By the mid 2270s, Federation space had grown considerably with the addition of new member worlds. Along with the expansion of the Federation, relations with the Klingon and Romulan empires continued to remain shaky at best. Not to add insult to injury, there were still many unknowns in space.
Not wanting to be caught off guard or unprepared, Starfleet decided that a full-fledged battleship was needed to help secure the Federation against any threat that may arise. Orders were given to design a suitable battleship that could utilize the best technology available. Starfleet engineers decided to design the ship on up scaled Constitution refit components to avoid designing new components and testing them out. This move had the added advantage of allowing the ship to be built in a relatively short amount of time. Their main challenge was to decide how big they wanted to make her.
Named after the Roman god of War, the U.S.S. Mars was the largest, most powerful, and most expensive ship Starfleet had ever built at the time. At roughly 1 and a half times the size of a Constitution Class, the Mars was the first starship to have triple turret phaser banks installed, as well as 4 forward and 4 aft torpedo launchers, with 450 photon torpedoes.
To address the obvious need for large amounts of power, the engineers decided to equip the ship with 4 large warp engines, and two warp cores, with one located in the aft saucer section and the other in the secondary hull.
Because she was designed and built primarily for battle, the Mars had only 5 science labs, and standard recreation facilities. This allowed for more internal space to be devoted to weapons systems, as well as massive sensor suites, and maintenance systems. In the rare occasion she should be needed for diplomatic events, the Mars was equipped with ambassadorial crew quarters.
Due to the high cost to construct, and maintain these battleships, and the growing interest in transwarp research, Starfleet ordered only 4 vessels to be built. The original 4 vessels were the U.S.S. Mars, U.S.S. Ares, U.S.S. Flying Dutchman, and the U.S.S. Ironhide.
Completed in the summer of 2278, these battleships arrived just in time to help defend against the ISC invasion.
Because the ships were rushed into service without a proper shakedown, certain design flaws crept up and had to be resolved without the help of a full-fledged starbase. The top speed of the ships was a bit slower than expected, and the warp engines barely produced enough energy to power the systems under battle conditions. In addition, it was discovered that the forward torpedo bay became the prime target for sniper attacks, due to the fact that the ship's main torpedo bay contained all 4 forward firing torpedo tubes. In one instance, the Flying Dutchman sustained moderate damage to her forward firing tubes when she was ambushed by three ISC light cruisers, but did manage to destroy 2 of the ships and chase the last one off.
Not being able to afford the loss of even one of these ships, Starfleet restricted their use somewhat, and used these ships in the most dire of situations where incredible firepower was needed, or a show of force was necessary.
After the ISC threat had been dealt with, the Federation had enough time to begin repairing the design flaws with lessons learned from the Excelsior project, and even begin designing a new refit of the class.
By the time the Andromedan Invasion occurred, the original 4 Mars Class battleships were fully operational. The Ares and Ironhide had been selected to undergo the refit to the new specifications, with the Olympus Mons nearly completed. The Flying Dutchman and Mars received power and shield upgrades as well as upgrades to their propulsion systems to boost their warp and sublight speeds.
More than once these battle hardened ships turned the tide in large fleet engagements.
By 2305, Excelsior production was in full swing, and the Constitution Class was being phased out of service. Starfleet decided that the Mars Class was no longer needed, and all 5 ships of the class were decommissioned. Four of the ships were placed in mothballs, while the Mars herself was placed in the fleet museum.
Early TMP MARS CLASS BATTLESHIP Ship Name: U.S.S. Mars Ship Class: TMP Battleship Race: United Federation Of Planets Date Completed: 12/30/2007 Original models and textures done by Wicked Zombie45 of Demon Renegade Studios. http://drs.battleclinic.com/ Contact: email@example.com Retextures done by GotAFarmYet? Kitbash, registries, SFC3 hardpoints/damagepoints done by F9thCenturus (formerly F9thDaihak). Contact: Golden_Centurion@hotmail.com SFC1/SFC2/SFC:OP hardpoints done by Atheorhaven. SFC3 specs and ship storyline done by F9thCenturus. Technical guidance credits given to ModelsPlease of Outalance Shipyards for the quad launcher concept, Cpt. Hooker of the BC Community for assistance in patching up holes, and Lint of the BC Community for assistance in correcting mapping errors. SFC2/OP Screenshots by Atheorhaven. SFC3 Screenshots by F9thCenturus. This kitbash is released with permission from Wicked Zombie45. Please refer to original ReadMe files 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, or ported to any other game, permission must be given by F9thCenturus. 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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