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Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 38
09-15-2011, 11:57 AM
Originally Posted by dan6526
The only thing that bugs the hell out of me is that the Enterprise is almost always said to be the first of it's class, but invariably there is a namesake ship of that class... even though in many cases that would be out of place. After all, there is a USS Constitution, Excelsior, Ambassador, Galaxy, and Sovereign.
The ship class is named after the prototype or design proof vessel. This is the ship you use to iron out all the bugs to then design your actual production model. Once the production model is completed and all the bugs are verified to be removed you then bring the prototype up to this model's specification and commission her.

Technically the NX-class would be called the Enterprise class using "modern" Starfleet naming conventions. It was both the prototype and the first production model, with its sister ships modeled directly on her.

The 1701 was the first Constitution production model, but not the prototype (NX-1700 Constitution).

The 1701-B was the first actual production model Excelsior, with all the experimental transwarp technology ripped out and the entire ship "downteched" in comparison. It was apparently a good design considering the ship class stayed in service for the better part of a century.

The only thing we know for sure about the 1701-C is that she was neither a prototype nor a first ship of the Ambassador class. Novel sources make it clear that this class entered service while the 1701-B was still active. We know when it was destroyed however.

The 1701-D was however the first of the two initial production models for the Galaxy-class - Enterprise and Yamato. We do however see the USS Galaxy several times over the course of Deep Space 9.

The 1701-E was likewise a first production model, though the ship was initially not supposed to be called Enterprise but rather Honorius. This was changed after the 1701-D was destroyed.

Using the novels the 1701-A was also called the "Enterprise subclass" since there were numerous and obvious changes between the designs of that ship and the Constitution refit she was designed like.