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A Constitution-class heavy cruiser

An Ambassador-class heavy cruiser

In starship classification, a heavy cruiser was a large multi-purpose starship.

While the Federation considered their Constitution-class starships to be heavy cruisers in their heyday, the Klingons referred to the refit version of the same vessel, in their terms, as a battle cruiser. (Star Trek III: The Search for Spock)

Ambassador-class starships were also classified as heavy cruisers. (TNG: "Conspiracy")

In an alternate timeline, the Ambassador-class was simply referred to as a cruiser. (TNG: "Yesterday's Enterprise")

Curiosity-class starships were identified as heavy cruisers. (PIC: "The End is the Beginning")

The Emerald Chain flagship Viridian was identified as a heavy cruiser-class starship in 3189. (DIS: "The Sanctuary")

Appendices

Background information

The term "heavy cruiser" was first used in the shooting script for Star Trek: The Motion Picture for describing the Klingon K't'inga-class starships.

It was used later for an on-screen display of the Constitution-class, which was from the Star Fleet Technical Manual, and it was spoken in reference to the Ambassador-class.

According to the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Technical Manual, the Akira-class, D'deridex-class, Jem'Hadar battle cruiser, Keldon-class and Vor'cha-classes were all referred to as "heavy cruisers".

In a dossier for the alternate reality USS Enterprise, her class, the Constitution-class, was classified as heavy cruisers. [1]

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