|Expected Duration:||60 years|
|Resupply Interval:||3 years|
|Refit Interval:||5 years|
|Cruising Speed:||Warp 7|
|Maximum Speed:||Warp 9.4 for 12 hours|
|Emergency Speed:||Warp 9.6 for 6 hours|
|[ Source ]|
During the mid 23rd century the Constitution heavy cruiser was the staple of Starfleet's frontline vessels. However, with advances in technology both within the Federation and within the other powers of known space it was clear that a more advanced starship design would be required to lead Starfleet into the 24th century.
The Excelsior class program was born to create a replacement for the Constitution class as the frontline explorer and deterrant vessel of Starfleet. The original concept was to outfit this new class with a more advanced FTL propulsion system as well as being larger, more powerful and more resilient.
In 2285 the USS Excelsior (NX-2000), the prototype vessel for the class was ready to launch and to put the new transwarp technology it housed to the test. However, on its first trial the ship failed to even reach warp speeds and subsequent trials proved the technology had too many problems associated with it to be truly effective.
Still in need of a new frontline class and pleased with the function of other systems on board the Excelsior, Starfleet Command decided to have the ship outfitted with a standard warp drive and to put it into service under the new registry of NCC-2000.
After a successful shakedown of the modified USS Excelsior, Starfleet was convinced of the merits of putting the class into full production and began a long term building program to replace the Constitution class and to expand the Starfleet fleet.
During the early 24th century the Excelsior class was still being built in great numbers, the design of the ship made it very easy to swap out components and to upgrade the ships already in service meaning that the Excelsior could easily compete with new designs whilst being far more cost effective.
Today the remaining Excelsior class vessels, of which there are many, serve three primary functions. The few surviving original vessels serve as Diplomatic Carriers while the standard refit class still serves as a science and exploration vessel.
Although building of the class was reduced in the mid 24th century new security concerns in the 2360s meant it went back into production again with highly uprated offensive and defensive systems. The testbed of these uprated modifications, the USS Lakota gave its name to this new generation of Excelsior class ships, being referred to as the Lakota Refit.
Again the modified Excelsior class ships were extremely successful, proving of great value to the Federation during the Dominion war. They were also a very cost effective solution to rebuilding the number of ships in the fleet following the losses that Starfleet suffered at the hands of the Dominion.
The final Excelsior class (Lakota Refit) starship was produced in 2399 at Utopia Planitia Fleet Yards but the class will still be a visible part of Starfleet for many years to come, with no current plans to take the class out of service in the foreseeable future.
The Lokota refit on the other hand is still capable of keeping pace with many challenges and serves as a patrol cruiser along the more peaceful borders.