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According to the script of Yesterday's Enterprise, the Enterprise-D was, "the first Galaxy Class warship built by the Federation".

How can that be? I thought the first would be the Galaxy, hence the class designation.

  • Presumably there were other Galaxy-class ships, but Enterprise-D was the first in her class to be a warship. Like saying "The first armed Space Shuttle". – Valorum Mar 23 '18 at 23:07
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Two things should be noted about that quote:

  • It specifically refers to the Enterprise-D as a "warship".
  • It was spoken by Tasha Yar in the alternate timeline which was created by the reappearance of the Enterprise-C from a temporal rift.

It's possible that in the alternate timeline, the USS Galaxy was built as the prototype starship, then the next Galaxy Class ship commissioned was the Enterprise-D warship for the war with the Klingons. The quote would therefore be correct then in stating that it's "the first Galaxy Class warship".

In the normal timeline, the Enterprise-D was actually the third Galaxy Class starship commissioned, after the prototype USS Galaxy and the USS Yamato (the sister ship of the Enterprise-D).

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    It's also quite possible that multiple ships were laid down from plans at once, the class named pre-completion, but the class ship not being the first out of the drydocks in field-ready condition. Such was the case with a couple of real world classes; the class ship went for sea trials uncompleted, and the sister ships were completed while she was undergoing approvals. – aramis Aug 29 '11 at 20:44
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It was probably just a slip in the script. Likely they meant it was the first constructed excluding the prototype. See USS Galaxy on Memory Alpha.

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As far as we know, the first starship in a new class is usually designated as the class name.

The line says "the first Galaxy Class warship built by the Federation"... which could easily mean that the USS Galaxy was indeed the first starship in that class, but the Enterprise-D ended up being the first warship of that class of ships (likely as a result of the war, as Starfleet might have thought that converting the Galaxy class into a more combat oriented vessel was desirable - it certainly was possible as we've seen the USS Venture in the original timeline in DS9 with extra phaser banks on the Warp nacelles - and the Galaxy class as a whole has ample internal space which can be used to adapt to specific purposes - such as housing auxiliary fusion generators perhaps which can feed more power into the shields and weapons - I doubt we'd see more shield generators as ships usually come with 1 primary shield generator and 1 backup which ends up projecting a shield bubble around the ship through the hull grids).

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The Enterprise-D was constructed almost at the same time as the USS Galaxy and the USS Yamato. Galaxy launched first, and began operational training exercises. Enterprise ran into issues, like the computer cores not being delivered on time. If you can, pick up a copy of the Star Trek: The Next Generation: Technical Manual, which includes a timeline starting with the Galaxy-class design research and ends with Captain Jean-Luc Picard formally taking command of the Enterprise.

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    But how could the Enterprise-D be called the first Galaxy Class Warship if you now state it was in fact the USS Galaxy? – Edlothiad Jul 20 '18 at 12:05
  • The whole premise of this question is based on a single line mentioned in an alternate timeline in which we have virtually no history and virtually nothing is written about. Unfortunately you answer tries to answer it from the perspective of the main timeline. There is no way to say that the order of launch of the Galaxy class ships was the same. Or that the "computer core delivery" caused a delay in the launch of Enterprise. – psubsee2003 Jul 20 '18 at 13:13

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