Since before the founding of the Federation, several diplomatic conferences were held in a small habitat dome on the surface of the otherwise uninhabited planetoid Babel, located on the Wolf 424 system. Following a series of incidents during the 23rd century involving attempts at sabotage and espionage, Federation officials came to understand how ill-equipped said habitat dome had become. Being a structure more than 100 years old at that point, it had become impossible to guarantee the safety of dignitaries at future conferences.
In 2274, the decision was made to construct a small starbase in orbit of Babel, to host all conferences going forward. This would not only mean a more defensible structure in the case of a direct attack (something which worried Starfleet in particular given the tensions with the Klingon Empire at the time), but also provide a more future-proof structure able to be updated and upgraded for generations. This new orbital station would be named after the Earth ambassador who first proposed a conference at Babel in 2154, and who was later instrumental in writing the Federation Charter.
Inaugurated in 2286, Fontana Station counted with state-of-the-art diplomatic facilities and amenities; including 32 conference rooms of varying sizes; accommodations for over 250 guests; multiple independent environmental systems to accommodate a wide range of species with their own environmental needs; large scale transporters for diplomatic parties; and several shuttlebays able to receive a large number and variety of small transport crafts.
Unlike previous Contellation-Class starships, which were primarily science ships, Victory was originally planned and built as a dedicated fast response cruiser able to intercept possible Klingon incursions into Federation space. Victory was commissioned a few months following the signing of the Khitomer Accords however, so it was equipped for a role no longer deemed necessary in the political climate of the time.
Following an initial period of uneventful patrols of the Tholian border while Starfleet Command reviewed its sudden surplus of starships, Victory quickly proved its usefulness when a plague struck Epsilon Canaris III on stardate 13408.7. Despite not being assigned to the relief efforts, Victory's powerful warp engines allowed the ship to reach the afflicted planet faster than any other vessel, and its vast shuttlebays were quickly converted into quarantine areas for the sicken population, helping to quickly isolate the virus and develop a cure. By the time the medical ship USS Houssay reached the planet, Victory already had the situation under control, impressing both the Epsilon Canarians and Starfleet Command.
Initially thought of as a ship doomed to obsolescence before even leaving drydock, thanks to the ingenuity of its crew Victory became an example of how cold-war era starships could excel at peace-time roles.
After the disappearance of the Enterprise-B in 2329, Starfleet spent 18 months looking for the lost starship. Officially there was no mention of a new Enterprise being in consideration at that stage, quietly however the third spaceframe being built for the brand new Ambassador class at Utopia Planitia was left unnamed, just in case the search for the Enterprise-B proved unsuccessful.
In 2332, the Enterprise-C was commissioned and launched from Earth Station McKinley, under the command of 33-year-old Captain Rachel Garrett, who was promoted after an impressive tour of duty as the XO on Hood. One of the largest starships ever built at that time, Enterprise was designed first and foremost for deep-space exploration, and served with great distinction for 12 years.
In 2344, while on course to Archer IV, Enterprise received a distress call from the Klingon outpost on Narendra III. When the ship arrived, the outpost was under attack by 4 Romulan Warbirds, standing no chance of survival. With sensors showing the nearest Klingon ship was still hours away and wouldn't arrive in time, Captain Garrett took the decision to engage the Romulans, despite being heavily outgunned. The Enterprise-C was able to destroy one of the Warbirds before being overpowered and eventually destroyed by the three remaining Romulan ships.
However, Captain Garrett's decision to defend the outpost despite the insurmountable odds didn't go unnoticed. By the time the nearest Klingon ship arrived at Narendra III, the Romulans had withdraw victorious, but the picture of what had transpired was clear from the remaining debris. Enterprise's sacrifice was regarded as both honorable and glorious by the Empire, and proved in the Klingon's eyes that the Federation could be a worthy ally.
The Federation flagship for over 8 years, the Enterprise-D was one of the first Galaxy-class starships to enter service, being commissioned in early 2364 under the command of Captain Jean-Luc Picard. With a crew complement of a little over a thousand people, including civilians and children, the Enterprise-D was a self sufficient city in space, able to replicate almost any element required in its large industrial fabricators, and to provide ample accommodations to its crew with multiple interior plazas, lounges, schools, gymnasiums, holodecks, and other amenities.
