Construction and launch
On stardate 49027.5, the Sovereign-class Enterprise-E, seen as the pinnacle of Starfleet ship design, was launched from San Francisco Fleet Yards, with Captain Jean-Luc Picard in command once more. Much of the crew of the Enterprise-D had been reassigned there, including almost the entire senior staff. The sole exception was Lieutenant Commander Worf, who had already transferred to the space station Deep Space 9. (Star Trek: First Contact; DS9: "The Way of the Warrior", "Trials and Tribble-ations")
The Borg threat
After almost a year in space, the Enterprise was ordered to patrol the Romulan Neutral Zone during the second Borg incursion. Starfleet was officially concerned about possible Romulan military action since many of the available ships had been diverted to fight the Borg, but in reality, Starfleet was concerned about Picard's presence at the battle.
Return to Earth
However, shortly after the Federation fleet engaged the Borg cube, Picard disobeyed orders and returned to Earth to assist the fleet. Once there, Picard became aware of a battle-induced weakness in the Borg ship due to his residual link to the Collective and ordered all the ships in the fleet to concentrate their fire on that section of the ship. As a result, the Borg vessel was destroyed and the Battle of Sector 001 was a victory for Starfleet.
Journey to 2063
Before the Borg cube was destroyed, it launched a second vessel towards Earth. This ship created a temporal vortex and traveled back to the year 2063 in order to stop Zefram Cochrane from launching his historic warp ship, the Phoenix. Their hope was to prevent first contact with the Vulcans and assimilate Earth before the Federation could be formed to resist them.
The Enterprise, protected from the alterations in the timeline by a temporal wake within the vortex, chased the Borg into the past and destroyed their ship and sent an away team to help Cochrane repair the Phoenix.
However, the ship's sensors and shields were damaged during the trip through the vortex and, unbeknownst to the crew, several Borg drones transported aboard the Enterprise before their ship exploded. They began to assimilate the ship, beginning with main engineering and sickbay on deck 16 and converting the corridors into a Borg configuration, complete with regeneration alcoves and assimilation chambers. On Picard's order, Lieutenant Commander Data locked out the main computer with a fractal encryption code to prevent the Borg from fully seizing control of the Enterprise. The Borg established their collective in engineering and cut primary power to all other decks, cutting the Enterprise off from the away team still down on the surface. The Borg were able to swiftly overrun the defense checkpoints set up by the Starfleet crew on decks 26 through 11, assimilating the crew as they progressed and seizing control of such sections as hydroponics, Stellar cartography, deflector control and the shuttlebays. They also attempted to build an interplexing beacon on the particle emitter of the deflector dish to contact the Borg Collective of that time period.
A three-man team led by Captain Picard stopped the beacon from being completed by separating the dish from the ship by disengaging the magnetic locks and destroying it. The Borg changed tactics and continued to overrun the defense checkpoints, assimilating the ship up to deck 5 with the intent to fully assimilate the vessel. The Borg's ability to adapt to the handheld weapons of the Enterprise crew made stopping them impossible and Picard realized that the fight was a lost cause. After great consideration, he reluctantly ordered the evacuation of the ship via the escape pods and activated the ship's auto-destruct sequence to prevent the Borg from interfering with the Phoenix flight.
Picard eventually confronted the Borg Queen in main engineering, only to find, to his horror, that the Borg had apparently coerced Data into collaborating with them. He aborted the auto-destruct sequence and entered the encryption codes into the main computer, effectively giving the Borg Queen command of the Enterprise. On the Queen's instructions, Data fired three quantum torpedoes at the Phoenix, ostensibly intending to destroy it. However, the torpedoes narrowly missed their target and Data revealed that he had in fact simply been deceiving the Borg. He ruptured one of the plasma coolant tanks, flooding engineering with plasma coolant and liquefying the Borg Queen and all the drones in engineering. With the death of the Borg Queen, the remaining Borg onboard were disabled, which allowed Data and Picard to recapture the vessel.
