from Ship Recognition Manual - The Federation, 1st Edition, FASA
Notes - circa 2287:
Designed at the same time as the Nelson class scouts and the Constitution class cruisers, Larson Class destroyers share many of the same physical features of these ships. An efficient ship that performed its function well, it was intended to perform the same tasks as other dual-function vessels, namely both research and defense. Even so, most of the existing Larsons in service are employed by Star Fleet's Military Operations Command, with several serving in the Galaxy Exploration Command.
Destroyers such as the Larson frequently are employed on patrol duty along the frontier areas. In time of war or other military emergencies, Larsons and other destroyers may be assigned to escort convoys or used as scouts by squadrons or small fleets. With its array of weapons, it is a fine combat vessel, though not as powerful as a cruiser or larger ship.
As can be seen by reviewing the statistics, the Larson Mk I was introduced into service on Stardate 1/8801, remaining unchanged until the introduction of the Mk lI on Stardate 1/9804, when laser weaponry was replaced by the newer phaser and photon technology. All Mk I vessels were refitted with the new weapons by 2/0109. Several small interior changes were also made, but these did not affect the combat performance of the vessels until the introduction of the Mk VI.
The Mk VI mounted a more powerful impulse drive system, improved phaser weapons and the more efficient FSD shield generators. The Mk VII, introduced on Stardate 2/1403, mounted the newer style engine nacelle and a more powerful impulse drive system. This increased the overall power output by 25% and extended the service life of the Larson class by several years. As of Stardate 2/2205, all Larsons in active service have been upgraded to the Mk VI, and several have been modified to Mk VIIs.
Production of the Larson Class was halted on Stardate 2/1808 with the commissioning of the USS Juno. This class is being supplemented by several newer destroyer designs and may see and end to service within the next 5 to 7 years.
No ships sold to the private sector have been refit, and most retain the characteristics they had at the time of sale. All vessels sold were disarmed by Star Fleet, though the weapon-mounting hardpoints usually were left intact.
Larsons are named for military leaders and battles of Terran origin. The class vessel is named for Admiral William G. Larson, hero of the battle at Gamma Hydra during the Romulan War. The only exception to this naming convention is NCC 4305 Thelenth, which is named after an Andorian admiral who defeated the Klingons in a pitched battle at Donovan's Star at the cost of his own ship and crew.
The ships Hammurabi and Troy were both destroyed while escorting a convoy of merchant ships bound for a frontier area. During this battle, seventeen freighters were destroyed and an additional four were taken as prizes by the Klingons. Of the five ships that survived the encounter, all reported that the Hammurabi destroyed two Klingon D-7 cruisers and crippled two others before being destroyed itself. The Troy apparently was disabled in the initial exchange of fire and left for dead. When a Klingon cruiser ventured too close to the derelict, however, it opened fire and destroyed the enemy vessel in a single volley. Of course, without maneuvering power, the Troy later was easily dispatched.
On Stardate 2/0208, the Bolivar led a small detachment consisting of the Normandy, Alesia, Babur, and Tecumseh into an uncontrolled area near the Romulan Neutral Zone. The task force maintained radio silence and failed to report back at its scheduled time. When extensive communications attempts were made unsuccessfully, a rescue group was dispatched to the last reported position of the task force. Upon arrival, nothing was to be found, and an extensive search was begun, ultimately discovering the engine nacelle of the Alesia adrift in an unknown asteroid cluster. At the time no determination was made as to what had caused the loss of the ships, but it was suspected by many that the Romulans had ambushed the group and successfully destroyed them before they were able to send a call for aid. This theory was never proved, and no action was ever taken against the Romulans, largely because it was felt that the Romulans could not have crossed the Neutral Zone unnoticed. Since the discovery of the Romulan cloaking capability, the theory has been given new weight.
On Stardate 2/1502, the USS Richtofen was recalled for an engine refit and scheduled maintenance to shipboard systems. As the ship's refit and maintenance checks neared completion, spirited Ensigns and sympathetic workers painted it bright red in honor of its namesake. Star Fleet Command has decided to leave the ship this color despite the breach of regulations, though all Ensigns were mildly disciplined. The vessel is still in service and is assigned to the Klingon sector.
On its maiden flight, the USS Sheridan experienced a critical overload in its warp drive system. All backup systems failed to correct the problem. It was decided to jettison the engine pod because an uncontrolled matter anti-matter mix was underway and could not be stopped. The systems used to eject the engine also failed, and the ship was totally destroyed in the subsequent explosion. Three crewmembers who had taken refuge in a shuttle survived.
The Larson Class destroyers were produced at the Sol V and Proxima shipyards.