I am wondering what the exact differences are between the refit USS Enterprise (first three Star Trek films) and the USS Enterprise-A (subsequent three films)?

In particular, which ship, if any, is more powerful in terms of size and technology? Has there ever been an in-depth comparison between the two anywhere in books or other sources?

  • Actually some sources claim that the Enterprise A was not a new ship but actually before being recommisioned as the Enterprise A it was formally the USS Yorktown NCC 1717 – user48422 Jul 20 '15 at 6:42
  • Which sources?? – Chenmunka Jul 20 '15 at 7:37
  • Deck plans for the stock constitution class and the refit can be found at the Starfleet Museum – user104014 Aug 20 '18 at 9:24

Athough both ships are classified as "Constitution" class, there are several differences between the two. The original NCC-1701 was an older-style Constitution that was upgraded with more advanced components, whereas the NCC-1701-A was a brand-new, state-of-the-art vessel as of its launch. The two vessels appeared identical externally, and the dimensions and layout of both vessels matched up as well. Internally, however, was a different matter altogether.

The NCC-1701-A had numerous improvements over its refit predecessor:

  • Enlarged bridge
  • Automated systems
  • Separate shuttle bays
  • Vertical warp core
  • Enhanced security features
  • More advanced brig
  • Early replicator technology
  • Full-height jeffries tubes
  • Officer's dining hall

Many of the improvements were from an aesthetics or usability perspective. However, the majority of systems became automated on the NCC-1701-A, which could conceivably offer an advantage (perhaps a decrease in reaction time) during combat.

  • Did it really have early TNG style replicados or is it still TOS era conveyor system maybe replaced by teleporters? – user16696 Feb 26 '15 at 19:43
  • It's described as having "primitive replicators" in the mess hall. That may just mean teleporting the food from elsewhere, but I would guess there's more to it. – Omegacron Feb 26 '15 at 19:46
  • 1701 and 1701-A aren't identical externally at all, not close. The shape is the same, yes, but nacelles are completly different, and so are the pylons, the deflector, the neck, the saucer is larger and thinner, etc etc etc – Petersaber Jul 20 '15 at 8:37
  • 2
    @Petersaber There are three versions of the Enterprise seen on screen, prior to TNG - pre-refit (as seen on TV), post-refit (as seen in the first three films), and the 1701-A (as seen in the fifth and sixth films). The original poster is only talking about the later two, which are nearly identical in exterior appearance. – T.J.L. Jul 20 '15 at 13:01
  • @T.J.L. my bad. I just opened the links and immediatly went "wait a minute...". movie.1701 -> 1701-A was a retrofit then – Petersaber Jul 21 '15 at 6:04

Both the refit and the A variant are considered Constitution Class Starships. Externally they are identical, while the majority of internal differences are cosmetic or layout in nature. The torpedo room is more automated in the A compared to the refit, with smaller but equally strong torpedoes. But otherwise, both had the same speed, offense and defense specs.

  • Not trying to nitpick, but if they're using different torpedoes, their offensive specs should be different (even if the damage potential is very similar in the end). :) – Mario Feb 26 '15 at 14:35
  • @mario the difference was the casing size, not the warhead potential or technology. – user16696 Feb 26 '15 at 15:06
  • thanks for the replies! can someone also be able to direct me to a a page somewhere that deals directly between the differeces of both ships in full detail? I would really appreciate it! – darthfuture Feb 26 '15 at 16:10
  • Memory alpha the star trek canon wiki page for the NCC 1701-A has a full list. – user16696 Feb 26 '15 at 17:02
  • thanks everyone for answering my post. Also can someone direct me to a site that shows these comparsions in and full details? – darthfuture Feb 28 '15 at 20:09

There was one external difference. They had to repaint the model so the pearl accents on the engine section were originally a greenish-grey on NCC-1701 vs a light blueish-grey on NCC-1701-A. It's subtle, but for a bit of fun one can assume that other Constitution class refits might have had slight color differences: maybe a violet-greyish for some, or maybe reddish-grey?


There are some differnces externally, windows and paint job. enter image description here

  • Hi, welcome to SF&F. The comparison image is nice, but the question was more interested in the technological differences; you can improve your answer if you can add anything relevant to that. – DavidW Jan 3 at 1:33

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