Construction and launch Edit
On stardate 49827.5, the Sovereign-class Enterprise-E, seen as the pinnacle of Starfleet ship design, was launched from San Francisco Fleet Yards, with Captain Jean-Luc Picard in command once more. Much of the crew of the Enterprise-D had been reassigned there, including almost the entire senior staff. The sole exception was Lieutenant Commander Worf, who had already transferred to the space station Deep Space 9. (Star Trek: First Contact)
In service Edit
After almost a year in space, the Enterprise was ordered to the Romulan Neutral Zone during the second Borg incursion. Starfleet was officially concerned about possible Romulan military action since many of the available ships had been diverted to fight the Borg, but in reality, Starfleet was concerned about Picard's presence at the battle.
However, shortly after the Federation fleet engaged the Borg cube, Picard disobeyed orders and returned to Earth to assist the fleet. Once there, Picard became aware of a battle-induced weakness in the Borg ship due to his residual link to the Collective, and ordered all the ships in the fleet to concentrate their fire on that section of the ship. As a result, the Borg vessel was destroyed and the Battle of Sector 001 was a victory for Starfleet.
Before the Borg cube was destroyed, it launched a second vessel towards Earth. This ship created a temporal vortex and traveled back to the year 2063 in order to stop Zefram Cochrane from launching his historic warp ship, the Phoenix. Their hope was to prevent first contact with the Vulcans, and assimilate Earth before the Federation could be formed to resist them.
The Enterprise, protected from the alterations in the timeline by the vortex, chased the Borg into the past and destroyed their ship, then sent an away team to help Cochrane repair the Phoenix.
However, the ship's sensors and shields were damaged during the trip through the vortex, and unbeknownst to the crew, several Borg drones transported aboard the Enterprise before their ship exploded. They began to assimilate the ship's engineering section below Deck 10. They also attempted to build an interplexing beacon on the Enterprise deflector dish to contact the Borg Collective of that time period.
A three-man team led by Captain Picard stopped the beacon from being completed by separating the deflector from the ship by disengaging the magnetic locks and then destroying it. However, the Borg's ability to adapt to the handheld weapons of the Enterprise crew made stopping them impossible, and Picard realized that the fight was a lost cause. After great consideration, he reluctantly ordered the evacuation of the ship, and activated the ship's auto-destruct sequence to prevent the Borg from interfering with the Phoenix flight.
He eventually confronted a Borg Queen in main engineering, only to find, to his horror, that the Borg had apparently turned Lieutenant Commander Data to their side. He aborted the auto-destruct and fired three quantum torpedoes at the Phoenix, ostensibly intending to destroy it. However, the torpedoes completely missed their target, and Data revealed that he had in fact simply been deceiving the Borg. After mockingly repeating the Borg mantra, Data smashed open a plasma coolant tank, flooding engineering with plasma coolant and liquifying the Borg Queen and all the drones in engineering. This apparently disabled all the other drones on the ship, and allowed Data and Picard to recapture the vessel.
The Enterprise crew was successful in helping Cochrane make his flight and instigate First Contact with Vulcans. The ship then returned to 2373 where she was repaired and returned to service. (Star Trek: First Contact)
With the Federation Diplomatic Corps attempting to negotiate an end to the Dominion War, the Enterprise was relegated to a diplomatic role, much to the dissatisfaction of Captain Picard. In 2375, the Enterprise was conducting a diplomatic mission with the Evora, a new Federation protectorate species, and was scheduled to resolve a dispute in the Goren system when her crew became embroiled in a plot by the Son'a, assisted by Starfleet Admiral Matthew Dougherty, to forcibly remove the Ba'ku from their isolated homeworld in the Briar Patch.
The Son'a turned out to be vengeful former Ba'ku who had been exiled from the planet after a failed coup a century prior. They planned to harvest metaphasic radiation from the planet's ring system, and needed Starfleet's cooperation to carry out the plan. Captain Picard felt the relocation of the Ba'ku was a severe violation of the Prime Directive and resigned his commission, leading a team of Enterprise crewmembers to the Ba'ku planet to prevent their capture and removal.
