The Cygnus Class entered service in 2246 as a Command Courier version of the highly successful Saladin/Hermes class. The Intention was that an Admiral could use the ship as a sector command post. To this end the design was given the FWC-1 warp drive, giving it more power than its half sisters, the weapons were entirely laser based to make more room for the Admiral’s facilities and command centre.
In 2250, the USS Columbia was converted to a more heavily armed configuration as an experiment to evaluate the benefits of an FWC-1 powered heavy destroyer type. These trials amounted to nothing, but the Columbia was left in this configuration, and was assigned as a Destroyer Leader to a flotilla of Saladins in the Klingon Border Area.
The outbreak of the Four Years War saw a major change in Starfleer Operational Procedure, a number of the Cygnus class ships were involved in near disasters in 2252, as operating independently without escorts as they had been designed to do made them tempting targets. In a fleet role the additional speed of the Cygnus was wasted, so it was ordered to convert the other 8 mk1 vessels to mk2 standards.
- Ship Source:Starfleet Technical Manual
- Ship Datasheet:Download PDF