|Affiliation||United Federation of Planets / Starfleet|
|Year Beginning Service||Mid 2330's|
|Armament||5 Type IX Collimated Phaser Array, 3 Photon Torpedo Launchers (All Forward)|
|Top Speeds||Warp 6.0 (Standard Cruising), Warp 9.0 (Maximum Cruising), Warp 9.1 (Maximum Attainable)|
|Impulse Engines||Two Impulse Systems|
The design for New Orleans was approved in 2335. The lead vessel's keel was laid in 2340 and construction took a little under four years. Shakedown and acceptance trials added another year and the lead ship entered service in 2345 followed over the next few months by her sisters. Additional batches were ordered between 2343 and 2346.
Many of Starfleet's vessels leverage the design philosophies of the New Orleans class, especially the Galaxy class. Her primary and secondary hulls, as well as warp nacelles, became the "stabdard" that future vessels, such as the Nebula and Galaxy were designed from. A controversial decision was made to not mount any photon torpedo launchers on this vessel, instead relying on seven Type IX phasers for offensive punch. This was decided due to the fact that too much internal space would have to be dedicated to torpedo launching mechanisms and storage, impacting on the scientific suite. As things were "quiet" at the time, and such vessels were not designed to operate on the extreme frontier, the tradeoff was considered acceptable.
The New Orleans class mounts what is a direct descendent of the Ambassador class warp drive, the same with the impulse drive system. Top speed is structurally limited by the torpedo launchers to Warp 9.1, though the vessel is able to maintain a top cruising speed of Warp 9.0 and a standard speed of Warp 6.0.
When the Federation went to war with the Cardassian Union in 2356, the lack of a photon torpedo launcher became a significant liability to the New Orleans class, which suddenly found themselves unable to defend themselves against Cardassian ships equipped with such weapons. All New Orleans vessels were immediately withdrawn from areas on conflict and redistributed to safer areas of the Federation. However, it was immediately obvious that this situation could not be tolerated. The ship's phasers and shielding were equal to the Ambassador class, which was deeply involved in fleet operations against the Cardassians. The ASDB convened a special design team to figure out how to add photon torpedo launchers to the New Orleans class as fast as possible.In two months of round-the-clock meetings, the team figured out a way to mount three photo torpedo launchers in special "bolt-on" tubes to the ship. Two were placed on the top of the saucer, and a third placed underneath the secondary hull.
The new photon torpedo launchers greatly improved the combat effectiveness of the New Orleans class while sacrificing none of her scientific and exploratory capabilities. The initial ships modified suffered some minor reductions in top speed and maneuverability due to stresses imposed on the mounting brackets and the effect of the pods on the ship's warp dynamics. Launchers were immediately built and all of the ships were sent to the yards for modification. This process took about a month and the ships were then deployed to the front lines with groups of Steamrunner class.
The New Orleans carries the M-14 Isolinear II computer system. A significant improvement on the M-12 Duotronic unit, it packs more processing power and storage capacity in the same space. The new system uses isolinear optical chips composed of linear memory crystal material. This new technology is expected to replace duotronic-based computers in all new starship and computer systems.
Ships Using This Class in Star Trek: Second Fleet Online
There are no ships in ST:SFO of this class.
Info and Specs from Ships of the Starfleet, Volume IIPictures from Memory Beta and Trekmania