CLASS NAME: Constitution
CLASS TYPE: Cruiser
GOVERNMENT: United Federation of Planets

Port
view

IMAGE SOURCE: Star Fleet Technical Manual, by Franz Joseph

Dorsal
view

IMAGE SOURCE: Star Fleet Technical Manual, by Franz Joseph

Bow
view

IMAGE SOURCE: Star Fleet Technical Manual, by Franz Joseph

BRAD'S COMMENTS:  This is it!  The great grandaddy of all Star Trek ships, and all Star Trek PERIOD!!  The Constitution class ship is the creme de la creme  of Trek ships, the beginning and the end, the origin and the definition!  Well, okay, I admit I am spouting off, but come on!  This design, originally put together to satisfy the requirement that the TOS-era Enterprise  look like both a flying saucer and a rocket ship, is probably the most widely-recognized vessel in all of television science fiction history!  Matt Jeffries, the original model maker, probably had no idea when he built the thing that this ship would launch an entire design philosophy that would resonate down through ten feature films and five different television series.  Next to the Star Wars ships like the X-Wing fighter and the Imperial Star Destroyer, the Consitution class and the Constitution Refit are far and away the definitive sci-fi ships of the modern screen age.  Models of this ship are currently perched on countless desks around the world, hang from countless ceilings in children's bedrooms, and graphics of the ship(s) adorn countless Windows computer desktops.
         I was born in the early 1970's and grew up with this ship, but I will admit I do not like it as much as the Constitution Refit.  Maybe that's because the special effects of the 1960's just were not up to the task of making the old Constitution seem realistic.  Even as a small child I could tell the ship swooshing across the screen every Saturday evening was a model.  Maybe it's because I have heard quotes that Gene wanted the original Constitution to look like the Refit to begin with, but simply lacked the funds to make it happen in 1965.  Or maybe it's just the fact that the pylons for the warp nacelles on the TOS design seemed too flimsy, and at odds with the otherwise angular dorsal pylon.  In any case, this ship is not necessarily my favorite design, at least from an aesthetic viewpoint, but its place in Trek canon and science fiction lore cannot be denied.
        In game play, the ship lives up to her heritage as the backbone of the TOS-era Starfleet.  No other TOS-era Federation ship can match her, and it's probably safe to say no other TOS-era Klingon or Romulan ship can match her either.  Combining a good balance of offensive weaponry, including torpedoes, and defensive shielding and superstructure, this vessel can easily dominate any TOS-era battle scenario unless faced with multiple, sufficiently armed opponent vessels.  Even entering the Motion Picture-era time, the original Constitution class can hold her own against all but the most modern enemy ships, and therefore this class makes a nice playing piece in any scenario that does not significantly approach the overly powerful ships of the TNG-era.
        Some of the scenarios I have used, as either the Federation player, the Klingon Player, or the Romulan player, are as follows: 1 Constitution versus 3 Klingon D-7 cruisers, 1 Constitution versus 2 Romulan V-8 cruisers, 1 Constitution class and 2 Anton class cruisers versus 6 Klingon D-7 cruisers, etc. etc.  No matter what, the Constitution class is going to be the focus both offensive and defensive activity in just about any scenario.  With skillful play this class can sometimes win whole battles all by itself, even in the face of enormous enemy numeric superiority. 

