Canon Facts Backstage Info  Speculation
Fast Cruiser
Unit Run
USS Niagara
NCC 59804 USS Princeton
NCC 28473 USS Wellington
plus 141 vessels built in total. 52 were lost during Wolf 359 and the Dominion war, 92 remain in service.
2336 - 2349
Length : 443 m
Beam : 260 m
Height : 130 m
Decks : 23 excluding nacelles
2,800,000 tons
Organic Armament
6 x Type VIII Phaser arrays, total output 22,500 TeraWatts 
2 x Standard photon torpedo tubes + 80 torpedoes 
Defence Systems
High capacity shield system, total capacity 1,687,500 TeraJoules
Standard Duranium/Tritanium double hull plus 0.4 cm High Density armour.
Standard level Structural Integrity Field
Warp Speeds
(TNG Scale)
Normal Cruise : Warp Factor 7
Maximum Cruise : Warp Factor 9 
Maximum Rated : Warp Factor 9.4 for twelve hours
Strength Indices
(Galaxy class = 1,000)
Beam Firepower : 450
Torpedo Firepower : 250
Weapon Range and Accuracy : 750
Shield Strength : 625
Hull Armour : 140
Speed : 890
Combat Manoeuvrability : 2,700
Overall Strength Index
Grade 4
Expected Hull Life
50 years
Refit Cycle
Minor : 1 year 
Standard : 5 years 
Major : 25 years

Notes : Starfleet has always preferred to design Starships with a two nacelle configuration, it being long recognized that this is the ideal layout for optimal warp field efficiency. However, efficiency is not always the deciding factor and over the last few centuries several vessels have been produced with one, three or even four nacelles. The Niagara class belongs to the three nacelle family; this means that the class has a small decrease in efficiency compared to the likes of the Galaxy class, but it does confer certain advantages. Like the Rigel class, the Niagara is able to travel on the upper nacelle pair whilst resting the Lower nacelle, or vice versa. This confers both higher cruise speed or longer component life on the engines, as well as enhancing manoeuvrability.

The Niagara design was fielded shortly after the Ambassador class, and originally showed a high degree of commonality with that class. Then Engineering hull and Nacelles were closely based on those of the Ambassador, and the ship is fitted with Type 8 phaser arrays and a pair of photon torpedo tubes which, combined with its speed and agility, make it a formidable opponent in battle. The Primary Hull shows elements of the Ambassador design, but is also clearly a forerunner of the later Galaxy/Nebula/New Orleans family. Like all Starfleet ships its role is primarily one of peaceful exploration and diplomacy, and the Niagara has served well in these arenas. The ship is fitted with Grade 4 diplomatic facilities, and as such is capable of handling multi-planetary conferences involving several high level diplomats and their staffs. In the scientific arena the ships high average speed allows it to cover greater areas than would be normal for a ship of this size, while the sensor fit on commissioning was of a generally more advanced type than that of the Ambassadors.

In the mid 2360's the Niagara's, together with their smaller cousins the Freedom class, where refitted with Galaxy class nacelles in order to enhance their acceleration and turning ability, important to a ship which is more biased toward combat than most Starfleet ships.

Class production began in early 2336 and was completed after a thirteen year run which put one hundred and nine ships into the fleet. Like most Starfleet vessels the Niagara's saw very little combat activity in their early careers thanks to the stable nature of the Alpha Quadrants political situation prior to the 2360's. However, this state of affairs was not to last; several Niagara class ships fought at Wolf 359, including the USS Princeton. The USS Wellington received a computer upgrade from the Binars, one of the first Starfleet ships to undergo this procedure - the same ship was later involved in the incident at Garon II in which Ensign Ro Laren was held responsible for the deaths of eight people. The ships have served with some distinction during the Dominion war, though they have suffered heavily with twenty three ships destroyed so far.

Last updated : 8th July 2000.
This page is Copyright Graham Kennedy 1998.

Star Trek et al is Copyright Paramount Pictures 1996/97.
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All  of the above classes of star ships and all of the
named ships are copyright Paramount 1996/97.