Commander William T. Riker was instructed to take the Enterprise and contact the Federation Council to alert them of Admiral Dougherty's treachery. However, the Enterprise was required to navigate an area of space known as the Briar Patch in order to contact Starfleet Command. This area disrupted communications as well as the ship's impulse drive.
Two Son'a battle cruisers were sent by Ahdar Ru'afo to intercept the Enterprise before she left the Briar Patch, and severely damaged the ship in the process. The warp core was ejected in order to seal a dangerous tear in subspace created by the isolytic weaponry of the Son'a.
Riker was able to outwit the Son'a by collecting metreon gas native to the Briar Patch then venting it behind the ship. When the Son'a used their weapons, the gas exploded, destroying one ship and severely damaging the other. Geordi La Forge half-jokingly commented that the tactic could become known as the Riker Maneuver. (Star Trek: Insurrection)
The Enterprise visited Earth for several days in 2376, around the time the Pathfinder Project made contact with the USS Voyager, and conducted a mission about seven light years from Earth the following year. According to Deanna Troi, it was an important mission, but the objective was never discussed. (VOY: "Pathfinder", "Life Line")
Sometime between 2375 and 2379 the Enterprise underwent a major refit. Four additional aft-facing photon torpedo tubes were added, along with one more forward-facing tube: a twin launcher aft of the bridge, a single launcher above the aft hangar deck, and a single launcher at the forward base of the bridge terracing. The bridge was refitted with handrails and the consoles were improved across the port and starboard walls with more detailed displays. Additionally, new nacelle pylons were fitted at that time, slightly longer, broader and more sharply swept than the originals, and fitted with four additional phaser arrays.
While en route, the ship detected unusual positronic signals from the Kolarin system, discovering another Soong-type android, the prototype B-4. Shortly following, the Enterprise was ordered to Romulus for a meeting with the new Praetor, Shinzon, who apparently wanted to initiate peace talks. Both the discovery of B-4 and the peace overtures turned out to be a ruse to capture Captain Picard and discover tactical positions of Starfleet vessels.
Once it became clear Shinzon was going to use his starship, the Scimitar, to destroy all life on Earth and wage war on the Federation, the Enterprise was to join Star Fleet Battle Group Omega and make a stand against Shinzon. Shinzon caught up to the Enterprise in the Bassen Rift, and in the ensuing confrontation, the vessel was severely damaged, including a major hull breach on the bridge, destroying the viewscreen and controls and disabling the warp core.
As a last resort, Picard ordered Counselor Deanna Troi to take control of the Enterprise and have it ram the Scimitar, causing the destruction of much of the saucer section's forward area. The collision disabled the Scimitar, but Shinzon, driven by vengeance, activated his deadly thalaron weapon and trained it on the Enterprise.
The weapon was overloaded and the Scimitar was destroyed due to interference from Commander Data, who sacrificed himself to save the Enterprise, Picard, and, indirectly, Earth.
Technical information Edit
In her original configuration, the Enterprise-E was under 700 meters long and had 24 decks according to Jean-Luc Picard, although Deck 26 was reported as being controlled by the Borg. She was equipped with twelve phaser arrays and five torpedo tubes.
By 2379, the Enterprise-E had undergone at least one refit, including four additional phaser arrays and five additional torpedo tubes. The number of decks was also increased by five to a minimum of 29. (Star Trek Nemesis) However, if the ship did have a Deck 26 during the Borg attack, despite the number mentioned by Picard, then it could have also had a Deck 29, without any change in the interim.
The ship could be controlled by a manual steering column located on the bridge. (Star Trek: Insurrection) She was also the first Enterprise to be equipped with an Emergency Medical Hologram. (Star Trek: First Contact)
The Enterprise carried a newer design of shuttlecraft as well as numerous other forms of transportation including a warp-capable captain's yacht, the Cousteau, (Star Trek: Insurrection) and a special multipurpose shuttlecraft, the Argo. (Star Trek Nemesis) The yacht was installed as a part of the saucer section, and detached upon deployment. Other auxiliary craft were launched from two shuttlebays; one at the aft end of the secondary hull, and another near the aft end of the primary hull.
