The Excelsior Class was introduced in the late 23rd century and was one of the longest-serving starship designs and one of the most recognizable ships in the fleet. Let’s take a better look at this class right after this.
In the early 2280s, the was constructed in the San Francisco Fleet Yards. Starfleet put high expectations into the prototype U.S.S. Excelsior NX-2000 which was equipped with a transwarp drive and was considered as the century’s “Greatest Experiment”. Even after the Transwarp drive failed Starfleet still employed the design. After remaining in Spacedock up until 2287 the prototype Excelsior was recommissioned for active service by 2290.
In 2293 the Excelsior Class became even more prominent after the name of legacy was passed to this ship class with the launch of the U.S.S. Enterprise-B making the class becoming one of the most widely used designs in all of Starfleet, being used well into the late 24th century.
After its fleet-wide employment the Excelsior’s sister ships were used for many different missions, ranging from deep space exploration, terraforming, patrol duty, courier and transport runs. It was also frequently used by flag officers as a personal flagship. The ship was present in the Borg invasion of 2366 – 2367 where it participated in the Battle of Wolf 359 and the engagement against the Borg Sphere that entered the Sol System in 2378. They were also in numerous battles of the Dominion War like Operation Return, the First and Second Battles of Chin’toka and the Battle of Cardassia. Many of these vessels were stationed during the war on the front lines near Deep Space 9. When Captain Jonathan Archer and Lieutenant Malcolm Reed viewed the schematics on the class in the 22nd century when accessing the database that belonged to Daniels it became apparent that the class was used well into the 31st century.
The class had a saucer section engineering section warp nacelle layout which was common to most Starfleet ships. However, it had a streamlined design that was uncommon for ships of that time. After the transwarp experiment failed the Excelsior Class underwent a minor refit which included a completely new bridge module, a significant modification to the aft of the saucer section surrounding the impulse drive and a modification to the cargo bay. This became the standard configuration for the Excelsior Class throughout its service. Throughout the decades Starfleet continued to upgrade the class and incorporate the latest technology
Originally the ship was outfitted with type 8 phaser emitters that were located in five dual phaser bank emplacements on the forward saucer section and in one dual emplacement on the aft of the saucer. Phaser banks were also attached laterally on port and starboard close to where primary and secondary hull meet but also in between the nacelles. Additionally, the Excelsior Class was outfitted with several photon torpedo launcher. Two of them were located in the forward section on both sides of the deflector dish. The upper forward torpedo launchers were located on the neck section and could also be used as a cargo management unit. The aft launchers were housed above the main shuttlebay.
Ships of the Excelsior Class had shields capable of withstanding a direct torpedo strike without any visible damage to its outer hull. During the Dominion, War Starfleet started outfitting one Excelsior class, the U.S.S. Lakota with technologies seen on the Defiant Class as part of an experiment to make older vessels competitive with newer ships including quantum torpedoes. This resulted in the Lakota being capable of holding its line against the Defiant.
The Excelsior Class was originally conceived with a transwarp drive which was an incredible concept to some Starfleet engineers others, however, were sceptical. The top warp speed of the ship is only audible once when Captain Sulu orders the excelsior to go to warp 9 in order to get to Khitomer in “Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country.” In “Paradise Lost”, Miles O’Brien speculated that not only the weapons and shields of the Lakota where upgraded but also its warp drive. However we an exact top speed was not given
The Excelsior Class 34 decks housed many different rooms the most prominent being the Bridge. It was located on the top of the primary hull and housed main operations ship-wide coordination. The Bridge had undergone several changes since its first design in 2285. It was changed on the U.S.S. Excelsior in 2293 presumingly during its final refit and then again the U.S.S. Enterprise-B had a different layout in 2293 too.
During the year 2373 at least the Excelsior Class U.S.S. Malinche had a holo communicator installed as seen during “Star Trek: Deep Space 9”. Its Ready Room was located adjacent to the Bridge and contained a desk and chair. Additionally a personal viewer. On deck 15 Section 21- alpha the ships deflector room was located which was directly behind the main deflector. The room was fairly small and housed several consoles and deflector relays. The Excelsior Class had several cargo bays including one in the aft dorsal section of the secondary hull plus several bays along the ventral section of the secondary hull. Whilst the shuttlebay was located in the stern and housed several different shuttles including type 7 shuttlecraft. Senior officers had their own quarters that were usually located either on Deck 2 or 3 whilst junior officers and officers shared their quarters
What do you think of this ship class and would want to serve on one if this class?
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