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The Excelsior-class starship first appeared in Star Trek III: The Search for Spock. Nicknamed "the great experiment", the first vessel in this class was fitted with a new transwarp drive. The experiment was deemed a failure, and a standard warp drive was subsequently installed. The Enterprise B was a variant of the class. Later on, the USS Lakota was refitted with ablative armor, stronger phasers, quantum torpedoes, and a faster warp drive.

The ship class remained in service through the end of the TNG era, making appearances in large fleet actions and battles in both TNG and DS9.

Federation Culture

The Excelsior-class is another example of the Federation's "all in" approach to technology development. Instead of testing the transwarp drive on small prototypes to determine if it would work, they built a full-sized starship (the largest starship in their fleet at the time) around the experimental technology. This resulted in them having to heavily refit the vessel when the transwarp drive proved unworkable. Fortunately the design's other features proved valuable once the drive system was replaced.

Notable ships

  • USS Excelsior (NX-2000, subsequently NCC-2000)
  • USS Enterprise-B (NCC-1701-B)
  • USS Repulse (NCC-2544)
  • USS Roosevelt (NCC-2573)
  • USS Okinawa (NCC-13958)
  • USS Berlin (NCC-14232)
  • USS Fearless (NCC-14598)
  • USS Tecumseh (NCC-14934)
  • USS Potemkin (NCC-18253)
  • USS Livingston (NCC-34099)
  • USS Intrepid (NCC-38907)
  • USS Crockett (NCC-38995)
  • USS Malinche (NCC-38997)
  • USS Gorkon (NCC-40512)
  • USS Frederickson (NCC-42111)
  • USS Cairo (NCC-42136)
  • USS Charleston (NCC-42285)
  • USS Hood (NCC-42296)
  • USS Lakota (NCC-42768)
  • USS Grissom (NCC-42857)
  • USS Al-Batani (NCC-42995)
  • USS Valley Forge (NCC-43305)
  • USS Crazy Horse (NCC-50446)
  • USS Melbourne (NCC-62043)