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Constitution class

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This page details Constitution class in the primary universe; for Constitution class in the mirror universe see Constitution class (mirror); for the Constitution class in the alternate reality created by Nero's temporal incursion see Constitution class (alternate reality).

The Constitution-class was a Federation heavy cruiser starship in Starfleet service in the mid-to-late 23rd century. The design underwent several refits in its many decades of service. The original configuration and refit variants of this class influenced starship design significantly, and accelerated the standardization of the fleet.

Celebrated members of the class included the USS Enterprise and the USS Enterprise-A—two of the most venerated starships in Federation history, having risen to prominence under the captaincy of James T. Kirk.

HistoryEdit

DevelopmentEdit

Development of the Constitution-class began in the 2230s when key Fleet personnel, including Admiral William Jefferies and Captain Robert April, came to see the necessity of an all-purpose vessel that could explore space while protecting Federation interests and expanding its reach. When a design team led by Doctor Lawrence Marvick finished plans late in that decade for just such a ship, a new class was swiftly approved by Starfleet Command.

Starfleet authorized its Fleet Yards in San Francisco to build two vessels, with Admiral Jefferies overseeing NX 1700 -- christened Constitution -- and Captain April supervising its sister ship 1701, as yet unnamed. (TOS novel: Final Frontier)

The USS Constitution's hull was completed in 2244, with enhanced sensor and deflector shield systems installed. When hostilities broke out late in the year, Jefferies pulled her from drydock to take decisive part in the Battle of Donatu V. Blunting the Klingon invasion force -- without weaponry -- she rescued USS Yorkshire but was badly damaged and required extensive repairs. (TOS - Errand of Vengeance novel: Killing Blow)

USS Enterprise, This Side of Paradise

The USS Enterprise (NCC-1701)

Construction on NX 1701 continued apace, employing new Duotronic computer systems designed by Doctor Richard Daystrom, which afforded 1701 better control of her systems. After a secret mission into the Romulan Neutral Zone, April christened her the Enterprise. (TOS novel: Final Frontier)

By 2245, both the Constitution and the Enterprise had begun their first five-year missions of exploration, the results of which led Starfleet to order nine more ships of the class. (TOS reference: Star Fleet Technical Manual)

RefitEdit

Koerner Enterprise

One of many proposals for the Constitution refit project

Beyond minor modifications, the successful design saw no major changes until the 2270s, when a significant refit had been more than earned. Upgrade proposals all shared a more efficient power plant, with some versions streamlining the hull for better warpfield geometry, and others emphasizing enhanced weaponry or science capability; the final design merged many of the proposals. (ST reference: Ships of the Line)

1701 Refit

The refitted USS Enterprise

The first major refit was Enterprise, and its success ensured the refit of the rest, bringing the fleet in line with newer technologies and extending its life. (ST reference: Starship Spotter; WizKids module: Attack Wing)

USS Explorer

Refit USS Explorer

Later serviceEdit

A Constitution-class ship served into the late 24th century and was destroyed in battle at Wolf 359; others, reactivated or still in service, fought in the Dominion War, and took part in the task force to retake Deep Space 9. (TNG episode: "The Best of Both Worlds"; ST reference: Fact Files)

At least one decommissioned Constitution-class ship was sold to a private entity; later known as Glory, it was acquired by Romulans and given to privateer Deigo DeBlazio to harass Federation shipping. (TNG novel: Blaze of Glory)

The construction of the Constitution-class started again in late 24th and early 25th centuries, it was designated as a standard cruiser and the commanding officer was commonly a Lieutenant Commander. (STO video game: Star Trek Online)

SpecificationEdit

Shuttlebay exterior

Aft view, with a shuttle exiting the open hangar bay

The largest and most elaborate vessel class Starfleet had yet fielded, with an unprecedented fourteen research labs each, ships of the Constitution-class became the most extensive mobile research platforms ever deployed by the Federation, and were responsible for expanding known space by thousands of cubic parsecs.

The class utilized a greater level of modularity, which allowed for incremental changes to configuration -- so flexible that it became standard starship design practice. As other classes began to employ such modularity, Fleet design became increasingly more uniform (ST reference: Starship Spotter).

