Star Trek Expanded Universe

The Constitution-class was a type of heavy cruiser that saw service in the Federation Starfleet during the 23rd century. The class served for several decades and underwent an extensive refit in the 2270s. By the mid-24th century the class was no longer in active service.

The workhorse of Starfleet, the Constitution-class was probably the most balanced, all-around starship known in the 23rd century. In combat, this ship relied on its toughness and on the flexibility of its power usage. This ship incorporated several incremental improvements (i.e. refits) which kept it competitive throughout the long history of the class. (Star Fleet Battles)

Development history[]

In 2236, the United Federation of Planets and Starfleet celebrated their 75th anniversaries. A new class of "supercruiser" was proposed that would eventually become the Constitution-class starship. (The Starfleet Museum: Museum Timeline)

In the continuity of Star Fleet Starship Recognition Manual: Report: Constitution Heavy Cruiser, what was classified under the term Project Starship began as early as 2222.

USS Constellation and USS Republic had been converted from older classes of starships, and were used as testbeds for evolving technologies over a 20-year period.


In the early 2270s the Constitution class underwent a refit with newer technology that also saw a change in its general appearance. The saucer section was redesigned as well as the secondary hull, particularly the area around the navigational deflector. (Star Trek: The Motion Picture)

Enterprise subclass[]

The Enterprise subclass of Constitution class heavy cruisers debuted in 2271 and were among the first Federation starships outfitted with linear warp drive. (Star Trek: The Motion Picture; Ships of the Star Fleet, vol. 1 [revised])

Eight of the twelve starships of this subclass were refits:

USS Challenger, USS Daniel Soule and USS Jamestown were newly built ships.

USS Kitty Hawk's status, whether refit or new-built, hasn't been ascertained.
The TOS novel My Enemy, My Ally states that the replacement USS Intrepid, commanded by Captain Suvuk, had some of the improvements of the Enterprise subclass refit before the Enterprise itself was launched.


The Constitution-class heavy cruisers were retired in 2334. (The Starfleet Museum: Museum Timeline)

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