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Neptune Class

Size Comp
Universe : Prime Timeline
Affiliation : Humans
Class Name : Neptune Class
Type : Warship
Unit Run : 12 built in total. 2 have been lost in all. 9 have been retired from service.
Commissioned : 2132 - 2139, remained in service until 2169
Dimensions : Length : 127 m
Beam : 115 m
Height : 18 m
Decks : 4
Mass : 40,000 metric tons
Crew : 35
Armament : 2 x phase cannon , total output 4 TeraWatts
2 x Mod 2 spatial torpedo tube with 12 rounds
Defence Systems : Light Monotanium Single hull plus 2 cm Polarised armour.
Low level Structural Integrity Field
Warp Speeds
(TOS scale) :
Normal Cruise : 1.5
Maximum Cruise : 1.5
Maximum Rated : 1.7
Strength Indices :
(Galaxy class = 1,000)
Beam Firepower : 0.08
Torpedo Firepower : 0.2
Weapon Range and Accuracy : 12
Shield Strength : -
Hull Armour : 50.31
Speed : 3
Combat Manoeuvrability : 2,600
Overall Strength Index : 19
Diplomatic Capability : 2
Expected Hull Life : 30
Refit Cycle : Minor : 1 year
Standard : 1 years
Major : 10 years


The Neptune was the 'workhorse' of Earth's Starfleet during the mid 22nd century. The ships were designed for general purpose defensive duties. They were originally fitted with spatial torpeodes and plasma cannon. With a top cruise speed of warp 1.5 they had an average travel time between systems of up to several years. The Neptunes would rarely undertake such missions - they would typically use their interstellar capability to transit to a given system and then operate there for a considerable period, conducting local patrols at impulse or low warp. At the end of their mission the ship would then return home at warp speed. Such missions could last as much as ten years, and with a thirty year hull life a typical Neptune class vessel might only travel to two or three different systems throughout its life.

Like all other Human designed ships, the Neptunes were greatly outpaced by the NX class starships which began to appear in the 2150s.1 Even so they continued to operate through this 2150s2 and beyond. The ships were refitted throughout their lives to keep them up to date; they carried phase cannon2, and some recieved photonic torpedoes to supplement or even replace their spatial torps.

Neptune classes served as part of Earth's defence force after the Xindi attack of 2153; at least one of these ships responded to the tresspass of a Klingon Bird of Prey in the system when the NX-01 returned to Earth in the aftermath of the attack.2

Colour key

Canon source Backstage source Novel source DITL speculation


# Series Season Source Comment
1 ENT 1 Broken Bow
2 ENT 2 The Expanse
Series : ENT Season 1 (Disc 1)
Episode : Broken Bow
Series : ENT Season 2 (Disc 6)
Episode : The Expanse


Alas, we know almost nothing about these ships and so I'm forced to speculate like crazy since the real 24th century DITL would certainly know every detail about them. Unlike the Intrepid class, I tend to think of the Neptune as being a pre-warp 5 ship. Mostly that's just a guess, based on the fact that the ship has a somewhat more primitive look to the hull than the Intrepid.

Human ships of this era should have extremely limited interstellar capability - remember from "Terra Nova" that no Earth ship had investigated the colony in the previous 70 years, even though it was only 20 light years away. Even a warp 1 ship could easily have reached Terra Nova and returned in that time, so we're forced to conclude that even though ships may have theoretically been able to reach the colony, journeys between star systems were something that Starfleet undertook only rarely. Hence the idea that the Neptunes use their interstellar capability only rarely.

The original armament of the Neptunes was likely to be of a similar tech level to the original NX class - spatial torpedoes and plasma cannon (it's commonly assumed that the blobs of white light that the NX-01 fired in the pilot episode were plasma bolts, though this is unproven). However we saw a Neptune class firing phase cannon in "The Expanse", and again in "Twilight", so the ships would presumably have been upgraded at some point. Indeed, the long travel times between stars would probably mean that individual Neptune classes would vary greatly in how up to date they were - a ship stationed at Earth would likely receive all the most up to date equipment, while one which was in a distant system could go many years without such attention.

We don't have a canonical class name for these ships, nor can I follow the standard site practice of naming them after the first ship of the class seen on screen since no individual ship has ever been named. The name 'Neptune class' is commonly used by fans; I have no idea why.

© Graham & Ian Kennedy Page views : 35,844 Last updated : 2 Jan 2008