"Cargile" class heavy battle cruiser
Inscription on Commissioning plaque:
"A Howell never runs in the face of danger. He walks, very swiftly!"
-- Thurston Howell III.
Max. Warp: 7.8
Max. Impulse: 0.8 lightspeed.
Crew: 120; 150 after refit.
Armaments: Three banks of heavy lasers (fwd, port, and starboard); two accelerator cannons (fwd, aft). After refit in 2263, armaments changed to three banks of dual-mount phasers (fwd, port, and starboard); two photon torpedo launchers (fwd, aft).
Status: Class vessel comissioned in 2246, 24 produced between 2246 and 2259. All Cargiles refit to upgrade armaments starting in 2263, refit completed in 2267. Four were destroyed in action, three were missing in action, and the remainder were converted to Sands configuration in 2281.
About Ship: The Constitution class was intended to be the backbone of the fleet when it was introduced in the mid 2240s. Since Starfleet expected to produce only 12 Constitution class ships, however, it was felt that a smaller, less expensive vessel ought to be produced to supplement the fleet of Constitution class starships.
The Cargile class shares some design features with the Constitution class ships, but is significantly smaller. Its laboratory space is severely limited relative to the larger vessels, but it was similarly armed, albeit with lower-powered beam weapons and fewer torpedoes. The Cargile class was significantly faster in cruise and more agile than the Constitution class, but could not match it's pace at emergency speeds.
During peacetime, the Cargiles were expected to follow in the wake of the Constitution class vessels and perform detailed studies of newly-explored solar-systems or bring in follow-up teams to newly-discovered civilizations. In wartime, the Cargiles were expected to fan out in front of the fleet to perform "reconnaissance-in-force".
The Cargiles served for for 25 years, losing four vessels to enemy action, and with three additional vessels missing in action. In 2281, the Cargiles were replaced by several more capable vessels and were converted to Sands class specification in 2281.
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