The Ares-class was an attack cruiser fielded by the Federation Starfleet during the Four Years War. It was the first pure combat vessel fielded by the Federation since the Earth-Romulan War. (Star Trek: Axanar)

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. ("Prelude to Axanar")


During the first two years of the four years war, Starfleet experienced near constant defeats at the hands of the Imperial Klingon Navy's D-6 Battlecruiser. Whole systems were being seized and their populations slaughtered in offensives spearheaded by these formidable warships. Changes had to be made.

The 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 Trask, "A Vulcan's gonna do what a Vulcan's gonna do, but the Andorians were happy to supply the weapons systems".

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.(Citation needed)


Once operational, the new ship, combined with the hard-won experience of their commanders, was impressive. Following the victory at Cygnus III by Captain Kelvar 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."(Citation needed)

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