«Last Updated on November 9, 2023 »
design by FASA, graphic from Allie C. Peed III
The Heston Mk I was equipped with a diverse set of sub-systems similar to those found on the Constitution class heavy cruiser. These included a number of specialized lab facilities and sensitive sensors as well as a two-deck command-and-control operation center. Like the Constitution, the Mk I was equipped with the powerful FL-6 as a main weapon. Four additional FL-1’s were mounted on the aft quadrant of the secondary hull to increase the vessels overall firepower. The Mk I also included the more powerful FIC-3 impulse drive providing additional sub-light power when needed.
The Mk I also supported a full wing of combat shuttles as well as several specialized shuttle craft that could be transferred to other front-line vessels when necessary. Although the Heston did have billets for up to 160 marine troops, there were rarely fully manned. Additional science teams and shuttle support personnel were often assigned to increase the Mk I’s front-line support capability.
The Heston Mk I was built at the Cait, Salazar and Sol III shipyards within 4 years. Of the 16 built, 14 were converted to Mk II’s. 1 was destroyed and 1 was scrapped during the Four-Year’s War.
The Mk II Heston saw the primary mission of the large vessel change dramatically during the Four-Year’s War. While the vessel served primarily as a command cruiser, it’s large crew, redundant systems and increased capabilities saw it function more often as a battlecruiser than a command cruiser.
The most significant component change for the Mk II was the installation of the FSI shielding system. The FSI was 300% more efficient than previous shield system and freed up a significant amounts of power for use in other systems – most notably the weapons. Because the Heston was based on the Federation dreadnought design, the FSI could be quickly swapped out with down-time of less than three weeks for most vessels.
Internally, the Mk II saw a major improvement to the primary sensor systems, increasing the range from 1.54 to 2.11 light years. Most Hestons also had their sick bays upgraded to newer technology, including self-reliant battery systems. This allowed medical staff to continue treating wounded even when power was reduced or nonexistent.
10 Heston Mk I conversions were completed during the first two years of the war. The remaining two conversions were completed near the end of the conflict. 2 Mk II’s were destroyed during the war.
As the Four-Year’s War drew to a close, designers were already at work updating many of the more capable vessels that has served during the conflict. Even as budget cuts took their toll on a number of existing designs, vessels such as the Heston remained viable, if somewhat expensive to maintian.
The USS Heston herself would go on to be refit into the Mk III configuration. This refit saw the largest component improvements to date, with many system improvements later incorporated into the beloved Constitution class.
The Mk III saw the installation of the M-4 computer systems, as well as an enlarged FID impulse drive. The most drastic improvements came with the inclusion of the FH-3 and FH-2 phaser systems. Introduced during the war, these systems were far more accurate and serviceable that previous beam weapon systems. Although installation times were lengthy to properly install the new phaser systems, the increase in firepower and accuracy was undeniable.
The Mk III also saw the installation of the new FP-1 photon torpedo system. More powerful and accurate than older missile or accelerator cannon designs, the new photon torpedoes would go on to become the standard non-beam weapon found on nearly all Federation starships.
However – as the Federation continued to reconstruct from the war, the cost of refitting the Heston along with a number of other vessels still in service after the warp proved prohibitive. The Mk II Heston continued to serve will into the 2260’s with only 5 Mk III’s fielded before the class was retired.
The USS Timpson was destroyed during the Battle of Toria after being targeted by five separate Klingon battlecruisers. Despite taking heavy damage, the Timpson managed to destroy four enemy vessels before finally succumbing to heavy damage.
The USS Chevron was scuttled during the Battle of Rex Dacut after a lengthy battle with several Klingon ships. Severely damaged, the Chevron still retained a significant amount of intact vulnerable technology. Both Captain Denex and Second Engineer T’Masat were give posthumous medals for bravery after staying behind as the crew abandoned ship to ensure the Klingon did not capture the crippled vessel.
The USS Alverton was destroyed during the Battle of Tirehe. The Alverton’s squadron managed to destroy multiple Klingon D-7s but was overwhelmed by the sheer number of enemy ships brought to bear.
The following list of Heston class command cruisers shows their hull numbers, name, model designation, date entering service and current disposition. The disposition as of 2286 is represented by the letter codes given here and is followed by the date of occurrence, if known.
B – Built
D – Destroyed by hostile action of natural disaster
Sc – Scrapped
R2 – Refit to Mk II
R3 – Refit to Mk III
|NCC-1685||Heston||Mk I||06 Oct 2248||B – 2248, R2 – 2254, R3 – 2258, I – 2278|
|NCC-1690||Timpson||Mk I||24 Apr 2249||B – 2249, D – 2254|
|NCC-1691||Deveron||Mk I||02 Mar 2249||B – 2249, R2 – 2253, R3 – 2259, Sc – 2276|
|NCC-1692||Alverton||Mk I||17 Apr 2249||B – 2249, R2 – 2253, D – 2255|
|NCC-1632||Bryson||Mk I||11 May 2249||B – 2249, R2 – 2255, R3 – 2260, Sc – 2279|
|NCC-1608||Chevron||Mk I||23 Jan 2250||B – 2250, D- 2255|
|NCC-1652||Ashton||Mk I||23 Jun 2250||B – 2250, R2 – 2254, D – 2260|
|NCC-1658||Emerson||Mk I||30 Aug 2250||B – 2250, R2 – 2253, R3 – 2257, D – 2267|
|NCC-1666||Maddiston||Mk I||30 Oct 2250||B – 2250, R2 – 2254, R3 – 2258, Sc – 2277|
|NCC-1661||Santon||Mk I||02 Nov 2250||B – 2250, R2 – 2253, R3 – 2258, Sc – 2276|
|NCC-1654||Swanston||Mk I||23 Apr 2251||B – 2251, R2 – 2253, D – 2256|
|NCC-1656||Nicholson||Mk I||26 May 2251||B – 2251, R2 – 2254, R3 – 2259, Sc – 2279|
|NCC-1669||Wotton||Mk I||09 Jun 2251||B – 2251, R2 – 2254, R3 – 2257, Sc – 2267|
|NCC-1662||Denton||Mk I||31 May 2251||B – 2251, R2 – 2254, R3 – 2260, Sc – 2273|
|NCC-1659||Haldon||Mk I||01 Sep 2251||B – 2251, R2 – 2254, R3 – 2259, Sc – 2277|
|NCC-1667||Lanton||Mk I||09 Nov 2251||B – 2251, R2 – 2256, R3 – 2260, Sc – 2277|