The Ares class was a Federation Starfleet battle cruiser that first saw service during the Four Years War. It was the first purpose-built combat vessel constructed by the Federation since the Earth-Romulan War. (Star Trek: Axanar)

Some documents of the era refer to this ship as an attack cruiser. This article reflects the type seen in the majority of extant Starfleet documentation.

The Ares was designed to combat the Klingon D6-class. As such, it was bigger, faster, and better armed than any other vessel before it.

The class helped turn the tide of the war, though it would later be outclassed by the Klingon D7-class. (Star Trek: Axanar: "Prelude to Axanar")

Conception[edit | edit source]

During the first two years of the Four Years War, Starfleet experienced near-constant defeats at the hands of the Imperial Klingon Navy's D6 battlecruiser. Whole systems were being seized and their populations were slaughtered in offensives spearheaded by these formidable warships. Changes had to be made.

In 2243, Starfleet's Commander in Chief, Admiral Conrad Slater, was replaced by Admiral Marcus Ramirez. Ramirez's first action was to order the design and production of Starfleet's first dedicated warship, the Ares class. The ship's initial specifications, along with computer simulations of ship-to-ship combat, appeared impressive. But the Ares's first real test would be on the battlefield.

The Vulcans restricted their involvement to environmental, propulsion, and defensive systems. There were voices that demanded Vulcan remove their participation completely. In the words of Captain Samuel Travis, "A Vulcan's gonna do what a Vulcan's gonna do, but the Andorians... they were happy to supply us the phasers".

The first ship of the class, the USS Ares, would be commanded by Captain Kelvar Garth, who had distinguished himself commanding the destroyer USS Xenophon. There were over a dozen shipyards waiting on approval to produce the Ares-class. Operation Pegasus would be its baptism of fire. ("Prelude to Axanar")

Deployment[edit | edit source]

Once operational, the new ship, combined with the hard-won experience of their commanders, was impressive. Following the victory at Cygnus III by Captain Garth, the tide had turned in favor of Starfleet. At that time Starfleet crews tended to be predominantly of a single species; Vulcan, human, Tellarite, or Andorian. This proved to be challenging for the Klingons. In the words of Kharn, Supreme Warlord of the Imperial Klingon Navy and mastermind of the war with the Federation, "It was ... frustrating fighting Starfleet. You never knew who you were facing, and knowing one's enemy is the first rule of war." ("Prelude to Axanar")

At least 22 Ares-class ships were active during the war, with two more -- Nemesis and Janus -- standing by in drydock. ("Why We Fight")

Background[edit | edit source]

The Ares-class battlecruiser was designed by Sean P. Tourangeau.

External Links[edit | edit source]

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