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Constitution class: Misc



Up to date as of February 02, 2010

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





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)

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, the both Constitution and 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)


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 greater warpfield geometrics, and others emphasizing enhanced weaponry or science capability; the final design merged many of the proposals. (ST reference: Ships of the Line)

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)

Later service

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)


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).

The Enterprise enroute 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";TNG novelization: Encounter at Farpoint)

The USS Enterprise landed in 2266

The class was also capable of making a planetary landing, levitating slightly above the ground with a boarding ramp that could be lowered to allow crew on and off the ship. (TOS comic: "UK comic strips, first story arc")


Tactical summary

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. (TOS roleplay 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 vessels

Various Constitution configuration

Constitution (mk I)

Bonhomme Richard (Constitution mk II)

Achernar (Constitution mk III)

Tikopai (Constitution mk IV)

Various Enterprise configuration

Enterprise (mk I)

Enterprise (mk II)

Enterprise (mk III)

Mirror universe


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


Starship classes of the United Federation of Planets
By name AakennAchernarAchillesAdvanceAegianAeolusAerieAkiraAkula (destroyer)Akula (frigate)AlaskaAmbassadorAndesAndromedaAndorAntaresAntonApacheApolloArcherArielAscendantAshantiAvengerBabcockBaderBakerBaton RougeBodeBolarusBonaventureBonhomme RichardBradburyBrentonCanadaCanopusCapellaCentaurCentaurusChallengerChandleyChargerChariotChesapeakeCheyenneChimeraChristopherCle DanCochiseCochraneConstellationConstitutionContinentCopernicusCygnusDaedalusDanubeDecaturDeckerDefenderDefiantDenevaDerfDollondDopplerDreadnoughtDrexlerDurrettEagleEdwardEl DoradoEnterprise (23rd century)Enterprise (alternate future)EpochEpsilonErewonExcaliburExcelsiorFederationFenlonFermiFijiFreedomFrontierGagarinGalaxyGenevaGenserGracefulGraysonGriffonHaleHardinHermes (scout)Hermes (fast cruiser)HestonHoganHokule'aHorizonHuronIcarusIncursionIndomitableIntrepidIowaIstanbulIwo JimaKarekhKeithKepplerKethkinKievKitty HawkK'KmarakKolm-AnKorolevLarsonLauroLaweyaLegacyLenthalLexingtonLibertyLokiLoknarLondon (troop transport)LunaMackenzieMakinMannMarklinMarshallM'BengaMediterraneanMercedMidwayMirandaMissionMissouriMockingbirdMoKalMonocerosMoscowNebulaNelsonNew OrleansNewportNiagaraNobleNomadNorthamptonNorwayNovaOberonOberthOdinOdysseusOkinawaOlympicOppenheimerOrionOsakaOverfieldPaladin (destroyer)Paladin (24th century)PhiladelphiaPinnaclePiperPolarityPolluxPortsmithPremonitionPrometheusProximaPtolemyPyreneesRakotaRanger (cruiser)Ranger (scout)ReliantRemoraRenaissanceRickenbackerRigelRoyal SovereignSaberSaganSaladinSamsonSanta FeSawyerScorpioScyllaSequoiaShermanShi'KahrSierraSivaSolarSovereignSoyuzSpringfieldSteamrunnerSurakSydneyVentureTangentThomas PaineThucydidesThufirTiconderogaTikopaiTritiumTyphonUkoraUlyssesUralUtahVestaVigilant (scout)Vigilant (tactical escort)VoyagerWambunduWilkersonWei-FaWellingtonWellsYeagerYorkshireZodiacunnamed Emblem of the United Federation of Planets

Seal of the Federation Starfleet.
By type Federation cargo shipFederation colony shipFederation construction shipFederation galaxy shipFederation mining freighterFederation repair ship

This article uses material from the "Constitution class" article on the Memory-beta wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.

ST Expanded

Up to date as of February 07, 2010

The Star Trek Expanded Universe Database is for fanon and related content. See for the canon Star Trek wiki.

The Constitution-class was a type of heavy cruiser that saw service in the Federation Starfleet during the 23rd century. The class served for several decades and underwent an extensive refit in the 2270s. By the mid-24th century the class was no longer in active service.

Ships commissioned

Constitution class heavy cruisers
Original Constitution class ships: Constellation - Constitution - Enterprise (mirror) - Enterprise - Excalibur - Exeter - Farragut - Hood - Intrepid (NCC-1631) - Intrepid (NCC-1708) - Kongo - Lexington - Potemkin - Republic - Yorktown
Other notable ships: Agincourt - Ahwahnee - Alexander - Arcturus (Shadowstar) - Arcturus - Arcturus-A - Asimov - Challenger (NCC-1745) - Constituton-A - Cumberland - ISS Defiance - Emden - Glory - Indomitable - Isshasshte - John F. Kennedy - John Paul Jones - Justice - Lubien - Niagara - Oceanic - Olympus Mons - Ortisei - Pathfinder - Surak - Tao Feng - Townshend - Trojan - Valley Forge - Zimbabwe
Starfleet International: Achernar - Alam'ak - Altair - Antares - Ari - Armageddon - Arcturus (NCC-1807) - Arcturus (NCC-1985) - Asimov - Challenger (NCC-1676) - Challenger (NCC-1676-A) - Constellation (NCC-1728) - Constitution - Czar'ak - Czar'ak-A - Daniel Soule - Defiance - Eagle (NCC-1719) - Essex - Europe - Excalibur - Exeter (NX-1706) - Farragut-A - Heimdal - Hood (NCC-1707) - Horizon-A - Hornet - Intrepid II - Jamestown - Jupiter - Kasimar - Kestral - K'hotan - Kitty Hawk - Lexington - ISS Lexington - Maat - Maelstrom - Mengen - Ndele - Paegan - Potemkin - Republic - Riverside - Sol - ISS Thunderwolf - Tikopai - Tulan - Vindicator - Wasp - Yorktown (NCC-1704)
The Starfleet Museum: Argus - Ari - Ark Royal - Arromanches - Bonaventure - Bonhomme Richard - Bunker Hill - Clemenceau - De Gaulle - El Dorado - Foch - Glory - Hornet - Implacable - Jeanne D'Arc - Kiev - Krieger - Lafayette - Lion - Magnificent - Minsk - Monitor - Ranger - Saratoga - Shokaku - Theseus - Tori - Triumph - Valiant - Vikrant - Virginia - Warrior - Wasp - Zuikaku
Trekmania: Agamemnon - Ajax - America - Anchorage - Atlantis - Cochrane - Constantinople - Daystrom - Gagarin - Galaxy - Halcyon - Hera - Icarus - Iridon - Liberty - London - New Orleans - Pacific - Pioneer - Prospector - Retainer - Shield - Swift - Sydney - Trident - Venture - Visionary - Wellington
Modified: Cantabrian - Challenger (NCC-1676) - Challenger-A - Daedalus - Enterprise - Enterprise-A - Gibraltar - Intrepid (NCC-1708) - Intrepid II - Lexington - Spectre - Kierkegaard (NCC-1855)
See also: Achernar - Bismarck - Bonhomme Richard - Byrd - Constitution - Constitution (II) - Endeavour - Enterprise - Enterprise (II) - George Washington - Gettysburg - Irreverence - Kirov - New Jersey - Nimitz - Tikopai - Vincennes

External links

This article uses material from the "Constitution class" article on the ST Expanded wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.


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