The Enterprise crew was successful in helping Cochrane make his flight and instigate First Contact with Vulcans. Using the gravitational field of Luna allowed the Enterprise to remain undetected by the Vulcan ship and the Enterprise was able to recreate the vortex used by the Borg to return to 2373 where the Borg components were removed, the ship repaired and subsequently returned to service. (Star Trek: First Contact)
The Briar Patch
With the Federation Diplomatic Corps attempting to negotiate an end to the Dominion War, the Enterprise was relegated to a diplomatic role, much to the dissatisfaction of Captain Picard. In 2375, the Enterprise was conducting a diplomatic mission with the Evora, a new Federation protectorate species and was scheduled to resolve a territorial dispute in the Goren system when her crew became embroiled in a plot by the Son'a, assisted by Starfleet Admiral Dougherty, to forcibly remove the Ba'ku from their isolated homeworld in the Briar Patch.
The Son'a plot
The Son'a turned out to be vengeful former Ba'ku who had been exiled from the planet after a failed coup a century prior. They planned to harvest metaphasic radiation from the planet's ring system and needed Starfleet's cooperation to carry out the plan. Captain Picard felt the relocation of the Ba'ku was a severe violation of the Prime Directive and resigned his commission, leading a team of Enterprise crewmembers to the Ba'ku planet to prevent their capture and removal.
Commander William T. Riker was instructed to take the Enterprise and contact the Federation Council to alert them of Admiral Dougherty's treachery. However, the Enterprise was required to navigate an area of space known as the Briar Patch in order to contact Starfleet Command. This area disrupted communications as well as the ship's warp drive.
The Battle of the Briar Patch
- Main article: Battle of the Briar Patch
Two Son'a battle cruisers were sent by Ahdar Ru'afo to intercept the Enterprise before she left the Briar Patch and severely damaged the ship in the process. The warp core was ejected in order to seal a dangerous tear in subspace created by the isolytic weaponry of the Son'a.
Riker was able to outwit the Son'a by collecting metreon gas native to the Briar Patch then venting it behind the ship. When the Son'a used their weapons, the gas exploded, destroying one ship and severely damaging the other. Geordi La Forge half-jokingly commented that the tactic could become known as the Riker Maneuver. The Enterprise later returned to the Ba'ku planet to aid Captain Picard disarming the Son'a collector. They ran into Ru'afo's flagship on their way there and Commander Riker pretended to ram into the flagship but instead flew over it and used its phaser banks to fire at it. When the collector started to blow up, the Enterprise beamed up Picard and left Ru'afo to be destroyed in the collector while it blew up. The Enterprise later left Briar Patch to leave for Earth. (Star Trek: Insurrection)
The Enterprise visited Earth for several days in 2376, around the time the Pathfinder Project made contact with the USS Voyager and conducted a mission about seven light years from Earth the following year. According to Deanna Troi, it was an important mission, but the objective was never discussed. (VOY: "Pathfinder", "Life Line")
Sometime between 2375 and 2379 the Enterprise underwent a major refit. Four additional aft-facing photon torpedo tubes were added, along with one more forward-facing tube: a twin launcher aft of the bridge, a single launcher above the aft hangar deck and a single launcher at the forward base of the bridge terracing.
The bridge was refitted with handrails and the consoles were improved across the port and starboard walls with more detailed displays. Additionally, new nacelle pylons were fitted at that time, slightly longer, broader, and more sharply swept than the originals and fitted with four additional phaser arrays. (Star Trek Nemesis)
Discovery of B-4
While en route, the ship detected unusual positronic signals from the Kolarin system, discovering another Soong-type android, the prototype B-4. Shortly following, the Enterprise was ordered to Romulus for a meeting with the new Praetor, Shinzon, who apparently wanted to initiate peace talks. Both the discovery of B-4 and the peace overtures turned out to be a ruse to capture Captain Picard and discover tactical positions of Starfleet vessels.
Shinzon's true goals
Once it became clear Shinzon was going to use his starship, the Scimitar, to destroy all life on Earth and wage war on the Federation, the Enterprise was to join Star Fleet Battle Group Omega and make a stand against Shinzon.
