The Galaxy Class starship entered service in 2353 marking the crowning achievement of almost seventy-five years of engineering advancements starting with the Transwarp Development Project in the late 22nd century. Galaxy Class vessels are the largest in the fleet, built to boast Starfleet’s most advanced technology and show the Federation’s presence as if a core member world was next door. The current flagship of the fleet, the Enterprise, has been in service since 2362.
Initial production of the Galaxy Class began at the Advanced Starship Design Bureau Integration Facility, Utopia Planitia, Mars, and has since expanded to include other classified bases where nearly two of these vessels enter service each year.
The design of primary and secondary hulls has been a staple of Starfleet since it’s inception over two hundred years ago. Advances in that design includes the emergency separation mode, where the primary and secondary hull split into two separate vehicles each capable of individual flight maneuvers. However this design was an emergency response only, which required the ship to be towed to a Starbase to be put back together. However the Galaxy Class, unlike the Excelsior and Ambassador Classes, can perform a saucer separation and rejoin itself, one of the biggest advances since the procedure was conceived. This advance in saucer separation makes it possible for the Galaxy Class to use the maneuver more often as a tactical maneuver, instead of a strategic contingency.
The Galaxy Class is well armed. Describing it as the best-armed ship in Starfleet is an understatement as no other vessel in service currently comes close to having the weapons compliment of the Galaxy. Being the first vessel to mount the Type-X Phaser Array has made the class a foe to contend with. However, at the time of it’s design, Starfleet decided that it would be best to limit the amount of torpedo tubes aboard the vessels. Designers went with five, in the original specs. After layout problems and Starfleet’s recommendation for less, the designers went back to the drawing boards. They decided to use a larger launching system, one that would be able to process a loadout of ten casings. There were two of these launchers placed into the plans (plus an extra launcher for the separated saucer); Starfleet approved.
Even though the Galaxy Class is a relatively young class of Starship, Starfleet and the Advanced Starship Design Bureau decided to cease construction after 6 vessels with the other 6 initial incomplete spaceframes being stored away for a short time. Production on them started on them again in 2366 following the Borg attack at Wolf 359. Upgrades at the time included advancements to the warp core. The upgrade made the ship faster and more efficient allowing it to achieve Warp 9.6 for twelve hours.
Long before 2343, when the Galaxy Class officially began, the seeds were being planted. During the waning days of the failed Transwarp Development Project in the late 2280’s, the scope of advances in Warp Field Theory were beginning to be realized. While some arrogant designers, desperate to salvage the Transwarp Drive, thought they could modify the Excelsior Class enough to make their drive work, others knew it would be decades before the advances in theory could even be applied in practice. Starfleet not recognizing the split, went ahead with the refit of the Excelsior in the 2290’s, and only afterwards came to the realization that the Transwarp Project had failed.
By 2310’s, those that had left the Transwarp Project and their inheritors were ready to pursue the next great project. They had designed the Ambassador Class; the ship they had hoped would make their dream come true. The Ambassador Class was designed to be extremely large. So large that it came with a new set of problems, especially with the Impulse Engines. These were later solved with the addition of the Space-Time Driver Coil. However, the dream that was sparked almost a half century before was not realized. It had been glimpsed though, and Starfleet was convinced into backing it.
|Galaxy Class Starship|
|Date Entered Service:||
Galaxy, Enterprise, Nogura, Venture
|Time Between Resupply:||
|Time Between Refits:||
641m (L) x 465m (W) x 145m (H)
Warp 9.6 (6 Hours)
|Defensive and Offensive Systems|
11 Type-X Phaser Arrays (Standard) 12 Type-X Phaser Arrays (Separated)
1 FWD Burst Launcher (Stardrive) 1 AFT Burst Launcher (Stardrive) 1 AFT Burst Launcher (Saucer, Separation Only)
275 Mk-XXV Photon Torpedoes 100 Science Probes (Various Design)
3 (AFT Facing)
5 x Type-16 Shuttlepods 5 x Type-18 Shuttlepods 5 x Type-6 Personnel Shuttlecraft 5 x Type-7 Personnel Shuttlecraft 5 x Type-9A Cargo Shuttlecraft
3 Workbees 2 x Type-M1 Sphinx Workpods
Galaxy Type Integrated Yacht
The Ambassador was not what the designers had their highest hopes for, but from the start of that project they realized the chances were small. But Starfleet couldn’t wait another seventy plus years (even though they did have to wait another thirty years before the fruits of their labor came about). Wanting to fast track the project even more they divided the project into several parts. The first step was testing the structure of the new engine. To facilitate this as fast as possible the designers went to the extreme of salvaging old parts to mount the nacelle on. This part of the project was dubbed the Freedom Class. The salvaged parts were the primary section and the “neck” of a Constitution-Refit Class with one nacelle structure graphed onto the ventral portion of the “neck.” The single nacelle allowed for expedient testing, and cut back on material costs. The design was never put into production, and only a few were ever manufactured for testing. They existed in service for five years and were then moth balled after all the necessary data of nacelle design had been gathered. During extreme emergencies the existing vessels were taken out of storage and put into use. Notable occurrences were the first Borg Incursion and the Dominion War.
