Star Trek Expanded Universe

The Challenger-class light cruiser was a type of starship on active duty in Starfleet during the late 24th century. The four known vessels of this class were all commissioned in 2344. (Ships of the Star Fleet, Vol. 1: Cruisers. )

Apparently contemporary with the Galaxy-class explorer and the Nebula-class starship, Challengers had a primary hull similar to that of the two classes, but with one warp nacelle above the hull and another below.

The Challenger-class USS Buran was one of the ships lost during the Battle of Wolf 359. (TNG: "The Best of Both Worlds, Parts 1 and 2")

USS Marco Polo is designated Challenger class in a TNG comic story "Thin Ice" — but bears little resemblance to the Buran. There may have been another Challenger class extant earlier in the 24th century.

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