Battle in the Bassen Rift
Shinzon caught up to the Enterprise in the Bassen Rift and, in the ensuing confrontation, the vessel was severely damaged, including a major hull breach on the bridge, destroying the viewscreen and controls and disabling the warp core.
As a last resort, Picard ordered Counselor Deanna Troi to take control of the Enterprise and have it ram the Scimitar, resulting in the loss of much of the saucer section's forward area. The collision disabled the Scimitar, but Shinzon, driven by vengeance, activated his deadly thalaron weapon and trained it on the Enterprise.
The weapon was overloaded and the Scimitar was destroyed due to interference from Commander Data, who sacrificed himself to save the Enterprise, Picard and, indirectly, Earth.
In the 2380s, Captain Picard was promoted to Admiral and left the Enterprise to spearhead the construction and deployment of a massive transport fleet intended to aid the evacuation of the Romulan system before its sun went supernova in 2387. (PIC: "Remembrance")
In her original configuration, the Enterprise-E was under 700 meters long and had 24 decks according to Jean-Luc Picard, although Deck 26 was reported as being controlled by the Borg. She was equipped with twelve phaser arrays and five torpedo tubes.
By 2379, the Enterprise-E had undergone at least one refit, including four additional phaser arrays and five additional torpedo tubes. The number of decks was also increased by five to a minimum of 29. (Star Trek Nemesis)
The ship could be controlled by a manual steering column located on the bridge. (Star Trek: Insurrection) She was also the first Enterprise to be equipped with an Emergency Medical Hologram. (Star Trek: First Contact)
The Enterprise carried a newer design of shuttlecraft as well as numerous other forms of transportation, including a warp-capable captain's yacht, the Cousteau, (Star Trek: Insurrection) and a special multipurpose shuttlecraft, the Argo. (Star Trek Nemesis) The yacht was installed as a part of the saucer section and detached upon deployment. Other auxiliary craft were launched from two shuttlebays, one at the aft end of the secondary hull and another near the aft end of the primary hull.
- Commanding officer
- First officer
- William T. Riker (2372–2379)
- Operations officer
- Chief engineer
- Geordi La Forge (2372–)
- Tactical officer/Security chief
- Chief medical officer
- Beverly Crusher (2372–)
- Deanna Troi (2372–2379)
- Flight control officer
See also: USS Enterprise personnel
Following Star Trek Generations, the six-foot filming model for the Galaxy-class USS Enterprise-D had been modified to have the registry number read "NCC-1701-E". Penny Juday, the archivist at Paramount Pictures, had no explanation for this change as of 19 October 2001. (TNG Season 2, Disc 6: "Inside Starfleet Archives"). It turned out that the change was done at ILM by John Goodson prior to crating up the model after completion of Star Trek Generations, presumably on the assumption that the new Enterprise might be a Galaxy-class ship as well and having the number changed over already would save whoever did the special effects the trouble of having to change it over themselves. (Industrial Light & Magic: Into the Digital Realm, p. 60)
The Enterprise-E was, in fact, the only replacement for a previously-destroyed "hero" ship that was not of the same class as its predecessor, as opposed to USS Enterprise-A (and its alternate reality counterpart) , the USS Defiant (NCC-75633) and the Delta Flyer. It was principally designed by John Eaves under the supervision of Herman Zimmerman. Using Eaves's sketches, Rick Sternbach drafted the blueprints for a ten-foot physical model. Eaves and Zimmerman also supervised the interior design of the bridge, engineering and corridors, although many sets from Star Trek: Voyager were also reused during Star Trek: First Contact and Star Trek: Insurrection. Though the Enterprise-E was mentioned in several episodes of Voyager, the ship was never seen outside of the films. However, the interior of the ship is visible in a communication with Deanna Troi in VOY: "Life Line" as well as a turbolift interior built for the films which was re-purposed for the Enterprise-D in ENT: "These Are the Voyages...".
