|Class Name :
|Unit Run :
|USS Cochrane - Destroyed plus 177 others built in total. 31 have been lost in all. 160 have been retired from service.
USS Daedalus - RetiredUSS Dykstra - Destroyed USS Ganda - Destroyed USS Lovell  - Destroyed USS Olympus - Destroyed USS Probert - Destroyed USS Ptolemy - Destroyed USS Stephen Decatur - Destroyed USS Valley Forge - Destroyed NCC 160  USS Carolina 
- RetiredNCC 173 USS Essex - Destroyed NCC 176  USS Horizon - Destroyed 
NCC 189 USS Archon - Destroyed
2158 - 2166, remained in service until 2196 
||Length : 121 m 
Beam : 48 m 
Height : 40 m 
Decks : 10
72,000 metric tons
4 x Laser cannon, total output 1,000 TeraWatts
2 x Mod 2 spatial torpedo tube with 24 rounds
|Defence Systems :
||Standard shield system, total capacity 40,500 TeraJoules
Standard Monotanium Single hull.
Low level Structural Integrity Field
(TOS scale) :
|Normal Cruise : 4
Maximum Cruise : 4.5
Maximum Rated : 4.9 for 12 hours.
|Strength Indices :
(Galaxy class = 1,000)
|Beam Firepower : 20
Torpedo Firepower : 0.2
Weapon Range and Accuracy : 50
Shield Strength : 15
Hull Armour : 1.25
Speed : 61
Combat Manoeuvrability : 11,490
|Overall Strength Index :
|Diplomatic Capability :
|Expected Hull Life :
|Refit Cycle :
||Minor : 1 year
Standard : 1 years
Major : 10 years
The Human / Romulan war was Humanity's first interstellar conflict after more than forty years of total peace. Thus, while the Romulans began the war with a well tested fleet of purpose designed combat vessels, the Humans were trying to hold them back in large part with converted merchant vessels augmented by the occasional ship bought from an alien government. From the first day of the war it was obvious that a new class of warships was needed, ships that where larger, faster and more powerful than any which had preceded them. Work began at a feverish pace early in 2156, and by mid 2158 the first of the new Daedalus class was launched.
The designers where urged to be daring, and they certainly took this advice to heart. Instead of the integrated hull form which most previous ships had possessed, the Daedalus class featured a multi-hulled configuration. The engineering section was a cylinder six decks tall which housed the ships heavy engineering equipment - the warp core, structural integrity and inertial damper field generator systems, shield generators, hangar bays, impulse drive, etc. This hull was connected by a two deck neck to a spherical primary hull which housed the ship's main weapons, control areas and provision for the crew.Designed to be easily constructed and maintained, the ships lacked many creature comforts found on other vessels of the period. However, they were known for their rugged durability. The proved their worth during the Romulan war, and then as deep-space exploration and defensive units for the newborn United Federation of Planets. 
The ships served extensively during the Romulan war, rapidly acquiring a fearsome reputation on the front lines. By 2159 the rapidly growing Daedalus fleet had been an important factor in turning the tide in the war, and by the end of that year they where routinely striking deep into Romulan home territory. The Romulans, faced with a war now fought almost wholly on their own territory, sued for peace in 2160. When the United Federation of Planets was formed in 2161, the constitution called on members to supply the newly formed Starfleet with ships until purpose-built vessels could be constructed 
. The pacifist Vulcan's where reluctant to devote resources to what they considered a military force, but the Humans had no such qualms; of the fleet of seventy Daedalus class vessels in service in 2161, they turned over no less than sixty of these to Starfleet. With Starfleet assigned a major scientific and exploratory role in addition to its secondary military mission, this bold move bought the Humans a huge stake in the future of the Federation. Virtually every exploratory mission, every first contact, every new scientific discovery made in the first eighty years of the UFP was made by Daedalus class starships under Human command and carrying wholly Human crews. Several Daedalus class ships where lost during their exploratory missions for Starfleet. The USS Essex (NCC-173), under the command of Captain Bryce Shumar and first officer Steven Mullen, was lost to an electromagnetic storm while investigating a class M moon orbiting Mab-Bu VI 
. The USS Archon was lost when its crew was absorbed by the entity known as Landru on the planet Beta III in the system C-111.  The Daedalus class USS Horizon visited Sigma Iotia II in 2167, resulting in massive cultural contamination of that planet 
. The huge number of such first contacts, together with the planting of colonies and exploratory work, resulted in a heavy pro Human bias in the evolving structure of the Federation itself, and most especially within Starfleet. This bias endures even to the present day.
