Ascension class light dreadnought (DNL)

USS Ascension, NCC 2520.
  • Ascension class dreadnought:
  • Actual Length: 298.8m
  • Actual Height: 77.8m
  • Actual Beam: 141.7m
  • Decks: 21

    The Ascension class was a creation of the 2280s, a larger version of the Belknap class cruiser and first commissioned in 2281. This design was to replace the Federation class against the perceived combined threats from the Romulans and Klingons. The design showed itself to be more resilient than the Federation class, proving itself in the Metar Crisis.

    U.S.S. Ascension NCC 2520The Ascension class were more manoeuvrable than the Federation class. Whilst the Federation class were mothballed between threats in their early years, the Ascension class were retained in action as flagships. Twenty Ascension class were built as Flight I by 2281, with most still in service to-date.

    Flight II replace those destroyed Flight I (with names that duplicate canon ships – ie Leander (Apollo class and Repulse (Excelsior)) after they were lost to the Klingons in 2283. This second batch, starting with U.S.S. Conquest, was a revised design that whose first vessel was taken from the Athabasca production run. Whilst the additional acquisition of dreadnoughts was a hot topic in the Federation Council, the Klingon offensive in 2283 was a motivator for better protection.

    These are the mid-sized members of the Belknap family of tactical ships, ranging from Belknap to Ulysses. All Ascensions are to adopt the new flexibility systems as used in the Belknap class to increase their mission capabilities. The additional flexibility allows them to act as assault ships and SAR role utilising enhanced transporters in the cargo bays.

    Enhanced command and control facilities are being fitted to allow Ascension class DNL to act as command ships for squadrons of frigates, escorts and patrol vessel sized ships. This dynamic command capability allows for anti-piracy patrols to be further enhanced rapidly, without the need to wait for permanent space station or starbase facilities to be constructed. Given the renewed emphasis on counter-Orion Syndicate operations, this re-role makes sense.

    Starfleet assigned a Programme Executive Officer (LCS-style) to oversee the refurbishment of the Belknap family of tactical ships. The PEO is there to ensure a timely delivery of refurbished ships at the top quality Starfleet demands. The fiasco with the Menahga class and derivatives was cited as the reason for Starfleet wanting hands-on the actual programme. Khmelnova cited from the start she wanted to ‘clear house’ and seek justification for starship classes to be in service, replacing those that did not fit the brief and ordering new ships where a capability gap was identified that was not best served by an existing design.

    Below is a list of Ascension class vessels: (More ships to be added. NCC numbers subject to change)

    Ascension 2520 First vessel of the class.
    Leander 2521 Vessel lost.
    Nashua 2522
    Sussex 2523
    Tai Shan 2524
    Minsk 2525
    Hiryu 2526
    Capodanno 2527
    Temperance 2528
    Repulse 2529 Lost pre-2286.

    Conquest 2589 First Flight II Ascension class, unofficially referred to as Conquest class.
    Watauga 5770 Named for the first semi-autonous government in America.
    Samoa 5771 Named for the Alaska class cruiser.
    T'tanij 5772 Named for the Vulcan who defied the followers of the Raptor (Romulans).
    Pellion 5773 Named for the world in the Tabula Rasa systems where the Beta Quadrant powers joined forces.
    Aklavik 5774 Inuit hamlet that refused to die.

    Author’s Notes:

    The Ascension class are from the fanon Ships of the Starfleet, a dreadnought three-nacelle version of the Belknap class. These are from the 1980s and these are similar to the King George V class of the 1940s; these were the staple of the Tac Fleet up until the advent of the Komsomolsk class DN. This class number barely into double figures, approximately 1 per fleet. With the concept of the Belknap Family ™ of tactical starships, the Ascension class makes sense as a cheap, fast capital ship much in the vein of WW1 battle cruisers.

    The Conquest class dreadnought (NX 2589) is a re-design of the original Ascension class, incorporating aspects that improved the warp performance as well as her combat potential. Very much like the re-design of the Queen Elizabeth class battleships that produced one of the Royal Navy's best battleships in the Second World War. Although the Conquest is more like a DN in size, the traditional designation of DNL was retained to reflect the speed of the new dreadnought.

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