The ten-foot physical model, constructed under the supervision of John Goodson at Industrial Light & Magic (ILM), was used for visual effects shots during Star Trek: First Contact, alongside a CGI version. In Star Trek: Insurrection and Star Trek Nemesis, CGI versions of the ship completely replaced the physical model.
The Nemesis CGI model included several modifications designed by John Eaves. In addition to the new weapons mentioned above, the warp pylons were slightly modified and the connection between the primary and secondary hulls near the main shuttlebay was made more sleek.
The model of the Enterprise-E from Star Trek: First Contact (Lot #107) was sold at the 40 Years of Star Trek: The Collection auction on October 5, 2006 for US$132,000 including the buyer's premium (the winning bid was US$110,000). 
There has been some confusion about the number of decks on the Enterprise-E. The construction blueprints of the filming miniature created for Star Trek: First Contact explicitly label 23 decks. In the film, Picard told Lily Sloane that the ship had 24 decks, while the master systems display on the bridge allows either interpretation. Earlier on, however, Daniels had reported that the Borg are in control of Decks 26 through 11. Michael and Denise Okuda say in their text commentary on the film, during the scene in which Picard tells Lilly about the 24 decks: "Unfortunately, earlier in this film, we are told that the ship has at least 26 decks. We can't imagine that Picard doesn't know his own ship, so we theorize that the other two decks are top secret for some reason. Either that, or his memory was affected by his earlier Borg assimilation. It certainly couldn't be a goof, because the design of the ship changed slightly during filming."
In Star Trek Nemesis, the Remans beam onto Deck 29. This could mean that Picard did not tell Lily the truth and there are actually more than 24 decks, or that more decks were added to the ship prior to Star Trek Nemesis. It may also be the case that Picard was counting only finished decks, as there could have been decks left unfinished for future expansion. Also, there was the possibility that Picard may have intentionally withheld or lied about certain aspects of the Enterprise-E design in the event that Lily was assimilated by the Borg.
Also in Nemesis, the Reman Viceroy fell several decks down a maintenance shaft. Because the Viceroy and the other Remans boarded the ship on Deck 29, it had been assumed that the ensuing battle took place on Deck 29 and that the Viceroy fell from that deck, implying that there could be 35 or more decks, or that the normal deck scheme was altered in some way that the ship could have more named decks than it measured in height.
This was not the case as signage on the corridors where the phaser fight between the Remans and the Enterprise officers took place indicate they were actually on Deck 9. This suggested that the two parties encountered each other about halfway to their destinations (Enterprise officers to Deck 29, the Remans to the bridge on Deck 1).
It is apparent from lineup charts that every new starship Enterprise is slightly longer than the previous one. In Star Trek: First Contact, Picard informs Lily Sloane that the Enterprise-E is "almost seven hundred meters long", in accordance with its intended size of 2,248 feet (685 meters). John Eaves describes the rationale as follows:
When the "E" had a final approved design, we drew up a chart of all the Enterprises in profile. Herman [Zimmerman] and I set down a whole bunch of cutouts of the "E" in various sizes to see where this new ship should scale with the others. We found one size that looked appropriate and we put a scale to its length and that would be 2,248 feet. Rick [Sternbach] was waiting to do the blueprints and add his creativity to the design, so we gave him a drawing with this one measurement. From there he sized the whole ship ... 
By January 7, 1997, the following dimensions from Rick Sternbach had been added to FAQ: A History of Ships Named Enterprise: 
L of saucer: 1,150'
Nacelle span: 700'
L of nacelles: 1,056'
The same length, beam and height (in meters) appear on the SciPubTech poster from around the same time. In addition, the length of 2,248 feet is listed in at least three comparison charts prepared for Star Trek: First Contact.  It can also be seen in the charts prepared for Star Trek: Insurrection.  The Star Trek Nemesis size chart puts it at 2,250 feet, consistent with a size revision during either the filmed or the unfilmed stage of redesign.  
In the novel Ship of the Line, the Enterprise was given to Captain Morgan Bateson for its shakedown cruise, which included war games near the Klingon border. Along for the ride, as temporary chief engineer, was Montgomery Scott.
