The Ambassador-class was a type of Federation heavy cruiser in service to Starfleet in the early 24th century into the 25th century. (ST reference: Star Trek Encyclopedia; STO video game: Star Trek Online)
The Ambassador-class was designed to be a replacement for the aging fleet of Excelsior-class and Constellation-class vessels which had been in service for over three decades, and to create a true front-line heavy cruiser. Between 2325 and 2360, the Ambassador-class heavy cruisers were the primary capital ships of Starfleet until 2372, when Starfleet stopped production of these ships in favor of the larger, more resilient Galaxy class starships. (TNG reference: Star Trek: The Next Generation Technical Manual; Decipher RPG module: Starships)
The prototype of the class, the USS Ambassador, experienced its first test-bed trials at Helaspont Station near Tzenkethi space in 2319, supervised by Starfleet Admirals Los Tirasol Mentir and John Harriman, ostensibly as an intimidation-tactic against the volatile Tzenkethi Coalition. The prototype was launched in the early 2320s , and several other vessels were in service by 2324, including the USS Gandhi. (ST - The Lost Era novel: One Constant Star, ST video game: Starship Creator)
One of the most famous ships of the class was the USS Enterprise-C, the fourth starship to bear the name, which was launched in 2332 under the command of Captain Rachel Garrett. The Enterprise was destroyed in 2344 while responding to a distress call from a Klingon outpost on Narendra III. Upon arrival at the outpost they discovered that it was under attack by several Romulan warbirds. Regardless of the odds, the Enterprise put up a valiant fight and its act of sacrifice kick-started the peace process between the Federation and the Klingon Empire. (TNG episode: "Yesterday's Enterprise"; TOS novel: Vulcan's Heart)
Although the Ambassador-class was five decades old by the 2370s, many ships of the class continued to be in service, albeit refitted with the latest technologies which could be found aboard the more up-to-date models such as the Galaxy-class explorers. (NF novel: Into the Void)
In 2370 Starfleet commissioned the Bajorans to build a new Ambassador class ship named USS Hannibal at the Okana Shipyards on Bajor. At first Okana Shipyard director Amkot Groell thought the Federation had given the Bajorans a cast-off design, but quickly came to realize that despite the age of the class the Ambassador class design was still very good and quite modern. (DS9 novel: Antimatter)
In the early 25th century, the Ambassador-class heavy cruiser was available in three variants: support cruiser, retrofit and fleet retrofit. Differences among the subclasses were equipment, hull durability and power levels. Basic Ambassadors were cruisers commanded by officers with the rank of commander or higher. Retrofits were available to Starfleet officers with the rank of admiral. The fleet variant required support by a Federation fleet to be obtained. The fleet retrofit included the Yamaguchi-subclass. The components saucer, hull, neck, pylons and nacelles were interchangeable between Ambassador- and Yamaguchi-class starships. (ST video game: Star Trek Online)
By 2409, a total of seven basic livery designs was available to choose from, which could be modified further. These options were known as: Types 1-5, and Fleet and Veteran. (STO mission: "Temporal Ambassador")
In addition, the installation of shields from specific factions modified the hull appearance, including shields from the Reman Resistance, the Breen Confederacy and the Dominion. (STO missions: "Coliseum", "Cold Storage", "Boldly They Rode")
|Ambassador-class explorer/heavy cruiser starships|
| Adelphi • Ambassador • Assurance • Aurora • Ayers • Champlin • Crescent • Cybele • Enterprise-C • Excalibur • Exeter • Fury • Gandhi • Gravina • Hammarskjöld • Hannibal • Harding • Hawkesbury • Hickok • Horatio • Independence • Iroquois • Isis • Kadosca • Krotus • Loma Prieta • MacDonald • Madison • Manassas • Monroe • Montgomery • Norman • Quiberon • Seattle • Shelton • Strong • Thelian • Thorn • Valdemar • Velasco • Warakurna • Wilson • Winslow • Yamaguchi • Zarnitza • Zhukov|
- Star Trek: The Original Series
- Star Trek: The Next Generation
- Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
- Star Trek: New Frontier
- Star Trek: The Lost Era
- Star Trek: The Next Generation
- Star Trek Encyclopedia
- Star Trek: The Next Generation Technical Manual
- Bridge Commander
The Decipher RPG module: Starfleet Operations Manual lists slightly different stats than those listed here. They list the following size measurements (all in meters): l - 525, h - 361, and w - 133. The crew complement is 900. This class is equipped with a Type 7 Warp Drive, Type 9 Phaser Arrays, and Type 5 Photon Torpedoes.
The ebook The Dominion War Sourcebook: The Fires of Armageddon, published by Last Unicorn Games after they had lost their Star Trek license, lists the USS Finian (NCC-47955) as an Ambassador-class starship.
The software for the game Star Trek: Legacy lists the USS Breau, USS Colonial, USS Sanderon, USS Wolff, USS Colonial, USS Hackabout, USS Cole and USS Corvair as members of the class. However these additional names are blocked from use by the software, so do not appear at any point during game-play.
- ↑ Star Trek Online reference: [Ambassador Class Support Cruiser]
- ↑ TNG reference: Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Technical Manual.
- ↑ The video game Bridge Commander and the Ships of the Line 2012 calendar give 2325 as the date this class entered service while the Last Unicorn RPG gives a date of 2322.