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Excelsior class
USSExcelsior
Type: Explorer / Cruiser
Length: 467 m m
Beam: 185 m m
Draft: 100 m m
Max. speed: warp 8.6 for 12 hours
Armaments: 12 x Type VIII phaser bank.

4 x 2nd class photon torpedo tube with 150 rounds

Defenses: Standard shield system.

Standard Duranium Double hull. Standard level Structural Integrity Field

Crew: 705
Excelsior-prototype

The Excelsior class was a type of Federation starship used by Starfleet from the late 23rd century through the late 24th century.

Background Edit

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 (NCC-1701). Although this was due to deliberate sabotage, 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, and for a short time the Excelsior faced decommissioning.

ReprieveEdit

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, 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. 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 leaped 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 Hikaru Sulu in 2290 and conducted extensive scientific, exploratory and diplomatic missions under his distinguished command. Today the ships of the Excelsior class continue in service, having undergone many refits and upgrades over the decades.

Excelsior class
EnterpriseB
Type: Explorer / Countercloak Cruiser
Length: 465 m m
Beam: 185 m m
Draft: 100 m m
Max. speed: warp 9 for 12 hours
Armaments: 12 x Type VIII phaser bank.

4 x 2nd class photon torpedo tube with 150 rounds

Defenses: Standard shield system.

Standard Duranium Double hull. Standard level Structural Integrity Field

Crew: 750
Excelsior-refit

Variant 1 Edit

The first major subgroup of the Excelsior class, the USS Enterprise (NCC-1701-B) subtype was designed for greater burst speed and maneuverability than the standard Excelsior and carried a much more elaborate electronics fit. The intention was to counter the new generation of cloak capable vessels being deployed by the Klingon empire; Starfleet was especially worried about developments which might permit Klingon vessels to fire whilst still cloaked, and it was these in particular that the new type was designed to counter. Wake homing torpedoes were fitted as standard, while plasma detector systems allowed the new ship to locate almost any existing vessel through its cloak. The advanced sensors of the Enterprise-B were also able to engage vessels firing from cloak by automatically locking phasers onto the origin of the weapons fire and almost instantly laying down a pattern of fire on the immediate area before the enemy vessel could change its position. Although the plasma emission weakness was rapidly eliminated from Klingon cloaking devices, the automatic lock and fire system of the Enterprise-B subclass proved so successful in service that by 2310 the Klingons had been forced to abandon the whole idea of firing from behind the cloak and reverted back to using this device purely during approach and evasion operations.

Variant 2 Edit

This variant of the Excelsior design was intended to extend the usefulness of the class by incorporating new technology to give a much greater weapons capability. It was hoped that the whole fleet could be similarly refitted to give Starfleet a far greater combat power during its current crises. However, the unfortunate battle between the USS Lakota and the USS Defiant (NX-74205) clearly established the superiority of the latter; it is also actually easier to build a whole new Defiant class vessel than to upgrade an Excelsior class to Lakota standard. When full production of the Defiant class begun, the Lakota subclass was therefore dropped and only the original prototype vessel remains in service.

Sources Edit

Notable ships Edit

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