In the past I always thought that the Constitution class was the pinnacle of human technology at the time of Kirk and slightly before (Pike's time). It represented the best both in terms of technology and in terms of combat capabilities that the federation had to offer.

The first season of Discovery presented the Discovery as quite technologically advanced and also having great offensive and defensive combat capabilities. In season 2 we saw a direct size comparison between the Discovery and the Enterprise (seeing them side by side), which looked to me like the Discovery had a slight size advantage compared to the Constitution class.

That made me wonder if there is any info on the combat capabilities (armament, shields) of the Discovery itself and how strong this is compared to a Constitution class vessel?

  • 4
    Size is far from everything, the Discovery was originally built as a science vessel around the spore drive and making that spinny saucer bit probably added a lot to the size. Then of course we have the Defiant which strips out almost all the science stuff along with penthouse sized quarters, holodecks and all that other stuff to pack so much power into a warship that it almost literally cannot contain it.
    – IG_42
    Apr 12, 2019 at 15:32
  • The Constitution itself is also a science vessel (deep space science) @IG_42
    – Thomas
    Apr 12, 2019 at 16:08
  • Doesnt say a lot about how strongly armed,... it really is sadly (came across it already before I made the question) @Kai
    – Thomas
    Apr 12, 2019 at 20:19

1 Answer 1


From Memory Alpha:

The ship's armament included phasers and forward and aft photon torpedoes. The ships had deflector shield capability for defense. (DIS: "The Butcher's Knife Cares Not for the Lamb's Cry")

The forward photon torpedo launchers were located on the front of the nacelles. (DIS: "Perpetual Infinity")

Crossfield-class starships were equipped with at least six tractor beam emitters for towing objects in space, two on the ventral engineering hull (port and starboard), and two above the aft doors to the cargo bay to guide boarding shuttles, and two dorsal on the inner-ring of the saucer section. (DIS: "Context Is for Kings",ST: "Calypso")

  • Doesnt say much about the numbers though (even an oberth had phaser armament....but the armament itself was a joke)
    – Thomas
    Apr 16, 2019 at 18:43

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