The Galaxy class has served with distinction in Starfleet since it was introduced over 25 years ago with the commissioning of the USS Galaxy. Developed to replace the successful yet rare Ambassador class starships, the design process began in earnest in the early 2340s and proceeded at pace until the fortuitous signing of the Khitomer Accords between the United Federation of Planets and the Klingon Empire, bringing an end to decades of increasing hostilities.
With the prospect of a devastating war with the ferocious Klingons diminished, more time was allowed the Galaxy’s planners to refine their designs. Unlike the Ambassador, which some claimed to have been militarised over its short life span and some others believed to have been Starfleet over-reaching itself, the Galaxy would be primarily a vessel of peaceful exploration. Its sheer gargantuan size, not even rivalled by the previously giant Ambassador, would allow the ship’s designers a latitude only dreamed of before the peace, so much so that they were able to include an amazing 800,000 square metres of mission customisable spaces, allowing the Galaxy’s multitudinous roles a flexibility and longevity previously only ever experienced on starbases.
The Galaxy employed a number of technological advances originally pioneered on other classes. For example, its burst-fire torpedo launchers, while original for all intents and purposes, were heavily based on the launchers of the New Orleans, themselves prototypical of the technology. Unlike the Nebula, introduced shortly before the Galaxy and equipped with similar technologies, the Galaxy’s torpedo systems were not plagued with the initial production glitches inherent in its smaller counterpart’s design and could each, when used to their maximum capacity, fire ten torpedoes at a time.
Indeed, the Galaxy received so many gifts, as it were, from the hard work done in designing other classes that many firmly believed the time between “conception to perfection” – the lead engineer’s phrase – would have been increased by a factor of at least two if not for the “prototypes” already in production. The new deflector dish framework, first designed for the New Orleans class but implemented by the Steamrunner, was perhaps the most obvious structural feature shared by the new lineage, exceeded only by the elliptical saucer section found on many of Starfleet’s latest designs.
This pattern of employing design characteristics and technologies first tested on other ships was so beneficial that, for the first time in recent history, Starfleet’s engineers were able to take the basics for granted and work on realising the full potential of the raw resources and technologies they had available. No prototype systems, no theoretical advances, just things Starfleet knew worked and could be improved for what certain people in Starfleet Command were beginning to call “the finest ship ever built”.
Of course, the Galaxy itself took a full five years between launch and commissioning to iron out the kinks. Systems, while proven elsewhere, were being honed to new levels of refinement. Moreover, there were some structural issues relating to the Galaxy’s large size. Testing at high warp speeds revealed several unexpected stress planes forming in various locations across the ship, including the neck and, in particular, the stern. While redrawing the affected areas of the ship’s hull to better suit its unique warp characteristics was never ignored, it was never really on the table either. As such, Starfleet spent some time correcting the problem by introducing large and sturdy supports, not unlike a spine, that could better absorb the stresses being placed on the vessel.
Enough time was given to the Galaxy – and the Nebula, for the two classes were designed in tandem – for the proper development of the Type X phaser array. While the Type X had been installed on starbases and large land-based facilities before then, the equipment involved had never been compact enough to allow its mounting on a spaceborne vessel. As such, fears in the mid-2340s that the class would be introduced with merely an updated Type IX variant were put to rest, resulting in an impressive firepower unequalled by any Starfleet ship then in service and few since.
When it was first launched in 2357, the USS Galaxy was the largest and most advanced ship in the Federation. The most impressive of advancements this ship brought about was the ability to separate from the saucer section and reattach without assistance from a starbase facility, an ability later successfully incorporated in such starship classes as the Prometheus class. Separated by a connecting neck – essentially, the greatest single structural difference between the Galaxy and the Nebula with the possible exception of the latter’s mission pod – the ship’s saucer section could move at impulse speeds under its own power, acting as a large and very well armed life pod in the event of a cataclysmic warp core breach or a readily foreseen combat situation in which the lives of civilians could be lost.
Of the original production run, most starships of the Galaxy class were designed and built at the Utopia Planitia Fleet Yards at Mars, Sol IV, but perhaps the ship that served with the most distinction was the USS Enterprise-D. Other ships of the class that have served well are USS Galaxy, which took part in Operation Return and the first Battle of Chin'toka during the Dominion War, and USS Odyssey, the first capital Starfleet ship destroyed by the Jem'Hadar.
Major changes to the Galaxy class since its introduction in 2357 ranged from propulsion to tactical systems. A new warp core provided the ships of the class with an increase in speed from warp 9.6 to warp 9.9, ongoing advances in scientific and exploratory technology provided the Galaxy with constant sensory upgrades and its shields were refitted to better counter the phased polaron weaponry used to such devastating effect against a member of the class, the aforementioned USS Odyssey. Other improvements owing to war-time requirements were the addition of two phaser arrays, one each on the dorsal surfaces of the Galaxy’s warp nacelles.
The first true multi-role starship design in over a century, Galaxy class starships function as deep space explorers capable of operating independently for several years. Extensive sensor capabilities and laboratory facilities, as well as diverse crews, allow the Galaxy class to engage in a wide range of scientific research. As the foremost ship in the 24th century, the class was intended to project Federation influence throughout the Alpha Quadrant and beyond. When pressed, the class also makes an effecive weapons platform for deployment into hostile areas of space.
