For other uses, see Constellation.

The Constellation-class was a type of Federation cruiser in service to Starfleet in the 23rd and 24th centuries. This class was designed for operating independently of Starfleet Command in the remote reaches of the Federation. The class' successor design were the Ambassador-class heavy cruisers. (ST reference: Star Trek Encyclopedia; Decipher RPG module: Starships)

Development History[edit | edit source]

The Constellation-class starship was named in memory of the original USS Constellation, which was commanded by Commodore Matthew Decker and lost in battle against a Preserver created doomsday machine in 2267.

The first ship of this class, the USS Constellation NX-1974, was commissioned under experimental status in the year 2275. The Constellation was soon followed by the USS Sempach and the USS Speedwell, with construction beginning soon thereafter on the USS Stargazer and the USS Hathaway. (TOS novel: Honor Blade)

An end elevation cutaway of a Constellation-class starship.

These ships were among the mainstay of Starfleet's exploratory and defense efforts through the early part of the 24th century, some commanded by the same captain for up to twenty years or more. (TNG episode: "The Battle")

By the 2330s, construction of new Constellation-class vessels were limited to two-a-year as new starship designs, such as the Ambassador-class, came into service. (ST short story: "Hour of Fire")

These "old-style" vessels were on the verge of being phased out of front-line service in the 2360s, regarded as being "overworked and underpowered". Many had already been entirely decommissioned and rendered "warp inactive", which included removing all antimatter but did not include removing the warp core. Those that were still in service in the 2360s and 2370s were engaged in support roles within the Fleet, such as transport duties and search and rescue missions. (TNG episodes: "Elementary, Dear Data", "Peak Performance"; DS9 episodes: "The Abandoned", "Waltz")

External Arrangement[edit | edit source]

The USS Nelson, forerunner to the Constellation-class.

The Constellation class featured four warp nacelles, a design which had previously existed as early as 2254 in the form of the USS Nelson (EV comic: "The Fallen")

This configuration was later seen in both the Cheyenne-class and Prometheus-class in the late 24th century.

The USS Nelson seen in "The Fallen" was described on a letters page of a later Early Voyages comic in response to inquiries about it being a TOS era Constellation class as a "prototype of a top secret class". The Constitution class variant model seen in TNG "Booby Trap" is another example of the "sideways" Constellation class nacelle arrangement, however there is no other evidence beside the fact have similar configurations that the two have any connection.

This class also mounted two impulse engine units in a vertical orientation between the nacelles in line with the saucer. Not altering the top sublight speed of the class, these redundant units--when used in concert with each other--gave the ship a huge advantage in acceleration and maneuverability.

The Constellations also mounted twin Constitution-style photon decks at the T-joints of each nacelle assembly, above and below the level of the saucer. This gave the Constellation class four forward photon tubes, each capable of firing a two torpedo spread for a very respectable total salvo of eight torpedoes.

The number of tubes is based on the "Star Trek: The Magazine" cross section, and the salvos are based on seeing the Enterprise fire two torpedoes from one tube in the final stage of her battle with the Reliant in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.
File:USS Valkyrie-02.jpg

Sensor blisters on the underside of a Constellation-class starship.

The underside of the Constellation class saucer featured many fairings that marred her otherwise clean lines. These pallets contained special sensor equipment that befitted her role as a deep-space explorer, most of which could be exchanged for mission specific equipment at a starbase, and could be accessed from the deck above.

History and specifications[edit | edit source]

In the 25th century, the Constellation-class would continue in Starfleet service as a modernized heavy cruiser, generally commanded by an officer with the rank of commander. By this time the Constellation, had been the basis for several other starships, including the Cheyenne-class and the Stargazer-class. (STO - Klingon War mission: "Welcome to Earth Spacedock")

Class variations[edit | edit source]

In the early 25th century, the design of the Constellation-class heavy escort allowed its commanding officer to choose from different hull liveries, which could be modified further. Due to the ship's modular design, hull components were easily exchangebale with those of other four-nacelled heavy cruisers. (STO - The Klingon War mission: "Welcome to Earth Spacedock")

Furthermore, the installation of deflector 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")

Alternate timelines[edit | edit source]

Kelvin timeline, Section 31.