Seperated

The Enterprise en route to Starbase 13 after a saucer separation

The Constitutions were also among the first to allow for primary-hull saucer separation -- though only in emergencies, since the separation's use of explosive bolts required starbase facilities for reconnection. By the 24th century, the saucer separation had become a routine maneuver with Galaxy-class starships having the ability to separate their saucers, and reconnect them. (TOS comic: "'Til Death";TOS episode: "The Apple";TNG novelization: Encounter at Farpoint)

Enterprise landed

The USS Enterprise landed in 2266

The saucer section of the class was also capable of making a planetary landing, using retractable landing pads and a boarding ramp that could be lowered to allow crew on and off the ship, mainly emergency use. (TOS comic: "UK comic strips, first story arc")

SubclassesEdit

Tactical summaryEdit

subseries beam armaments launcher armaments defensive arrangement
Constitution (mk I) FL-6 laser weapons (6 in 3 banks, port, starboard, fore) FAC-3 accelerator cannons (2, fore) FSG deflector shield
Bonhomme Richard (Constitution mk II) FH-3 phasers (6 in 3 banks, port and starboard or aft, fore) FP-1 torpedo launchers (2, fore or fore and aft) FSN deflector shield
Achernar (Constitution mk III) FH-3 phasers (6 in 3 banks, port, starboard, fore) FP-1 torpedo launchers (2, fore) FSO deflector shield
Tikopai (Constitution mk IV) FH-3 phasers (6 in 3 banks, port, starboard, fore) FP-1 torpedo launchers (2, fore) FSO deflector shield
Enterprise (mk I) FH-11 phasers (6 in 3 banks, port, starboard, fore) FP-4 torpedo launchers (2, fore) FSP deflector shield
Enterprise (mk II) FH-11 phasers (6 in 3 banks, port, starboard, fore) FP-4 torpedo launchers (2, fore) FSP deflector shield
Enterprise (mk III) FH-11 phasers (8 in 4 banks, port, starboard, fore, aft) FP-4 torpedo launchers (3, fore, aft) FSP deflector shield

The Constitution vessels of the original series had slightly different features than the succeeding subclasses Bonhomme Richard, Achernar, Tikopai and Enterprise, with early laser and phaser weapons available to security teams onboard as hand-held weapons, as well as ship-mounted emplacements, in concert with accelerator cannons and photon torpedo launchers. The Constitution vessels of the 2240s and 2250s began the use of the class's standard emplacements, with forward arcs of fire. Most early Constitution variants had 6 phasers, usually dual mounted, in 3 or more phaser banks, although some variation exists between the various subseries. For example, the one modifications of the Enterprise modification had a series with 8 phasers in 4 banks. (FASA RPG module: Federation Ship Recognition Manual)

Starships of the Bonhomme Richard modification, such as the Enterprise, had forward firing phaser banks that could fire beams or pulses, located on the lower saucer section, just above the sensor dome and a torpedo launcher. The Defiant was noted to use, with dramatic effect, its rear firing phaser and torpedoes located above the secondary hull's shuttlebay, as well as the upper saucer banks. (ENT episode: "In a Mirror, Darkly")

Some vessels of the Achernar series, such as the USS Constitution had port and starboard upper saucer phasers as well as a forward firing phaser on the lower saucer and upper and lower saucer torpedo tubes. All of the Achernar series weapons were forward or side firing, leaving the rear arc uncovered. (TOS reference: Star Fleet Technical Manual)

The Enterprise-subclass, with one more launcher than the preceding series, had a move in the torpedo launchers to an outrigged tube control room at the separation between the secondary hull and the connecting hull. By subsequent Enterprise modifications, the rear arcs had been restored. (TOS movie: [citation needed])

