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Constitution-class (alternate reality)

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Alternate Reality
(split 2233)
For the prime reality counterpart, please see Constitution-class.

The Constitution-class, also known as Starship class, was launched by Starfleet in the latter half of the 23rd century in the alternate reality. This class of starship differed greatly from its prime universe counterpart in both configuration and scale, but was exemplified by the USS Enterprise in both realities. (Star Trek)


Riverside, Iowa

The USS Enterprise under construction in Riverside, Iowa in 2255

The alternate Constitution-class dates back to at least 2255 with the construction of the USS Enterprise in Riverside, Iowa on Earth. The design of the starship class markedly differed from its prime universe counterpart following the temporal incursion by Nero and the destruction of the USS Kelvin in 2233. (Star Trek)

Following its launch in 2258, the Constitution-class USS Enterprise served the United Federation of Planets in a variety of tasks, including survey missions and military operations. The class wasn't placed into long duration service until the Enterprise was assigned a five-year mission after 2259. (Star Trek Into Darkness)

In that year, a space dock manifest display graphic in the office of Admiral Christopher Pike included two Constitution-class icons identified as AF and VH-5. (Star Trek Into Darkness, production art)

The graphic with AF and VH-5 was illegible when it appeared on screen. AF was a scaled down graphic of the Constitution-class. The graphic did not specify if these were both just id codes for the Enterprise or if there were two new Constitution-class ships docked at the station. The graphic was originally created for the office of Admiral Alexander Marcus. [1]

Physical arrangementEdit

USS Enterprise docked at Starbase 1

The Constitutuion-class USS Enterprise docked at Starbase 1

The Constitution-class starship followed the traditional saucer section-engineering section-warp nacelle layout common to most Starfleet vessels, but dwarfed in size many starship classes in service alongside it. Where the prime universe Constitution-class of the same period featured a similar, but geometrically simplified construction, the alternate Constitution-class displayed a more organic physical arrangement. The hull had iridescent plates and a subtle Aztec pattern. Escape pods could be launched from the port side of the neck. (Star Trek)

USS Enterprise (alternate universe) shuttlebay

The shuttlebay

Shuttlebay 2, alternate reality

Shuttlebay 2

The uppermost section of the ship composed the primary hull - or the saucer section. The saucer section was joined to the engineering hull by a stout "neck" that terminated along the dorsal side of the engineering hull fore of the shuttlebay, which was able to hold at least twenty shuttlecraft despite being shorter than the ship's bow.

USS Enterprise (alternate universe) deflector dish at warp

The main deflector open at warp speeds

The engineering hull was conical in shape, capped by the main deflector to the fore and the main shuttlebay to the aft. The shuttlebay 2 launch bay door was located forward of the main shuttlebay on the starboard side below the warp nacelle pylons. The deflector dish's center would open and close when entering and exiting warp. The shuttlebay and flight decks comprised a large portion of the engineering section as did main engineering and its related hardware. (Star Trek; Star Trek Into Darkness)

The ship's two warp nacelles were mounted by pylons to the port and starboard sides of the ship's engineering hull, each at a near-forty-five degree upward angle, fore of the ship's flight deck doors. The nacelles featured a flared housing around the Bussard collectors, which dimly glowed blue, and the aft section contained components that extended and retracted when entering or exiting warp. The uppermost section of the nacelles were parallel in height to the ship's bridge. The life support center of this class was located aft of the warp nacelles. (Star Trek Into Darkness)

Constitution class corridor, alternate reality

Upper decks corridor of the Constiution-class starship

Inside the Constitution-class, upper sections were predominantly white with polished black floors, while the lower decks progressively displayed less aesthetic design. Crewman workstations often had little personal space to work in. The engineering decks consisted of conduits, tanks, and catwalks spanning each section. Ladders located in corridors allowed crew members access to spaces above and below their current location. (Star Trek; Star Trek Into Darkness)

Command and control systemsEdit

Constitution class bridge, alternate reality

Main bridge of the USS Enterprise in 2259

USS Enterprise (alternate reality) viewscreen

The bridge visible via the viewscreen

The Constitution-class's primary command center, the main bridge, was located on top of the vessel's primary hull, on A Deck. From here, the commanding officer supervised the entire starship's operation from the command chair, located behind the helm and navigation consoles, and was flanked on all sides by stations controlling the vessel's primary functions. A large window augmented with computer displays served as a viewscreen, located at the fore of the bridge.