- Type X Array: 12
- Burst-Fire Torpedo Launcher: 2
- Tri-Cobalt Devices: 14
Can separate and rejoin saucer section without need of a starbase. In the deck listing, the saucer section is referred to as A while the engineering section is referred to as B.
|Deck 1||Main Bridge, Captain's Ready Room, Observation Lounge|
|Deck 2||Captain's Quarters, First Officer's Quarters, First Officer's Office, Chief Operations Officer's Office|
|Deck 3||VIP/Guest Quarters, Large Conference Room, Auditorium, Weapons Storage|
|Deck 4||Main Shuttlebay, Auxiliary Craft Maintenance, Cargo Bay 1, Cargo Bay 2, Primary Communications Array|
|Deck 5||Primary and Secondary Computer System Monitoring Room, Computer Core Access, Guest Quarters/Emergency Medical Units|
|Deck 6||Water Recycling Facility 1, Personnel Transporter Rooms 1 and 2, Guest Quarters/Emergency Medical Units|
|Deck 7||Gymnasium, Natatorium, Mess Hall, Galley Crew Quarters, Conference Room 2|
|Deck 8|| A - Crew Quarters, Child Care Facilities, School|
|Deck 9|| A - Life Support and Environmental System Controls 1, Attached Personnel/Colony Quarters, Emergency Supply Storage|
B - Interim Deuterium Supply, Solid Waste Reprocessing Facility 1
|Deck 10|| A - Security Training, Weapons Practice Range, Weapons Storage, Ten Forward, Saucer Impulse Engines|
B - Weapons Storage, Secondary Communications Array
|Deck 11|| A - Primary SIF Generators, Primary IDF Generators, Holodecks 1-4, Attached Personnel/Colony Quarters, Saucer Impulse Engines|
B - Life Support and Environmental Control 2, Docking Latch Manual Control Room
|Decks 12|| A - Replicator Control, Sickbay 1, Sickbay 2, CMO's Office, Medical Supply Storage|
|Deck 13|| A - Water Recycling Facility 2, Solid Waste Reprocessing Facility 2, Stellar Cartography, Astrophysics Lab|
B - Life Support and Environmental Control 3, Shuttlebays 2 & 3, Crew Quarters
|Deck 14|| A - Sociology Department, Counselor's Office, Archaeology Department, Chemistry Labs 1 & 2|
B - Personnel Transporter Rooms 3 & 4, Crew Quarters
|Deck 15|| A - Particle Lab, Geology Lab, Biology Labs 1 & 2|
|Decks 16|| A - Arboretum, Captain's Yacht|
B - Plant Sciences Department, Botany Lab
|Deck 17||Auxiliary Sickbay, Zoology Lab, Hydroponics Bay and Gardens|
|Deck 18||Public Replicators, Engineering Hardware Replicators, Crew Quarters|
|Decks 19||Fabrication Workshop, Large Conference Room, Crew Quarters|
|Deck 20||Ship's Stores, Crew Quarters|
|Deck 21||Life Support and Environmental Control 4, Crew Quarters|
|Decks 22||Helm Training, Adult Classrooms, Crew Quarters|
|Decks 23||Main Impulse Engines, Engine Control Room|
|Decks 24||Water Recycling Facility 3, Life Support and Environmental Control 5|
|Decks 25||Forward Torpedo Launcher, Torpedo Magazine and Loading, Torpedo Modification, Computer Research Lab|
|Decks 26||Phaser Training Range, Chief Security Officer's Office, Brig|
|Decks 27||Deuterium Storage Tanks, Barber shop|
|Decks 28||Deuterium Storage Tanks, Secondary Hardware Replicators|
|Decks 29||Deuterium Storage Tanks, Large Meeting Room|
|Decks 30||Auxiliary Computer Systems Monitor Room, Auxiliary Computer Core Access, Deuterium Injectors|
|Decks 31||Engineering Parts and Equipment Storage, Turbolift Control and Repair Department|
|Decks 32||Secondary SIF Generators, Astrometrics Lab, Materials Testing Lab|
|Decks 33||Holographic Simulation Rooms 11-20, Attached Personnel/Colony Quarters, Secondary IDF Generators|
|Decks 34||Solid Waste Reprocessing Facility 3, Graviton Deflector Generators, Secondary Replicator Systems Control, Life Support and Environmental Control 6|
|Decks 35||Aft Torpedo Launcher, Torpedo Magazine and Loading Facility, Attached Personnel/Colony Quarters|
|Decks 36||Main Engineering, Chief Engineer's Office, Matter/Antimatter Reaction Control Monitor Room|
|Decks 37||Sensor Analysis Labs, Sensor Maintenance Bays, Emergency Food Rations Storage|
|Decks 38||Cargo Bay 3, Emergency Personnel Transporter 1, Hazardous Material Storage and Containment|
|Decks 39||Cargo Bay 4, Emergency Personnel Transporter 2, Emergency Power Facility|
|Decks 40||Backup Antimatter Pod Storage, Emergency Personnel Transporter 3, Antimatter Injectors|
|Decks 41||Antimatter Storage Pods, Antimatter Generator|
|Decks 42||Antimatter Fill Port, Tractor Beam Emitter|
|Starfleet Starship Classes (Active)|
|Research Bases||Argus class - Lowell class|
|Starbases||Celestial class - Colony class - Ithaca class - Nor class - Regula class - Stardock class|
|Cruisers||Ambassador class - Galaxy class - Nebula class - Prometheus class - Sovereign class|
|Light Cruisers||Akira class - Cheyenne class - Excelsior class - Intrepid class - Luna class - Normandy class - Norway class|
|Research Vessels||Daystrom class - Nova class - Olympic class - Oberth class|
|Escorts||Centaur class - Defiant class - Diligent Class - Miranda class - New Orleans class - Sabre class - Steamrunner class|