Command crew Edit
- Commanding Officer (CO)
- First Officer/Executive Officer (XO)
- Second Officer/Operations Officer/Science Officer
- Chief Engineer
- Lieutenant Commander Geordi La Forge
- Tactical Officer/Security chief
- Chief Medical Officer (CMO)
- Commander Beverly Crusher
- Commander Deanna Troi (2372-2379)
Background information Edit
Following Star Trek Generations, the six-foot filming model for the Galaxy-class USS Enterprise-D had been modified to have the registry number read "NCC-1701-E". Penny Juday, the archivist at Paramount Pictures, had no explanation for this change as of 19 October 2001. (TNG Season 2, Disc 6: "Inside Starfleet Archives"). It turned out that the change was done at ILM by John Goodson prior to crating up the model after completion of Generations, presumably on the assumption that the new Enterprise might be a Galaxy-class ship as well and having the number changed over already would save whoever did the special effects the trouble of having to change it over themselves. (Industrial Light & Magic: Into the Digital Realm, p. 60)
The Enterprise-E was, in fact, the only replacement for a previously-destroyed "hero" ship that was not of the same class as its predecessor (as opposed to USS Enterprise-A, the USS Defiant (NCC-75633), and the Delta Flyer II). It was principally designed by John Eaves under the supervision of Herman Zimmerman. Using Eaves's sketches, Rick Sternbach drafted the blueprints for a ten-foot physical model. Eaves and Zimmerman also supervised the interior design of the bridge, engineering, and corridors, although many sets from Star Trek: Voyager were also reused during Star Trek: First Contact and Star Trek: Insurrection. Though the Enterprise-E was mentioned in several episodes of Voyager, and once on Deep Space Nine, the ship was never seen outside of the films. However, the interior of the ship is visible in a communication with Deanna Troi in "Life Line".
The ten-foot physical model, constructed under the supervision of John Goodson at Industrial Light & Magic (ILM), was used for visual effects shots during Star Trek: First Contact, alongside a CGI version. In Star Trek: Insurrection and Star Trek Nemesis, CGI versions of the ship completely replaced the physical model.
The Nemesis CGI model included several modifications designed by John Eaves. In addition to the new weapons mentioned above, the warp pylons were slightly modified and the connection between the primary and secondary hulls near the main shuttlebay was made more sleek.
The model of the Enterprise-E from Star Trek: First Contact (Lot #107) was sold at the 40 Years of Star Trek: The Collection auction on October 5, 2006 for US$132,000 including the buyer's premium (the winning bid was US$110,000). 
There has been some confusion about the number of decks on the Enterprise-E. The construction blueprints of the filming miniature created for Star Trek: First Contact explicitly label 23 decks. In the film, Picard told Lily Sloane that the ship had 24 decks, while the master systems display on the bridge allows either interpretation. Earlier on, however, Daniels had reported that the Borg are in control of Decks 26 through 11. Michael and Denise Okuda say in their text commentary on the film, during the scene in which Picard tells Lilly about the 24 decks: "Unfortunately, earlier in this film, we are told that the ship has at least 26 decks. We can't imagine that Picard doesn't know his own ship, so we theorize that the other two decks are top secret for some reason. Either that, or his memory was affected by his earlier Borg assimilation. It certainly couldn't be a goof, because the design of the ship changed slightly during filming."
In Star Trek Nemesis, the Remans beam onto Deck 29. This could mean that Picard did not tell Lily the truth and there are actually more than 24 decks, or that more decks were added to the ship prior to Star Trek Nemesis. It may also be the case that Picard was counting only finished decks, as there could have been decks left unfinished for future expansion. Also, there was the possibility that Picard may have intentionally withheld or lied about certain aspects of the Enterprise-E design in the event that Lily was assimilated by the Borg.
Also in Nemesis, the Viceroy fell several decks down a maintenance shaft. Because the Viceroy and the other Remans boarded the ship on Deck 29, it had been assumed that the ensuing battle took place on Deck 29 and that the Viceroy fell from that deck, implying that there could be 35 or more decks, or that the normal deck scheme was altered in some way that the ship could have more named decks than it measured in height.
