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Excelsior Class

Size Comp 1Size comp 2


Universe : Prime Timeline
Affiliation : Federation
Class Name : Excelsior Class [1]
Type : Explorer / Cruiser
Unit Run :
USS Farragut [2] - Active
NCC 13958 [3] USS Okinawa [4] - Active
NCC 14232 [3] USS Berlin [5] - Active
NCC 14427 USS Lexington [6] - Active
NCC 14598 [3] USS Fearless [7] - Active
NCC 14934 [3] USS Tecumseh [8] - Active
NCC 18253 [3] USS Potemkin [9] - Active
NCC 2000 [10] USS Excelsior [1] - Active
NCC 2544 [3] USS Repulse [11] - Active
NCC 2573 [3] USS Roosevelt - Destroyed [12]
NCC 34099 [3] USS Livingston [13] - Active
NCC 38907 [3] USS Intrepid [14] - Destroyed
NCC 38955 [3] USS Crockett [15] - Active
NCC 38997 [3] USS Malinche [16] - Active
NCC 40521 [3] USS Gorkon [17] - Active
NCC 42111 [3] USS Fredrickson [18] - Active
NCC 42136 [3] USS Cairo [19] - Missing [20]
NCC 42285 [3] USS Charleston [21] - Active
NCC 42768 [22] USS Hood [23] - Active
NCC 42857 [3] USS Grissom [24] - Active
NCC 42995 [3] USS Al-Batani [25] - Active
NCC 43305 [3] USS Valley Forge - Destroyed [26]
NCC 50446 [3] USS Crazy Horse [17] - Active
NCC 62043 [27] USS Melbourne [28] - Destroyed [29]
plus 390 others built in total. 212 have been lost in all. 10 have been retired from service.
Commissioned : 2287 - 2346, class remains in service
Dimensions : Length : 467 m [30]
Beam : 185 m [31]
Height : 100 m [31]
Decks : 28
Mass : 2,150,000 metric tons
Crew : 705, 8,500 evacuation limit
Armament : 12 x Type VIII phaser bank, total output 18,500 TeraWatts
4 x 2nd class photon torpedo tube [10] with 150 rounds
Defence Systems : Standard shield system, total capacity 1,201,500 TeraJoules
Standard Duranium Double hull.
Standard level Structural Integrity Field
Warp Speeds
(TNG scale) :
Normal Cruise : 6
Maximum Cruise : 8.2
Maximum Rated : 8.6 for 12 hours.
Strength Indices :
(Galaxy class = 1,000)
Beam Firepower : 370
Torpedo Firepower : 250
Weapon Range and Accuracy : 515
Shield Strength : 445
Hull Armour : 20
Speed : 680
Combat Manoeuvrability : 2,180
Overall Strength Index : 374
Diplomatic Capability : 5
Expected Hull Life : 100
Refit Cycle : Minor : 2 year
Standard : 2 years
Major : 18 years


The history of the Excelsior class tends to consist of extremes. Initially fitted with a Transwarp drive and proclaimed "the great experiment", the ship had an ignoble start when its engines failed when it was called into action to prevent the theft of the USS Enterprise. Although this was due to deliberate sabotage [1], it transpired that the Excelsior had been saved from a major disaster; engineers working to correct the damage discovered a series of flaws in the Transwarp drive which, had it been used, would have caused a nacelle implosion which would have destroyed the ship. The Excelsior spent nearly a full year in Spacedock while engineering specialists struggled to repair the problem. Re-launched early in 2286, the ship met with little more success. Although the fatal flaw of the Transwarp drive was repaired, the system was subject to major problems and over the next year it never completed a successful test, much to the embarrassment of Captain Styles and his crew. Finally Starfleet cancelled the Transwarp project altogether, [32] and for a short time the Excelsior faced decommissioning.

There was nothing wrong with the basic engineering of the space frame however, and in all other areas the Excelsior class was still the most advanced ship in Starfleet, [33] and indeed the entire Quadrant, by a considerable margin.In light of this Starfleet rapidly decided to fit the Excelsior class with a more conventional propulsion system. [32] She returned to Spacedock for the third time in 2287 to have her hull converted to run with a standard Warp drive. This process went remarkably smoothly, and by the end of the year the Excelsior was in space again. From here the history of the ship leapt from one extreme to the other; from being a costly and embarrassing failure, the Excelsior rapidly built a reputation for outstanding performance and a solid reliability few other designs have matched. Series production commenced at once, and continued unbroken for the next thirty nine years - a record for Federation shipbuilding.The Excelsior herself was assigned to Captain Sulu in 2290 and conducted extensive scientific, [10] exploratory and diplomatic missions under his distinguished command. [10] Today the ships of the Excelsior class continue in service [34], having undergone many refits and upgrades over the decades.