Piloting and navigation functions were carried out at the helm console, located in the center of the bridge. This console consisted of three main sections – navigation and ops stations and primary tactical control. Behind and flanking the captain's chair were two forward-facing workstations for a junior science officer (port) and a junior communications officer (starboard), supplemented by free-standing data screens. The senior science officer's and com officer's stations were located along the starboard back wall of the bridge. Numerous other stations occupied the walls of the bridge as well, generally populated by engineering division crew members to starboard and science division personnel to port.

The bridge also featured a turbolift along the aft-port wall and at least one airlock doorway to the ship's corridors.

All operations on the bridge and elsewhere aboard the Constitution-class vessel were performed on touch-screen consoles and displays. The ship's primary computer core was capable of being linked to cybernetic personnel for analysis. (Star Trek; Star Trek Into Darkness)

For Star Trek Into Darkness, bridge reconstruction and integration into an overall set design was accomplished by Art Director Harry Otto. [2] The set was located on Sony Stage 15. [3]

Propulsion systemsEdit

USS Enterprise (alternate universe) nacelle

The USS Enterprise preparing to go to warp

The Constitution-class cruiser was outfitted with a single twin-exhaust impulse drive unit mounted at the back of the saucer section where the primary and engineering hulls join. The saucer section of the ship was also fitted with numerous ventral RCS thrusters which could operate in space, in a planetary atmosphere and - if required - within a planet's ocean. (Star Trek; Star Trek Into Darkness)

Warp propulsion was powered by the warp core that comprised of multiple warp reactors. Energy from the matter/antimatter intermix was fed to the two warp nacelles. When going to warp, the impulse reactors would deactivate and the tail of the warp nacelles would expand when the ship jumped to warp speed. The multiple warp reactors could be ejected in cases of extreme emergency.

Unlike the ship's prime reality counterpart, both impulse and warp drive were regulated from the bridge, with engineering serving as monitoring and maintenance mid-flight. If not disengaged, external inertial dampeners will negate acceleration to warp velocity. (Star Trek)

By 2259, the several smaller reactors were replaced by one large warp core that was housed in a large hemispherical containment unit, with a large electrical coupler at its center allowing distribution of power to the rest of the ship. The warp core was isolated from the rest of engineering by several radiation doors. Sometime later, following nearly a year of repair, a wider, single-exhaust impulse engine was installed on the Enterprise. The fins on the warp nacelles were also refitted with new sets of warp drive components. (Star Trek Into Darkness)


Main engineering was aesthetically bare-bones. The entire section was occupied by and controlled machinery required to keep the ship operating. Pipes, conduits, and tanks typically occupied the floor while catwalks spanned the space overhead. The original warp core design consisted of multiple dilithium crystal chambers, which were replaced a year later with a single warp core unit. (Star Trek; Star Trek Into Darkness)

Tactical systemsEdit

Phaser turretsEdit

The saucer section of the Constitution-class was armed with six phaser banks, all with twin phaser turrets. Each of the twelve ball-turrets was capable of emitting a rapid fire barrage of phaser blasts. The banks were located on the dorsal and ventral sides of the saucer section. The phasers could be used for assault on an enemy ship or as point defense against enemy torpedoes. (Star Trek)

The term "phaser turret" was used in the "Starfleet Vessel Simulator" bonus feature on the Blu-ray Disc of Star Trek. The red phaser blasts appeared similar to proximity blasts seen in TOS: "Balance of Terror", though the red blasts did not detonate at any specific point in space like proximity blasts.

