Historical Starship Database Briefing
There are few Ships of the Line in the long history of the Federation and Starfleet that invoke such an emotional response as the venerated Constitution Class. As the NX/Columbia Class did a century before, the Constitution Class vessels have inspired generations of Officers in the fleet to boldly go out into “the black”. While many think of the Enterprise as the prime example of the class, there are several noteworthy names that not only pushed the final frontier to its limits, but reshaped the quadrant and the political landscape for the next generation of of captains. Of those names, the Tripoli made a name for herself.
The U.S.S. Tripoli, NCC-1987, was apart of the final batch constructions of the Constitution Class before the Enterprise refit. She was able to complete one full 5-year mission that charted an impressive 30 system cluster and made contact with 8 future Federation Member worlds. Upon the Tripoli’s return, the vessel immediately checked into the Chicopee Station Refit yard for the intended upgrade. It was determined that the planned design changes would be implemented over a longer staging timeframe vs a full refit. The Tripoli was approaching its decade mark and was almost a decade younger than the Enterprise and its remaining sister ships.
The Tripoli completed the nacelle refit and was deployed to the tri-sector borderlands with the Klingon and Romulan empires. The vessel was on extended deployment for the next five years, rotating through border stations and long term patrols. The Tripoli was recalled back to the Sol system after a fateful incident with an Orion raider, where the saucer section took major damage after the raider turned and performed a suicidal attack. The admiralty initially had decided the vessel would be scuttled and parted out for the now aging Constitution class fleet now that the construction phase had ended. The Tripoli escaped the scuttle yards after the Lexington refit was canceled and the resources were devoted to the repairs on the Tripoli.
It was clear after days of the Constitution class were numbered. The Excelsior class had passed its trials and the new age of starship design were almost universally welcomed. As the crews of the venerated Daedalus class felt as the NX/Columbia classes began to deploy regularly a century before, the crews of the Tripoli, Enterprise and others began to wonder when their number would be pulled for retirement.
The final master of the Tripoli, Captain Henry Spaniel, was determined to escape the fate that faced their sister ships. After months of debates and lobbying by Capt. Spaniel and the head of the Corps of Engineers, the Tripoli was granted the final refit by Starfleet Command. The third refit was a proposed design for the Constitution class when the results of the Excelsior class were unfavorable. The vessel would retain the new profile characteristics externally, but would reflect the interior system changes that were intended for the Excelsior and her sister ships. These design changes would extend the cruise time of the Tripoli by 3 years and expand the crew to 550 compared to the standard 380-400. As with all good things, there was a catch to the approved refit, the Tripoli would be reassigned to the Corps of Engineers. The Lovell was starting to show her age, and the Tripoli would be her replacement as the new “miracle worker”.
After the final refit was complete, the Tripoli was one of the last of the Constitution classes still in service. The galaxy was changing, the conference at Khitomor had paved the way for a new frontier. The Tripoli’s first mission was to establish a new hub for further relations with the Klingon Empire. Like the Vanguard stations from decades before, the Tripoli would establish a new base that could facilitate further negotiations and provide a safe harbor in case the situation deteriorated.
The Tripoli had been one of the last Constitution classes launched and was the only vessel in the line that received all three refits that were planned. As a result, the ship bares the markings from almost 40 years of Federation livery, from the classic red orange pinstripes, to the 24th century paneling. The Tripoli went on to serve the SCE until she was retired shortly before the first Cardassian conflict.