The first of the Daedalus class vessels reached the end of its hull life in 2188. Initially it was planned to conduct a major overhaul on the hulls of the ships to extend their lives a further twenty years, but with a lessening in tensions during this period it was decided that Starfleet needed fewer heavily armed ships in service. The number of Daedalus class ships was allowed to gradually fall as ships reached the end of their hull life and retired. Initially it was planned to retire the crusier-type altogether in favour of large numbers of smaller, more manoeuvrable vessels. But in the end it was decided to put most of the Daedalus fleet into mothballs against possible future need. The last one hundred ships where placed in storage in 2196.
As the Daedalus ships fell behind the state of the art and became gradually less useful even as a reserve force, Starfleet began to find other uses for them. One was retained for the Fleet Museum, where it remains to this day. Some thought was given to refitting the remaining ships and using them as cargo carriers, but this plan was abandoned. Another plan to sell the Daedalus fleet to alien governments was also abandoned when the Prime Directive was established in 2225. Thirty of the ships where used in live fire exercises - one achieving a degree of fame as the first vessel destroyed by a phaser bank during the development of that weapon in the 2250's. Most of the remaining ships were scrapped between 2250 and 2260, though a few continued to serve in civilian hands for some years afterwards.  Whilst no Daedalus class continued in regular Starfleet service after 2196 , three examples were handed over to the Starfleet Corps of Engineers where they were kept in service in a variety of roles. one such, the USS Lovell, visited Starbase 47 (Vanguard) in 2265. Such was the condition of the vessel that Lieutenant Farber opined that the vessel was held together by a combination of strategic placement of forcefields, thermocrete, and the kindness of at least three different deities. 
As of the 2370s the only Daedalus class vessel in existence is the single example still in the fleet museum.
The Daedalus class specs and detailed history used to be almost wholly speculative since we haven't heard much about these ships. We did know that they where in service in 2167, and retired by 2196, but we didn't even know what they looked like with certainty. The images associated with this page were created by me, based upon the desktop models of the Daedalus we have seen in people's quarters or offices on various episodes. However, we don't know for a fact that those models are all that accurate - on the one hand, consider how many models produced today aren't all that similar to the real thing. But then again, wouldn't one expect Starfleet officers to have decent models of Starships?
Thanks to the novel series, some of which are starting to be incorporated into this site, we're learning a little more about the Daedalus. That means I dropped some chunks of my own take on the ship - official material always takes precedence.
The USS Essex is the only ship definitely known to be a Daedalus class. The Archon and the Horizon are conjectured to be Daedalus class ships in the Chronology, since they are in service at the same time as the Essex. Since the Chronology is a backstage source, I've coded this as green. The novels then contributed various other examples.
The continued service of several Daedalus class ships after 2196 is a matter of some controversy. That date is sourced from the TNG episode "Power play, where the following dialogue is heard :
Data : "I will verify it... just as I thought. It is a Starfleet subspace distress signal, standard to Daedalus-class starships."
Riker : "There hasn't been a Daedalus class in service for what...?"
Data : "One hundred seventy two years, sir."
Since Power Play takes place in 2368, that puts them out of service in 2196. The novel gets around this by having a character muse that they'd all been retired from Starfleet proper, but some remained in civilian hands and thee with the SCE. That's iffy, to my mind (why couldn't he have used some other class? Like an NX for instance?), but I thought it best to incorporate the data since it fleshed out the class a little.