Colour key

Canon source Backstage source Novel source DITL speculation


# Series Season Source Comment
1 Star Trek III : The Search for Spock
2 DS9 7 Chrysalis
3 Star Trek Encyclopedia
4 DS9 4 Paradise Lost
5 TNG 1 Angel One
6 TNG 7 Thine Own Self
7 TNG 1 Where No One Has Gone Before
8 DS9 5 ...Nor the Battle to the Strong
9 TNG 4 Legacy
10 Star Trek VI : The Undiscovered Country
11 TNG 2 The Child
12 VOY 3 Unity
13 DS9 2 Invasive Procedures
14 TNG 4 Family
15 DS9 2 Paradise
16 DS9 5 For the Uniform
17 TNG 6 Descent, Part 1
18 DS9 6 A Time to Stand
19 TNG 6 Chain of Command, Part 1
20 DS9 6 In the Pale Moonlight
21 TNG 1 The Neutral Zone
22 Star Trek : Nemesis
23 TNG 1 Encounter at Farpoint
24 TNG 3 The Most Toys
25 VOY 1 Caretaker
26 DS9 6 Tears of the Prophets
27 DS9 1 Emissary
28 TNG 1 11001001
29 TNG 3 The Best of Both Worlds, Part 1
30 Star Trek Chronology Stated on page 138. Scale diagrams usually give a size consistent with this figure. However, the DS9 TM claims that the Enterprise-B type, which is based on an identical basic hull, has a length of 511.25 metres.
31 Star Trek Chronology
32 Star Trek Chronology second edition
33 Generic official information
34 Various Next Generation episodes
Film: Star Trek III : The Search for Spock
Series : DS9 Season 7
Episode : Chrysalis
Book : Star Trek Encyclopedia
Series : DS9 Season 4
Episode : Paradise Lost
Series : TNG Season 1
Episode : Angel One
Series : TNG Season 7
Episode : Thine Own Self
Series : TNG Season 1
Episode : Where No One Has Gone Before
Series : DS9 Season 5
Episode : ...Nor the Battle to the Strong
Series : TNG Season 4
Episode : Legacy
Film: Star Trek VI : The Undiscovered Country
Series : TNG Season 2
Episode : The Child
Series : VOY Season 3
Episode : Unity
Series : DS9 Season 2
Episode : Invasive Procedures
Series : TNG Season 4
Episode : Family
Series : DS9 Season 2
Episode : Paradise
Series : DS9 Season 5
Episode : For the Uniform
Series : TNG Season 6
Episode : Descent, Part 1
Series : DS9 Season 6
Episode : A Time to Stand
Series : TNG Season 6
Episode : Chain of Command, Part 1
Series : DS9 Season 6
Episode : In the Pale Moonlight
Series : TNG Season 1
Episode : The Neutral Zone
Film: Star Trek : Nemesis
Series : TNG Season 1
Episode : Encounter at Farpoint
Series : TNG Season 3
Episode : The Most Toys
Series : VOY Season 1
Episode : Caretaker
Series : DS9 Season 6
Episode : Tears of the Prophets
Series : DS9 Season 1
Episode : Emissary
Series : TNG Season 1
Episode : 11001001
Series : TNG Season 3
Episode : The Best of Both Worlds, Part 1
Book : Star Trek Chronology
Comment : Stated on page 138. Scale diagrams usually give a size consistent with this figure. However, the DS9 TM claims that the Enterprise-B type, which is based on an identical basic hull, has a length of 511.25 metres.
Book : Star Trek Chronology
Book : Star Trek Chronology
Comment : second edition
Series : Season
Episode : Generic official information
Series : TNG Season
Episode : Various Next Generation episodes


First seen in "Star Trek III : The Search For Spock", the Excelsior was claimed by Sulu to have the new 'transwarp' drive. The lack of such a technology within the federation has led to the obvious conclusion that transwarp was a failure, and I devoted much of the text to this. I like the idea that Scotty's sabotage actually saved the Excelsior from destruction - even when our heroes are doing wrong they're doing right!

The rest of the entry for the basic Excelsior is pretty much what we know, or can directly infer. For the modifications seen on the Enterprise-B in "Generations", I suggested that she was a response to the 'cloak-fire' Bird of Prey because it seemed reasonable that the Klingons would have persued this technology after Star Trek VI. Having the E-B subtype as a more specialist ship than the normal Excelsior is a reasonable way to explain why we have seen relatively fewer of these ships during TNG.
© Graham & Ian Kennedy Page views : 254,444 Last updated : 22 Dec 2021