The ship was capable of separating its primary hull from the rest of the ship. This allowed the civilian population to remain safe while the secondary hull, which housed most of the weapons and power systems, engaged in any dangerous mission. This saucer separation however proved to be a time consuming affair, which was often at odds with the fast response needed in a crisis situation. Because of this, in practice it was seldom used.
The ship's successful career was cut short in 2371. Just after receiving a major refit, the ship was attacked over Veridian III by a renegade Klingon ship under the command of the Duras sisters. While Enterprise was victorious in the end, its warp core had sustained enough damage that a breach was inevitable. The crew managed to escape to the saucer section and separate the ship, but the warp core explosion pushed the saucer into the Veridian III gravity well, where it crash landed. Casualties were low among the crew, which was eventually rescued by starships Farragut, Brattain, and Trosper.
Though the ship was deemed lost to Starfleet, the saucer section was retrieved from Veridian III, as its eventual discovery by the pre-warp civilization on Veridian IV would disrupt their natural course of development. By the late 2390's, the Starfleet Museum had started restoring the Enterprise-D. Its interior was returned to its pre-refit look; and a new stardrive section was assembled from salvaged components from other ships, most notably including the nacelles from the USS Syracuse.
Mediterranean-Class ships like Lalo are small freighters often tasked with urgent cargo deliveries inside Federation space. They have a modest complement of only 30 crewmembers, most of which are non-commissioned officers or Ensigns on their first deep space posting. The commanding officer is usually a Lieutenant Commander, as the uneventful and routine assignments provide a good first test of command in relatively safe conditions.
Lalo specifically had an uneventful service for over 17 years, until stardate 43994.8. While on a freight run from Zeta Alpha II to Sentinel Minor IV, it became the first Federation starship to encounter the Borg incursion of 2366. The crew was able to sent a partial distress call before the ship was presumably destroyed with all hands.
A ship of the line when first commissioned in 2308, by the late 2360's Potemkin was an old but reliable workhorse mostly assigned missions inside Federation space, such as outpost resupply runs, VIP transport, or low-level diplomatic assignments. The ship is currently under the command of Captain Marcus Bertrand, its 11th commanding officer.
Appalachia was among the first Steamrunner-class heavy frigates completed on Copernicus Fleet Yards in 2373, with the starship class having been introduced only a couple years before. Its shakedown cruise on the outskirts of the Sol system coincided with the Borg incursion into Federation space, and Appalachia proved instrumental in the hours leading up to the Battle of Sector 001.
With only a skeleton crew on board, the ship shadowed the cube at maximum sensor distance and took detailed readings before the rest of the fleet was in a position to attack. This tactical information proved the basis for Vice Admiral Hayes' battle plan. After finishing repairs following the battle, Appalachia was properly commissioned and placed under the command of Captain Ahmed al-Rashid.
Norway-class starships were developed mainly as rapid crisis response vessels, intended to quickly provide assistance to planets or installations suffering from emergency situations. Different ships of the class would be specialized to provide different kinds of medical, engineering, or logistical help. Budapest was specialized in providing engineering assistance, and was under direct purview of the Starfleet Corps of Engineers. Its commanding officer was Captain Sarah MacDougal, a career engineer.
One of the first Akira-Class starships to enter service, Thunderchild was one of the early testbeds for the design. Under the command of Captain Evelyn Hoffman, its first few years of service were spent patrolling the edges of Federation space. A multi-purpose cruiser, the ship mapped two worlds inhabited by pre-warp civilizations and surveyed 6 new star systems during this period.
Despite the relative successes of these first few years, one of the main design objectives of the Akira program remained untested. The class had been designed and constructed following Wolf 359, and it was meant to be the first line of defense against any future Borg attack. Thunderchild was able to prove the success of the design in this aspect as well.
