- Class and Type: Taurus-class Heavy Cruiser
- Commissioning Date: 2236
Designed by the brilliant, if eccentric, Marvu Hreedenck of Alpha Centauri, one of the most innovative and iconoclastic starship engineers of the early 23rd century, the Taurus-class Heavy Cruiser had a configuration resembling no other ship in the fleet. Its saucer section attached directly to the forward ventral side of the Engineering hull, with no connecting interhull, an arrangement Hreedenck believed diminished the ship's profile as a target and improved the efficiency of the warp field. A module built into the forward ventral side of the saucer contained the navigational deflector. The nacelle pylons projected dorsally and slightly outward from the aft dorsal side of the Engineering hull.
The Taurus was conceived of by Starfleet Command as a ship for planetary and system defense, space station protection, and other defense-oriented missions, and Hreedenck included appropriate tactical systems. Three Tesla-class laser banks (two forward, on the dorsal side of the saucer, and one aft) and two torpedo launchers provided the Taurus with respectable firepower. After 2257, Starfleet Command upgraded many Tauruses with the new phaser technology, but by that point technological advances had outpaced the Federation's ability to upgrade the ship efficiently. During the 2260s, the ships of the class were decommissioned one by one, with the last one, the USS Sagittarius, leaving service in 2269).
Noteworthy Vessels/service records/encounters:
- USS Taurus: NCC-1558, prototype, assigned to defense of the Vulcanis system and surrounding sector (2236-41);
- USS Ares: NCC-1586, participated in Battle of Donatu V (2242), destroyed while attempting to protect the Cha'ronis III colony against an unidentified aggressor (2242);
- USS Scorpio: NCC-1590, inflicted a major defeat on the Orion pirate fleet controlled by the infamous Tigellus Shargin (2250), entire crew mysteriously disappeared, leaving the ship intact, in what is now believed to have been an Excalbian "experiment" (2253), under new Captain Thomas Dunbar completed two five-year missions patrolling the Federation's hostile frontiers until it was decommissioned (2254-2264);
- USS Virgo: NCC-1622, destroyed by warp core overload due to unexplained systems failure (2261);
- USS Sagittarius: NCC-1630, defeated Klingon aggressors in a skirmish at Eblara V (2242), cooperated with time-traveling alien to prevent the premature entropy death of the galaxy (2249), ferried Federation diplomats to the signing of the treaty admitting Wennsicar Prime to the UFP (2255).