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V for Victory

By the first decade of the 24th century, Starfleet was steadily retiring the venerable Constitution in favor of the Renaissance Class cruiser - a spaceframe which effectively previewed the experimental Ambassador project. Meant to introduce a new design generation, the Renaissance was certainly innovative for Starfleet. Debuting several new shipboard systems in the field and gaining valuable operational experience for the Ambassador team. However, it was not without flaws: the powerplant became maintenance extensive leading to reduced endurance and overall combat ability steadily fell behind against foreign contemporaries. By 2325, Renaissance production was curtailed and Starfleet sought a supplementary new-build design to meet perceived capability gaps.

The selected spaceframe was an interesting amalgamation of proposals by three (some say four) ASDB Teams. Dubbed the "Victory Class", since each team had technically "won" the tender. However, she would be no "frankenstein" and was a rather sleek machine for its era. The hull geometry was seen as a departure from contemporary thinking, with a smoother saucer-stardrive transition and swept pylons that produced a lower profile. The Victory Class also benefited from the finalized technologies of the now operational USS Ambassador (NCC-10521), whilst implementing new tricks of her own. Type VIII phaser strips, Gen II ASRV's and LN-90E Series nacelles are major highlights.

Many enthusiasts agree that the main crux of the Victory Class was its ability to finally address the shortcomings of its predecessor whilst simultaneously breaking from the mold of the "Ambassador family" designs. The rapid convergence of starship technologies made the 2330-2340 period an interesting era for Starfleet vessels. For a time, the Victory Class was the most versatile cruiser in the SF inventory, only smaller production numbers held her back against the established Excelsiors, Constellations and even the Renaissance. Nevertheless, the Victory remained a widely respected and sought after assignment in the fleet. A notable peacetime achievement was the 2335 Lenthol Expedition by the USS Takeuchi (NCC-42091). While combat effectiveness was evidenced by their role as force multipliers during the Cardassian Border Wars. Today, nineteen examples of this now rare breed remain in service, with the USS Oriskany (NCC-45711) notably modernized as the flagship of the UFP Taskforce at Egros.

Models by DJ_Curtis and the FO Team
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