Updating the iconic profile of the Constitution class, the Excalibur is the first of a group of new, state-of-the-art cruisers intended to fill a variety of roles for Starfleet.
Designed with the modular construction favored by the Starfleet Corps of Engineers, the Excalibur can tackle almost any task. Its expanded cargo capacity and advanced warp core make it an ideal solo exploration vessel, but it also performs well as a support ship during fleet actions.
During times of peace, the Excalibur class is well-suited for cargo or transport missions. Its massive holds make it invaluable to Starfleet, which uses the Excalibur class extensively to resupply planets, space stations and other starships. It has enough power to run industrial replicators non-stop, and is often the ship of choice for missions of mercy or rapid evacuations. Crews on Excalibur-class ships can convert cargo bays to temporary housing in a matter of hours, enabling the Excalibur to carry as many as 1,100 passengers in an emergency.
In combat, the Excalibur's Class VIII warp core is large enough to allow it to transfer power to damaged ships or extend its shields to protect an ally without impacting its own defenses or systems. Engineers on an Excalibur-class starship can reroute that power to boost its tractor beams, allowing it to grapple enemy ships that could easily break away from lesser vessels. It has enough crew to get damaged systems back online quickly, and can even transport repair crews to allied ships. And the Excalibur class's reinforced hull allows it to stay in a fight, even when faced with a coordinated enemy assault.
While the Excalibur is designed to be Starfleet's workhorse, other ships will outperform the Excalibur in some roles. The Excalibur is not able to equip the advanced sensors or laboratory modules of a science vessel, and it lacks the heavy firepower of escort or heavy combat starships. However, the Excalibur's versatility allows it to perform well in tough situations that specialized ships may not be prepared to handle.
Advanced technology standard to the Excalibur class include an improved electro-plasma distribution network able to handle greater amounts of energy and a new dilithium chamber configuration that keeps the crystals stable at high warp for longer periods of time.
The Excalibur class is often chosen by Starfleet captains who want a fast, powerful ship, but not necessarily a starship designed primarily for combat.
"We can send her anywhere and she can do anything," said Graarvin Narl, primary designer of the Excalibur class. "The Excalibur will carry Starfleet into the 25th century, and she'll do it with style."
The design is a perfect combination of contemporary styling and elements of the TOS/TMP/JJ Enterprises. It's great to know that there will be good all-around ships for those of us who can't quite figure out which department we want to go to, and ones that are smaller than a Galaxy or Sovereign.
The description is really helpful in understanding what kind of capabilities engineering, science, and tactical ships will have, as well as their limitations. I can't wait to start tricking out this design in the customizer.