3 years after the ship was launched, the Borg attempted to assimilate Earth in what would become known as the Battle of Sector 001. Thunderchild's heavy ablative armor resisted several direct impacts of Borg energy weapons, and even managed to dissipate a tractor beam attempting to lock onto the ship. Thunderchild survived the battle, and was the starship to score the most direct hits on the Borg cube during the encounter, thanks in no small part to the Akira class having an unprecedented number of torpedo launchers.
One of the first Saber-class starships to enter service, Yeager was commissioned under the command of Captain Melissa Binde and assigned to patrol shipping routes in the Typhoon Sector, a known hot spot of Nausicaan raiders. During its first 15 months of deployment, Yeager disabled 6 Nausicaan ships before eventually driving the raiders off the area altogether.
This glowing performance added to the raising reputation of the Saber class as a small yet dependable escort. While not as capable as the more compact Defiant class, its more traditional construction and larger size meant it was more popular with both crews and construction yards personnel.
On stardate 50893.5, the Borg began a new incursion into Federation space. Yeager was part of an assembled response fleet, and assigned to the third combat wave alongside starships Anchorage, Hiroshima, Tannu Tuva, Galatea, and Pearson. By the time the fleet managed to engage the Borg, they had already entered Sector 001. Yeager performed admirably during the battle, but received extensive damage to its ablative armor and power systems in the engagement.
Currently undergoing repairs, Yeager is scheduled to return to service by stardate 51027.4, and expected to join the Seventh Fleet ahead of Starfleet's counter-offensive against the new Dominion threat.
The Battles against the Borg at Wolf 359 and Sector 001 both showcased several flaws in Starfleet battle readiness and threat response capabilities. One of the main concerns in the eyes of Starfleet Command was that early on in both battles, the Admiral's flagship in command of the fleets was destroyed, leaving the remaining forces uncoordinated and with a crippled chain of command.
Cerberus was built specifically to try and offer a solution to this problem. The ship was not intended to separate into three independent crafts during battle as other Prometheus-class vessels, but rather to function as a resilient flagship able to withstand heavy barrages of enemy fire and still coordinate fleet movements effectively.
The redundancy inherent of the class design, with its 4 main warp nacelles, 3 independent computer cores, 6 impulse engines, and many other redundant systems, made it a perfect candidate for this role. The ship still retained the ability to separate in an emergency, but its spaceframe was heavily modified to prioritize total hull strength when the ship was connected together, unlike other Prometheus-class ships.
Originally intended to enter service in 2375, delays with the spaceframe modifications pushed the commissioning of Cerberus to 2376, just enough to miss the end of the Dominion War. The vessel became the new flagship for Rear Admiral Ross, and while it didn't see the heavy fighting it was designed to withstand, still proved a successful and versatile peacetime flagship for the Admiral, showing the flag in many diplomatic missions during the post-war reconstruction of the Alpha Quadrant.
Following the end of the Dominion War, Starfleet was ready to once again return to its primary mission of peaceful exploration and diplomatic outreach. To that end, large, long-range exploratory cruisers were once again being developed by shipyards all over the Federation. One such design was the Ross class, which built on the success of the Galaxy class, but incorporated a variety of technological advancements made during the last decade.
The first ship of the class, named after Earth engineering pioneer Mary G. Ross, was launched in 2381 under the command of Orion Captain Azeri Sull, and was assigned to exploration of the Shackleton Expanse out of Narendra Station. The ship incorporated the first holographic first officer in Starfleet, Commander EXEO, who runs on a dedicated computer core with its own holographic matrix.
Other inclusions are a large diplomatic promenade on deck 8 for receptions; a secondary warp core on the saucer section, capable to either power the main nacelles or provide warp capabilities to the saucer when separated; and a Cetacean Ops department on deck 13 crewed by 22 Odanian officers.
An iteration on the earlier Curiosity class, the Perseverance class was Starfleet's most advanced design when it was introduced in 2390. Emmett Till was among the first vessels of the class commissioned, under the command of Captain Ezri Dax.
The ship was the first to venture beyond the remnants of the fractured Romulan Empire, greatly expanding the Federation's knowledge of the far reaches of the Beta Quadrant; making first contact with 8 new warp-capable species in the process, two of which established formal diplomatic relations with the Federation not long after.