The Constellation-class was a type of Federation cruiser in service to Starfleet in the 23rd and 24th centuries. This class was designed for operating independently of Starfleet Command in the remote reaches of the Federation. The class' successor design were the Ambassador-class heavy cruisers.
The Constellation-class starship was named in memory of the original USS Constellation, which was commanded by Commodore Matthew Decker and lost in battle against a Preserver created doomsday machine in 2267.
These ships were among the mainstay of Starfleet's exploratory and defense efforts through the early part of the 24th century, some commanded by the same captain for up to twenty years or more.
By the 2330s, construction of new Constellation-class vessels were limited to two-a-year as new starship designs, such as the Ambassador-class, came into service.
These "old-style" vessels were on the verge of being phased out of front-line service in the 2360s, regarded as being "overworked and underpowered". Many had already been entirely decommissioned and rendered "warp inactive", which included removing all antimatter but did not include removing the warp core. Those that were still in service in the 2360s and 2370s were engaged in support roles within the Fleet, such as transport duties and search and rescue missions.
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