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U.S.S. Excalibur. Federation starship, Ambassador-class. Starfleet registry number NCC-26517. The Starship Excalibur was constructed at the Earth Station McKinley Shipbuilding Facility in orbit of Earth, and the vessel was launched in 2342 on stardate 31032.6. The Excalibur was the second starship to bear the name and was the sister ship to the U.S.S. Enterprise (NCC-1701-C) which was destroyed in 2344 defending the Klingon outpost at Narendra III.
The Excalibur served in Captain Jean-Luc Picard's armada to blockade Romulan supply ships supplying the Klingon forces loyal to the Duras family during the Klingon civil war in 2368. During this assignment, Commander William Riker served as the Excalibur's captain and Lieutenant Commander Geordi LaForge was his first officer. ("Redemption, Part II" (TNG)).
Shortly after the Klingon civil war, on stardate 45031, Captain Morgan Korsmo assumed command of the Excalibur. Later that year, the starship encountered a small Borg scout vessel. Through heroic efforts by Korsmo, the Excalibur escaped destruction, but a portion of the starship's engineering section was extracted and taken by the Borg ship before it returned to the Delta Quadrant via a transwarp conduit. Several crewmembers, including Lieutenant Marika Wilkarah, were trapped in the stolen section and were assimilated by the Collective. After the encounter, the Excalibur traveled to Starbase 234 to repair its severely damaged secondary hull. ("Survival Instinct" (VGR)).
In 2371, Commander Elizabeth Shelby reported aboard as Korsmo's first officer. At that time, the ship's assistant chief engineer was Lieutenant Burgoyne 172 who would later become the vessel's chief engineer.
In 2373, on stardate 50893.5 a lone Borg vessel threatened Earth. A Starfleet task force led by Admiral Hayes engaged the Borg there at Sector 001. The admiral's task force consisted of more than a dozen ships including the starships Bozeman, Budapest, Thunderchild, Yeager, Lexington, Defiant, Endeavor and Excalibur. In the ensuing battle several Federation starships were destroyed including Admiral Hayes' flagship. The Starship Excalibur was damaged in the attack and several of the crew including Captain Korsmo lost their lives. The Sovereign-class U.S.S. Enterprise under the command of Captain Jean-Luc Picard arrived and took command of the fleet. The Starfleet vessels regrouped and were ultimately successful in destroying the Borg vessel. ("STAR TREK: First Contact")
After the battle with the Borg at Earth, the U.S.S. Excalibur was sent to drydock for repairs, and most of the crew were reassigned. First Officer Shelby and Chief Engineer Lieutenant Commander Burgoyne 172 remained aboard. During the refit, the ship's warp core was upgraded so that it's original maximum speed of warp 9.2 was increased to just below that of the newer Intrepid-class vessels. The ship's hull was strengthened and its structural integrity field enhanced to accommodate the stresses of the higher speeds. At the time, Starfleet Command promised Commander Shelby that she would be the next commanding officer of the Excalibur.
Later that year, the Thallonian Empire collapsed. Starfleet Command believed that a single Starfleet vessel should be sent into the area to be the Federation's representative during the crisis. They decided to promote Commander Mackenzie Calhoun to captain and give him command of the newly repaired and enhanced Starship Excalibur. On stardate 50923.1 Captain Calhoun reported aboard as her new commanding officer, Commander Shelby was later offered the post of the ship's Executive Officer which she grudgingly accepted.
Ambassador class vessels were designed in the 2320's during a time when families were never brought aboard Federation starships. To this day, families are rarely embarked on this class of ship. The ship is 68% taller than the Excelsior class ships but only 13% longer. Originally these vessels had a top speed of warp 9.2 (1649 c) but ships existing into the 2370's were upgraded to operate with maximum speeds in the range of warp 9.8 (2611 c). The bridge of this class starship is located on Deck 1 and is sector shaped. Ambassador-class vessels have two hanger decks, the main shuttlebay being located on Deck 3 with a single large hatch opening aft on the upper surface of the saucer module. The secondary shuttlebay is in the rear of the engineering hull. The shuttlebays may not be as large as those aboard the later Galaxy-class vessels, but they are among the largest hangerbays in Starfleet. Some later Ambassador-class vessels even have a third shuttlebay located on the underside of the secondary hull just below the secondary shuttlebay. As with most large exploration starships used by Starfleet, the Ambassador-class vessel is capable of saucer separation in the event of an emergency.
The Ambassador-class Starship Excalibur was named for the Constitution-class U.S.S. Excalibur (NCC-1664) which was commanded by Captain Mark Harris. This earlier Excalibur was involved in a wargame drill against the original U.S.S. Enterprise (NCC-1701) which was fitted with the experimental M-5 computer. During the drills the M-5 multitronic unit unleashed full phasers against the unshielded Excalibur severely damaging it and killing all crew personnel aboard. ("The Ultimate Computer" (TOS)).
The Ambassador-class model was first seen on STAR TREK: The Next Generation as the U.S.S. Enterprise-C in the third season episode "Yesterday's Enterprise." The Ambassador-class ship was designed by Rick Sternbach and Andrew Probert and was intended to suggest an intermediate step between the Excelsior-class Enterprise-B and the Galaxy-class Enterprise-D. The ship model was built by Greg Jein.
"l'audace, toujours, l'audace"
(audacity, always, audacity)
(From the Ship's Dedication Plaque (28 KB jpeg))
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