The Ptolemy Class began as an offshoot of the Saladin Class based off the highly successful Constitution Class parts. The Ptolemy Class began as a frigate, employing the finalized design but with a downsized engineering hull. It was successful in test simulations, and was given the go ahead with the then Repulse Class project. One prototype was built and failed to live up to expectations. One of the reasons was that the shuttlebay was too small to fit the standard compliment of shuttlecraft required. The warp core was made too small to handle the speed requirements called by it. So in effect, much like the Cheyenne prototype of a century later it was too slow to work with the ships it was supposed to. The solution to the problem was to upgrade the primary hull and get rid of the engineering hull and move that equipment into the primary hull. Most of the weapons and scientific equipment was gutted, and as a by-product the pylons were too long and flimsy to effectively support the nacelles, and while it did fix the speed limitations, it resulted in the nacelles nearly flying off leaving the ship behind. Meanwhile, the frigate role was not filled, and the Repulse returned to spacedock again for weapons installations. The weapons installation posed a problem, and it was ultimately decided to add an extra deck to the whole ship. This was the removal of the first upgrade of the hull. The ship was successful in all requirements. But then tragedy struck. On a routine mission, the weapons were fired for 'unspecified' reasons and one of the phaser banks overloaded on the weapons deck, exploded, and destroyed 1/4 of the ship. The Repulse the returned to spacedock again, deemed in repairable and was decommissioned. One of the chief engineers of Utopia Planitia suggested a modification of the basic configuration and add a 'neck' and a tow pad to the underside of the primary hull to convert it into a cargo hauler to replace the aging Moskva Class haulers. The first prototype, the Ptolemy, was so successful Starfleet ordered 30 more units built and the decommissioning of the Moskva Class. They served Starfleet well into the next 40 years until the new Belarus Class took over their duties. Most were sold to planet navies. Even though, about 1/4 of them continued to serve for the next 10 years, until they were retired. One still exists in the Starfleet Museum.
[ May 20, 2002, 17:23: Message edited by: The Defiant ]
If you think it sucks, why did you post it?
Or are you just so starved for attention that you're willing to invite having someone drop an anvil on you?
-------------------- "The best defense is not a good offense. The best defense is a terrifyingly accurate and devastatingly powerful offense, with multiply-overlapping kill zones and time-on-target artillery strikes." -- Laurence, Archangel of the Sword
Registered: Mar 1999
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It's just... lacking something. So I was extravagant and said it sucks. I don' think it does (runs for cover).
I'd like to read a more requirements-oriented class history, really. Not "let's throw parts together and see what we get", but more like "We need to defend the new trade route to the Mypiloa cluster - should we build sixty light ships, or twelve heavy ones? The light ones would be more effective, but what sort of armament do they need to carry? What sorts of engines can we afford? Can we omit the shuttlebay? Do we design for growth potential or for simplicity? Okay, here's the end product, and like all ships we build, it of course meets the specs we wrote for it - but let's see if it does what it was planned to do, which is a different thing altogether!"...
And I just can't believe that Starfleet would design a ship for one role first, then series-produce it for a completely different role just because it happened to fit that role better. This doesn't happen in the real world. Sure, the hulk of this Repulse class testbed could have served as a testbed for some systems of the Ptolemies - but the Ptolemies most probably wouldn't have resembled the testbed sufficiently to justify including it in the Ptolemy class history at all.