Movie Era Ships (2260-2305)
Ships of the Constitution class are substantially upgraded in the 2270s. Their design features are typical of the Movie era. The cylindrical nacelles are replaced with new, more angular ones. Maneuvering thrusters are now clearly visible in the form of colorful red/yellow RCS quads. The deflector dish is not sticking out any longer but integrated into the engineering hull. Phaser arrays in the form of little domes are now distributed throughout the saucer, whereas the photon torpedo launcher is moved to the neck.
It may be conjectured that not all new technology that had accumulated over 25 years was first used as late as in the Constitution refit design. There was probably not a sudden but a gradual transition from TOS to Movie style, which is why we can reckon that the Movie era begins 10 years before the appearance of the Constitution refit in 2271. The novel design features are adopted for a number of other designs, the Miranda, Constellation, Oberth and Excelsior classes (although it is possible that the Oberth predates the other ship classes of the era). The Oberth and especially the Excelsior establish a trend of overall more streamlined designs.
Typically, starships of this era achieve Warp 6 (cruising) and Warp 8 (maximum), according to the old scale. Registries are from about NCC-1000 to NCC-2000 and apparently approach the five-digit range in the final years before the apperarance of the Ambassador NCC-10521.