Designer:  Robert C. Dunehew. E-mail [email protected]

Jupiter class heavy exploration cruiser

Inscription on Commissioning Plaque:

"Waste no more time arguing what a good man should be. Be one."
--Marcus Aurelius
General Specifications:
Length:   253.5m
Width:   153.75m
Height:  74.25m
Max Warp:  7
Cruise:  5.6
Max Impulse:  0.52 lightspeed
Crew:  198

Armament: Four heavy lasers (one each fwd, port, starboard, and aft); and one accelerator cannon (fwd).

Type: Heavy Exploration Cruiser

Status: 9 Jupiter class vessels were built between 2220 and 2226. One was destroyed, two are missing, and the rest were retired from service when the Constitution class heavy cruiser was introduced.

About Ship: As early as 2198, Starfleet began petitioning the Federation council for a replacement to the Bohr class cruiser. The Bohr, although an improvement upon the Daedalus, was based on outmoded technology, and was due for replacement. The council argued that there was no need for a heavy cruiser, and that the Federation budget would not allow construction of a new vessel of that type until at least 2230. Starfleet continued to design improved cruisers, but none were allowed to enter production until 2218.

In 2218, The Federation made contact with the Klingons. Due to a diplomatic blunder, tensions rose to a fever pitch. When a Klingon Smilodon battle cruiser fired upon the diplomatic mission's Bohr class cruiser, the U.S.S. Frisch, it attempted to flee. The resulting game of cat-and-mouse that ensued ended with the destruction of the Frisch, with no appreciable damage inflicted upon its attacker. The Federation council ordered Starfleet to immediately begin production of a new heavy cruiser capable of facing the Smilodon.

Starfleet had been designing (and not producing) improved-capability heavy cruisers since the turn of the century. There were two in development at this time. One would not be ready for production until 2240 (this design eventually evolved into the Constitutiion class heavy cruiser). The other, the Jupiter, used proven technology and could enter production immediately. As a stop-gap effort, an additional laser was installed on all Bohr class cruisers until the Jupiter could replace them in front-line service.

The Jupiter class heavy cruiser was equipped with the latest advances in shields, drives, and armaments. The shields were nearly three times as effective as those of the Bohr class. Offensive armaments consisted of four heavy lasers, each with approximately four times the output of those used in the Bohr. These lasers fired in overlapping arcs, allowing two, and sometimes three beams to be trained on a single target at once. The Accelerator cannon was of the latest type, including "Photon Blue" type launchers. The Photon Blue launchers gave the Jupiter's accelerator cannon warheads nearly twice the velocity of the older design. The Jupiter's primary advantage over the Smilodon, however, lay in its speed. The Jupiter was capable of besting the Smilodon in any such contest, with greater impulse, cruise, and emergency speeds. The Jupiter, though a large vessel, was also fairly agile, much more so than its Klingon counterpart.

The Jupiter class entered service in 2220. One (U.S.S. Vishnu) was destroyed in a fire fight with three Smilodons supported by six Bobcat destroyers. One of the of the attacking Smilodons and all of the Bobcats were destroyed in the action. The Vishnu was the only Jupiter class vessel lost to enemy action. Two Jupiters (U.S.S. Amida and U.S.S. Saturn) were lost during exploration missions, and the remaining six were retired from active service when the Constitution class entered service during the mid-2240s. All but one Jupiter class hull was scrapped. The remaining vessel (U.S.S. Odin) has been demilitarized and is part of the Starfleet Academy's museum of Space Flight in orbit around Earth's moon.

Return to "Ships Starfleet Never Built."

Return to the Starship Catalogue.

Hosted by