Belknap class cruiser

U.S.S. Sovereign NCC 2505, derivative of U.S.S. Decatur. CGI by Andrew Brown
  • Belknap class strike cruiser:
  • Actual Length: 290m
  • Actual Height: 67.5m
  • Actual Beam: 141.7m

    The Belknap class cruiser was designed as a tactical companion to the Constitution class. The first ship of the class, USS Decatur NX 2500, was launched in February 2267. Originally it was intended for the Decatur class to be a smaller version of the Constitution class. The design came about during experiements to improve upon the Saladin class destroyer by adding an additional nacelle; from the Pompey class NX 506 this evolved into prototype NX 2500 USS Decatur. In 2269 this role specification was changed. The Decatur was to act as a prototype for what would become the Belknap class of cruiser. The redesign of Decatur to its new role allowed for new pioneering technologies to be tried. One of these was the advent of linear warp drive. NX 2500 was fitted with the first LN 64 warp drive units which allowed her to reach unprecedented speeds; due to the classified nature of the development project, these achievements were not publicised.

    In 2269 progress was concentrated on the Cruiser design; the CA 2500 design order was increased to twenty units. By the 2270s the CA 2500 designation was now CS 2500 with the prototype Decatur reallocated as a training vessel for tactical and strategic education. November 2270 saw the first batch ordered and additional vessels ordered in 2280 after the Ascension class light dreadnoughts were ordered. NX 2500 was actually used as a testbed for the Ascension class, testing the three nacelle feasibility and design concept.

    Construction work was divided between Cosmadyne Yards of Boston and Cameron Naval Yards of Deneb V; when the last unit of batch 2 rolled out in 2284 each yard had produced 14 vessels. The Belknap class showed its abilities during the Tabula Rasa campaign. The success of the Belknap class inspired the later Impervious class and the Ascension class light dreadnought and later Athabaska class assault carrier.

    The Belknap class cruisers are allocated on the periphery of the Federation. These are the highest link in the standard chain of command from patrol vessel to escort to frigate to Belknap. In the 24th Century a program of refurbishment has been initiated to bring the Belknap class up to date. Talks are also underway for a possible third batch to replace lost ships. The design has already successfully spawned the Ascension class light dreadnought, Athabaska class assault carrier and proposed Ulysses class super dreadnought.

    Belknap is the basic model of the Belknap family of tactical ships (as per the tagline sold by the companies supplying them). The commonality of design and parts helps to speed up construction and maintenance. Non-standard tactical classes are designated for disposal under the Starfleet Review 2312, including Menahga/S’Harien/Miguellanes class and any remaining Federation class DN.

    Belknap class has been upgraded with Flight IV (Dahlgren variant) to include mission modules that can be beamed in/installed rapidly using Starfleet modularity. This can allow for MACO/Security Operations personnel to come onboard and improved transporter quality in cargo allows for rapid conversion to barracks. This innovation came from Massive Dynamic as part of their selling point to Admiral Khmelnova to standardise the tactical fleet. This frees up the replacement of the troubled Menahga class and reclassifies Belknap Flight IV as Flexible Combat Ship (variation on Danish L16 Absalon Flexible Support ship and the RN Type 26 Global Combat Ship).

    Author notes: The new flexibility is based on the Danish StanFlex modular payload system that allows a rapid re-role of their warships. The Americans have a similar system with their Littoral Combat Ships as shown in the 21st Century Warship documentary on NatGeo. LCS are able to perform the following roles: “including anti-submarine warfare, mine countermeasures, anti-surface warfare, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, homeland defense, maritime intercept, special operations, and logistics.” (Incidently the hullform prototype for the Freedom class LCS was the Destriero ( which I saw in 2009 at Devonport naval yard. All I can say is look at Destriero and then LCS Freedom).

    The U.S.S. Decatur NX-2500 was once again used as the basis for the new variant. She was drydocked at the Andoria facilities of Massive Dynamic and had modifications made during the early years of the 24th Century. This was the coming of age of the Belknap design, learning the lessons from the Metar Campaign. The result was realised in U.S.S. Dahlgren NX-2567, a hull taken out from the Athabasca production run. This slightly heavier Belknap variant had new sensors as well as the above described flexibility. The construction run is still underway, with ships still joining the fleet.

    Below is a list of Belknap class vessels: (More ships to be added. NCC numbers subject to change)

    U.S.S. Decatur NCC 2500
    Decatur 2500 Prototype vessel of the class. Training vessel at Starbase 7.
    Belknap 2501 First production vessel.
    Bradley 2502
    Khirirat 2503
    Haversham 2504
    Sovereign 2505
    Concord 2506
    Rishiri 2507
    Essahir 2508
    Jarrett 2509
    Fahrion 2510
    Estocin 2511
    Matsura 2512
    Baikal 2513
    Haven 2514
    Briza 2515
    Mikuma 2516
    Shangri-La 2517
    Hai Din 2518
    Raan 2519
    Impervious 2530 Sub class - Belknap II.
    Delphin 2537
    Seneca 2538
    Ki Rin 2539
    Cicala 2540
    Sur Cha 25xx
    Mira 2542
    Aveley 2543
    Alor 25xx
    Excel 2545 Sub class- Belknap III.
    Mikhail Kutuzov 2546
    Vanguard 2548 Lost.
    Jingyuan 2549
    Shiloh 2551
    Cowpens 2553
    Dahlgren 2567 Sub class - Belknap IV. Developments from Ascension Flight II.
    Chirkov 25xx
    Suffren 25xx

    Belknap Command Cruiser Variant

    Author/Uploader: chrystoff

    I've always wanted to use the Belknap as a command cruiser, but it was lacking the little something that would set it apart. Like a command bridge, and maybe an extra bank of phasers. So, I got the P81/Atrahasis Ascension class dreadnought, got rid of the 3rd nacelle, and the Belknap Command cruiser was born. Has the cool command bridge, and an extra bank of lower aft secondary hull phasers. GAFY's textures give it a commanding look.

    Prototype USS Decatur NX-2500.

    U.S.S. Belknap CGI Renders by Pheylan.

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