Torpedo launchersEdit

The torpedo bay and main forward torpedo launcher were located on the flared section of the neck connecting the primary hull and the secondary hull, and at least twelve photon torpedoes could be loaded simultaneously into torpedo tubes. The torpedoes could be fired rapidly in a barrage from the launcher. The ventral aft torpedo launcher was located at the bottom midsection of the secondary hull. (Star Trek)

A weapons bay was located on the deck of the engineering section with large broadside torpedo tubes on both sides of the secondary hull along the longitudinal axis. These tubes were capable of being loaded with the larger new advanced long-range torpedoes developed by Section 31 of Starfleet in preparations for a war with the Klingon Empire. (Star Trek Into Darkness)

The aft torpedo launcher was clearly visible on the model, but has not been seen firing torpedoes in either of the films. It was seen in better detail and identified as the aft torpedo launcher in the "Starfleet Vessel Simulator" bonus feature on the Blu-ray Disc of Star Trek. The apocryphal MSD of the USS Enterprise that appeared on the cover of "Star Trek #19" identified an additional third forward photon torpedo launcher in the neck above the main launcher and confirmed the location of the aft photon torpedo launcher.

Deflector shieldsEdit

In 2259, the Constitution-class was equipped with metaphysic shields as a part of its defensive array. The shield strength of the ship was indicated by diburnium-osmium levels that gave the ship protection from threats, such as phaser and photon torpedo fire from enemy targets. Shielding was divided into bow and aft deflectors. (Star Trek Into Darkness, display graphic [4])

According to Mr. Scott's Guide to the Enterprise (p. 14), the deflector shields of the refit-Constitution-class starship in the prime universe were also utilizing a similar technology, while only the defense fields protecting the top decks were traditional force fields. The main shield grid was a massive replicator system, projecting an invisible hull layer, molecularly identical to the diburnium-osmium alloy used to build the Kalandan outpost seen in the episode TOS: "That Which Survives".

Transporter systemsEdit

Enterprise transporter room

Transporter room

USS Enterprise (alternate universe) transporter in use

Transporters in use

The transporter room aboard the Constitution-class occupied a corridor room of the saucer section. The back of the room was a circular alcove containing the transporter pad. The blue steps of the transporter glowed red when in use. The transporter control system was located just inside the room's entry, and was shielded from the transporter pad by either a glass or transparent aluminum wall. The control system was illuminated by lamps attached to the control board by flexible necks.

Transporter target lock was attained by using a joystick control to lock onto the target(s) designated for transport. Operation of the transporters typically required that the target not move, relative to its own surroundings, before it could be dematerialized. The system could be used to lock on to a moving target and negate the target's momentum upon rematerialization, but using the system in such a way required a highly skilled operator. The transporter chief typically wore a miniature heads-up display in front of the left eye. (Star Trek; Star Trek Into Darkness)


Constitution class sickbay, alternate reality

Med bay aboard a Constitution-class starship

The medical facility was known as "med bay" and was located within the saucer section of the ship. (Star Trek; Star Trek Into Darkness)

Ships commissionedEdit



Background information Edit

Enterprise - Secrets of the Universe

The Enterprise as she appeared in the Star Trek Into Darkness tie-in documentary Secrets of the Universe

For the alternate reality Enterprise depicted in the films Star Trek and Star Trek Into Darkness, the Constitution-class was designed by Ryan Church, based on the original Constitution-class design, which was conceived by Matt Jefferies. On the Starships Blu-ray featurette, it is acknowledged that the redesign has elements of both previous versions of the Constitution-class Enterprise, from Star Trek: The Original Series and the first six Star Trek films respectively. The redesign was also inspired by the sleekness of a hot rod car. For Star Trek Into Darkness, Industrial Light & Magic digitally generated the Constitution-class model using a new CGI renderer – Solid Angle Arnold, in conjunction with the Katana lighting tool released by computer graphics and visual effects software developer The Foundry. (Cinefex, No. 134, p. 72)

