In many ways the Asia class is the first modern Heavy cruiser. Only 9 ships were built, and 4 of these received extensive refits between 2262 and 2265, the last of these refitted ships did not decommission until 2287. One ship of the class, in its original configuration served as an Academy training ship until 2298.
In 2190 Starfleet Command proposed a new Cruiser which had twice the volume of the Moskva class. In 2192 development of the new class which was to be optimised for long-term exploration missions began.USS Asia was launched on April 23, 2204, but had an inauspicious entry into service due to a severe maladjustment developed in the antimatter containment field of the matter/antimatter reactor which prevented the warp core from being safely activated for a full year. Once the adjustment problem was solved the new warp core performed extremely well and set the standard for design for the next two centuries. The second ship, USS America commissioned in 2206, and the three other “continental” ships were commissioned in the following year.
Although the class carried the most advanced technology of their time, they were intended for a primarily exploration role, as such the weapons fit was light. On either side of the saucer were two banks of FEL-5 lasers, and the primary hull also held four missile launch bays.
The Asia class was one of the first to be fully equipped with subspace radio and celerotronic computer technology. The class also introduced significant advances in computer, life support, and power systems; these improved systems were soon also adopted on the more military roled Cruiser classes. During the 2210’s it became clear that the Asia class was much better suited for exploration missions than relatively less expensive contemporary, the Lancaster class, which was being developed.
Ships of this class operated mostly around the Federation border in the Alpha Quadrant, as this area was deemed to be safer than the Beta Quadrant for these relatively lightly armed vessels. In 2219 the USS America was ambushed by two Klingon D-3 cruisers and became the only ship of the class that suffered heavy battle damage, she was retired from service as a result.
Four ships of the Asia class were reconstructed from 2262 to 2265. This reconstruction of the ASIA class paved the way for the later refit program for the Constitution class as it was just as in depth. Only the internal arrangement of the secondary hull and the core of the primary hull remained substantially unchanged. A novel, more-efficient warp drive was installed and the ships were fitted with phasers and photon torpedo tubes. The Refitting was successful in that it was 50% less expensive than building a completely new starship and almost as capable. Ultimately, even the reconstructed ships could not compete with newer designs for long and the last Asia class ship was decommissioned in 2287.
USS Thule was the last of the class to enter service, and was retired in 2255. As a result she was never refitted, she subsequently saw service as an Academy training ship until 2298, before being scrapped due to to her poor condition. The only surviving Asia class ship, USS Europe is now on display at the Starfleet Museum.
- Class: X
- Year: 2204
- Ship Source: The Starfleet Museum
- Ship Datasheet: Download PDF
- NCC-945 USS Asia
- NCC-991 USS America
- NCC-1002 USS Africa
- NCC-1003 USS EUROPE
- NCC-1004 USS AUSTRALIA
- NCC-1073 USS JEFFERSON
- NCC-1074 USS MANHATTAN
- NCC-1105 USS YUKON
- NCC-1106 USS THULE