Inscription on Commissioning Plaque:
"We choose to do this not because it is easy, but because it is hard."
General Specifications:-- Robert F. Kennedy
Armaments: One laser cannon turret, fwd.
Type: Exploration Frigate
Status: Twelve produced starting in 2129. Last example produced was "Achilles". Registry numbers were assigned according to old Earth Navy custom, with a prefix of FE (Frigate, Exploration) and non-consecutive series numbers assigned as the keels were laid, from 23 to 71. Four were lost in exploration, three were destroyed due to enemy action during the Romulan war. The remainder were re-fit to Ptolemy class standards.
About Ship: The Perseus was intended to be a replacement for the Valiant class explorers, constructed under the auspices of United Earth SPace Administration (UESPA). The original order was for sixteen vessels, but production was halted at twelve when UESPA scientists discovered the advantage of offsetting the nacelles from the thrust centerline. The Perseus class was redesigned and redesignated the Ptolemy class.
Designed prior to the invention of transporters, the Perseus used a landing craft (LC) that was essentially a conical reentry vehicle. Propulsion was provided by fusion reaction motors arranged as an annular "plug nozzle". Reentry was performed along a ballistic trajectory if sufficient atmosphere was available. Four landing jacks supported the LC for hard surface landings. The LC was buoyant enough to land on any liquid surface with a specific gravity greater than liquid ammonia. The LC could perform two landing/launch cycles before requiring more fuel.
Powered by fusion reactors, the Perseus was relatively fast for its day, though lightly armed. At the start of the Romulan war, UESPA wisely decided to remove all Perseus class ships from the war zone and reassigned them as research frigates. As the war progressed, five Perseus class vessels were re-fit to Ptolemy class standards and pressed into service as Missile carriers. These ships retained their names, but were assigned the new NCC- type designators. No Perseus class vessels remained in UESPA service by the war's end.
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