Lancelot Class (2311)

Four-nacelled ships like the Constellation class have been developed to provide longer endurance and higher peak efficiency of warp propulsion, especially for long-term missions. The Constellation, however, turned out to require an inadequate amount of maintenance after several ships were already in service. Moreover, the M/ARA which was essentially a modification of the type also used by the Constitution and the Miranda classes didn't provide enough power to operate all four nacelles at peak efficiency. In 2300 it was decided to commence the development of a new class to supplement and eventually replace the Constellation class which should be withdrawn from heavy duty in far-flung regions of space very soon. The new ship class, the Lancelot, was equipped with four YWPA-1020 warp nacelles. The nacelles had been originally developed for a two-nacelled prototype ship which was never built since the Excelsior was available in large numbers by then. The Lancelot's newly developed warp core was unusual in that it consisted of two stacked dilithium chambers each of which fed two warp nacelles. Their combined peak power output was more than 60% higher than in the Constellation class.

In spite of the prototype's convincing performance only three units of the large Lancelot-class starships were built, owing to the experience that their hastily developed technology was even less fail-safe than that of the Constellation. After an antimatter containment failure that almost led to a core breach on the USS Perseus NCC-10680, the warp power limit of the Lancelot class was reduced by 25%, and the three vessels were withdrawn from exploratory missions. The research assignments of the Constellation were gradually taken over by the Ambassador class during the first decades of the 24th century. While the USS Lancelot now serves as a testbed for new propulsion and sensor systems, the two other starships of this class are still in active service, and will be retired in a few years.

Preliminary three-view schematics (ca. 1997)

Revised and more detailed version

Class specifications
Ship type: Light cruiser
Length: 351m
Width: 214m
Height: 120m
Crew complement: 267
Max. speed: Warp 7.6
Commissioned ships
USS Lancelot NCC-8340
USS Justice NCC-9134
USS Perseus NCC-10680


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