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As war loomed on the horizon, the Federation took a hard look at their starship production. The excellent Constitution-class heavy cruisers took too long and too many resources to build in the numbers that would be needed to defend the borders. The underpowered single-engine Saladin-class destroyers were never a complete success. The venerable Texas-class light cruisers were still useful, but had not been produced in many decades (most were approaching 100 years old).
A new “medium-size ship for medium-size missions” was needed, a replacement for the destroyer and old light cruiser, preferably one that could approach the combat capabilities of the heavy cruiser. Several designs were tried, but the one that truly succeeded was the Kearsarge-class “new” light cruiser (NCL).
Built using a modified destroyer saucer (and incorporating improvements planned for it), with an enlarged dorsal superstructure mounting two new efficient smaller engines, the NCL was tailored for fast construction and combat capability, dispensing with some of the research labs and habitability Federation ships were traditionally known for. They packed 90% of a heavy cruiser’s firepower into a compact hull that only cost 62% as much to build. Other empires built ships with similar fighting strength and production efficiencies, calling them “war cruisers.” A natural match for the Klingon D-5, the NCL completely superseded production of the single-engine destroyers and many dozens were built including variants (transport, fighter carrier, scout, commando, escort, etc).
The ship is available in a variety of materials. Ships are unpainted, use standard flight stands available from many sources, and, while designed for gaming, make fine display pieces.