The Wasp was intended as a successor to the Daedauls class. The lead ship of the new class, USS Wasp, was launched in December 2173 and commissioned in November 2174.
The large primary hull of the Wasp class, and the overall increase in size over the Daedalus class was intended to improve the range and habitablility of the design when compared to its predecessor. Another intention was to provide greater crew safety than on previous designs. This increased safety was demonstrated in 2177 when the USS Cumberland suffered a warp core containment breach while on a survey mission. The secondary hull was evacuated, and the primary hull was then successfully detached and maneuvered to a safe distance by the time the warp core exploded. No casualties were sustained during evacuation and separation. The command hull of Cumberland (which had been christened “The Deathstar” by the crew) entered orbit around Theta Draconis VII 5 months later. She was subsequently towed to spacedock, where a new engineering hull was attached, and the ship was relaunched 14 months after the accident.
The warp performance of the Wasp class was worse than expected. This was due to two causes, firstly owing to production delays the first eight ships were forced to use three FFTL- 2A warp engines rather than two of the more powerful FFTL-3A warp engines as had been intended. Although in trials the three engine fit was successful, in active service the Warp fields proved hard to keep aligned. When the FFTL-3A engined ships finally appeared they were found to be only marginally more capable. As a result the last 5 ships in the projected 20 ship class were canceled after construction had already begun. All 8 Mk 1 ships built were converted to the Mk 2 standard as it was a more reliable and simpler to maintain engine installation.
Of the 15 ships built, 3 were lost in the line of duty and 1 is overdue and presumed lost. Five ships were later sold to commercial concerns and converted to starliners or transports. After being decommissioned in 2217, USS Kearsage was restored to her original three-nacelle configuration and is now on display at the Starfleet Museum.
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Commissioned Ships (Mk 1)
|USS Wasp NCC-223
USS Decatur NCC-224
USS Ranger NCC-225
USS Kearsarge NCC-226
USS Jupiter NCC-227
USS Ericsson NCC-228
USS Cumberland NCC-229
USS Mars NCC-230