In the Kelvin timeline, Section 31 operated a Constellation-class starship in the year 2261. During the Khitomer Conflict engineered by the organisation, this vessel was equipped with a cloaking device impenetrable by Romulan Star Empire sensors and did not participate in combat. The ship was characteristically black for Section 31 ships, and the saucer section included sections of negative space reminiscent of the Dreadnought-class. (TOS - The Khitomer Conflict comic: "Part 3")

ISS Stargazer.

In one permutation of the mirror universe where the Terran Empire retained control of the Sol system, Captain Jean-Luc Picard was in command of the ISS Stargazer in the 2360s, a rundown but powerful Constellation-class combat vessel. Additional turrets flanked the bridge module, and the ship was painted in the colors of Imperial Starfleet. (TNG - Mirror Broken comic: "Issue 1")

In another version of the mirror universe, the ISS Starbreaker only differed from primary universe Constellations by wearing the logo of the Terran Empire atop the saucer section. (TNG - Mirror Images comic: "Issue 3")

Known vessels[edit | edit source]

Constellation-class class XII heavy cruiser/exploratory cruiser starships
Federation Starfleet
(primary universe)
standard heavy cruiser configuration AndromedaAntaresAntietamAquariusBetelgeuseCallistoCanopusCeresCochiseConstellation (I)Constellation (II)Constellation-DDiademEffrosEridaniFading SunFerrelGibraltarGihlanIndiriLeonidLibraMinoraNebulaNovaOrionPiscesPolarisPulsarSagittariusSempachSirius MajorSpeedwellStargazerTaurusTubmanValkyrieVespucciVictory Emblem of the United Federation of Planets. Seal of the Federation Starfleet.
variant heavy destroyer configuration AlaskaAnatevkeAsakazeBaccaratCassiopeiaConstanceDaringDiamondDragonFabriziGettysburgHamnerHathawayHollisterKepplerLeningradMagellanMalignMarceauMeredithMitisioNorrisRupertusTai KangTaussigVolkovWhirlwindZodiac
Terran Imperial Starfleet
(mirror universe)
StarbreakerStargazer Seal of the Terran Empire.

Appendices[edit | edit source]

Connections[edit | edit source]

Starship classes of the Federation Starfleet
subclass groups

Akira (AlitaArmitageThunderchild) • Ambassador (AlaskaYamaguchi) • Apollo (Akula frigate / light cruiser) • Chesapeake (Mongrel) • Cheyenne (DakotaStargazer) • Concorde (Geneva battlecruiserPresidio) • Constellation (Challenger deep space explorer) • Chimera heavy destroyer (Manticore) • Constitution (AchernarBonhomme RichardTikopaiEnterpriseExeterExcaliburVesper) • Danube (Yellowstone) • Decatur (Dreadnought) • Defiant (GallantIncursionSao PauloVigilant escort) • Dervish (GryphonHermes escortMaelstromTempest) • Destiny (NimbusOracleTrident) • Excelsior (BismarckKirovNew JerseyResolute) • Galaxy (Andromeda (25th century)CelestialEnvoyGalaxy XMonarch cruiserVenture cruiserYamato dreadnought) • Hermes scout (CygnusMonoceros) • Inquiry (Avenger battlecruiserArbiter) • Intrepid (BellerophonCochrane science vesselDiscovery (Federation)Pathfinder) • Kumari (CharalKhyzon) • Luna (CometPolarisSol) • Miranda (AntonReliantSoyuz) • Nebula (Magellan) • Norway (Oslo) • Nova (AuroraQuasarRhode Island) • NX (ColumbiaPoseidon) • Oberth (Gagarin (23rd century)Sagan) • Olympic (HopeHorizon science vessel) • Prometheus (CerberusHephaestusHestiaPhoenix) • Ptolemy (DollondDopplerKeppler) • Remora (Charger) • Saladin (CochiseSiva) • Santa Fe (Newport) • Saber (GladiusRapierUshaan) • Sentinel (EmissaryNomad cruiserVanguard) • Solanae (HeliosMontgomeryOmega) • Sovereign (ImperialRegentMajesticNoble cruiser) • Steamrunner (Zephyr) • Vesta (AventineRademaker) • Walker (Georgiou) • Wells (Polarity)