From the FASA Star Trek FEDERATION SHIP RECOGNITION MANUAL, circa 1985
Constitution Class XI Cruiser
NOTES:  The Constitution Class cruisers are the most renowned vessels of their time.  Serving as both a research vessel and a cruiser, these ships have performed their duties to perfection for the last 35 years.  The Constitution Class ships were an integral part of the buildup during "The Great Awakening," from the outset the most versatile of all ships built for the expansion efforts.
        The original construction contract called for 13 vessels to be built that would serve as cruisers, have complete research facilities, and be capable of operating on 5-year research and exploration missions.  On Stardate 1/8801, the first of these vessels, the USS Constitution, was commissioned, followed by one more each month for five months.  As soon as these vessels were completed and commissioned, they were sent on 2-year shakedown cruises.  Over the next five years, the remaining 7 cruisers were built.  The construction program came to a halt with the commissioning of the USS Defiant.
        When the Four Years War broke out, Star Fleet decided to produce warships instead of the dual-purpose cruisers that devoted large areas of their space to research and laboratories.  Even though the Constitution Class was not put into production for the war effort, four of the ships saw action.  Each distinguished itself in battle time and again, soon gaining the nickname "The Queens Of Star Fleet".  After-action reports continued to show the combat ability of this ship to be superior to any other ship in the fleets, and so the decision to produce more of them was finally issued on Stardate 1/ 9611.
        The ship that would be produced was the Mk II version, mounting the new phaser weaponry and newer, more powerful shields.  Because of these modifications to the original design, construction did not begin until Stardate 1/9709, and the first ship did not come off the line until 1/9901, 7 months after the end of the war.  Star Fleet decided to continue the production of the Constitution Class cruisers and expanded the total number to 42 vessels.
        On Stardate 2/0104, the FWF-1 warp drive engine was brought into the inventory, and all Constitution Class ships were recalled to be refit as Mk Ills.  By Stardate 2/0510, the refitting was complete and the Constitution Class remained the most advanced starship of its time.  One Mk Ill, the USS Ark Royal, still serves in Star Fleet, exploring the rimward areas and acting as ongoing proof of this class' successful record.
        After the first successful test firing of the FP-5 photon torpedo, Star Fleet ordered that 12 Constitution Class ships be modified to fire it.  On Stardate 2/1202, the USS Discovery, USS Saratoga, USS El Dorado, and USS Kitty Hawk were sent into service as Mk IVs, mounting not only the new torpedo system, but also more powerful impulse engine and shield generators.
        The Mk IV was the last version of the Constitution Class to be built, but not the last to use that particular hull style.  The Enterprise Class cruiser was originally built from older Constitution hulls and retains its general appearance.  Constitution Class ships were constructed at the Sol IV shipyards.

Construction Data:
     Model Numbers-
     Ship Class-
     Date Entering Service-
     Number Constructed

MK I
XI
1/8801-2/1210
13

MK II
XI
2/0206
28

MK III
XI
2/1202
6
Hull Data:
     Superstructure Points-
     Damage Chart-
     Size
         Length-
         Width-
         Height-
         Weight-
     Cargo
         Cargo Units-
         Cargo Capacity-
     Landing Capability-

20
C

290 meters
127 meters
73 meters
162,425 tons
  
380 units
19,000 tons
None

20
C

290 meters
127 meters
73 meters
164,600 tons
  
390 units
19,500 tons
None

22
C

295 meters
127 meters
73 meters
167,900 tons
  
390 units
19,500 tons
None
Equipment Data:
     Control Computer Type-
     Transporters-
         Standard 6-person-
         Combat 20-person-
         Emergency 22-person-
         cargo-
  
M-3
  
4
None
5
2
  
M-4
  
4
None
5
2
  
M-4
  
4
None
5
2
Other Data:
     Crew-
     Passengers-
     Shuttlecraft-
  
410
80
10
  
430
60
12
  
430
60
12
Engines and Power Data:
     Total Power Units Available-
     Movement Point Ratio-
     Warp Engine Type-
         Number-
         Power Units Available-
         Stress Charts-
         Maximum Safe Cruising Speed-
         Emergency Speed-
     Impulse Engine Type-
         Power Units Available-
    
36
4/1
FWC-1
2
16
O/M
Warp 6
Warp 8
FIB-2
4
    
44
4/1
FWF-1
2
20
G/L
Warp 6
Warp 8
FID-2
4
    
48
4/1
FWF-1
2
20
G/L
Warp 6
Warp 8
FIE-2
8
Weapons and Firing Data:
     Beam Weapon Type-
         Number-
         Firing Arcs-
         Firing Chart-
         Maximum Power-
         Damage Modifiers
               +3
               +2
               +1
     Missile Weapon Type-
         Number-
         Firing Arcs-
         Firing Chart-
         Power To Arm-
         Damage-
   
FL-6
6 in three banks
2f/p, 2f, 2f/s
H
3
 
  
(1 - 4)
(5 - 7)
FAC-3
2
F
H
4
12
   
FH-3
6 in three banks
2f/p, 2f, 2f/s
W
5
 
(1 - 10)
(11 - 17)
(18 - 20)
FP-1
2
F
L
1
10
   
FH-3
6 in three banks
2f/p, 2f, 2f/s
W
5
 
(1 - 10)
(11 - 17)
(18 - 20)
FP-5
2
F
R
1
16
Shields Data:
     Deflector Shield Type-
         Shield Point Ratio-
         Maximum Shield Power-
  
FSG
1/1
9
  
FSN
1/2
16
  
FSO
1/3
16
Defense Factor-
Weapon Damage Factor-
64.6
12.4
83.6
43.6
97.5
53.8

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