Known vesselsEdit

Defiant1764

The USS Defiant

USS Intrepid 1631

The USS Intrepid

Various Constitution configurationEdit

Constitution (mk I)Edit

Bonhomme Richard (Constitution mk II)Edit


Achernar (Constitution mk III)Edit

Tikopai (Constitution mk IV)Edit

Various Enterprise configurationEdit

Enterprise (mk I)Edit

Enterprise (mk II)Edit

Enterprise (mk III)Edit

Mirror universeEdit

AppendicesEdit

ConnectionsEdit

Variants and sub-classes of the Constitution-class starship
Ufp-emblem Constitution-class (mk I) • Bonhomme Richard-class (mk II) • Achernar-class (mk III) • Tikopai-class (mk IV) • Enterprise-classes (mk I-III refits) • Exeter-class (24th century) • Constitution-class (alternate reality) • Constitution-class (mirror universe) Starfleet Command logo
Starship classes of the United Federation of Planets
By name AakennAchernarAchillesAdvanceAegianAeolusAerieAkiraAkula (destroyer)Akula (frigate)AlaskaAmbassadorAmbassador HardinAndesAndromedaAndorAntares (Starfleet)AntonApacheApolloAquariusArcherArielArmitageAscendantAuroraAvenger (23rd century)Avenger (25th century)AventineBabcockBaderBakerBaton RougeBellerophonBodeBolarusBonaventureBonhomme RichardBradburyBrentonCanadaCanopusCapella (23rd century)CapellaCelestialCentaurCentaurusCerberusChallenger (deep space explorer)ChallengerChandleyChargerChariotChesapeakeCheyenneChimeraChimera (25th century)ChristopherCle DanCochiseCochraneCochrane (science vessel)ColumbiaCometConstellationConstitutionContinentCopernicusCygnusDaedalusDakotaDanubeDecaturDeckerDefender (battleship)DefiantDelphiDenevaDerfDervishDestinyDiscovery (Federation)DollondDopplerDreadnoughtDrexlerDurrettEagleEdwardEl DoradoEmissaryEnterprise (23rd century)Enterprise (alternate future)EnvoyEpochEpsilonErewonExcaliburExcelsiorExeterFederationFenlonFermiFijiFreedomFrontier (starship)GagarinGalaxyGalenGallantGenevaGenserGladius (escort)GracefulGraysonGriffonGryphon (escort)HaleHardinHeliosHephaestusHermes (escort)Hermes (fast cruiser)Hermes (scout)HestonHoganHokule'aHopeHorizonHorizon (science vessel)HuronIcarusImperialIncursionIndomitableIntrepid (22nd century)IntrepidIowaIstanbulIwo JimaClass JJupiterKarekhKeithKepplerKethkinKievK'KmarakKolm-AnKorolevLarsonLauroLaweyaLegacyLenthalLexingtonLibertyLokiLoknarLondon (troop transport)LunaMaelstromMagellanMajesticMakinMannMarklinMarshallM'BengaMediterraneanMercedMercuryMerianMessierMidwayMirandaMissionMissouriMockingbirdMoKalMonarchMonocerosMontgomeryMoscowMulciberNebulaNelsonNew OrleansNewportNiagaraNimbusNoble (cruiser)Noble (laboratory vessel)Nomad (cruiser)Nomad (escort)NorthamptonNorwayNovaOberonOberthOdinOdysseusOdysseyOkinawaOlympicOmegaOppenheimerOracleOrionOsakaOsloOverfieldPaladin (destroyer)Paladin (24th century)PhiladelphiaPhoenix (advanced escort)PinnaclePiperPolarisPolarityPolluxPortsmithPremonitionPrometheusProximaPtolemyPyotr VelikiyPyreneesQuasarRademakerRakotaRanger (cruiser)Ranger (scout)RapierRegentReliantRemoraRenaissanceRhode IslandRickenbackerRigelRochesterRoyal SovereignSaberSaganSaladinSamsonSanta FeSao PaoloSawyerScorpioScyllaSentinelSequoiaShi'KahrSierraSivaSolSolanaeSolarSovereignSoyuzSpringfieldStargazerSteamrunnerSurakSydneyTangentTempestTheophrastusThomas PaineThucydidesThufirTiconderogaTikopaiTridentTritiumTyphonTyphoonUkoraUlyssesUralUshaanUtahVanguardVenture (cruiser)Venture (scout)VesperVestaVigilant (scout)Vigilant (escort)VoyagerWambunduWilkersonWei-FaWellingtonWellsYamaguchiYamatoYellowstoneYorkshireZephyrZodiacunnamed Ufp-emblem



Starfleet Command logo
By type Federation cargo shipFederation colony shipFederation construction shipFederation galaxy shipFederation light cruiser (Intrepid-variant)Federation mining freighterFederation repair ship

AppearancesEdit

The Constitution class appeared as the USS Enterprise (NCC-1701) and USS Enterprise (NCC-1701-A) and a handful of other vessels throughout TOS and other TOS subseries including TAS, Early Voyages and Untold Voyages in all media. Appearances, apart from the Enterprise in TOS and related series include:

External linkEdit

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