The Cygnus Class entered service in 2248 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.
Compared to the Mk1, the Mk2 mounted a pair of rear firing Lasers and also added a pair of FAC-2 accelerator cannons at the expense of the Flag Cabins. The extensive Combat Information Centre initially fitted for the use of an Admirial was retained for suadron level operation command.
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.
The nine Cygnus class ships performed valiantly throughout the war, and in many ways paved the way for the later Strike Cruisers which adopted the role of command ship for a Destroyer squadron. Post war the future of these ships was uncertain, as the fleet backed away from a purely military posture, it was eventually decided to convert all of the ships to Hermes specifications to make good the losses suffered by that class.
- Ship Source:Based on Class from Starfleet Technical Manual
- Ship Datasheet:Download PDF