial
5 TOS 2 The Immunity Syndrome
6 Star Trek Encyclopedia
7 TOS 2 Obsession
8 TOS 1 Where No Man Has Gone Before
9 Star Trek : The Motion Picture
10 Star Trek The Next Generation Technical Manual
11 TOS 3 The Tholian Web
12 Star Trek VI : The Undiscovered Country
13 Star Trek Encyclopedia Third edition, page 138
14 Star Trek - Starfleet Technical Manual Section 1:04:10
15 Production drawing
16 TOS 1 Shore Leave
17 Various Original Series episodes
18 TOS 3 The Paradise Syndrome
19 Star Trek The Animated Series
20 ENT 4 In A Mirror, Darkly
21 ENT 4 In A Mirror, Darkly Part II
22 TOS 2 The Omega Glory
23 Star Trek : Vanguard, Book 1 - Harbinger
24 Star Trek : Vanguard, Book 2 - Summon the Thunder
Series : TNG Season 1 (Disc 1)
Episode : The Naked Now
Series : TOS Season 2 (Disc 2)
Episode : The Doomsday Machine
Series : TOS Season 2 (Disc 7)
Episode : The Ultimate Computer
Series : TOS Season 1 (Disc 5)
Episode : Court Martial
Series : TOS Season 2 (Disc 5)
Episode : The Immunity Syndrome
Book : Star Trek Encyclopedia
Series : TOS Season 2 (Disc 3)
Episode : Obsession
Series : TOS Season 1 (Disc 1)
Episode : Where No Man Has Gone Before
Film: Star Trek : The Motion Picture
Book : Star Trek The Next Generation Technical Manual
Series : TOS Season 3 (Disc 2)
Episode : The Tholian Web
Film: Star Trek VI : The Undiscovered Country
Book : Star Trek Encyclopedia
Comment : Third edition, page 138
Book : Star Trek - Starfleet Technical Manual
Comment : Section 1:04:10
Source : Production drawing
Series : TOS Season 1 (Disc 4)
Episode : Shore Leave
Series : TOS Season (Disc )
Episode : Various Original Series episodes
Series : TOS Season 3 (Disc 1)
Episode : The Paradise Syndrome
Source : Star Trek The Animated Series
Series : ENT Season 4 (Disc 5)
Episode : In A Mirror, Darkly
Series : ENT Season 4 (Disc 5)
Episode : In A Mirror, Darkly Part II
Series : TOS Season 2 (Disc 6)
Episode : The Omega Glory
Novel : Star Trek : Vanguard, Book 1 - Harbinger
Novel : Star Trek : Vanguard, Book 2 - Summon the Thunder

Comments

Naturally, the Constitution class gets the most glowing write-up that I could manage. Most of the notes are lifted directly from canon, with a little extrapolation thrown in to cover the blank spots. The specs for the original Constitution are based on the original Starfleet Technical Manual, although the mass comes from Scotty's statement in one episode that the Enterprise massed "nearly a million tons" compared to the 200,000 ton figure in the book. The strength ratings are pitched pretty low overall because - so far as is known - the Constitutions have not been in service for a long time, and so wouldn't have been recieving upgrades over the years like the Mirandas and K'T'Ingas have.


The backstage info concerning the refit version comes from the Chronology. The original Tech Manual gives a rather lengthy list of names and NCC numbers for extra Constitution class ships - over a hundred in all! - but I haven't included these in the table because frankly it overpowered the rest of the text by quite a margain. In addition, the NCC numbers for several of the ships listed are contradicted by the Encyclopedia and so I'm a bit dubious about including the information if it's become outdated.
Copyright Graham Kennedy Page views : 216,406 Last updated : 13 May 2017