Emblem of the United Federation of Planets. Seal of the Federation Starfleet.
other named classes

AA classAakennAchillesAdvanceAegianAeolusAerieAkula destroyer / escortAmbassador HardinAndesAndorAndromeda (24th century)AntaresApacheAquariusArcherArchimedesArielAscendantAtroxAvenger (scout)BabcockBaderBakerBaton RougeBodeBolarusBonaventureBradburyBrentonCaliforniaCanadaCanopusCapella (23rd century)Capella (24th century)CastorCentaurCentaurusCeresChallengerChandleyChariotChimera fast frigateChristopherCle DanCochrane transportColumbiaContinentContortrixCopernicusCrossfieldDaedalusDauntlessDeckerDefenderDeltaD'KyrDenevaDerfDrexlerDurrettEagleEclipseEdwardEinsteinEl Doradofuture EnterpriseEpochEpsilonErewonEternalFederationFenlonFermiFijiFreedomFrontierGagarin (24th century)GalenGangesGenevaGenserGracefulGraysonGriffonGuardianGeminiHaleHermes fast cruiserHestonHoganHokule'aHooverHorizon cruiserIcarusIlthirinIndomitableIntrepid (light cruiser)IowaIstanbulIwo JimaClass JJupiterKarekhKeithKethkinKievK'KmarakKolm-AnKorolevLarsonLauroLaweyaLegacyLenthalLexingtonLibertyLokiLoknarLondonMadisonMakinMannMarklinMarshallM'BengaMediterraneanMercedMercury (courier)Mercury (escort)MerianMessierMeteorMidwayMissionMissouriMobulaiMoKalMoscowMulciberNachthexenNarcineNautilusNelsonNew OrleansNiagaraNoble laboratory vesselNomad escortNorthamptonOberonOdinOdysseusOdysseyOkinawaOppenheimerOrionOsakaOuroborosOverfieldPaladin battlecruiserPaladin destroyerPaladin (24th century)PerseusPioneerPhalanxPhantomPhiladelphiaPinnaclePiperPolluxPortsmithPralimPremonitionProximaPyotr VelikiyPyreneesRakotaRanger battlecruiserRanger explorerRanger scoutRenaissanceRickenbackerRigelRochesterRoyal SovereignSagittariusSamsonSawyerScorpioScryerScyllaSequoiaSevaijenShepardShiKahrSierraSolarSpringfieldSulekSurakSydneyTangentTempestTheophrastusThomas PaineThucydidesThufirTiberiusTiconderogaTheseusTripperTritiumTyphonTyphoonUkoraUlyssesUralUtahVenture scoutVigilant scoutVoyagerWallenbergWambunduWilkersonWei-FaWellingtonYamatoYorkshireYorktownZodiacunnamed

general type

Defiant pathfinderRaging QueenSun TzuValley ForgeFederation assault shipFederation cargo shipFederation colony shipFederation construction shipFederation cruiserdeep galaxy shipFederation freighterFederation frigateFederation galaxy shipFederation holoshipFederation heavy cruiser (2380s heavy cruiser) • Federation light cruiser (Constitution-variant light cruiserIntrepid-variant light cruiser) • Federation medium cruiser (Excelsior-variant medium cruiser) • Federation mining freighterFederation repair shipStarfleet tanker

Background[edit | edit source]

Apocrypha[edit | edit source]

The ebook The Dominion War Sourcebook: The Fires of Armageddon, published by Last Unicorn Games after they had lost their Star Trek license listed the USS Windhoek (NCC-37925) as a Constellation-class starship.

References[edit | edit source]

External links[edit | edit source]

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