In an alternate universe that closely matched our own, the evolution and service life of the Constitution Class took a slightly different course.
At the dawn of the 24th Century, the Constitution Class was beginning to show its age, but had proved its worth time and time again since it was first designed, and had played vital roles throughout the Galaxy in times of war and peace.
The most notable events in recent history in which the Constitutions proved their worth were during the attempted Romulan Invasion of the Klingon Empire in 2296, and the Tomed Incident of 2311, where they served various roles ranging from frontline cruisers, to support craft under the now perfected Excelsior Class, and also as emergency escort/evacuation ships.
Regardless of these successes, Starfleet couldn't ignore the fact that these ships had now been in active service for 70 years. By 2315, over 30% of the entire Constitution fleet had been decommissioned, with plans to retire the remaining ships in 10 years, in favor of growing numbers of Excelsiors being constructed, as well as new classes of ships.
With first contact with the Cardassians in 2316, tensions began to rise between the two governments over territory disputes, and the possibility of war arose. Starfleet did not want to take the chance of not being prepared if war broke out. It was decided to keep the Constitutions in service, and orders given to begin immediate upgrades to all starships in the fleet. Fortunately for Starfleet Command, a group of ambitious and talented engineers had been designing a new refit for the Constitutions for several years, and had announced it was ready to begin actual testing on one.
In the unfortunate event that this refit design failed to meet expectations, Starfleet ordered the recently decommissioned U.S.S. Indomitable be pulled out of mothballs and undergo this refit, while the rest of the Constitution Fleet received moderate upgrades to all systems. In under 6 months, a record refit time for any starship, the engineers had nearly replaced all of the Indomitable's systems. The fact that her major systems and equipment had been removed prior to decommissioning saved time for the engineers.
New, state-of-the-art EPS power distribution conduits and ODN relays had replaced the older duotronic power distribution grid, increasing power efficiency by 18%. The new, first-generation LCARS computer operating system was introduced, which greatly increased computer-processing capabilities.
The Indomitable was fitted with the new fourth-generation Constitution Class warp core and new warp engines. The new warp core and engines allowed the ship to reach speeds of warp 8.2 and maintain this speed continuously for 60 hours, bringing the ship on par with speeds for the Excelsior Class. The new engines also increased power generation by 10% over the third-generation warp drive system introduced in the Potemkin refits.
Taking advantage of the new power distribution systems, the engineers decided to incorporate the added torpedo systems from the Valiant refit into the Indomitable, and equip the Indomitable with a second aft firing torpedo tube, located aft of the main torpedo bay at the base of the neck.
With all the newly designed systems for the Indomitable, her phaser systems were the most ambitious, and truly ahead of its time. Utilizing a new phaser control field system, the Indomitable engineers installed an experimental slotted phaser array design. Not being limited by the slot phaser housing from the Potemkins, the new control field system allowed the phasers to be directed at enemy ships in wider firing arcs. Combining the new phaser design with updated phaser power conduits, phaser firepower had also increased considerably. New shield upgrades and an experimental hull armor plating installed to protect vital areas finish up the Indomitable's major upgrades.
By 2317, hostilities had broken out between the Federation and Cardassians. The Klingon Empire, now allies of the Federation, joined forces with the Federation. The Indomitable was launched just in time and had been on a solo patrol in a disputed sector when a Cardassian cruiser ambushed her. During the battle, all of her systems performed just as expected, with the exception of her phaser systems. The slot arrays generated increased heat levels during combat, and it was discovered that the slot array design itself caused additional heat in the system to occur during combat, and the emitters wore out faster as a result. Minor adjustments were made to improve heat dissipation, but they were not effective enough. It was realized that should the ship be involved in a firefight lasting more than 2 hours, the phaser emitters would burn out completely, and could only be replaced at a starbase.
All Constitutions undergoing refits to the Indomitable specifications were equipped with standardized recessed phaser bank emitters in the traditional twin-bank combination, but utilized the same updated phaser power conduits. This allowed the ships to maintain the same phaser firepower as the Indomitable, but limited the firing arc ranges by 20%. The Indomitable was called back into spacedock to have her slotted arrays replaced with the recessed phaser banks.
The Indomitable refits provided much needed firepower throughout the war with the Cardassians. Since the Excelsior Class was still fielded in smaller numbers than the Constitutions, 25 Excelsiors in service, the Indomitables in many cases were the Federation's strongest military presence in most sectors, proving to be a formidable opponent against most Cardassian ships. Although some Constitutions were destroyed in the war, the combined Federation/Klingon forces were more than a match for the Cardassian fleet. At the battle of Chin'toka, the Cardassian forces surrendered, and the war was over after 8 months.
Aside from the problems in the experimental slot emitter arrays, this final refit of the Constitution Class was a big success. Lessons learned about the slot emitter arrays were the basis for the development of the culminated phaser array system introduced on the Ambassador Class in the 2330s, and would become the main phaser weapons system installed on Federation starships afterwards.
With Excelsior numbers now over 80 by 2335 and production of new Excelsiors continuing, and the Ambassadors now in production, the Constitutions were slowly retired from service. By 2358, all but 4 Constitution Class starships had been retired from service and placed in mothballs. The 4 remaining ships still in service, including the Indomitable herself, serve as training vessels for Starfleet Academy.
Alternate Timeline U.S.S. Indomitable TMP/Lost Era Ship Names: U.S.S. Indomitable - Alternate Timeline TMP/Lost Era Constitution Refit Ship Class: TMP Heavy Cruiser Race: United Federation Of Planets Date Completed: 11/30/2007 Original models and textures done by Wicked Zombie45 of Demon Renegade Studios. http://drs.battleclinic.com/ Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Original Kitbash of model done by F9thCenturus and F9thDawg. Retexture work, registries done by GotAFarmYet? Ship storyline concepts by GotAFarmYet?, written by F9thCenturus (formerly F9thDaihak) Contact: Golden_Centurion@hotmail.com Story editing credits given to ModelsPlease and Fallen_Warrior of Outalance Shipyards. Hardpoint realignment/modification of model done by F9thCenturus. SFC3 ship specs redone by F9thCenturus. This retexture is released with permission from Wicked Zombie45. Please refer to original ReadMe file for additional information. All rules concerning the use and distribution of this ship are subject to the original author's guidelines. Endnotes: The SFC3 version of this ship is intended for use in an unmodded, stock 534B install of Starfleet Command 3. If this ship is to be used in any mod, permission must be given from the modders credited in this readme. If the textures are to be used and/or modified for a mod or kitbash, permission must be given by F9thCenturus before release. If these textures are ported to any other game, permission must be given by F9thCenturus before release. This readme file, along with all other readme files included with this ship must remain with the ship and textures at all times, unaltered in any form.
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