This was not the case as signage on the corridors where the phaser fight between the Remans and the Enterprise officers took place indicate they were actually on Deck 9. This suggested that the two parties encountered each other about halfway to their destinations (Enterprise officers to Deck 29, the Remans to the bridge on Deck 1).
It is apparent from lineup charts that every new starship Enterprise is slightly longer than the previous one. In Star Trek: First Contact, Picard informs Lily Sloane that the Enterprise-E is "almost seven hundred meters long", in accordance with its intended size of 2248 feet (685 meters). John Eaves describes the rationale as follows:
When the "E" had a final approved design, we drew up a chart of all the Enterprises in profile. Herman [Zimmerman] and I set down a whole bunch of cutouts of the "E" in various sizes to see where this new ship should scale with the others. We found one size that looked appropriate and we put a scale to its length and that would be 2248 feet. Rick [Sternbach] was waiting to do the blueprints and add his creativity to the design, so we gave him a drawing with this one measurement. From there he sized the whole ship ... 
By January 7, 1997, the following dimensions from Rick Sternbach had been added to FAQ: A History of Ships Named Enterprise: 
L of saucer: 1150'
Nacelle span: 700'
L of nacelles: 1056'
The same length, beam and height (in meters) appear on the SciPubTech poster from around the same time. In addition, the length of 2248 feet is listed in at least three comparison charts prepared for Star Trek: First Contact.  It can also be seen in the charts prepared for Star Trek: Insurrection.  The Star Trek Nemesis size chart puts it at 2250 feet, consistent with a size revision during either the filmed or the unfilmed stage of redesign.  
Some missions of the Enterprise during the Dominion War are featured in Behind Enemy Lines, Tunnel Through the Stars and Tales of the Dominion War. Star Trek: A Time to..., set during the year leading up to Star Trek Nemesis, featured the Enterprise being involved in a major political scandal that disgraces the ship and her crew for much of the coming year; the final duology in that series features the Enterprise being ordered to lead an invasion and occupation of a sovereign planet, with resemblance to the current real life world political situation at the time the novels were written. A "TNG relaunch" of sorts followed the Enterprise's activities after Nemesis; the first book in the series, Death in Winter, was released in September 2005. In the DS9 Millennium book series, the Enterprise was destroyed at the Battle of Rigel VII in an alternate future that the intrepid heroes of Deep Space 9 later prevented.
The Enterprise has also featured in many apocryphal productions, including the strategy games Star Trek: Armada, Star Trek: Armada II, Star Trek: Bridge Commander, Star Trek: Starfleet Command III, and Star Trek: Elite Force II, Star Trek: Legacy, and most recently Star Trek Online.
The novel Resistance established that before he left the Enterprise for the Titan, Commander Riker christened this Enterprise's version of the crew lounge, or Ten Forward, as the "Happy Bottom Riding Club," a name Worf absolutely hated and refused to use under any circumstances. The name for the lounge was derived from a similar watering hole that old Earth astronauts used to frequent. It also establishes that every ship's computer that was built during the last decade has encrypted information about Romulan cloaking technology, which can be decrypted in case of emergency using an admiral's code and thus enabling the crew to build a cloaking device. In Resistance the crew separated the saucer section from the engine section (a feat this Enterprise had previously not done) and then cloaked the engine section to engage a Borg cube.
In the novel Ship of the Line, the Enterprise was given to Captain Morgan Bateson for its shakedown cruise, which included war games near the Klingon border. Along for the ride, as temporary chief engineer, was Montgomery Scott.
The timeline for Star Trek Online follows the storyline in the Countdown comic series, with Data as captain into the 25th century. The timeline only mentions that the Enterprise-E left service around 2408, but its ultimate fate was unclear; however, by 2409, a new Odyssey-class vessel is christened Enterprise (NCC-1701-F), implying that her predecessor was decommissioned or destroyed. The short story "Unexpected Honor", written for issue 40 of Star Trek Magazine in May 2012, revealed that the Enterprise-E was destroyed in an ambush by the Undine at Starbase 236 in 2408; among the survivors was Captain Data, who retired from Starfleet to take up teaching on Earth.