Some missions of the Enterprise during the Dominion War were featured in Behind Enemy Lines, Tunnel Through the Stars and Tales of the Dominion War. In the DS9 Millennium book series, the Enterprise was destroyed at the Battle of Rigel VII (β) in an alternate future that the intrepid heroes of Deep Space 9 later prevented.
Star Trek: A Time to..., set during the year leading up to Star Trek Nemesis, featured the Enterprise being involved in a major political scandal that disgraces the ship and her crew for much of the coming year; the final duology in that series features the Enterprise being ordered to lead an invasion and occupation of a sovereign planet, with resemblance to the current real life world political situation at the time the novels were written. A "TNG relaunch" of sorts followed the Enterprise's activities after Nemesis; the first book in the series, Death in Winter, was released in September 2005.
The novel Resistance established that before he left the Enterprise for the Titan, Commander Riker christened this Enterprise's version of the crew lounge, or Ten Forward, as the "Happy Bottom Riding Club," a name Worf absolutely hated and refused to use under any circumstances. The name for the lounge was derived from a similar watering hole that old Earth astronauts used to frequent. It also established that every ship's computer that was built during the last decade had encrypted information about Romulan cloaking technology, which could be decrypted in case of emergency using an admiral's code and thus enabled the crew to build a cloaking device. In Resistance the crew separated the saucer section from the engine section (a feat this Enterprise had previously not done) and then cloaked the engine section to engage a Borg cube. During Resistance, Worf was promoted to the official first officer after acting in the position in an unofficial capacity during the ship's reconstruction after its confrontation with the Scimitar. In Q&A, an encounter with Q revealed that his past contact with the crew had been to prepare them for an encounter with "Them (β)", a race far above even the Q, with Picard's response convincing Them that the universe deserved to exist. The novel Before Dishonor allied the crew of the Enterprise with Spock and Seven of Nine as they are forced to reactivate the original planet killer after Admiral Janeway was assimilated and became the new Queen of a Borg super-cube, the confrontation ending with the loss of Pluto, the destruction of the cube and Janeway's apparent death. The Destiny miniseries culminated in the final destruction of the Borg after the Titan learns their true origin, but the Federation was left devastated by the subsequent invasion, with much of the later novels focusing on the role the Enterprise will play in the reconstruction amid the creation of the Typhon Pact (β), an "anti-Federation" consisting of some of the Federation's most notorious adversaries, including the Romulans, the Tholians and the Breen. After the events of The Fall miniseries, the Enterprise was sent on a new mission of exploration.
In the Star Trek: Picard tie-in prequel, The Last Best Hope, Worf was given command of the Enterprise following Picard's promotion to admiral and on his personal recommendation, as Starfleet has reservations in light of Worf's actions in DS9: "Change of Heart".
In Star Trek: Countdown, a tie-in to the 2009 Star Trek film, the Enterprise-E was still active as of 2387 with Data, having been revived after successfully imprinting his neural network into B-4's existing CPU succeeding Picard as captain.
The timeline for Star Trek Online followed the storyline in the Countdown comic series, with Data as captain into the 25th century. The timeline only mentioned that the Enterprise-E left service around 2408, but its ultimate fate was unclear; however, by 2409, a new Odyssey-class (β) vessel was christened Enterprise (β) (NCC-1701-F), implying that her predecessor was decommissioned or destroyed. The short story "Unexpected Honor", written for issue 40 of Star Trek Magazine in May 2012, revealed that the Enterprise-E was destroyed in an ambush by the Undine at Starbase 236 (β) in 2408; among the survivors was Captain Data, who retired from Starfleet to take up teaching on Earth.
The Enterprise had also featured in many apocryphal productions, including the strategy games Star Trek: Armada, Star Trek: Armada II, Star Trek: Bridge Commander, Star Trek: Starfleet Command III, Star Trek: Elite Force II, Star Trek: Legacy, and, most recently, Star Trek Online.