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- See also: Ascension Class (Dreadnought Variant)
Before the Concorde had even been formally approved Starfleet already realized some of its problems, while it had proven incredibly capable in both combat and exploratory operations it would likely face significant problems if engaged with a foe without support vessels due to a lack of offensive weapon systems beyond the fighters carried. Furthermore with only limited production facilities any fighters lost in combat would be difficult to replace. With a return to deep space operations that could strongly benefit from fighters these flaws were deemed unacceptable and development began of a new type of vessel that could carry an equal or only slightly lower amount of fighters without compromising on weapons systems and the general capabilities of other vessels. In essence what was envisioned was a complete platform capable of prolonged offensive and exploratory operations with little or even no support.
With this mandate the Corps of Engineers went to work on new designs, in this they were heavily inspired by the Akira Class which had shown itself as a very strong vessel with size being its primary issue and the Admiral Kuznetsov class Aircraft Carrier of the 20th century Earth’s Soviet Union which carried a significant amount of aircraft while preserving more traditional offensive capabilities.
After a year the initial design had been completed, the Ascension Class was to be a carrier with weapons systems dwarfing even the strongest foes while being able to carry the same amount of fighters as the Concorde. Additionally facilities were included for replacement fighters to be produced if the ship were to be cut off from reinforcements for a prolonged period. With the ship capable to fight off foes with its more basic systems the decision was also made to dedicate significant parts of the aft section to flight operations so that in combat the ship could serve as cover while the fighters deploy from the primary hangar bay. Designers chose to go with a large single hangar rather than multiple smaller ones intentionally to allow for greater customization depending on the needs of the mission and greater emergency capacity. A much smaller secondary shuttlebay remains primarily for shuttles and runabouts while being capable of limited fighter operations as a measure of last resort.
The first vessel, the USS Ascension, was completed in 2386 and exceeded the expectations of many as it managed to defeat the Sovereign and Concorde classes in different trials with only a coordinated force of a Concorde with several capital support vessels being capable of defeating it. While not as fast in exploration as the Concorde had shown in trials it nevertheless defied expectations. In 2387 the class was officially approved and entered production with plans of at least 10 ships to be completed by 2395.
2380: The order for a new vessel to be designed is officially sent to the Corps of Engineers, work begins on an entirely new design inspired by existing vessels but due to the specific requirements still completely different. The decision is made to use as many systems as possible from the Sovereign project due to proven usefulness and to benefit from existing serial production.
2381: With the initial design completed Utopia Planitia Fleet Yards begin construction of the prototype, it is expected that this initial production will take 5 years.
2384: The base hull is completed with computers and propulsion installed. As the ship is deemed spaceworthy its flight systems are tested and deemed successful.
2385: The hangar bay is completed and weapons systems are being installed. Plans for the first full trials in 2386 are made. Construction of new hulls is started.
2386: With the ship completed early in the year the USS Ascension undergoes testing however it does not yet carry fighters. By the middle of the year fighters are added for flight operation trials and by the end of the year these are deemed completed.
2387: The USS Ascension is formally commissioned. Final construction of nine more vessels is to begin.
- Role: Carrier
- Dimensions: 1400.2 meters (L) x 600.1 meters (W) x 170.2 meters (H)
- Decks: 47
- Expected Duration: 150 years
- Time Between Resupply: 20 years
- Expected Refit Cycle: 30 years
- Total Crew: 1650
- 250 Officers
- 1050 Enlisted
- 200 Marines
- Number of Civilians: 150
- Emergency Capacity: 3,000
- Thrusters: RCS Thrusters
- Sublight Speed: 0.2c
- Warp Speed
- Warp 9: Cruising Speed
- Warp 9.95: Maximum Warp
- Warp 9.995: Emergency Warp (for 24 hours)
- 1 Forward Rapid-Fire Turret
- 5 Forward
- 6 Aft
- Shields: Multi-Layered Shielding System
- Shuttles: 10
- Workbees: 4
- Runabouts: 4
- Fighters: 48