The bridge, upper corridors and turbolift, transporter room, and sickbay of the revised Constitution-class were built as sets at Paramount Pictures. According to Production Designer Scott Chambliss and others on the Star Trek film's Blu-ray and Star Trek - The Art of the Film, the ship's white upper levels were inspired by Pierre Cardin's architecture, an approach which evidently continued to the brig in the sequel. Noted Roger Guyett, "We had somehow managed to negotiate the dangerous waters of redesigning the Enterprise – adding detail and making it feel more modern." Whereas re-envisioning the Constitution-class for the film Star Trek represented a major design challenge, the class remained relatively unaltered in Into Darkness, though the filmmakers of the latter movie decided to explore the design in more detail. "We used the same sets, redressed and updated," noted Visual Effects Producer Ron Ames. (Cinefex, No. 134, p. 72)

Enterprise dedication plaque (alt)

The Enterprise's dedication plaque

The more industrial lower levels of the ship were filmed at a Budweiser brewery. The filmmakers filmed the engineering rooms on location, instead of building a set, because they lacked money. For the sequel, the filmmakers shot the warp core scenes at the more advanced-looking National Ignition Facility in California. [5]

The ship's dedication plaque lists the Enterprise as "Starship class", the same as its prime universe counterpart, while the ship's dossier on the official movie website identifies the Enterprise as a Constitution-class heavy cruiser. [6] The Enterprise is canonically identified as a Constitution-class starship in a viewscreen graphic from Star Trek Into Darkness, seen on the main bridge of the USS Vengeance. [7] The website also notes that she is being "held in Beta Testing Ward 956 – approved for combat." The maximum speed of the Enterprise is given as warp 8.

USS Enterprise (alternate reality) under construction, teaser

The USS Enterprise under construction

Co-writer Roberto Orci explained the logic of having the Enterprise being built on Earth rather than in space, noting that components of the ship can be built on Earth and assembled anywhere and that the Enterprise is not "some flimsy yacht that has to be delicately treated and assembled." He also feels that it makes more sense to construct the ship within a natural gravity well, rather than an area that would require an artificial gravity field. [8] Orci made these comments after a teaser trailer that was released prior to the film included footage, unseen in the movie itself, that showed the Enterprise under construction and being welded upon.

Configuration Edit

USS Enterprise (alternate universe) deflector dish

The opening and closing deflector dish

According to the Enterprise Tour and the "Starfleet Vessel Simulator" bonus feature, which was available on a Blu-ray Disc, the crew size of the Constitution-class was 1,100. According to the two sources, the internal configuration was as follows:

The primary hull housed the main bridge on the A deck, the ship's crew quarters were on D and E decks, F deck hosted the transporter room, and the sickbay was located on G deck. The primary hull also included the impulse drive and the science laboratories. The section was protected by phaser turrets on the ventral and dorsal sides. On the main bridge, there were fourteen seated crew positions. Several escape pods were also located in the section.

The secondary hull housed the ship's engineering systems on N and O decks and the hangar deck, capable of housing sixteen shuttlecraft is on R deck. The secondary hull also housed the main torpedo launcher, navigational deflector, and living and work spaces for the engineers. This section was protected by phaser turrets, a forward-facing main torpedo launcher on the neck pylon, and an aft-facing torpedo launcher located on the ventral side of the hull in a recessed alcove. Several escape pods were located in this section, with a majority of them being in the neck pylon. There was a tractor beam located at the rear of the ship which assisted shuttles during landing into the hangar deck.

In both sections, there were corridors and turbolifts. Corridors were equipped with communication terminals, safety features designed to keep the crew alive during emergencies, and emergency power supplies. There were access panels adjacent to doors that could restrict access to a compartment. There were passenger and freight turbolifts on the ship.

The warp nacelles housed the ship's bussard collectors, field coils, and warp coils. The collectors captured interstellar hydrogen via an electromagnetic field and converted the gas into fuel for the ship by a nuclear fission process. The field coils transmited subspace emissions that could be used for the sensor and communication systems. Plasma gases that were generated by the warp coils were expelled by exhaust ports located at the rear of each nacelle.

Size Edit

Before the release of Star Trek on Blu-ray, there were several conflicting, early, behind-the-scenes accounts regarding the scale of the Constitution-class starship.

