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The Stargazer-class was a class of Federation heavy cruiser starships in service to Starfleet in the late 24th and early 25th centuries. Unlike many starships being built by the Federation at this time, the Stargazer-A and her sister ships were geared toward "scientific research and exploration" and were considered to be "Ships of the Line."
History and specifications
One of the few Starfleet vessels to have more than two warp nacelles, the Stargazer-class was named for the famed Constellation-class starship USS Stargazer, which was commanded by Captain Jean-Luc Picard in the mid-24th century. It was one of the first starship designs produced by Starfleet to rebuild its fleet after the Dominion War. Stargazer-class starships were well suited to either solo exploration or operating as a member of a fleet. (STO video game: Star Trek Online)
In the 25th century, the Stargazer-class would be maintained in Starfleet service as a modernized heavy cruiser, generally commanded by an officer with the rank of commander. (STO - Klingon War mission: "Welcome to Earth Spacedock")
In the early 25th century, the design of the Stargazer-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 exchangeable 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")