The next tests needed to focus on the actual engine of the future starship. This portion of the project was called the Niagara Class. Based off of Ambassador Class spaceframes that failed inspection, the Niagara Class had three nacelles. It was a weak design, but never intended to make it to production. The few designs that were made used the three nacelles to power up to the strongest warp field the design could handle. Had it not been for the third nacelle the power level would never have been reached, and again Starfleet did not want to wait. The designers also decided that the Niagara Class could be used for subspace geometry tests. By the end of the 2320’s all the tests on this class were completed and the ships were sent to storage facilities. One ship was brought out in an attempt to counter the Borg threat at Wolf 359 in 2367.
By the early 2330’s the designers were ready for something bigger. They went for completely original classes. The tests on the Niagara Class proved one thing, the more organic the ship was in shape the better it made the transition into warp. So the design of the Springfield Class would reflect this, with more curves. This positioned the Springfield Class as the first vessel with a similar design to the future vessel, as yet still unnamed even in discussion. The Springfield’s design incorporated an elliptical saucer and angled secondary hull. The ship tested the end result of organic-like designs as well as advances in warp drive technology. It was limited in production, unlike its testbed predecessors, which never made it into production at all.
The next class was the Challenger Class. It was slightly similar in design to the Springfield, but had a larger saucer and almost no secondary hull. Its nacelle structure was also similar to the designs original tested on the Freedom and Niagara Classes. The Challenger also saw limited production, like the Springfield.
The Cheyenne Class was the last in the three designs. It was similar in size and shape to the Springfield Class but had four nacelles. These nacelles, when powered up at the same time, allowed the designers to test what they estimated the full strength of the future starship to be. These tests provided the most substantial and what eventually proved to be accurate data that the testbed vessels would bring. The Cheyenne Class became a full production vessel until the 2350’s.
Now it was time for the next generation to start. The designers had gathered all the data they needed before they could begin on the final designs. The first vessel would be the New Orleans Class. It was the middle of the 2330’s when work started. The New Orleans would be the first to test the eventual shape of the future vessel, still unnamed by Starfleet mandate to the dismay of the designers. Most of the designers had the feel of the scale for the future vessel though, and the New Orleans was appropriately measured to that ideal. This vessel became very popular and was in full production until the 2360’s.
By the late 2330’s designers were ready to jump into something that had much larger proportions. The Nebula Class came into being, designed as a production line vessel. It was a full-blown version of the future vessel, which the designers had dubbed the Galaxy Class, however Starfleet was still not ready to give it a name. With just one vessel the designers knew they could begin work on their ship.
It had been over eighty years in the making. Two generations of starship designers had toiled; most of the first group was gone. Most had died, and those who remained were either too old or still held on too tightly to the idea of a Transwarp Drive. But in 2343 Starfleet had given the word, and the designers were ready to create the pinnacle of almost one hundred fifty years of work tracing it’s routes directly back to the Constitution Class. When Starfleet gave the project it’s official name they conceded to the designer’s wishes and it was the Galaxy Class. In 2344 and 2345 the Advanced Starship Design Bureau started working on the design of the vessel. By 2349 all the ship’s systems were frozen and they were ready to build.
Construction on the first batch of vessels (Challenger, Enterprise-D, Galaxy, Odyssey, Venture and Yamato) was started in 2350. By 2364 all six had been launched. The second batch of six vessels that were due to be constructed were halted and their spaceframes were built, partially deconstructed and sent to top secret locations. In 2366, following the Borg attack at Wolf 359 that decimated 39 starships, Starfleet made the decision to complete construction of the Galaxy spaceframes that had been started. By 2368, four of the six were nearing completion, with the Dauntless, Magellan, Nogura and Ulysses at sites across the Federation whilst the remaining two vessels, the Potemkin and the Victory, were estimated for completion in early 2370.