Hello all, hope this post finds you well.
Am currently working on my Constitution class History and have the format pretty well fleshed out. Right now, I’m working on ‘Part I’ which covers everything from the class’ initial launch in 2220 up to 2265. *(My basis for the class age/introduction date is based on the thoughts/analysis of Richard Mandel which I have reproduced and that can be viewed here)*
Something that sticks out though and which I must eventually address in in the interests of completeness are the status of three ships – Valiant, Republic and Constellation. These three stick out as they are but a few of the ‘outliers’ from the “projected list” or “master list” devised by Greg Jein back in the late 70’s (check it out).
Now Valiant will be the easiest to explain I think. Most of the confusion around this ship comes from the fact that it was a) mentioned in the aforementioned list, originally appearing in production/background documents and then b) mentioned by Spock as MIA/lost in “A Taste of Armageddon”. This would initially lead one to believe that the Valiant lost in orbit of Eminiar VII was a Constitution class ship, however no matter what dating system you believe, the mention by specific characters that it was lost 50 yrs prior to the events of said episode would make this impossible. *(Memory Alpha lists this episode as taking place in 2267 meaning the Valiant would’ve been lost in 2217)
In the first edition of Michael Okuda’s Star Trek Encyclopedia, he postulates that the Valiant could be a Daedalus class ship (which would admittedly make sense), but for whatever reason, this idea didn’t gain traction and wasn’t mentioned in subsequent editions. An RPG source subsequently reached back to the depths of FASA lore and established the ill-fated Valiant as a Ranger class starship (scout/cruiser/light cruiser?). (Check out the Memory Beta entry)
Slightly harder to explain is the Republic. The only reason it is called into question is because of the registry (1371). How that came about/what led to it is unknown as far as I can tell. One could very well make a case for its inclusion in the initial production lot (as a “thirteenth ship” if you will) . There’s an early Marvel comic (“The Enterprise Murder Case!”) that depicts the Republic as a Baton Rouge class ship though. So I think the easiest route to go will be for the Baton Rouge class Republic to be uprated/rebuilt to Constitution class specifications sometime in the late 2220’s when the last of the initial 12 roll off the production lines (I have a spreadsheet with all the ships and their launch dates listed out).
The biggest challenge is Constellation (I don’t think the model builders back in the day could realize what kind of consternation they would create in the non-canon/’fanon’ realm by simply rearranging ‘1701’ !). The only mention of/attempt to explain this issue comes from Aridas Sofia and Ships of the Star Fleet – whereby Constellation is originally a member of the Horizon class (Horizon being an advanced variant/offshoot of Daedalus) and eventually uprated/rebuilt from there. By now, I think the concept of having a ship uprated/rebuilt from another class does make a lot of sense. As with Republic, I think that is the route I will go…..though what class Constellation will originally start as, is still up in the air…..