Canon Facts Backstage Info  Speculation
Long range Explorer
Unit Run
USS Rigel
NCC 62158 USS Akagi
(NCC 62095 USS Tolstoy)
and 81 others built in total. 70 have been destroyed during Wolf 359 and the Dominion war; 14 remain in service.
2358 - 2362
Length : 635 m
Beam : 560 m
Height : 166 m
Decks : 30 excluding nacelles
5,750,000 tons
890+ including family members
5 x Type X Phaser arrays, total phaser output 15,000 TeraWatts
1 x Type 3 burst fire photon torpedo tube + 75 torpedoes 
Antimatter spread emitter
Defence Systems
Shield system, total capacity 1,755,000 TeraJoules
Standard Duranium double hull.
Standard level Structural Integrity Field
Warp Speeds
(TNG Scale)
Normal Cruise : Warp Factor 7
Maximum Cruise : Warp Factor 9.2
Maximum Rated : Warp Factor 9.6 for twelve hours
Strength Indices
(Galaxy class = 1,000)
Beam Firepower : 300
Torpedo Firepower : 500 
Weapon Range and Accuracy : 530
Shield Strength : 650
Hull Armour : 20
Speed : 1,000
Combat Manoeuvrability : 15,000
Overall Strength Index
Grade 7
Expected Hull Life
100 years
Refit Cycle
Minor : 1 year
Standard : 5 years
Major : 20 years

Notes : The Rigel class is Starfleets three-nacelle variant of the Galaxy class. Whereas the Galaxy was a balanced multirole vessel, the Rigel was designed to be biased in favour of peacetime roles. As most of the scientific and diplomatic capability of the Galaxy resides in the primary hull, a standard Galaxy saucer section was used on the Rigel. As the Galaxy saucer contains no less than eight of the twelve phaser arrays and two of the three photon torpedo tubes carried by that class, it was decided to concentrate the modifications in this section. However, given the huge time and resource over-runs experienced by the Galaxy class during its development it became clear that the Rigel would suffer serious knock on effects if this plan was followed.

Instead, Starfleet decided to scale up an existing design and mate it with Galaxy components. As it happened, the hull chosen for this was that of the refit Constitution class. The primary factor was size - the Constitution hull was exactly one half of the size necessary for the Galaxy saucer, allowing it to be scaled up by simply replacing every single deck with two. Once approved, work proceeded swiftly - although the project still suffered delays when faults emerged with the remaining Galaxy elements. Nevertheless, the first Rigel class vessel was commissioned in 2358. A four year production run put nine of these vessels into the fleet.

The Rigel is one of the relatively few Starfleet designs with three nacelles. The ship has three basic modes; all three nacelles can operate together, the upper pair can operate independently, or the lower nacelle can operate alone. By alternating between the upper pair and lower nacelle the Rigel can rest nacelles periodically whilst maintaining warp speed, so increasing the average cruise speed which can be maintained or - more importantly for deep space exploration - extending the life of the warp coils.

The Rigels have generally served on long range, long duration exploration missions where they have performed well up to expectations. They are therefore a relatively rare sight within the core worlds of the Federation, although a few have served there. Most notably the USS Tolstoy was part of the fleet which engaged the Borg at Wolf 357, where it was lost with all hands. The Rigel-class USS Akagi also served as part of the blockade fleet which prevented Romulan supplies from reaching the Duras family during the Klingon civil war.

Last updated : 24th October 1999.
This page is Copyright Graham Kennedy 1998.

Star Trek et al is Copyright Paramount Pictures 1996/97.
No Copyright  infringement is intended and this page is for personal use only.
All  of the above classes of star ships and all of the
named ships are copyright Paramount 1996/97.