Galaxy class/Class Profile

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Galaxy Class Explorer
Commissioned: 2357

Class Profile by Roshanara Rahman, SCE

Since the commissioning of USS Galaxy herself in 2357, this marvel of starship engineering and design has captured the imaginations of billions across the Federation, defended its worlds, and continues to push the boundaries of exploration. Now in its fourth decade of service, the Galaxy class has cemented itself as the modern standard by which all other classes have since been judged.

Class Introduction

Plans for the Galaxy class starship first began in the early 2340s. The Romulan Star Empire had remained mostly in isolation since the disastrous Tomed Incident of 2311. Meanwhile, relations were improving between the Federation and the Klingon Empire, bolstered by the sacrifice of the USS Enterprise-C's crew in defense of a Klingon outpost on Narendra III. Against this political backdrop, the Galaxy class starship was forged.

An unashamedly ambitious project, the Galaxy class echoed in many ways the original "Starship Class" development project of a century earlier, which produced the venerable Constitution class. Like its spiritual predecessor, the Galaxy class project called for an order of twelve vessels to be launched by the end of the 2350s. These vessels would be the largest Starfleet had ever produced and were designed to undertake deep space assignments that would span years between starbase refueling and resupply visits.

Galaxy class explorer

By the time the first line of Galaxy class starships were introduced in the 2360s, the political climate had changed substantially since the class's conception. The Cardassians had engaged in a series of border wars with the Federation since the late 2340s and a truce would not be negotiated until 2367. Meanwhile, the Federation faced new challenges by the Talarians, Tzenkethi, and later the Romulan Star Empire, which returned to the interstellar stage in 2364.

Galaxy class vessels during this time were often deployed not as deep space explorers but instead as heavily armed bearers of the Federation flag, often restricted to running from crisis to crisis within and along the Federation's borders. In the 2370s, these ships served as command units and mobile bases of operation during the Federation-Klingon War and the Dominion War. Since the end of the Dominion War and the introduction of other, more streamlined vessels such as the Sovereign class and Prometheus class that have subsequently taken over many of these domestic tasks, the Galaxy class fleet has finally been able to return to its original mandate set nearly fifty years ago: to boldly go where no one has gone before.

Black-and-white ship illustrations by Tim Davies unless otherwise noted. Used with permission. All other images are copyright to their respective owners.
REV SD 239208.09