  • 1,524 – 914.4 meters: In October 2007, the size of the Enterprise was still very much undefined. According to Star Trek illustrator John Eaves, at that time, it was considered to be somewhere between 3,000 and 5,000 feet (914.4 to 1,524 meters). [9] [10]
  • 914.4 meters: On 1 May 2009, a Post Magazine article entitled Star Trek Returns – which included an interview with Russell Earl, the co-VFX supervisor of Star Trek – cited the ship as being 3,000 feet in length (914.4 meters). [11]
  • 762 meters: On 14 January 2008, an Industrial Light & Magic size chart of the Enterprise depicted the ship to be 2,500 feet (762 meters) in length. Alex Jaeger shows this chart in the Starships bonus feature on the Star Trek Blu-ray release. Before the release of the Blu-ray (on his blog), Jaeger had quoted the same figure from an unspecified early chart, adding that the size may have later been somewhat reduced. [12] Experience the Enterprise also used these dimensions: length: 2,500 feet (762 meters), saucer diameter: 1,100 feet (335.3 meters) and height: 625 feet (190.5 meters). [13]
  • 725.35 meters: In November 2009, when Star Trek was released on Blu-ray, the length of the ship as 2,379.75 feet (725.35 meters) was a more prominently portrayed figure in the "Starships" bonus feature. It was also the size given in Star Trek - The Art of the Film (p. 160, Note 4). Gizmodo blog writer Jesus Diaz was the first to reveal this number, citing his source as being "David B." of Bad Robot Productions. [14] Bob Plant of Round 2 Models provided exactly the same figure, saying it was specified by the licensor of their planned model kit, who in turn had obtained it from ILM. [15] "My gosh, yes – JJ did make the ship that big. According to our (very reliable) source, the 'actual' size of the ship is 2,379.75 feet long. It’s a whopper. A 1/2500-scale kit would put the assembled model at about 11.5″ inches long, which is just right for standard size packaging." [16] In a separate interview, Plant also asked Enterprise designer Ryan Church, who said that he was unable to address the issue of the changed size (compared to that of the original series Enterprise) and that ILM or J.J. Abrams could probably better answer the question. [17]
  • 718.4 meters: On 26 May 2009, in an article in CG Society on ILM's visual effects work for the film Star Trek, the length of the ship was stated to be 2,357 feet (718.4 meters). "One challenge was to sell the weight and scale of the ships that ranged from a 30 foot shuttle to the new Enterprise at 2,357 feet long, to the nemesis ship, the Narada, five miles long." [18]
  • 609.6 meters: On 13 May 2009, in an interview for Studio Daily, ILM model supervisor Bruce Holcomb stated that the ship was 2,000 feet in length (609.6 meters). [19]
  • 365.8 meters: In July 2009, in the article on Star Trek in Cinefex #118, it was noted that "the reconfigured ship was a larger vessel than previous manifestations — approximately 1,200-feet-long (365.8 meters) compared to the 947-foot ship (288.6 meters) of the original series." The statement is immediately followed by a quote from Visual Effects Art Director Alex Jaeger: "Once we got the ship built and started putting it in environments, it felt too small. The shuttle bay gave us a clear relative scale – shuttlecraft initially appeared much bigger than we had imagined – so we bumped up the Enterprise scale, which gave her a grander feel and allowed us to include more detail."
  • 294 meters: In May 2013, a 1:500 scale model was released by Revell of the USS Enterprise. The model was 588 millimeters long. This equals to a length of 294 meters or 965 feet. [20]

Apocrypha Edit

The 2013 Star Trek video game shows unseen areas of the ship such as the observation lounge, officers' quarters, and the Jefferies tubes.

The video game Star Trek D-A-C features various named Constitution-class ships. According to the game, the ships could also be armed with quantum torpedoes in the late-2250s. According to the mobile phone video game, Star Trek: The Mobile Game, the Enterprise was equipped with a massively powerful phase cannon capable of slicing through and destroying multiple starships.

USS Cairo (β), a Constitution-class ship used as a Starfleet Academy training vessel in 2255, is mentioned the novel The Delta Anomaly.

According to a MSD schematic seen on the cover of the comic "Scotty", a typical Constitution-class starship had:

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