The Kelvin class was a class of Federation starship that was a destroyer that served prominently within Starfleet as a surveyor and diplomatic outreach vessel commissioned in the early-mid 23rd century, although some ships remained in service until the 2350s. Although some ships remained in service in the 2360s, 2370s, 2380s and 2390s with refits.

Ships of this class were reffitted in the early 2230s. By the 2350s the Kelvin class starships were refitted with new weapons and shields and a new warp drive, the Kelvin-class in the 24th century could reach the speeds of warp 8.9.


By 2196, the Daedalus-class of ships was retired and replaced by the Kelvin- and Baton Rouges classes. For the next three decades, these ships were crewed with Starfleet's best and brightest.

Sometime around 2223, the USS Gates was forced to return to Starbase 9 from a scientific study to receive minor repairs. Robert April thought that the design lacked in self-sufficiency, which he sought to rectify by designing the Constitution class. Until that project, no known ship had been able to break the warp 7 barrier.

This class is similar in design to many 23rd century scout class starships, with a saucer-shaped primary hull and a single warp nacelle. A difference is the secondary hull that most scout vessels lack. One such vessel, the starship USS Kelvin was still in operational service by 2233. In 2233, a vessel of this type, the USS Kelvin, was deployed near Klingon space.

The class would see limited success. While it did perform well in the exploration and planetary survey role, it's sheer size was a issue. It took much longer to built than anything else in the fleet at the time, using much more resources. After ten were built, production ceased. By then, technology improvements were allowing smaller ships to undertake the same missions are the Kelvin class. During the Four Years War, the class also saw limited success. While it was able to go noise to noise with Klingon D5 and D6 battlecruisers, the more agile Klingon ships could outmaneuver the Kelvin class easily.

By 2260, the class was being phased out. The last ship of the class to remain in commission, the USS Venator, would be decommissioned in 2268.

USS Enterprise and Kelvin class

The USS Enterprise and a Kelvin class starship

In the alternate reality, starship classes such as the Newton class, Mayflower class, and the Armstrong class were based on the same design lineage.

Alternate realityEdit

USS Kelvin engages the Narada

The Kelvin prepares to ram into the Narada

While investigating a lightning storm in space, the Kelvin was attacked and destroyed by a Romulan mining vessel, called the Narada, from the late 24th century. The incursion of the Narada and destruction of the USS Kelvin triggered the creation of the alternate reality.

Salt shaker in Shipyard Bar

A broken salt shaker in the Shipyard Bar

In 2255 of that reality, the Shipyard Bar in Iowa, on Earth, featured salt shakers shaped like Kelvin-class starships. That year, James T. Kirk, who had been born aboard the Kelvin shortly prior to its destruction (which had claimed the life of his father), absent-mindedly fiddled with an incomplete one of these shakers shortly after a discussion with Christopher Pike, who had once written a dissertation on the Kelvin. In 2259, a desktop model miniature of the USS Kelvin was on display in Admiral Alexander Marcus's office on Earth among other historically significant vessels.

Technical dataEdit

Layout and capabilitiesEdit

Kelvin shuttle 43

The shuttlebay with open doors, viewed from outside the ship

Comprised of enough room to carry a crew of at least 800, the Kelvin-class contained at least thirteen decks. It had a single ventral warp nacelle housing the ship's warp drive engine, an upper saucer section topped by a central dome, and a topmost secondary hull, which featured a single shuttlebay at the aft and a navigational deflector at the front. The low warp nacelle had an unusual extra exhaust at its aft end, which lit up when the nacelle was energized. An impulse drive was also at the aft of the saucer section. The navigational deflector had an extremely thin emitter at its center, surrounded by a circle that was completely black in the middle but had a blue petal-like pattern at its fringe, retaining the black as a background. The forward end of the nacelle had a ring that looked similar but was primarily colored gold.

Kelvin bridge

The topside of the saucer section, including the spine and central dome

A spine ran from the nacelle and the secondary hull along the under and upper sides of the saucer section, respectively. The saucer section was approximately equidistant from the secondary hull and the nacelle, though the hindmost connection between the spine's bottom half and the saucer section was slightly more forward than that between the spine's topside and the saucer; unlike its underside, the spine's top half extended across the entire distance from the aft of the saucer section to the middle of the saucer. At the midpoint, the spine connected with the central dome. Slightly aft of here, the starboard side of the spine featured a circular portal (most likely an escape pod hatch or a docking port), another of which was on the starboard side of the secondary hull. The Kelvin-class was equipped with subspace communications as well as numerous sensors, including gravitational sensors. This form of vessel could even track, remotely, the health of absent members of the ship's crew. From its bridge, the ship could be set on red alert and autopilot function could be engaged. Three antennas were used in conjunction with the autopilot, labeled a, b and c. Even if the autopilot system was destroyed, the manual guidance system could still be employed.

Tactical systemsEdit

USS Kelvin photon torpedo launchers

photon torpedo launchers

Kelvin type phaser banks

Phaser banks

The tactical systems of the Kelvin-class starship included phaser and photon torpedo weaponry and deflector shielding that included forward shields. The shipboard weaponry encompassed several rotating rapid-fire torpedo launchers that launched blue photon torpedoes and several rotating phaser banks that fired red phaser beams each composed of several individual beams. Both weapon systems could be used for offense, and for defense as point-defense against missiles. The torpedo launchers sprang out of hatches when deployed, and were hidden under these hatches during periods of inactivity.

A pair of phaser banks were arranged on either side of the saucer section's top surface, about halfway between the central dome and the forward edge of the saucer section. Six torpedo launchers were spread out between the two pairs of phaser banks, essentially in two rows of three, divided in the middle. A similar array of weapons was found on the saucer section's underside.

