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.
So it's official! I know we had a lot of discussions about this healing/engineering type role when the Olso class came out. Power transfer, shield extension and transportation of repair crews, it is!
Very interesting, I imagine we'll be talking about this for a bit.
Oh, and I know it's going to get beat to death in this thread. But can the Klingons get a little love at some point?