Hello and Welcome to Truth Or Myth, A Web Series that speaks the truth or “canon,” on any given topic, to dispel all the myths surrounding that topic. In today’s episode, we’re taking a second look at The Excelsior Class to better understand it’s place within Starfleet history.
The great experiment, the Excelsior Class held the hopes of Starfleet’s Scientific community to break the transwarp barrier, it failed… But out of that failure was born one of the longest lasting and most reliable Starship designs in Starfleet History…
The Excelsior-class was initially constructed during the early 2280s as one of the biggest experiments in Starfleet history. And of course, that experiment was transwarp drive.
In 2285, During the events surrounding the Genesis Planet, the U.S.S. Excelsior, NX-2000 was sent after the stolen Enterprise, unfortunately, she was not able to follow through on those orders thanks to her then Chief Engineer Montgomery Scott’s sabotage of her transwarp drive system.
Sometime shortly thereafter, the Excelsiors transwarp experiment was deemed a failure, but since the ship was structurally sound, she and her onboard systems were refits to Starfleet Standards and she was put into active duty, changing here hull registry from NX-2000, to the official NCC-2000. And the class became a success.
The influence, importance and success of this class can also be seen by one other factor, the Enterprise 1701-B was an Excelsior Class Starship, though a slight variant the class having a few minor changes overall and one major change to secondary hull around the deflector dish area.
The Excelsior Class with all her variants were still in service during the latter half of the 24th century and was a prominent class of starships being extensively utilized during the Dominion War.
Unlike the Miranda Class, Starfleet STILL has plans for the class herself as we see in 2372 the U.S.S. Lakota has received a major refit and upgrades that included improved phasers and quantum Torpedo launchers.
The Excelsior Class was quite capable of holding her own during tactical engagements. And the class was so valued that even heavily damaged ships of this class were to be returned to repair facilities.
The Excelsior Class is approximately 467 meters in length, and 186 meters wide and has 34 decks. Her crew complement is approximately 750 officers and men which was a huge increase over the Miranda Class which by 2360s has a maximum crew of 35.
Her top speed in any Era is unknown, however, it is believed she could hold and sustain warp 9 using the Original Warp Scale while being able to achieve warp 9.2 and above using the new refined warp scale.
As previously stated Starfleet’s transwarp project was a failure. And although due to the classified nature of this project, we may never know exactly why it failed, the knowledge gained from this failure may have been the catalyst for the redesign of the warp scale in the 24th Century.
Considered a Heavy Class Cruiser, this vessel contained a large number of Phaser emitter arrays as well both forward and aft Photon Torpedo launchers. These launchers would be modified by the early 2370s to allow this class to fire the newly invented Quantum Torpedoes.
This class was originally outfitted with 6 type 8 phaser emitters placed on the saucer section, with others also positioned laterally, located port and starboard, near the point that the primary and secondary hulls meet, as well as one emplacement located between the nacelles.
With impending threats such as the Dominion and Borg, however, Starfleet began to upgrade the class and this included improved phaser emitters, the aforementioned quantum torpedoes launching capability, and other improvements to make it more competitive with newer ship designs such as the Defiant, Sabre and Akira Classes.
Defensive Shields for this class were standard for any Era in which this ship was exploring.
The mission profile of this ship was varied. Ranging anywhere from deep space exploration and terraforming missions to transportation and patrol duties. Though the exact number constructed is unknown, the Excelsior class has been seen at every MAJOR engagement from the Peace talks with the Klingon Empire at Camp Khitomer, to the Borg Attacks on the Federation during the later 2360s on…
Docking ports for this class were located on the port and starboard side of the saucer section.
Like most Starfleet ships of the time, this classes main bridge was located on Deck 1 and would see many bridge variant designs over her century plus of service.
A few standard elements would remain in all the bridge iterations after being updated to Starfleet standards. these would be a forward viewscreen, an aft Master Situations Display monitor and port and starboard turbolifts.
And by the year 2373, most Excelsior Classes would begin to re-install holo-communicators, an old but now refined technology given up during the early 2260s. A captain’s ready room, or office, was also adjacent to the main bridge.
Located at the aft section of the Excelsior Classes secondary hull, was both the shuttle bay and an extensive Cargo Bay complex. This cargo bay contained a large airlock similar to the doors on the main shuttlebay. Allowing shuttlecraft to dock and unload cargo directly into the bays themselves.
Officer and Crew quarters were always the most comfortable designs Starfleet had to offer. With Senior Officers having private quarters, while junior and enlisted officers shared quarters which contained bunk style beds. These shared quarters ranged from 4 to 9 occupant variants.
At the beginning of 2293, The USS Excelsior herself would be instrumental in beginning the peace talks with the Klingon Empire and saving said Peace Talks from being destroyed by a rogue faction Within both Starfleet and Klingon Empire.
Having recorded the explosion of the Klingon Moon Praxis and offering assistance to the Klingon Empire, Excelsior would report her finding to Starfleet which would eventually lead Captain Spock of the USS Enterprise 1701-A to begin negotiating with the Empire to herald in a new age of peace in the Alpha Quadrant.
After discovering the conspiracy to halt the peace process, the USS Excelsior would race to the planet Khitomer and help the Enterprise find and destroy a rogue Klingon Bird of Prey capable of firing while cloaked.
And later that same year, with the Decommissioning of the Enterprise-A, and the Commissioning of the Enterprise-B, an Excelsior Class Variant, Captain James T Kirk would be involved with THAT new ships maiden Voyage.
Intended to be only a quick around the block, Traveling from Earth to Pluto and Back, The Enterprise B would receive a distress call from El-Aurian refugees aboard 2 transports that were caught in and being destroyed by a phenomenon known as the Nexus.
And although successful in saving the refugees, Captain Kirk was believed killed in the attempt until the year 2371, when Captain Jean Luc Picard of the Enterprise D would find the legendary Captain within the Nexus and together they would team up to stop a Dr Soran from Destroying the Veridian Star System. Unfortunately, though ultimately successful, James T Kirk was indeed killed during the attempt.
The Excelsior class of starship was another example of a shining jewel in Starfleet’s Starship Design Golden Age. Serving from the late 23rd Century to the late 24th Century with honour and distinction. And after 100 years of being in service, it seems like Starfleet isn’t quite done with her class yet! The Excelsior Class is a beautiful ship design and a credit to the name Enterprise!
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