One of the innovations of the Kelvin class was it's point defense weapons system. These would be small pop-up turrets designed to automatically active and engaged against hostile threats like fighters, missiles, or other starships that were attacking the ship.

Interior designEdit


Kelvin type bridge

The bridge at red alert, damaged in battle

Located in the central dome atop the saucer section, the Kelvin-class bridge had a variety of lighting schemes, depending on the ship's alert status. The room featured a trisected viewscreen that additionally served as a window and could be polarized, negating any glaring light outside the ship. The bridge also had multiple overhead handrails and featured a single command chair at its center, positioned on an area that was slightly raised from most of the rest of the deck. The right arm of the chair was outfitted with a control panel, whose instruments included a manual steering column for navigation and an intercom that could be used to contact the rest of the ship. The command chair was near a central grouping of stations, with a joint double station – containing more helm functions – directly ahead and two stations at either side, slightly forward of the command chair. Additional stations were positioned at the outsides of the bridge, three of which were located in a row beneath and facing the viewscreen, with the double station to the rear. Another grouping of three stations was located at the aft of the room, which were on the same raised level as the command chair. A door was at either side of this row of stations. Aboard one particular vessel of this type, the ship's first officer typically occupied the station to the left of the command chair.


USS Kelvin shuttlebay

The interior of the shuttlebay

The Kelvin-class shuttlebay was a darkly-lit, cavernous area that had a track in the middle of its floor, with the shuttlebay's pair of large double-doors at one end. Green running lights could advance along the track, towards the doors, to guide crafts out of the shuttlebay in cases of emergency. On either side of the track, two decks were available for the storage of shuttlecrafts. Regularly arranged vertical partitions separated spaces for the crafts to be parked on the landing decks, from which the crafts lifted off at their own accord.


Kelvin type sickbay

The door to sickbay

The Kelvin-class contained a brightly white-lit sickbay that was furnished with at least one biobed in roughly the middle of the room, beside which were a pair of overhead monitors and two free-standing consoles.


Kelvin type turboshafts in engineering

An area of engineering, including multiple walkways and turboshafts

The Kelvin-class had an enormous, industrial-looking engineering area that included numerous walkways, several of which were elevated, and at least one flight of stairs. Red-lit cylindrical conduits were at various points in this environment, such as vertically in some of the structural supports and horizontally on several of the railings at the sides of the walkways. The area also incorporated at least three exposed turboshafts, ropes for easy descent, many pipes of various sizes and at least four consoles.

Corridors and turboliftsEdit

Kelvin type corridor

A corridor

Kelvin type walkway

A walkway near the shuttlebay

Travel within the Kelvin-class was available mainly via turbolifts and corridors. At regular intervals throughout each corridor, supports with an obtuse angle formed a flat roofed corbel arch, making the overall shape of the corridors an elongated hexagon. Each corridor was dimly illuminated, with circular pools of light shining down from the ceiling and lighting strips running the length of the floor and supports, at their perimeters. During a red alert, a cylindrical red glowing conduit – much like an extremely long version of the ones in engineering – ran horizontally along both walls. The floor lights would also turn red, while the support lights and ceiling lights would remain white.

Kelvin type turbolift

A turbolift

The Kelvin-class turbolifts each had six walls and a door. As seen from inside one of the turbolifts, the walls had glowing panels that changed between a dimmed setting to a brighter luminosity when a traveler entered the lift. At least in times when red alert was engaged, these panels were lit red. The outsides of the turbolifts had bright white panels of light, which could be glimpsed as the lifts traveled through the exposed turboshafts in engineering.

At least one of the turbolifts was built at the end of a corridor, close to the outside of the ship's saucer section. Another corridor led from the bridge's starboard door to an intersection where one direction led straight on while another turned left and continued to a turbolift. This lift provided access to the engineering area, as did a turbolift near the medical bay. From engineering, travel to the shuttlebay was facilitated by passage through a wide walkway – one of the passageways lined with the short conduits – then across a short bridge, at a right angle to the wide walkway, and through a set of double-doors that led from the end of the bridge to the required shuttlecraft. Typically, where the walkway and the short bridge met had a board of signage extended from the ceiling and large numbers, showing the related shuttlecraft's registry, emblazoned on the ground.


23rd century refitEdit

USS Kelvin

A refit Kelvin class starship

In the late 2220s to early 2230s, the Kelvin-class starships underwent their first major refit program. The actual refitting took eighteen months of work and essentially a new vessel was built, replacing virtually every major system. One of the fleet's few single-nacelled designs, it was an explorer and surveyor by nature. As the decades past and newer ships entered service, its role as an explorer began to be superseded by its role as a surveyor and general purpose vessel, for example, transferring supplies and colonists. Several series of upgrades, most notably in the 2230s and 2250s, saw it refitted and retrofitted to more up-to-date specifications, and included the addition of 12 point defence cannon, an attempt by Starfleet to overcome deficiencies with existing phasers' recharge rates and output levels that was subsequently developed into the mainstream and more durable phaser armament of starship classes in the 2260s and early 2270s until the development of the Type VI bank. Thus, the Kelvin-class continued in service for another century, making the class the most used class in Starfleet history.

24th century refitEdit

In the 2350s Kelvin-class starships went through yet another refit with new weapons and shields and a new warp drive. Kelvin-class starships in the 24th century could reach the speeds of warp 8.9. Refit Kelvin-class starships include the USS Iowa, USS Miranda and the USS Celsius.

Ships commissionedEdit

Alternate mirror realityEdit

Federation Starfleet starship classes (alternate reality)
UFP 2260 alt Arbiter classConstitution classDefender classDreadnought classKelvin classGuardian classHermes classInterceptor classSaladin classNewton classMayflower classArmstrong classLoknar class 2250s alt cmd badge

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