- For additional meanings of "Ambassador", please see Ambassador (disambiguation).
In early 2290, a marked increase of hostilities occurred along the border between the United Federation of Planets and the Klingon Empire. This disturbing trend reached a peak in 2291 when the USS Oberon was forced to withdraw from an engagement against two B'rel-class Birds-of-Prey. Up until the Ambassador-class was launched, several more incidents occurred of Excelsior-class starships being forced to withdraw from tense confrontations due to being outgunned and out shielded by the newer B'rel-class. The withdrawals illustrated just how dated and stagnant Starfleet had become. Official sanctioned by Starfleet in 2311 after the Tomed incident, funding and resources were allocated for the development of a this new defense cruiser. Blowing the dust off of their concept model, the design teams at the Utopia Planitia Fleet Yards quickly began work on the Ambassador class.
The Ambassador Class Development Project would prove to set a new standard in starship design for the Federation, giving Starfleet a starship that was better armed and more diversely equipped than any other starship class that preceded it. The design brief for the Ambassador class called for a heavily armed battlecruiser, which could also serve the non-combat roles of heavy transport and deep space exploration. The resulting design exceeded expectations and the Ambassador class was quickly put into service.
Several design aspects of the Ambassador class made the space frame unique and were carried over into future designs. Among these were an increased internal cargo, crew, and fuel capacity combined with an increased lift capability that gave the class not only great size, but an endurance that rivaled the Excelsior-class and crew amenities allowing for much longer on station and patrol times. This meant that Ambassador class starships could remain on patrol longer and with less crew fatigue than other Federation vessels of the time. Some of the later Ambassador class starships also had thick duranium armor, the precursor to the Defiant-class ablative armor, added to protect the vulnerable areas of the ship. Finally, the development of phaser arrays, which replaced the traditional phaser turret found on previous starships were made standard for the Ambassador. The arrays allowed for quicker recharge times and the ability to fire at multiple targets out of one array, rather than the individual targeting required of turrets.
So successful were the starships, that the production team began looking at designing an improved Ambassador-class vessel. While shaving nearly 15 meters of length, resulting in a much smaller cargo hauling capability, the team was able to make the already hearty Ambassador class more nimble in combat situations. Four additional phaser arrays also gave the class more bite. Further improvements in shielding, sensor, and computer technology would be implemented in the Ambassador refit design, but these advancements would not be enough to warrant a further production contract beyond the initial thousand starships ordered by Starfleet. While the final 150 Ambassador-class vessels were of the refit variant, the improvements and advancements made by the Ambassadors would be short-lived as a new age of starship production began in the later 24th century.
Construction of the first hull for the as yet unnamed Ambassador-class, designated NXC-9331NA, began in early 2315, a full four years after the development project officially began. The primary research team was based out of the Utopia Planitia Fleet Yards while the engineering team was based out of the yards over San Francisco. This led to a small increase in development and simulation testing times, along with an increased debate about final hull design and engineering assembly, despite the fact that the two teams were supplied with several completed hull structure simulations and theoretical spaceframe hull shapes through knowledge and experimentation gained from the Starfleet Experimental Propulsion Division. By the end of 2317, with the aide of computer models, sufficient progress had been made to the point that a working 1500 cochrane warp reactor - a version 3.5 NNEC Warp Core, the standard Excelsior-class warp core of the day - could be used to power a warp field capable of exceeding its design specifications for limited amounts of time.
Due to the increased tensions in the political arena, fearing the development of a comparable or superior craft to the NXC-9331NA project, and due to the hull's large size, Starfleet decided to announce the development of a new "exploration cruiser" and dub the class Ambassador. This was done in the hopes that the title and benign nature of the class name would ease the tensions between the Federation and Klingons over rumors about the size and estimated capabilities of the new hull.
During the following year, the Ambassador prototype saw rapid construction and the spaceframe was ready for testing in late 2319. Two additional Ambassador spaceframes rested in drydock at Utopia Planitia as a ceremony was held at Earth Spacedock in November of 2320 as hull NX-10521, christened the USS Ambassador, left the space doors and warped out of the system to begin its shakedown cruise near the Tholian border. In December and January, the sister ships of the Ambassador, the USS Horatio (NCC-10232) and the USS Farragut (NCC-10233), launched from their drydocks, both bound for the Klingon border.
The first real test of the Ambassador class occurred in 2321 and would pit the USS Excalibur, responding to an SOS from the SS Haro Maru, a neutronic fuel carrier, against a Klingon raiding party of three B'rel-class Birds-of-Prey led by the IKS Burunk. In a brief firefight, the Burunk was destroyed and a second Bird-of-Prey was severely damaged. This would be the beginning of numerous forays between the new Ambassador-class vessels and the Klingons. The new starships helped turn the tables against the D-7's and Birds of Prey.
Ships Specifications Edit
- Passenger Birthings: Up to 3,000 Maximum
- Propulsion Systems
- (Primary): 2 MKX-B 5th Phase Matter/Anti-Matter Propulsion Plasma Generators (9.5 Capable)
- (Secondary): 8 YPS-3232-B Inertial Magnatomic Pulse Fusion Impulse Generators
- Fuel/Power Sources:
- (Primary): 1 Dilithium Crystal Array (Central)
The cargo variant, commonly called the Ambassador III-class, was commissioned beginning in 2370 to serve primarily as supply cruisers or military freighters to provide repair parts, consumables storage, and other logistical needs.
During overhauls to bring Ambassador-class vessels still in service up to 25th century standards, the Starfleet Corps of Engineers explored options to develop a new subclass under the Modular Design Program. This led to the creation of the Yamaguchi subclass, which was named for the USS Yamaguchi, an Ambassador-class starship that participated in the Battle of Wolf 359 in 2367, where it was lost with all hands.
Visual differences between the Yamaguchi and Ambassador classes included differently shaped warp nacelle pylons which brought the Yamaguchi's nacelles just below the level of the saucer section, instead of nearly level with it as on the Ambassador. The Bussard collectors on the Yamaguchi class' warp nacelles were also smaller than those of the Ambassador. The saucer section was also comparatively further back on the neck.
- USS Ambassador (prototype, NX-10521)
- USS Enterprise-C (NCC-1701-C)
- USS Excalibur (NCC-26517)
- USS Hawthorne (NCC-26647)
- USS Queen of the West (cargo variant, NCC-26965)
- USS Victorious (NCC-26555)
- USS Yamaguchi (NCC-26510)
- USS Yamaguchi (prototype Yamaguchi-class, NX-26510)
- Ambassador class article at Memory Alpha, the canon Star Trek wiki.
- Ambassador class article at Memory Beta, the non-canon Star Trek wiki.
- Ambassador class article at Star Trek Expanded Universe.
- Support Cruiser article at The Star Trek Online Wiki.